Voices
in
Japan

poll

Is smoking pot harmless?

61 Comments
© Japan Today

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

61 Comments
Login to comment

I voted no because it is not 100% harmless. However, it is far less harmful than most other foreign substances used to get high.

9 ( +17 / -8 )

Smoking ANYTHING is harmful.

Putting the effects of pot aside, smoking pot is more harmful than tobacco because a) it's often mixed with tobacco and b) in order to get stoned, people force it into the lungs - take a big pull and hold it.

-16 ( +12 / -28 )

"Is often mixed with Tobacco" all you did with this statement is show your complete lack of knowledge on the subject.

16 ( +23 / -7 )

It does not need to be smoked to be enjoyed.

17 ( +23 / -6 )

If you use a vaporizer than yes, it is 100% harmless... People are too thick to realize that though. Smoking it just hurts your body and makes the high worse.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

It's not harmless, but it's not particularly harmful, and has many positive effects on the body.

That all said, it should not be smoked by teens, as their bodies are still changing, and marijuana can impact this.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Smoking a harmless amount of pot of harmless potency is probably harmless. But smoking a harmful amount of pot could be harmful...

(I'm also guessing the cheetos are probably more likely to kill you in the long run?)

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

smoking anything is not "harmless". the question is really how harmful is it? which would depend on how much you smoke.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

This is one of those questions where those who toke, will say it isn't harmless, and those who don't toke, will say it is. I'd expect a 50-50 split by the end of the week. The potheads will probably be the most argumentative, I think.

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

Is pot harmful does not have a simple answer because it does help some people while it harms others. Pot's harmful effects depends on the individual, the source and why they are using pot. Sometimes the positive effects of weed outweighs the negative effects of weed. Positive effects of weed are seen in medical use and recreationally. Negative effects of weed are due to its illicit nature. So major harmful effects of weed are seen when tolerance develops and pot is abused.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I feel sorry for kids who have parents who regularly smoke marijuana and then just tune their kids out. It is as bad as alcohol in those cases, and seem to be increasing with the growing acceptance of marijuana.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

Pot-heads and weed-tokers will say it's fine... because they don't want their habit seen as harmful. It's like an alcoholic saying they can handle it... just need a pick-me-up. You don't see the effects... others do.

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

Is it harmless? Couldn't tell you, but there are still a lot of old hippies around.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I voted "yes", harmless. This is pretty well established.

There is no poison to the body in it, unlike alcohol you can't get sick from too much, or die either. As for carcinogens, still MUCH better than tobacco, but also, you can eat it, make tea, take pills etc, so you can avoid carcinogens.

PS

Don't forget, tobacco is bad for you and gives you cancer more for the chemicals it is laced with than for the act of burning/ smoking the leaf. Literally 100's of chemicals that when burned change into all kinds of worse toxins. Compared to that, unlaced pot is pretty benign. Plus, as it is not addictive in the same way, no-one smokes 20 or 40 joints a day the way heavy smokers do. So smoking a little pot- no not so harmful.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

zichi,

It does not need to be smoked to be enjoyed.

True, but the topic under discussion is, "Is SMOKING pot dangerous?"

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Seems like the jury is still out on the long-term effects of pot on the human body. So, for those that can exercise control when smoking or under its influence then I would say the result would be "yes" its harmless. For those that are a danger to themselves and others I would say "no" it it is not harmless.

Does it impair thinking while it is smoked and for a time while its in the body? Answer is yes. Does it have other physiological effects on the body? Answer is yes. Potential for rapid heartrate and increased blood pressure (among other conditions) are not "harmless" physiologically for an overweight, unhealthy person.

Overall though for a healthy individual who can exert self control those conditions won't cause permanent damage.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Bertie

Americans smoke pot without tobacco, Europeans mostly with. Without tobacco is less harmful than with but if people only smoked tobacco for pot them probably not so harmful.

I gave up all forms of smoking.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Smoking "smoke" is hazardous. The main problem is that there is no scientific research that has determine for example how much THC in the blood makes someone impaired. These can detect it for a long time via silva, blood, urine amount others but how is too much is not know as is for alcohol. But police have been arresting people for DWI long before there was a breath analyzer test.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Voted no because of what it takes to get that weed all the way from the grower to user. Now, as to it being less or more harmful than smoking tobacco the ALA has some (not much) information on that subject

http://www.lung.org/associations/states/colorado/tobacco/marijuana.html

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I can't believe that so far 29% of the responses are "Yes" - smoking pot is harmless.

There can't be that many clueless people...

