The Lighthouse spotlights marijuana dangers

By April 19, 2024

USA (MNN) — Nearly half of the 50 states in America have legalized recreational weed in recent years, and five more could vote to do so in November.

The Lighthouse’s Brandon Bower says even if cannabis is legal in your state, that doesn’t make it safe to consume.

“Picture this: you’ve got a drug dealer cutting up their cocaine on a table, packaging it, and then they’re cutting up their weed on the same table,” Bower says.

“People are dying from cross-contamination; we’re seeing so much fentanyl in the marijuana here in Indiana it’s crazy.”

Noting that today’s marijuana is more potent than in previous eras, Bower adds, “It is not safe to smoke marijuana any longer.”

Bower and other leaders at The Lighthouse speak from experience. One of the young men previously enrolled in The Lighthouse’s residential recovery program “had some major brain damage because whatever was in the weed that he smoked fried his brain,” Bower says.

“Here was a young, 27-year-old kid who had all of life in front of them, and because of the choice to smoke some weed that was cross-contaminated, he’s going to not be mentally the same for the rest of his life. It’s just really scary what’s happening.”

Recreational weed: risky business

Approximately one in ten people who use marijuana will become addicted. When people start using marijuana before the age of 18, the addiction rate rises to one in six.

(Photo courtesy of GRAS GRÜN/Unsplash)

Cannabis use is also linked to violent behavior. A 2012 paper in the U.S. Journal of Interpersonal Violence found that marijuana use was associated with a doubling of domestic violence.

Furthermore, the first four states to legalize marijuana for recreational use saw violent crimes skyrocket in the two years following authorization:

Combined, those four states had about 450 murders and 30,300 aggravated assaults in 2013. In 2017, they had almost 620 murders and 38,000 aggravated assaults—an increase far greater than the national average.

Then, there are the mental health risks. Studies link marijuana use to depression, anxiety, suicide planning, and psychotic episodes.

In Colorado, one of the first states to legalize recreational cannabis, “it is creating an absolute mess in the mental health field; the social service agencies are overwhelmed,” Bower says.

Despite the known risks, roughly 18 percent of Americans used cannabis last year. “Almost everyone that comes into The Lighthouse has a marijuana addiction, along with whatever else is going on,” Bower says.

“It is unbelievable how many people think that because God created it, it’s okay to smoke.”

Christ can and does break the powerful chains of addiction. If you’re looking for a biblical approach to addiction recovery, connect with The Lighthouse here.

“Getting help with any addictive substance is a wise move, and The Lighthouse wants to help you with that,” Bower says.




Header image is a representative stock photo courtesy of Kampus Production/Pexels.

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