The recreational use of marijuana has been in the news recently where individuals have ingested brownies made with marijuana. The age of the perpetrators being under the age of 21 is the issue here. Recreational use of marijuana appears to be more frequent among young people under the age of 21. Cleveland.com reports that a 19 year old in Ohio is being indicted for bringing “pot brownies” to school and giving to his fellow students and a teacher. In USA today, there is an article about a dad who eats brownies his young daughter made and as a result, thought he had a stroke. Other teens in Ohio, as well as across the country, have been charged with misdemeanors for giving pot brownies to individuals. Pot brownies are also very popular on college campuses and its use even more frequent. The consumption of pot brownies is not illegal but the distribution of marijuana is still illegal in Ohio.
Pot has now come up from the back seat of the love generation to today’s legislation. There is a nationwide effort to legalize marijuana per state. In Ohio, marijuana is expected to be on the ballot this November. “The Ohio Secretary of State’s Office is still verifying whether supporters were able to gather nearly 306,000 registered voters’ signatures by July 31 to qualify for the ballot.” www.usatoday.com Recreational use of pot has a long, long history but the legalization and the ensuing pros and cons of its medicinal use is still being discussed. The ramifications of pot whether eaten or smoked go far beyond medicinal properties and can have serious repercussions on the individual as well as those around them.
What is the difference between eaten pot and smoked pot? Glad you asked! “Once it [marijuana] is in the blood, it quickly goes to and has an effect on the brain. With smoking, the peak blood levels happen within 3-10 minutes, and with eating, it’s 1-3 hours. Note that both are about a three-fold difference, but most users are willing to wait 10 minutes, not 3 hours before re-using.” www.forbes.com When smoking pot, the effects come on quickly but when you eat, there is a delay up to 3 hours. Some people are in a hurry to feel the effects so they eat more edging towards overdosing. “When a person smokes marijuana, THC [tetrahydrocannabinol] quickly passes from the lungs into the bloodstream. The blood carries the chemical to the brain and other organs throughout the body. The body absorbs THC more slowly when the person eats or drinks it. In that case, the user generally feels the effects after 30 minutes to 1 hour.” www.drugabuse.gov Marijuana directly affect the brain’s receptors causing the user to feel “high.” Other effects while using pot are:
- hallucinating or an embellishment of objects
- “altered sense of time
- changes in mood
- impaired body movement
- difficulty with thinking and problem-solving
- impaired memory
Marijuana’s effects on these abilities may last a long time or even be permanent. www.drugabuse.gov Driving under the influence of marijuana or operating machinery, when consumed medicinally or recreationally effects the users and those around them and can cause catastrophes such as car accidents, child endangerment, and endangerment to one’s self to name a few. Pot use and alcohol use generally have the same result. Whether ingested or smoked, pot use is dangerous and its effects can last a lifetime.