Teens see cannabis use as less dangerous? – The real story
We’ve been duped into false facts and misrepresentations within the cannabis world. One of the major arguments that proponents of prohibition constantly remind us of is the “Teens see cannabis as less dangerous”.
But what does this mean?
Less dangerous than what? Alcohol, Crack or whatever else you can think of?
To fully understand this we first need to understand the perception of danger.
The Perceived Threat of Cannabis
It is true, cannabis is seen of late to be less dangerous in the minds of most people, teens and adults included. But to understand this shift, we must first go back about thirty odd years to the Raegan administration and their propping up of the supposed dangers of cannabis.
Cannabis will make you lazy, it will make you dumb, it will destroy brain cells, it is one of the most addictive substances on the planet, it loosens your morality etc. These are all the claims that were made by the government in the 70s and 80s and even up into the 90s.
The elevated perception of danger created a norm where people thought cannabis is “dangerous” or just like any other “drug”.
Nowadays, people know that cannabis can’t kill you. They know that it’s really not addictive. They know it helps alleviate numerous medical symptoms.
So yes, teens do perceive cannabis as “less dangerous” based on the previous threshold of danger subscribed to cannabis. Is this a bad thing?
Of course not. It means that the public is more informed on the issues they deal with on a day to day basis. It means that the government has failed in their propaganda to mislead the public – teens included – that cannabis is a dangerous drug. They know that alcohol is far more dangerous, yet socially accepted than cannabis.
Thus, when you read studies like “30% of teens think cannabis is less dangerous”, you need to put it into context.
Cannabis is less dangerous!
Now, let’s talk about facts. Cannabis is one of the safest drugs known to humankind. We have been using it for thousands of years and have seen zero deaths as a result of use alone. We can’t say the same thing about the legal recreational drugs such as alcohol, tobacco and even caffeine.
40% of violent crime has been linked to alcohol consumption. 400,000 people die each year from tobacco consumption. A person with high blood pressure and a bad heart would never be able to drink an espresso.
The point is, that there is virtually no way to die from cannabis consumption alone. It isn’t linked to violence and while smoking is never good for the lungs, cannabis smoke dissipates way quicker and is less harmful than tobacco smoke.
These are all facts. If teens perceive cannabis to be less dangerous than the previously mentioned drugs…then we should applaud them for being able to rationalize on their own. It’s not legalization that’s changing their minds, but rather access to information that allows them to research claims prior to making a decision.
In the 80s, we didn’t have such a plentiful access to the internet. We had to get our information from the mouth of the government…who have been consistently lying to us about cannabis since the late 1930s.
The biggest issue in the harm perception of cannabis is that no longer can the government get away with shadow studies that are not founded in science.
And even when the government presents propaganda in the guise of science, the online community is quite vocal and has the ability to fact check everything. For the most part, most of the ‘anti-cannabis studies’ have some serious issues within their procedure and methodology. Often times, concluding in a negative fashion to appease their donors.
Why we shouldn’t worry about the kids
I have spoken about this topic before. We live in a society run by adults but create laws that cater to kids. Of course, taking care of children is a priority, however there are many things adults can do and kids can’t.
Driving, drinking, smoking, working and many other things are exclusively adult privileges. None of these actions have legislation placed against it that outright bans the action in question to ‘protect the children’.
We seem to be okay with these things, yet when it comes to drugs we have this warped approach that limits adults on the inability of children to do it. Why is this?
If you want to protect kids, then teach them. You can’t simply whitewash an argument with “it’s bad for you”. We’ve already established that kids are smarter than they were a few decades ago. They have access to the world wide web of information and arguments such as “drugs are bad” no longer work.
For me, it’s a good thing that kids are seeing cannabis to be less dangerous than many other drugs because it means they are at least somewhat informed about the substance itself. Furthermore, as legalization continues…kids are smoking weed at lower rates despite them perceiving it to be less dangerous.
Just something to chew on.