Marijuana: The Gateway Drug? What About Physical and Mental Risks?

Cannabis, also known as marijuana (pot) is most often consumed for its psychoactive and physiological effects which include euphoria, relaxation, and increase in appetite.

Unwanted side-effects include a decrease in short-term memory, dry mouth, impaired motor skills, reddening of the eyes, paranoia, and anxiety.

Marijuana (pot) is one of the most commonly abused substances among teens.

Many are led to believe Marijuana is safe and non-habit forming.

  • medical marijuana movement – pot is still a dangerous drug.
  • Did you know casual experimentation might lead to a gateway for use of other illegal drugs such as opiates and cocaine?
  • Marijuana (weed) is not as safe or fun as we may think. It can damage our bodies, lives, and businesses.

 Marijuana plant

Physical and Mental Risks

THC, the active chemical in marijuana, travels rapidly through the bloodstream directly to our brains and other organs.

Marijuana is proven to slow teenage development.

In an article from National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states – “These high rates of marijuana use during the teen and pre-teen years, when the brain continues to develop, place our young people at particular risk,” said NIDA Director Nora D. Volkow, M.D.

“Not only does marijuana affect learning, judgment, and motor skills, but research tells us that 1 in 6 people who start using it as adolescents become addicted.”   

Adults are not immune to its physical side effects.

  • Impact on the Developing Brain. Teenagers who use marijuana regularly are at risk of permanent damage to their brains. These functional effects include a weakened command of communication and verbal skills, difficulty learning and reduced coordination.
  • Mental Illnesses. Continuous use of marijuana (weed) has been shown to increase depression and anxiety disorders as well as schizophrenia.
  • Disease. Marijuana has 50 to 70 percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco. This compound is known to cause deadly cancers.

Society Suffers

When marijuana ceases to fulfill the users need to get high other drugs are often sought. This causes an addiction to far more dangerous substances such as methamphetamine benzodiazepines.

An increase in drug addiction equals higher crime rates and overpopulated jails. This means more taxes for individuals, families and businesses.

The number of individuals seeking treatment for marijuana addiction has skyrocketed over the last two decades. An estimated 300,000 people per year seek treatment.

Society is paying the price for a drug commonly called “harmless”.

Marijuana at Work

Pre-employment drug testing is commonplace; it saves money and reduces the risk of injuries and accidents.

Smoking pot does not only affect you physically but it may also impede your ability to gain gainful employment.

  •  Dangers. When high, the user’s compromised mental state causes the inability to make decisions and reduces coordination. These two factors alone create an environment where both the user and coworkers are at risk for injury.
  •  Losses to Employers. Employers who fail to prescreen with a urine drug test are risking losses.
  • A small investment in drug testing can save an employer from the loss resulting from mistakes and on-the-job injuries.
  • Pre-Employment and Random Drug Testing. Employers don’t hire drug users. Testing positive for illegal drugs means you won’t be hired. Testing positive after employment usually equals immediate termination.

Detecting Addiction

Parents who suspect their child is smoking weed should not hesitate to urine test their children. Drug test kits are widely available for at home use.

Catching an addiction in its earliest stages may save you and your child from a battle with a more serious addiction.

At home drug testing is not limited to children. These urine tests can be used to detect illegal drug use in adults as well.

Call uVera Diagnostics  1-866-242-5930 for any help you may need or visit our website at:

It is easy to see marijuana as a harmless natural plant. Research shows us that it is dangerous and may have a lasting impact on your life.