Pubdate: Fri, 21 Jul 2006
Source: Weyburn This Week (CN SN)
Copyright: 2006 Weyburn This Week
Author: Jen Andrews
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


This article is not intended as a scare tactic, rather a truthful 
look at marijuana and it's effects on the human body.

The Weyburn Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse (WECADA) is a 
non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the impact of chemical 
dependency on the family and community. In 1995 and 2005, they 
conducted surveys of adolescents to determine their attitudes about 
alcohol and drug abuse in Weyburn. The following are statements from 
the survey's findings.

In 2005 over 30 per cent of all students reported having tried drugs. 
Marijuana is identified as the drug used most often (by 70 per cent 
of respondents) first by admitted drug users, both males and females. 
The most often used drugs in order of admitted use by the entire 
population are cannabis, tobacco, magic mushrooms, cocaine, 
tranquilizers, amphetamines, LSD, and inhalants. I repeat, marijuana 
is smoked first more often than cigarettes.

Eighty-five per cent of admitted drug users have first used drugs by 
the age of 16. Over 24 per cent of drug users in 1995 admitted doing 
so before the age of 14.

Ten years ago the numbers were different. In The truth about 
marijuana 1995, tobacco was identified as the drug used most often 
first by admitted drug users, with only 30 per cent of respondents 
trying marijuana first.

Marijuana, also known as Hashish, pot, ganga, whacky baccy, hash, 
grass, blow, puff, weed, skunk, draw, smoke, spliff, and joint, is 
currently 500 per cent more powerful now than it was 10 years ago, 
therefore the dangers of smoking marijuana now are much more serious 
than they were in the 1960's.

Marijuana smoke causes cancer more than cigarette smoke. In fact, 
because marijuana smokers try to hold the smoke in their lungs as 
long as possible, one marijuana cigarette can be as damaging to the 
lungs as four tobacco cigarettes.

The main mindalterting ingredient in marijuana is THC (delta- 9 
tetrahydrocannabinol). In 1974, the THC content in a joint averaged 
less than one per cent. This rose to four per cent by 1994, with the 
popular sinsemilla joint ranging from 7.5 per cent to 24 per cent of THC.

Marijuana is called a "gateway" drug, because it often leads to 
subsequent use of even harsher drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and crystal meth.

The dangers of marijuana include: impaired perception, diminished 
short-term memory, loss of concentration and coordination, impaired 
judgment, increased risk of accidents, loss of motivation, diminished 
inhibitions, anxiety, panic attacks, paranoia, hallucinations, damage 
to respiratory systems, damage to reproductive organs, damage to 
immune system, increased risk of cancer, and psychological dependency.

Because marijuana affects memory, judgment and perception, the drug 
can make you mess up in school, in sports or clubs, or with your 
friends. If you're high on marijuana, you are more likely to make 
mistakes that could embarass or even hurt you. If you use marijuana a 
lot, you could start to lose interest in how you look and how you're 
getting along in school or work.

Athletes could find their performace is off; timing, movements, and 
coordination are all affected by THC. Also, since marijuana can 
affect judgment and decisionmaking, its use can lead to risky sexual 
behaviour, resulting in exposure to STD's like AIDS.
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MAP posted-by: Beth Wehrman