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Things You’ve Always Wanted To Know About Smoking Weed

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By Manav Garg:

1. Smoking weed is believed to have significant medical value.

This is a fact.

Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images (For representation only)

According to this research on canasol: One of the 50 fundamental herbs of traditional Chinese medicine, cannabis-based drugs are expected to prove useful in treating adrenal disease, inflammatory bowel disease, migraines, fibromyalgia, and related conditions. Other forms has also been found to relieve certain symptoms of multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injuries by exhibiting antispasmodic and muscle-relaxant properties as well as stimulating appetite.

2. Smoking marijuana is healthy because it’s a plant, not a drug

This is a myth.

There are many poisonous and hallucinogenic plants, whose products are unhealthy for human consumption as in the case of weed, heroin, cocaine, magic mushrooms etc. The dangers or the advantages associated with marijuana are independent of it being a part of the plant family.

3. Legalizing marijuana helps to reduce its usage.

History says this is a myth. 

Legalizing the consumption of marijuana has often been considered the best solution to control and reduce the smoking of pot. As in the case of some nations in Europe, this experiment has normally backfired. Consider the experience of the Netherlands, where the government reconsidered its legalization measures in light of that country’s experience. After marijuana use became legal, consumption nearly tripled among 18- to 20-year-olds.

As per the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration: In 1987, Swiss officials permitted drug use and sales in a Zurich park, which was soon dubbed Needle Park, and Switzerland became a magnet for drug users the world over. Within five years, the number of regular drug users at the park had reportedly swelled from a few hundred to 20,000. The area around the park became crime-ridden to the point that the park had to be shut down and the experiment terminated.

4. Marijuana is a gateway drug.

Numbers show this is a myth. 

It’s almost taken for granted that marijuana is the stepping-stone to bigger drugs. Getting into smoking pot is normally believed to be followed by users moving to cocaine and heroin, and a lot of hard drug addicts certify this hypothesis. But look at the numbers in reverse. In 2008, some 15.2 million Americans admitted being past-month users of marijuana, but only 1.9 million were past-month cocaine users and 200,000 past-month users of heroin.

In 2010, past-month marijuana use had gone up (to 17.4 million), but cocaine use had gone down (to 1.5 million) while heroin use was unchanged. If marijuana were a gateway drug, number of hard drug users would have probably showed the same trend as Marijuana users, but that is not the case.

A 1999 study by the California-based Institute of Medicine concludes, “There is no evidence that marijuana serves as a stepping-stone on the basis of its particular physiological effect.

5. Marijuana is 10 times more potent and dangerous now than in the sixties.

This notion of increasingly more dangerous pot is a myth caused mainly by biased data and statistics, as shown by a recent “NORML” report by Dr. John Morgan.

As per this report, the samples used from the early ‘70s came from the pot left in Mexican Police lockers etc — whose potency had deteriorated to sub standard levels of less than 0.5%. When compared to fresh domestic samples of average quality, one would naturally interpret a skyrocketing potency.

In fact, there is nothing new about high-potency pot. During the sixties, it was available in premium varieties such as Acapulco Gold, Panama Red, etc, as well as in the form of hashish and hash oil, which were every bit as strong as today’s sinsemilla, but were ignored in government potency statistics.

6. There are over a 100 chemicals in marijuana smoke and that is why it is harmful

This is true. But very misleading.

There are over 1500 chemicals present in roasted coffee!
 Only 21 of those have been tested on animals, and 16 of those cause cancer in rodents. Rat poison however, contains only 30 chemicals.

In short, everything depends on the type of chemical involved. The sheer number of chemicals is often used to scare people into believing that Marijuana causes cancer.

The truth is the number of chemicals has absolutely nothing to do with how dangerous pot is.

You must be to comment.
  1. Ajay Kapoor

    Great guide for pot smokers!
    I would like to add that the sub standard stuff college students score is all rubbish and sometime contain RAT POISON!!! Please get away with this evil.

  2. Baldeep Grewal

    Before reading this keep in mind that it comes from a fitness freak and not a miss-goody-two-shoes. So, the body is a temple. And you are supposed to respect it and its needs. It needs vitamins, proteins, roughage, water, exercise and a lots of lovin every now and then. and it DEFINITELY does not need alcohol, smoke, trans fats, unnecessary sugars and the other crap we keep throwing in just because oh it feels good. Heal your body and let it heal you. Do your self this favour.

  3. Ashmeeta Mehendiratta

    So , you mean smoking up isn’t that bad ?

  4. shilpi narwal

    crap . who wrote this crap

  5. shilpi narwal

    i smoke daily , having been doing this for last 2 years. I am perfectly ok

  6. UD

    It was categorised as an illegal “drug” when the USA having it’s population majorly influenced by the Indian culture started pressurizing the Indian Government to ban the herb. It’s getting legalised in the US now, why not in India. Contrary to your point that it may backfire if legalised, the use of hard drugs in such countries have gone down and so have the crime rate. I am against youngsters smoking pot (People who haven’t yet developed their brains to it’s limit) but I am for it’s recreational usage. However smoking is not the only way you can take in the THC, there are multiple of other “harmless” ways.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

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A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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