A once-popular misconception held by anti-marijuana advocates, perpetuated by drug dealers and gangsters lacing selling-marijuana with other, more harmful drugs to induce physical addiction in their buyers.
Technically an impossibility, as marijuana does not cause fatal, or even considerable damage in the short term (not counting injuries sustained while under the influence).
Commonly used as an often-misinterperated metaphorical arugment that if you have taken enough of a drug to have gone completely out of your gord, you've taken a "dose" more of it than you should have.
High-Strung Joe- "Stop smokin' that, dude! You're going to have a marijuana overdose, dude! It happened to Crazy Collin after he bought from that toothless dude we found in the sewer! Willie? WILLIE!?"
Willie the Pothead- "I feel sooo relaxed... Like, duuuude... woww... duuuude...."
A Well-Adjusted Pedestrian- "Willie just collapsed and pissed his pants in public: if you ask me, he's already overdosed. Drag him home so he can sleep it off in peace."
A currently illegal drug that has inspired such controversy that both sides of the argument have resorted to shamelessly making false claims.
The truth is that marijuana is undeniably harmful to our physical and mental functioning. However, the argument against it cannot be made from this fact alone, as many legal products (including alcohol and arguably cigarettes) are more damaging to our medical and social wellbeing.
Arguments that it is a socially damaging practice and should be prohibited (which I will not support or deny due to it being considerably weighted with opinion), cannot be effectively made from a medical standpoint as long as similar or more damaging products are legally and socially allowed to rip our families and the lives of our citizens apart. However, arguments that it should be allowed without restriction are equally fallible if made from the stance that it is helpful, as much research indicates that it is actually very counterproductive to physical and mental health. As this statement is more ambiguous than a marijuana-alcohol comparison, I will now state several medical facts reinforcing the validity of it. All quotes are from confirmedly unbiased medical research. However, as it has come through myself, it should be viewed as a secondary source; regardless of your personal views or intent, it would be best to do your own research.
On general effects, the following analysis was provided. "Within a few minutes after inhaling marijuana smoke, an individual's heart begins beating more rapidly, the bronchial passages relax and become enlarged, and blood vessels in the eyes expand, making the eyes look red. The heart rate, normally 70 to 80 beats per minute, may increase by 20 to 50 beats per minute or, in some cases, even double. This effect can be greater if other drugs are taken with marijuana.”
"As THC enters the brain, it causes a user to feel euphoric - or ‘high’ - by acting in the brain's reward system, areas of the brain that respond to stimuli such as food and drink as well as most drugs of abuse. THC activates the reward system in the same way that nearly all drugs of abuse do, by stimulating brain cells to release the chemical dopamine."
"A marijuana user may experience pleasant sensations, colors and sounds may seem more intense, and time appears to pass very slowly. The user's mouth feels dry, and he or she may suddenly become very hungry and thirsty. His or her hands may tremble and grow cold. The euphoria passes after awhile, and then the user may feel sleepy or depressed. Occasionally, marijuana use produces anxiety, fear, distrust, or panic."
On the subject of mental damage over time, the report had this to say: "Marijuana's damage to short-term memory seems to occur because THC alters the way in which information is processed by the hippocampus, a brain area responsible for memory formation. Laboratory rats treated with THC displayed the same reduced ability to perform tasks requiring short-term memory as other rats showed after nerve cells in their hippocampus were destroyed. In addition, the THC-treated rats had the greatest difficulty with the tasks precisely during the time when the drug was interfering most with the normal functioning of cells in the hippocampus."
"As people age, they normally lose neurons in the hippocampus, which decreases their ability to remember events. Chronic THC exposure may hasten the age-related loss of hippocampal neurons. In one series of studies, rats exposed to THC every day for 8 months (approximately 30 percent of their lifespan), when examined at 11 to 12 months of age, showed nerve cell loss equivalent to that of unexposed animals twice their age."
Shamelessly Untruthful/Uneducated Anti-Marijuana Advocte: "Marijuana is more harmful than alcohol! All perscribed drugs are better than pot! It causes cancer! If you've smoked anything in your life, you're evil!"
Shamelessly Untruthful/Uneducated Pro-Marijuana Advocate: "There's nothing wrong with pot! You can't get cancer from smokin' the stuff! You're a goody-goody who just wants us to have no fun! It causes no problems with your brain or body!"
Intelligent/Educated Person: Any drug, illegal or otherwise, that has such a profound effect on the human body and brain is a powerful substance that should be viewed and used with some degree of caution. We, as modern citizens of the world, should do our best to make large-scale political and legal decisions based on facts, and not the outrageously asinine blatherings of 'extremist 'conservatives' and 'liberals' who are taking a stance on the topic solely to garner support.