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

Zichi,

Yes, I know what you are saying. I'm British, so, in the sixties, I was in the latter category.

It was easier to quit pot than tobacco, though I finally did give tobacco the boot too.

As for whether pot ingested any other way than smoking is any more or less harmful than alcohol, I don't know.

Done to excess, they are probably both as bad as the other, though the militant pot smokers would disagree with me.

But the bottom line is that pot is illegal in Japan and I value my lifestyle far too much to risk it.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Message for the "it is 100% harmless" [except for the side-effects of smoking] crowd.

Sorry, but you are talking utter nonsense.

It depends on your genetic make up but the very chemistry of THC causes many people suffer a decline in motivation to some degree. There are individual differences, but pot interferes with neurotransmitters and the brain's dopamine modulated reward system. If influences their ability to set goals and follow through and execute them. How many Fortune 500 CEO's (or anyone else whose job requires constant, information-guided energetic decision-making) do you think are taking big bong hits after work?

Anecdotally, I'm sure if we think back to high school and college we all know people of great intellectual potential who would are struggling in life because they lost the ability to implement goal-orientated action.

Now of course financial and business success is not the only indicator of happiness and satisfaction, but I have seem how the life of gifted people can end in tragedy if they are not professionally fulfilled as a result of the disappointment in being unable to hold down a job that matches their (pre-pot) faculties.

Again, there are individual differences, but the dopamine system is also implicated in psychotic conditions including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Does you expect all teenagers to research the genetic history of mental illness in their family before getting high? Unless you recognize these individual differences, it's very irresponsible to say cannabis does not harm at all.

Some people can smoke, function normally, and enjoy melting into a good high and be right back on it the next morning. But those people are not all people, and should not claim to be all people.

None of the above is a comment on the benefits of legalityillegality or a comparison of the respective effects of cannabisalcohol (although it seems that, except in cases of very severe usage and alcoholism, alcohol does not affect the motivational "plan-action-reward" neural systems in quite the same way as even moderate amounts of cannabis).

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Inhaling smoke directly into your lungs is stupidly harmful, regardless of the substance. 40,000 Americans die in traffic accidents in America each year, more than 10% of drivers involved in these accidents test positive for marijuana. More than 60,000 Mexicans have died fighting for control of drug imports to America, marijuana being by far the drug most commonly imported.

Then there are the issues with mental illness, particularly schizophrenia, which has been linked to marijuana use.

It is certainly not harmless.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

I can't believe 59 out of 126 people here, 34%, have now said "Yes," marijuana is harmless. They not only walk among us, they nearly surround us! Yikes!

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@Serrano

You want to work on your maths, mate ; )

5 ( +5 / -0 )

"@Serrano

You want to work on your maths, mate ; )"

Lessee, luca... 59 out of 176... 33.52 %... cripes, luca, 34% is close enough, no?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Serrano

Have another look at your original post....

5 ( +5 / -0 )

More than 60,000 Mexicans have died fighting for control of drug imports to America, marijuana being by far the drug most commonly imported.

All the more reason to legalize it. If it weren't illegal, that would be 60,000 people who wouldn't be smuggling it into the US.

I can't believe 59 out of 126 people here, 34%, have now said "Yes," marijuana is harmless.

If the question hadn't been written in a manner to bias towards the 'no' answer, I though you would have seen a higher number than 34%. I myself had to choose 'no', even though I don't think it's particularly harmful.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I had a good friend from grade school and a nephew, both had very promising futures playing football including getting offers to play at big college football programs. Both started smoking pot in high school, neither one ever played a single down in college and one dropped out of high school. So YES, from what I have seen it can ruin lives.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Just one more reason to make it legal. Right now, being unregulated, high school kids can get their hands on it with ease. Growing children should not be smoking it though, it's not good for the developing body. If it were regulated, it would become more difficult for teenagers to get it.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Not completely harmless, but the more important question would be "should the government decide whether you can or cannot consume it?"

Just as the government cannot force everyone to eat kale, they should not prevent us from consuming pot.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The problem is not the substance but the smoke. Smoke is bad for the lungs. It does not matter if it comes from a joint or a Boy Scout camp fire.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

B-man,

I had a good friend from grade school and a nephew...

I try not to rely on anecdotes. After all, Obama snorted coke, and who knows what else, and he became president. And I certainly wouldn't recommend snorting coke...

Any adult should have the right to consume it, if they chose to. And even grow it, it's a beautiful plant. Governments have no business telling people that they are not allowed to consume pot.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

No worse than tobacco and alcohol which our masters have deemed legal for all us little people.

