Marijuana leaves and joint

This Ain’t Your Grandpa’s Pot!

Marijuana Yesterday and Today

Hippie culture made the 1960s a special era. It also gave rise to the mainstream legitimacy of cannabis into the medicinal miracle we know today. For some, those were the glory days of marijuana, with many from those days transforming political activism and rejecting mainstream, economic, and social norms of society. Yet, this wasn’t the birth of pot smoking, or other illegal drug use. This problem has been around for much longer than that.

Prior to the 60’s, President Harry S. Truman signed the Boggs Act of 1951 which established minimum sentences for drug crimes in the United States. Marijuana was added to the list of harder drugs included in the bill, arguing that although marijuana itself wasn’t deadly, it was a “stepping stone” or “gateway” to other harder drugs. Folks mostly ignored these tactics, continuing to smoke weed uninhibited. For youngsters, a seemingly harmless toke was even more novel since it was illegal.

So, while the government was sounding the alarm and taking steps to address the dangers of marijuana, they were blatantly pushing another dangerous substance. From about 1946 – 1965, the government ignored the flood of advertisements tobacco companies were pouring out to Americans by marketing cigarettes as “medicine” that was not only safe to use, but “good for you.”

A famous 1946 commercial from R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company used the slogan, “More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette.” Celebrities and athletes were paid to endorse tobacco smoking. The advertising was very successful. Tobacco use peaked in 1965 with nearly 42% of Americans using tobacco daily.

Surgeon General’s Bombshell Report

The following year, the Surgeon General released a bombshell report that became top news – there was a probable link between smokers and lung cancer. It took decades of public health campaigns to change the public’s attitude and perception of tobacco from a benign medicine to a cancer stick.

It’s taken a while since the Surgeon General’s report came out, but the percentage of smokers has declined, and rather drastically. Growing awareness of the health risks of tobacco helped bring a sharp drop in public acceptance. So why are we witnessing the total opposite when it comes to marijuana? The Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) prior concern about this “Schedule I” drug as being harmful, has all but vanished.

Currently in the United States, cannabis is legal in 38 of 50 states for “medical” use, and 24 of 50 states for “recreational” use. But hold on–the Biden administration has another stunt to pull to destroy America. On April 30, 2024, NBC News reported that the Biden administration will take a historic step toward easing federal restrictions on cannabis with an interim rule to reclassify marijuana for the first time since the Controlled Substances Act was enacted in 1971.

DEA Reclassification of Marijuana

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is expected to approve an opinion by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) that marijuana should be reclassified from the strictest Schedule I to the less stringent Schedule III.

The report states, “For the $34 billion cannabis industry, the move would also eliminate significant tax burdens for businesses in states where the drug is legal, notably getting rid of the IRS’ code Section 280E, which prohibits legal cannabis companies from deducting what would otherwise be ordinary business expenses.”

Allegedly their goal is to “shrink the black market.” Yet, they are still ignoring and downplaying the serious physical and mental health risks associated with the marijuana that growers, distributors, and users want to ignore.

Dangers

There is no doubt among researchers that marijuana is more dangerous – as is tobacco. Yet, no one has driven the wrong way on the freeway; forgotten to pick up their child from school; had a psychotic breakdown; or dropped out of school as a result of smoking cigarettes. All these tragedies are regular occurrences from pot use, but few will acknowledge this.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) spell out the risks as well as facts that the “pot propogandists” don’t want the public to know about how dangerous marijuana truly is.

Marijuana is dangerous. It is not dangerous because it is illegal. It is illegal because it is dangerous. It is particularly dangerous to the developing brain (anyone under about 25 years of age). About 1 of 10 users will become addicted or acquire cannabis use disorder.

