There’s no place like home for the holidays — unless your parents are as cannabis-friendly as the DEA. Unless you’re spending a lot of time on the fire escape or hanging out of the bathroom window, the odds are high that you’re gonna get caught lighting up like it’s junior year all over again.
Luckily, this is a great excuse to open a conversation and do some myth busting around marijuana facts. Study up on these talking points before heading back to your hometown:
Myth: Legalizing weed will open the door to young kids getting addicted to drugs early.
Facts: From our coverage of teen drug use: Cannabis use dips among 8th- and 10th-graders as legalization spreads. For high school seniors, use is roughly flat, according to the annual Monitoring the Future survey of American teens, and marijuana use among eighth graders dropped in 2016 to 5.4 percent, from 6.5 percent in 2015. Daily use among eighth graders dropped in 2016 to 0.7 percent from 1.1 percent in 2015. Read more:
Myth: It’s just for hippies and college kids.
Facts: A study published in the journal Addiction shows that overall use among those 50 and older increased “significantly” from 2006 to 2013. Marijuana users peaked between ages 50 to 64, then declined among those older than 65. They did not perceive the drug as dangerous. The times, they are a-changin’. Read more:
Myth: It’s just a passing phase or trend, not worth the time.
Facts: Two members of Congress — one Republican and one Democrat — announced they were joining forces to create a Cannabis Caucus for the 115th Congress. If both sides of the aisle can agree that cannabis legalization is worth the effort of examining more closely, it’s time for the rest of us to take notice. Read more:
Myth: If you need pain relief, taking prescription drugs is better.
Facts: Golden State Warriors Coach Steve Kerr has a few things to say about this. He gave marijuana a shot for his own back pain. “A lot of research, a lot of advice from people, and I have no idea if I would — maybe I would have failed a drug test. I don’t even know if I’m subject to a drug test or any laws from the NBA, but I tried it, and it didn’t help at all. But it was worth it, because I’m searching for answers on pain. But I’ve tried painkillers and drugs of other kinds, as well, and those have been worse. It’s tricky.” Kerr shows that you don’t have to be a regular user yourself to recognize that it benefits other people: “I’m not a pot person. It doesn’t agree with me. I tried it a few times, and it did not agree with me at all. So I’m not the expert on this stuff. But I do know this: If you’re an NFL player, in particular, and you got lot of pain, I don’t think there’s any question that pot is better for your body than Vicodin.”
Myth: People who use marijuana are stoners who don’t have jobs.
Facts: The average user looks like this, according to a new study by Miner and Co. Studio, looking at 800 cannabis consumers:
- 30 years old on average
- 65 percent male
- 35 percent female
- 65 percent have a household income of $75K or more
- 84 percent employed full-time
- 63 percent married or living with a significant other
- 42 percent parents of children
- 49 percent Democrat
- 45 percent Republican