New study busts two popular myths about marijuana

In this 2016 election season, 16 states have ballot proposals to decriminalize or legalize marijuana. It’s a record number. And I see relentless propaganda on social media trying to convince people that marijuana is safe, harmless and doesn’t lead to problems for the individual or society.

But that’s simply not true.

As I reported on April 19, states with legalized marijuana now see marked increases in motor vehicle fatalities, as I predicted years ago. But the problems go way beyond the motorway.

In fact, according to a new study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), marijuana causes addiction issues and mental illness. This study comes out of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), which is part of NIH and well-versed in researching the effects of intoxication.

For some, marijuana does lead to other drugs

For this large study, researchers interviewed 36,309 participants over the age of 18 years regarding their use of alcohol and drugs. They also looked at the connections to psychiatric conditions over a 12-month period from 2012 to 2013.

First of all, they found a clear link between past-year marijuana use (and lifetime use) with abuse of other substances. Previous studies show this link as well. Yet somehow a myth emerged in recent years that marijuana is not a “gateway” drug and doesn’t lead to abuse of other drugs.

This large study clearly proves otherwise. For many, marijuana DOES act as a gateway drug. As a former Medical Examiner, I hear law enforcement make pleas not to spread the myth that marijuana doesn’t lead to abuse of other substances. They still see it all the time, just as they have for decades.

The second finding in the study busts another popular myth: that marijuana doesn’t cause long-term mental harm.

On the contrary, these findings show marijuana DOES cause long-term mental harm. In fact, 6.3 percent of the study participants had a diagnosis of “marijuana use disorder,” which is associated with abuse of other substances, anxiety, mood disorders, and personality disorders. These participants smoked marijuana an average of 274 days per year. Overall, researchers estimate that nearly six million Americans — 2.5 percent of the adult population — suffer from the mental illness of “marijuana use disorder.”

To be diagnosed with “marijuana use disorder,” individuals must have five or more of the psychiatric symptoms listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, that assess craving, lack of control, withdrawal, and other negative effects on personal and professional responsibilities.

Marijuana use disorder is most common in men under age 45 years. The risk for onset peaks during late adolescence and young adulthood. Remission can occur within three to four years. But mental disabilities persist even after remission.

Conflicting state laws on marijuana create legal fiasco

Tragically, the political popularity of marijuana continues to grow, despite the clear science. Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and District of Columbia all have “legalized” recreational marijuana. But its use and distribution is still illegal according to federal laws.

The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing a case brought against Colorado by Nebraska and Oklahoma, petitioning to throw out Colorado’s Amendment 64, which legalized the use of recreational marijuana in 2012.

The lawsuit argues that the State of Colorado has created a dangerous gap in the federal drug control system that has caused “irreparable injury” to its two neighboring states. I can understand their point. Especially when it comes to those intoxicated drivers crossing state lines — which, in fact, make it a “federal case.”

Of course, some take the medical marijuana argument. They argue marijuana is safer than opioid drugs for treating pain. But as I reported last month, there are plenty of safe and effective natural solutions for pain that don’t involve any drug or smoked “herb.”

In fact, the mind — when not intoxicated — can overcome pain by using any of seven effective mind-body techniques. You can learn about these seven natural approaches to pain relief in my book with Mike Jawer called Your Emotional Type.

And there are many other effective alternatives for managing pain, as well. Whether you suffer from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, degenerative and herniated spinal discs, or fibromyalgia — there is a safe, natural approach that can relieve and even reverse your chronic pain. And I recently launched a comprehensive pain-reversing protocol that outlines all of these science-backed approaches.

So no matter how much pain you’re currently in or how many failed treatments you’ve tried in the past… you don’t need to give up — or give in — to dangerous mind-altering, intoxicating drugs like marijuana. Check out my new pain protocol today to find out how to get the relief you need, quickly AND safely.