In a society like ours, when the topic of marijuana smokers comes up people tend to attach stigma to it like you have no direction in life and want to end up like the bus conductors or the louts(agberos, omo ita) we see under the bridge hailing the average Nigerian for 100 naira.
Let’s come out from under the microscope that the Nigerian society has put us under and really examine what it means to be a marijuana smoker, for the purpose of this article I’ll be using terms more relatable to our own society.
What is Marijuana?
Marijuana is a green-brown mix of dried flowers, stems, and leaves from the plant Cannabis sativa. Marijuana is usually rolled and smoked like a cigarette with special rolling paper called “rizzla”, Some people mix it into food or brew it as a tea. There is also "synthetic marijuana" which is developed with chemicals stronger than THC and they can be dangerously strong. They can be so potent that deaths have occurred from overdose.
What is Medical Marijuana?
There is a common misconception about “marijuana”, some people believe that the marijuana prescribed to patients is different from recreational marijuana but that is false, it is the same drug but when it is prescribed for health purposes it is referred to as “medical marijuana”. For patients who do not smoke, the kush will be infused to baked goods such as brownies,cookies,cakes in order for them to be able to ingest it. It gives the same feeling as when you smoke it.
Benefits of medical Marijuana
Medical marijuana has many benefits and it is used to treat multiple ailments ranging from epilepsy, nausea, multiple sclerosis, autism. It not only helps with physical health problems but also aids patients suffering from mental health problems such as anxiety and depression because marijuana helps in emotional and mood regulation.
The benefits of medical Marijuana are so numerous, but only a few are aware of this. Kush also serves as a pain reliever for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and is also prescribed to anorexic and aids patients who have no appetite. Medical CBD compound is antioxidant and neuroprotective which means it reduces risks of getting Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
Side Effects of Marijuana
Marijuana taken in low doses may cause; dry mouth and fatigue but when taken in high doses may cause:
- Short term memory loss
Marijuana should not also be given to minors whose brains have not fully formed because it can stunt the growth of their IQ.
Why Marijuana should be legal
(Igbo/Kush/SK/Arizona) These are some of the names marijuana goes by in Nigeria, Why is there stigma attached to a drug that is prescribed by Doctors to sick patients who need pain relievers? A drug that in it’s history has caused no deaths from its use. When it comes to deaths caused by cannabis, we should keep in mind important research done recently by the chair of the biology department of Indiana University, Thomas M. Clark.
“He released a detailed meta-analysis last year, which found that cannabis use substantially reduces premature death,
because cannabis use is associated with decreased rates of obesity, diabetes, mortality from traumatic brain injury, use of alcohol and prescription drugs, driving fatalities, and opioid overdose deaths."
If we’re to compare kush to alcohol and cigarettes that are widely accepted in our society, we would see that the deaths caused by these two are significantly higher than that of marijuana.
We know smoking cigarettes largely contributes to the risk of getting lung cancer and no one needs any introduction to the risks associated with taking excessive alcohol, apart from damaging your liver and kidney we all know the feeling of waking up in the morning and muttering the words “I’m never drinking again” or the popular saying “shayo na bastard” because of the poor decisions we made the night before, not to talk of the countless motor accidents caused from alcoholic consumption yearly.
I’m highlighting these to let society know if substances that carry such health and safety risks are widely accepted then why is marijuana usage frowned upon in our society.
My think piece
I personally feel the reason why marijuana usage is frowned upon in our society is cause of how it was portrayed to the older generation, as I mentioned earlier, they have associated marijuana usage with you having similar traits with the agberos or ruffians of the society.
Have we ever asked ourselves why this so-called agberos use Kush, we know how hard it is for the middle class of the society to stay above financial waters and how depressing it can get sometimes thinking there is no way forward.
Now put yourself in the shoes of the lower class of the society, where people are being born into abject poverty with little or no way out and have to rely on doing menial jobs from an age as young as 5.
No quality education provided for them by the government so they can’t possibly see the world the way we do, to be honest that’s a pretty depressing life to be born into and marijuana being the gate-way drug that it is gives them the chance to dream and get away from the depressing life they’ve been subjected to. It helps relieve them of the depression and anxiety that plagues most of us as well. In essence we’re all not that different, We’re all products of our environments.
Now you see why i believe marijuana should be legalize in every other country that is yet to do so and just in case you think am calling for a legalization unjustly, here is a list of over 30 Countries that Have Legalized Medical Marijuana.
Countries that Have Legalized Medical Marijuana