  • Suicidality – Marijuana is the number one drug found in completed teen suicides in Colorado.
  • Violence – Regular marijuana use was associated with increased incidents of intimate partner violence.
  • Amotivational Syndrome – is associated with long-term effects of cannabis use and is characterized by detachment as well as blunted emotion, drives, and executive functions like memory and attention.
  • Anxiety – Adolescent regular marijuana users have a 3-fold increase risk for anxiety disorder compared to adults.
  • Autism – Cannabis can alter male sperm DNA in ways associated with autism.
  • Motor Vehicle Collisions – The risk of car collisions increases two-fold after smoking cannabis.
  • Neonatal Exposure – Cannabis causes birth defects. A child’s development is impaired by mother’s marijuana use during pregnancy.
  • Neurocognitive Effects – Cannabis use impairs cognitive function such as coordination, ability to plan, organize, solve problems, make decisions, remember, and control emotion and behavior.
  • Psychosis/Schizophrenia – Daily marijuana use has a five time increase in the odds ratio of developing a psychotic disorder when using high potency cannabis.
  • Cancer – Testicular cancer is associated with an over two-fold risk for marijuana users.
  • Heart Health – Heart attacks are twice as likely in young adults who use cannabis. A heart attack was 4.8 times higher 60 minutes following marijuana use.
  • CBD Cannabidiol – found to cause liver damage.
  • Depression – Adolescents who use cannabis have a significant increased risk of depression and suicidality in adulthood in a study of 23,217 individuals.
  • Marijuana Addiction – 1-in-6 people who start using the drug before the age of 18 can become addicted.

Growers, distributers, and pot shops make broad claims about their products, sometimes saying they cure nearly every ailment under the sun, and especially things like anxiety or pain. Perhaps on a short-term basis – until the stupor subsides! As far as the safety is concerned, the argument goes something like this: “God made the marijuana plant, so it is natural and therefore safe.” Well, God made hemlock, also natural, but poisonous!

The Bible commands us to not allow our bodies to become “mastered by anything.” The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 6:12, “Everything is permissible for me, but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.”

Many older adults who remember “smoking a little grass” back in school may scoff. Many think, “Hey, they used it, and they’re just fine, right?” What many of them don’t realize is that today’s marijuana is very different from the allegedly harmless joint passed around at a party back in the ’70s or ’80s. Today’s pot is much more potent. Grandpa’s head would have spun out!

Years ago, the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the stuff that gets you high) in marijuana was much lower—around 3 to 5 percent. But today’s “turbo pot” tends to be around 13 percent, and up to 20 or even 30 percent in some cases. Today, pot is genetically modified with harmful chemicals – it’s not “natural.” Pot in the 60’s compared to today’s pot is a beer compared to five shots of grain alcohol.

Impact on Society

For those who sing the tune, “If someone wants to use pot, it doesn’t impact anyone else,” think again. Where do you think much of this high-potency pot comes from? Legal marijuana dispensaries in California have sold marijuana cultivated by human trafficking victims, noted NBC’s Jacob Soboroff. In his documentary “Captives of Cannabis,” a law enforcement officer estimated that 45% of the illegal dispensaries he raided involved human trafficking victims from Asia, often the People’s Republic of China.

While marijuana use is presented as an individual choice, its impact is undeniably on the rest of society, especially those in close relations with users. There are more DUIs involving marijuana use. In Colorado, a state that legalized marijuana, there were 131 marijuana-related traffic fatalities in 2020, while 1 in 4 road deaths in Colorado involve marijuana.

There are more poison control calls because children are finding these marijuana “gummies” that look like candy. Nationally in 2020, there were 2,473 in-home THC exposures involving children under 12-years of age, up from 598 in 2018. Pot smokers also subject other people in the house to secondhand marijuana smoke that “contains many of the same toxins and carcinogens found in directly-inhaled marijuana smoke, in similar amounts if not more,” according to the American Lung Association.

Make a Choice

Whether “medicinal” or “recreational,” marijuana use makes it impossible for the user to engage the full power of his or her God-given intellect. It hinders the higher functions of wise decision-making. It is harmful to the body, which Scripture tells us is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and shortens the number of years we have on earth to serve Christ.

“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

The goal is to have our loved ones to never use legal or illegal substances that will cause them harm.

  • Educate yourself and your child;
  • Communicate openly and honestly about the harm use and abuse will cause;
  • Engage your child in youth groups or activities such as sports, music, or art; and most of all,
  • Center your home environment on our Creator!

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2)


Mist Carter is Christian patriot who is the author of three books. Her most recent release, “We the People—Daily Devotional for Loving God & Country” is now available. Her previous books are titled, “Our Crumbling Foundation—Will God Cancel Us?” and “God’s Truth About America!” Proceeds from all her book sales go to support Tunnel to Towers!


(The views expressed in this commentary are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the Nevada Signal.)