Personally I like to indulge occasionally in pot without the tobacco and sometimes marijuana cookies go down nicely!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

It's much less harmful than tobacco, that is for sure. As for it being harmless, you could ask the same question about aspirin.

However, there have recently been a lot of tests done on pot for its medicinal properties and it has some very positive uses. There is also the benefits of using hemp as an industrial product to make clothing, paper and fuel. It grows almost anywhere. It grows quickly and requires almost zero attention and/or fertiliser. the positive uses for hemp far outweigh the negatives.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Depends on where you live!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@jpn_guy

There are 2 very important points regarding the cause vs affect of any link/ pattern you may have noticed of highly-motivated people being less likely to be pot smokers.

-1. Someone who becomes depressed/unmotivated from life circumstances is more likely to smoke pot to feel better, so it may "appear" the pot did that to them (as it may seem simultaneous). This is a misleading correlation.

-2. If you take a regular, motivated, happy person and have them smoke pot for a month or two for a study, you may notice a decrease in motivation, but don't mistake that for a brain chemistry problem- Psychologically speaking, if you had to work hard for years to afford that new house and car you've been wanting to access those "reward centers" in the brain you were talking about, vs. simply picking up that weed beside you whenever you want to, it is entirely reasonable and probable that you might "chill out" slightly on ambitions... You may realize you don't really need to go through all that effort to feel happy. Who needs a stretch SUV anyway?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I wonder why such a large percentage of people who answered this question think marijuana is harmless, when it clearly isn't harmless...

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Before I visited a place in the US which has legalized, I was all for legalization. Alcohol is far more harmful than a bit of pot, especially if it is vaped. That said, the streets downtown absolutely reeked of nasty skunk, which is not exactly pleasant for everyone else around. It is not legal to be smoked in public, but of course police are turning a blind eye. The police also appear to be turning a blind eye to use of other heavy drugs, in public, being used and sold quite openly, that is not quite so pleasant and not doing anyone any good.

Im usually the last person to be saying the police need to be stricter, however if people in states where it has been legalized want it to remain legal, they really shouldnt lose the support of the non-stoner population by flaunting the rules designed to keep everyone happy. There would be no problem if it was confined to use in private spaces and licenced cafes, or just vaped or eaten instead of smoked.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

nothing is harmless if you're going to smoke it directly into your lungs and bloodstream.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Pot's probably less of a danger than over-smoking and over-drinking or over-eating for that matter, but too much of anything probably isn't a good idea.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

All of you people who voted that pot is harmful should light up a joint, inhale deeply and listen to Marvin Gaye sing "Lets Get it On". Seriously how many who voted No have ever even smoked a joint?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Seriously how many who voted No have ever even smoked a joint?

I've never bashed my brains in with a hammer either, but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be harmless.

(I haven't voted; if people want to pickle their brains, it's their choice. Just don't come touting the stuff to those of my loved ones who are of an impressionable age.)

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Do people who have never even used it have a right to tell people that it is bad for them. The same people who say that pot is bad have no problem with alcohol and it is touted on TV for your loved ones who are of an impressionable age.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As someone who in my younger years drank a lot, and smoked a lot, I can say I'll be a lot happier later in life if my kids turn into smokers, than if they turn into drinkers.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Cleo, obviously living in Japan I dont touch pot. But someone, who isnt me, may have dabbled in smoking a lot in the very distant past. It is not physically addictive, unlike alcohol and tobacco, it doesnt make people violent - like drinking does. If someone doesnt smoke it with tobacco, it is harmless verging on beneficial to some medical conditions. Ild rather my children had the option of pot, rather than alcohol in the future and I am a terribly protective parent.

The downside...you can have too much of a good thing and get a little sedentary, in moderation it is safe. In excess it is far safer than an excess of alcohol. But it is far safer than these legal highs, fake canniboids, far far safer than any other recreational substance, especially alcohol.

Ive seen lives ruined and even taken by drinking and alcoholism, and not one that has been damaged by pot.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Smoking anything is harmful. Doesn't pot also kill brain cells? Old wives tale?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Doesn't pot also kill brain cells?

No.

Old wives tale?

Yes:

One of these myths was that marijuana damages brain cells, and that this damage causes memory loss, cognitive impairment, and learning difficulties. They report that this claim is based on a study by Heath et. al (1980), in which structural changes in several regions of the brain were found in two rhesus monkeys exposed to THC, the active chemical in marijuana. These changes occurred primarily in the hippocampus, the area of the brain known to play an important role in learning and memory, which suggested that exposure to THC in humans would yield similar negative results.

