The immediate effects of taking marijuana include rapid heart beat, disorientation, lack of physical coordination, often followed by depression or sleepiness. Some users suffer panic attacks or anxiety.
But the problem does not end there. According to scientific studies, the active ingredient in cannabis, THC, remains in the body for weeks or longer.
Marijuana smoke contains 50% to 70% more cancer-causing substances than tobacco smoke. One major research study reported that a single cannabis joint could cause as much damage to the lungs as up to five regular cigarettes smoked one after another. Long-time joint smokers often suffer from bronchitis, an inflammation of the respiratory tract.
The drug can affect more than your physical health. Studies in Australia in 2008 linked years of heavy marijuana use to brain abnormalities. This is backed up by earlier research on the long-term effects of marijuana, which indicate changes in the brain similar to those caused by long-term abuse of other major drugs. And a number of studies have shown a connection between continued marijuana use and psychosis.
Marijuana changes the structure of sperm cells, deforming them. Thus even small amounts of marijuana can cause temporary sterility in men. Marijuana use can upset a woman’s menstrual cycle.
Studies show that the mental functions of people who have smoked a lot of marijuana tend to be diminished. The THC in cannabis disrupts nerve cells in the brain affecting memory.
Cannabis is one of the few drugs which causes abnormal cell division which leads to severe hereditary defects. A pregnant woman who regularly smokes marijuana or hashish may give birth prematurely to an undersized, underweight baby. Over the last ten years, many children of marijuana users have been born with reduced initiative and lessened abilities to concentrate and pursue life goals. Studies also suggest that prenatal (before birth) use of the drug may result in birth defects, mental abnormalities and increased risk of leukemia1in children.
The other day the New York Times ran an article on the boycott-Israel measure
passed by the American Studies Association that included three quotations from Israelis who criticized the American scholars.
What the Times failed to inform its readers that there is a law in Israel against advocating for boycott. Is it really so surprising that only critics of boycott spoke up?
And while no one has yet been punished by the law that we are aware of, it has had a chilling effect on free speech in Israel. American readers deserve to know as much.
Here are three reports we gathered:
Writes Ofer Neiman, a boycott advocate for Boycott from Within:
Israel’s High Court of (in)Justice (HCJ) is due to hear petitions against the boycott law soon. No lawsuit has been filed against Israeli citizens based on the law, and as far as I know, the state has agreed to the court’s suggestion that the law would not come into effect before the hearing.
There are quite a few Israelis who are willing to speak out in favor of BDS. [For instance, Ynet, the biggest, most mainstream site in Israel, publishes op-eds by Udi Aloni, who is a prominent Israeli BDS activist]
As for a normal life, that depends. Some are not affected. Some are. An entire class of students at a certain academic Institute boycotted my lessons. Some of them were bold enough to acknowledge that in the feedback survey…