Saturday, September 8, 2012

The difference between flower and a weed is a judgement

The Marijuana Myth: What If Everything You Think You Know About This Plant Is Wrong?

Posted: 09/04/2012 
What if everything you were ever told and believed about a subject wasn't true? What if the well-meaning, trusted and respected people who told you those lies were just parroting the propaganda that they heard?
That's the exact dilemma I found myself in about three years ago. For most of my life, I bought into the grim and terrifying stories I heard about -- dare I say it? -- marijuana.
Whether they called it doobie, reefer, pot, Mary Jane or plain ol' weed, I believed all those ominous voices when they warned me that marijuana could cause everything from brain damage to a craving for stronger drugs (i.e., the "gateway" theory.) And so as I got older, I just kept repeating the same marijuana mantras to others, convinced that I was right. "Marijuana is dangerous," I told others. "Only brain dead stoners use it."
Someone once said to me, "the further you get away from the facts, the easier they can turn into a myth." Boy, is that the truth. It all started three years ago when I decided to finally research marijuana. If anything, I was determined to prove to myself and others that my concerns were valid. Living in Colorado where medical marijuana was legal to possess and grow once you qualified for a "red card", I was surrounded by "pot shops." Thanks to Amendment 20 in our State Constitution, these dispensaries grew and flourished faster than it takes a medical marijuana bud to mature. In Denver County alone, there are around 400 medical marijuana dispensaries, outnumbering the 375 Starbucks statewide. I freely admit that I mocked these businesses and rolled my eyes at the people who frequented them. So, on that summer day nearly three years ago, I decided to dig into this controversial plant and arm myself with even more information that would support my anti-marijuana stance.
But a strange thing kept happening. The more I dug into what some opponents refer to as "the green menace," the more I continued to find research studies I wasn't aware existed. Some of these studies had been buried -- perhaps purposely -- and made scientific claims about Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa that I found almost too good to be true. For example, I read a 1974 study (published in 1975) that was conducted at the University of Virginia that proved that the cannabinoids in the cannabis plant shrunk cancerous tumors and killed cancer cells, leaving healthy cells alone. Even though it was there in black and white, I still didn't buy it. So I kept investigating. I found that when I used the Internet search terms "cannabis+indica+healing+benefits," I got a whooping 220,000 websites. When I added the word "medical" to that group of words, the field increased to 452,000.

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