However, according to Morgan and Zimmer, in order to achieve these damaging results, doses of up to 200 times the psychoactive dose in humans would have to be given. Even studies in which subjects were given 100 times the human dose failed to cause any structural impairment of the brain. Additionally, in a more recent study of rhesus monkeys by Slikker et. al (1992), in which the monkeys were exposed to the equivalent of 4-5 joints per day through face-mask inhalation for an entire year, seven months later there was no observed change in hippocampal structure, cell size, cell number, or synaptic configuration. As a result of these studies, Morgan and Zimmer concluded that the claim that marijuana causes physiological damage to brain cells is incorrect.

Source: http://healthpsych.psy.vanderbilt.edu/2009/MarijuanaBrain.htm

2 ( +3 / -1 )

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Schizophrenia/Pages/Causes.aspx

"Three major studies have shown teenagers under 15 who use cannabis regularly, especially ‘skunk’ and other more potent forms of the drug, are up to four times more likely to develop schizophrenia by the age of 26"

Some will suggest that correlation does not prove causation i.e. the type of person likely to become schizophrenic is more likey to want to use strong cannibis, but I think the medical cause and effect is more likely: using pyschotic drugs can to lead to psychosis.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

In my experience it was a lot less harmful years ago because of the potency.Years ago in Canada i had some and it was ridiculously strong compared to in the 80s 90s.Wouldnt fancy staring on that now.But the odd tke now and then never hurt.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Pot smoking, hmm, yes you can be kicked out of school, lose your job, get caught up in gang violence, get ripped off, end up in prison, sometimes for life, even executed if you happen to be in the wrong country at the time. On the other-hand, a lot of people have become fairly wealthy in Japan selling pot. There are not many countries in the world where you can grow a plant and sell the flower for ¥3000-5000 a gram. As for the physical effects, you are more likely to come to serious harm playing soccer, Studies done over a 20 year period showed regular marijuana smokers lung function had actually improved, albeit slightly, to the surprise of the researchers. That doesn't happen with tobacco! As for the psychological effects, yes keep THC away from teens, and don't let them watch too much TV, probably equally as bad for a developing mind. Bottom line is, according to the UN alcohol kills somebody once every 10 seconds around the world. Over 3 million people a year. Researchers in Europe recently published a report in Europe where they think they might have found 2 deaths which can be attributed to pot on medical grounds. As for motivational issues! Hey you got to have a lot of get up and go if you want to be a grower in Japan, considering the consequences of getting caught over here!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I voted "No". Regardless of any physical harm that may or may not be happening, the productivity of a person high on THC is severely impacted. Because at least productivity is harmed, you cannot call smoking pot "harmless".

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Regardless of any physical harm that may or may not be happening, the productivity of a person high on THC is severely impacted.

One argument can nullify another. I have experienced increased productivity when people meet over drinks (alcohol) to discuss things encountered on the job. It's just a matter of when the "inhibition-removing" substance is applied.

I strongly believe that pot substituted for alcohol would make the brainstorming sessions much more productive.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Do not know do not care. Keep it away from me and mine and stick what ever the crap you want into you. The second it comes in contact with me, then it will become harmful.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Using it in cooking is a good way to enjoy, it can be ingested to get high and also adds flavour.

Smoking anything can damage the lungs

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@kuribo, I like the way ye think.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Do not know do not care. Keep it away from me and mine and stick what ever the crap you want into you.

Just to point our the logical fallacy in your argument, if you do not know if it is harmful, why is crap and why would it become harmful if it came into contact with you?

I presume that your diet is completely drug free (no alcohol, nicotine, caffeine) from your tone - good on you. If not, then you would be a hypocrite, but I am sure you are not!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I voted no.

Based on my experience around a few blokes I knew who were, and still are, heavy users. They went from bright, talented young men, to dull, introverted, anti-social, unmotivated people in fairly short order. There is no science to this observation, it's just knowing them before and after and observing a trend.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Growing up in N.Y.C. in the 60's & 70's in the inner city,seeing so many bright lights get dimwitted using reefers you can bet Pot does way more harm than good!No Way it's harmless!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Pot is harmful!, It unmotivates people, makes them lazy, makes them want to just lay around and VEGITATE. Funny thing about Japan Pot is Illegal, and that crap called spice is Legal. Spice is more harmful than pot, Alcohol is more harmful the Pot, I can at least drive and function if Im high, with alcohol the same cannot be said. Wow 3-5000 JPY a Gram? That had better be some bomb ass weed, Im talking 1 hit and your tore down.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

...how stoned are you think I am?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites