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As the war on drugs sadly continues, there are plenty of anti-cannabis activists who spread reports, stories, data, and so on… information being fed to people worldwide telling them the horrors and dangers of this “drug” cannabis.  So I decided to ask the question: is cannabis actually that addictive?

Being an 18 year old student I had my first cannabis experience at 14/15 – a joint was passed around at camping; a good ol’ eighth of standard, of course. I didn’t even know what that was back then, to me it was just a green piece of plant material that I was told by my parents and teachers at school would make me feel ill and do all crazy sorts of shit. Yet of course teenage rebellion was rife in my body and I had a few tokes. From then on I did it now and again, had some real good laughs but it never seemed to excite me that much, I’d rather have got drunk and made a complete arse out of myself. It’s only been the past year where I have began smoking regularly, from only September 2011 on a daily basis and only recently I have a taken a serious interest in the plant. So from trying it so long ago why didn’t I suddenly become a full time marijuana smoker?

You can quite fairly say I was at school back then, had all the teenage drama, didn’t have a job and preferred to drink at house parties and such, now I’m at college, have a lot of spare time, work quite a bit which provides me a steady flow of income to fund the pot, my friends smoke it more and I don’t like drinking that much…. So you can see why I didn’t suddenly become a counterpart of marc emery. So it kinda forces the question is marijuana actually that addictive?

Foodstuffs such as coffee and sugar and the substance tobacco have been mentioned as the possible “gateway drugs” and some of the most addictive substances on the planet, with tobacco being number one of course. Kids first consume sugar and get hyper at around three years of age and want it more! Then children grow up into teenagers and caffeine becomes their new fix. Then alcohol and tobacco take over massively! Tobacco can also been seen as the gateway drug because when I was in school all the smokers were the people I heard took harder drugs first. Surely everyone knows the amount of damage alcohol and tobacco cause, which is reflected in the fact the NHS have spent up to £5 billion a year on tobacco related illnesses alone (http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/smoking-costs-nhs-pound5bn-a-year-1700509.html) and up to £3bn a year on alcohol related illnesses (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/5561217/3bn-cost-of-alcohol-to-NHS-every-year.html). Some people I know have smoked weed for a while and just stopped, it didn’t interest them. Pretty much everyone I know apart from a few who have smoked cigarettes have continued doing it as an addiction with no altered state of mind. Marijuana has even been labelled safer than some food products purely because of the data, it has yet to kill a single person in its 5000+ year existence, yet certain foods have caused death worldwide.

Smoking bud is just plain and simple fun… this is one of the main points me and a friend discussed. Smoking marijuana has to be for me one of the most pleasant and relaxing experiences, it doesn’t cause violence, just a good laugh or a warm feeling whenever you smoke it. The fact that it is extremely enjoyable poses the question why would you want to stop it? I’m sure if you asked an adrenaline junkie why he/she risks their life jumping out of an aeroplane or climbing a sheer rock face, with no equipment, why they do it, they will tell you they love it, it’s their buzz, passion, and hobby. Ask the same question to a smoker, they will say its sociable, something to do, kills boredom, it’s their medicine, their job, passion and yes even their hobby. If you asked an adrenaline junkie will you ever stop I’m quite sure they will respond with many answers, some will say when I settle down, get older etc I will give that life up, I’ve had my fun, others might laugh and say I’ll never stop I love it too much, even those who seriously injure themselves. Now I know you cannot compare smoking marijuana to bungee jumping or skydiving but if you can see the comparison I’m getting to. Why would I want to stop something that currently gives me just as much fun someone who wants to jump 500ft into the sea, without even moving 10 yards. Of course if you ask me the question will I ever stop, I could give you similar answers to what I wrote above. Yeah when I settle down with kids I’ll throw in the towel and move on, or I could end up finding a way to get on with my adult life and still toke the sweet herb, who knows… but when claiming people who smoke it everyday are addicts, think, maybe they like to, maybe it’s their passion. You can apply this to almost anything, people play football every day because they enjoy it, I smoke weed every day because I enjoy it.

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