The use of cannabis, for either medicinal or recreational purposes, can have damaging effects on a person’s health and well-being.  Myths about marijuana and its use abound; fortunately, research into the drug and its long term effects have progressed hugely over the last 20 years, effectively debunking many of these, including that it is safe or natural.

Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug in Australia.  In 2007, one in three 33.5%, about 5.8 million) of Australians aged 14 years or older had used marijuana/cannabis at sometime in their lives.  Of the same Australians, almost one in 10 (9.1%, 1.6 million) had used the drug in the previous 12 months.  (AIHW, 2007 National Drug Strategy Household Survey: first results)

A high proportion of young people have used cannabis at least once, with most people aged in their mid-to-late teens when they first start using.

MYTH #1:  Cannabis is harmless because it’s natural

The most common myth surrounding the use of cannabis is that the drug is less harmful than tobacco or other illicit drugs because it is ‘natural’ or ‘safe’.  This is untrue and research supports this.  A huge number of the chemicals present in tobacco are also present in cannabis – it has been found to cause cancer and increase many other health and lifestyle risks, both short and long term.  See below. 

Cannabis use has been strongly linked with mental health conditions such as schizophrenia.  It is an illegal drug and although users are not likely to die from its use, other risks exist such as mental health difficulties learning disorders  and respiratory diseases can seriously damage health.

MYTH #2 :  Cannabis is not addictive

Cannabis is as addictive as any other drug – psychologically perhaps more than physically.  If you become dependent you may have difficulty controlling your use, spending more time involved with cannabis and less on other more important things in your life.  Research shows that the younger a user is when they start, the more damage it does to the mind and the body and the higher the risk of psychosis.  Being dependent on cannabis increases your exposure to its negative physical and psychological side effects.  Regular users may experience withdrawal symptoms, reeling restless and anxious, or losing appetite when they stop, as their body has become used to the drug.  The more frequently you use cannabis and rely on it in your life, the greater chance you will become dependent.  If you feel you may have a problem, speak to your local general practitioner.

MYTH #3:  I can drive after using cannabis

Drug-driving is extremely dangerous.  Cannabis slows your reaction rates alters your sense of perception affects your ability to judge distances and reduces your coordination, judgement and vision.

Combining cannabis with the use of alcohol increases the risk of having an accident even further.  Most jusisdictions in Australia have introduced drug-driving legislation and penalties for drug driving are significant.  Random road-side testing occurs in most states and there is no proven way of covering up use.  Cannabis is also detectable in the blood stream for long periods of time and accumulates if use becomes more frequent.  If you have smoked or ingested cannabis or consumed alcohol, then do not drive.

MYTH #4:  Cannabis is legal (this changed to fit Oregon)

State and federal laws make it illegal to use or possess.  “Medical marijuana statutes” make it a legal defence, but it remains illegal; use at your own risk!


Cannabis is a mind and mood-altering drug, depressing or slowing down the central nervous system, which also has some hallucingenic effects.  It is made from the Cannabis Sativa or hemp plant and is used in three forms: plant material; hashish (concentrated from form made by compressing resins into small blocks, or hashish oil (concentrated liquid extract from the plant).  The plant contains many chemicals, but the principal and most active ingredient in cannabis is the chemical Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol – known as THC.


If cannabis is used regularly, for long periods of time, there can be serious effects, including higher risk of lung cancer, bronchitis and other respiratory diseases; decrease in motivation, lower concentration, memory and learning abilities, reduced sex drive; regular menstral cycle; lowered sperm count and risk of psychotic behaviors.  There are also a range of social effects that include breakdown of relationships, losing your job, dropping out of school and falling out with families.


The most common reaction to dannabis is to feel ‘stoned’, ‘happy’, ‘bent’, ‘relaxed’, or ‘high’.  Other effects vary as cannabis affects people in different ways but may include increased appetite, paranoia, vomiting, hallucinations, confusion, reddened eyes, loss of inhibitions, anxiety, panic, loss of coordination and loss of concetration.

(This article was derived from Australian Medical Association’s magazine: “All About You“. 

About josiahe

Watching closely, working to understand all I may, in this "Age of Information", even from my limited view, I can see much of what's going on ..... and I oft see it's going to impact all of us which is why I share it. My focus is to expose evil, and to serve my Lord and savior Jesus in whatever way He shows me. If one waits long enough, better writers will come along and comment; it's just that I have so little patience with the evil that lurks among us and I've wasted so much time and now, there is so little left! WELCOME!
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  1. potandcoffee says:

    And you don’t use any drugs, ever? Right. And those drugs that you never take, if they were abused would probably produce similar symptoms to what you have described above. Weed is about as dangerous as coffee. That’s why I do both at that same time … I’m extra dangerous.

    • josiahe says:

      Users are expected to be in denial; this astute, yet smug oberservation is unusual though.

      I did do drugs; I’m a risk taker too. The drugs did their damage; I’m fully aware of that now, but it took 2 to 3 years to become angry at what they’d done to me and another decade or so to fully comprehend just how much damage.

      What I regret most though, is that I role modeled it for others. Something that should never have happened is my beloved children followed in my footsteps. I work alongside of hundreds of drug warriors; of this group of people, I’m one of the few who is lucky …… thus far. One of my children is clean and sober 7 years now and my other is still alive, though damaged. Most of those I work with have lost their children ….. or sometimes it’s another of their loved ones.

      So be smug about your use if you like; you have the right to damage yourself as long as the rest of us don’t have to pick up the pieces! Oh; and no; I don’t use drugs now, except for a couple pharmaceuticals to counter what I’ve done to myself and if I could, I’d quit those!

  2. potandcoffee says:

    Don’t get me wrong, my smugness isn’t to be disrespectful. My point is that if you abuse anything, it causes problems and health issues. See what happens or what side effects come about if you abuse your pharamaceuticals.

    It isn’t right to talk about Marijuana and then give an example of effects from other drug abuse as an example of what smoking weed will do to you. I’ve never heard of anyone who lost a child or loved one because they smoked weed. Losing your keys and shit … another story.

    • josiahe says:

      Using marijuana is playing Russian Roulette with your intelligence, ….. more importantly, with your sanity. I’ve been studying pot use since I quit, 30 years ago. You don’t read the reports / research I do – that’s obvious.

      You’ve been swept up in the lies and the one thing pot does better than anything else is it draws one into the subculture and one becomes unable to see what is happening to him.

      That’s why I write ……. because I care. That’s why all the people in Drug Watch International are involved – they’ve lost loved ones and they care about you! Every one of us has had his / her own personal loss …… I’m a former user; they aren’t (one is, but that’s out of hundreds) ….. most of them lost their children ….. we just try to prevent others from the same losses.

  3. potandcoffee says:

    And I’m not denying anything. Chronic marijuana smoking does have side effects. It’s funny you post a blog about Marijuana when it has more to do with people being stupid … driving while under the influence, smoking when you’re young, etc. Hey, what not do a blog on the dangers of Liquid Plumber? It will kill you if you drink the whole bottle. Even says it on there.

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