Remember how your parents, teachers and maybe a college security guard or two always told you that marijuana would ruin your life? They were right.
Cannabis, pot, weed, bud, ganja: It doesn't matter what you call the devil's herb. In the end, it will leave you alone and destitute. But don't take my word for it — let's take a look at the cold, hard facts. Then you can decide whether that bong hit is really worth it. (Spoiler: It's not, and you're a lazy bum.)
1. Marijuana is super addictive.
Literally everyone who has ever tried marijuana has gotten hooked on it. Of these instant addicts, 100% smoke continuously from the first puff until several days later, when they die of thirst and starvation — just another sad statistic in what amounts to the greatest substance abuse crisis in American history.
Really. Read it for yourself in Scientific American:
A number of investigators have addressed this issue and found that only a relatively small percentage of those who try marijuana will become addicted. For example, in a large-scale survey ... researchers found that of those who had tried marijuana at least once, about 9% eventually fit a diagnosis of cannabis dependence. The corresponding figure for alcohol was 15%; for cocaine, 17%; for heroin, 23%; and for nicotine, 32%. So although marijuana may be addictive for some, 91% of those who try it do not get hooked. Further, marijuana is less addictive than many other legal and illegal drugs.
Can we really stand by and let this madness continue?
2. It turns you into a violent criminal.
If the marijuana doesn't kill you, then maybe your newfound status as a violent thug will. That's right: In order to obtain weed, you must first complete what's likely a gang initiation rite that involves... looking at a map.
Yep — marijuana has a huge effect on crime.
Numbers don't lie, people! Here's the devastating takeaway, from a 16-year study in journal PLOS One:
3. Marijuana is definitely a gateway drug.
Let's say — and this is a big hypothetical — that you're able to keep your marijuana habit under control and manage not to get killed in an urban war zone. Even then, you'd soon find marijuana no longer satisfies your cravings, so you'd move on to the stronger stuff — like paint thinner. Right?
Either way, surely casual marijuana use will ultimately land you in a crack den — right, National Institute on Drug Abuse?
4. Marijuana is a much worse gateway drug than alcohol.
5. Pot robs you of your ambition.
Do you honestly think any successful person has ever dabbled in weed? Get real. Once you hit the pipe, you'll never become a famous singer like Justin Timberlake or Rihanna. You'll never be an A-list actor like Charlize Theron or Brad Pitt. And you'll definitely never, ever become a two-term U.S. president.
6. Cannabis makes you stupid.
Not that there's any expectation that you illiterate stoners will understand these studies. You're not even reading this, are you? Go back to playing Mario Kart.
Alternatively, you can check out this 2014 University College London study:
Researchers examined children's IQ scores at age 8 and again at age 15, and found "no relationship between cannabis use and lower IQ at age 15" when confounding factors — alcohol use, cigarette use, maternal education and others — were taken into account. Even heavy marijuana use wasn't associated with IQ.
"In particular, alcohol use was found to be strongly associated with IQ decline," the authors write. "No other factors were found to be predictive of IQ change."
I'm not sure I understood all that, but I'm pretty sure it proved my point.
7. Marijuana has no medicinal value.
You know who really hates weed? Doctors. No other group of experts has banded together more forcefully to halt the momentum for marijuana legalization.
It's clear that nobody who knows anything about human health thinks of pot as medicine.
8. It destroys your sex drive.
When you get high, you can forget about pleasing your partner — you'll be lucky to remember how the missionary position works. Sex on weed is terrible. Don't bother putting on that Sade record unless you want to have a good cry.
But don't take my word for it: These stories and statistics speak for themselves.
9. Weed is worse than cigarettes and alcohol combined
There's a reason that marijuana is banned at the federal level while cigarettes and booze aren't: Weed is way more dangerous. Take enough in a night and you could certainly wind up dead. Just ask the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Look at how cannabis stacks up against other intoxicants. Terrible.
10. It keeps you from laughing and socializing with friends
While much of weed's established toxic effects and influences require further study, there's one thing we can say with utmost certainty: Nobody who uses marijuana in a social setting meets interesting new people, shares hilarious jokes or enjoys wholesome group activities the rest of us take for granted.
Let's face it: Nobody has ever had a good time on weed.
Not a single soul.
No fun whatsoever.
And that's the worst problem of all.