Marijuana is a psychedelic drug that alters the consciousness of habitual users and damages the brains of children and adolescents. Yes it is a gateway drug. But that is misleading because it implies that unto itself it is benign. Marijuana is not benign. Today’s ‘weed’ is anywhere from fifty to a thousand times stronger than your father’s ‘grass’. Getting ‘high’ affects the limbic feeling centers of the brain and alters the very play of consciousness itself. It not only alters and damages motivation and thinking, but most importantly, it removes the user from the feeling of his Authentic Being. Feeling is at the center of relatedness, judgment and the grounded operations of consciousness itself. I have already addressed how marijuana usage interferes with psychotherapy and the recovery from psychiatric struggles in “It’s Time to Address the Marijuana Issue”. As a psychiatrist I have dealt with the destructive effects of marijuana in both adolescents and adults. Smoking marijuana interferes with the process of psychotherapy for our patients to recover from psychiatric symptoms, and to recover their authenticity and capacity to love.
We have a huge drug problem in America, both street drugs and prescription drugs. Why would we add to it? To put it simply, marijuana is a destructive to the welfare of society. And more important, it is damaging to the development and well being of our children. It is the most common illicit drug used by teenagers. This is disturbing enough. Legalizing it makes it that much more available, in addition to sanctioning it. Adults are supposed to be looking out for their kids. What are we thinking?
I will address the objections to my earlier article.
Robert A Berezin, MD is the author of “Psychotherapy of Character, the Play of Consciousness in the Theater of the Brain”