Actually sat down and did some REAL researching on the effects of marijuana, not just the political garbage the National Institute for Drug Abuse feeds us and pot-head websites.
To often we see anti-marijuana campaigns citing studies that link marijuana to depression and schizophrenia. That discuss the implications of marijuana on ambition and memory. Then on the other side of the aisle we hear that all of these reports are completely falsified by the government in support of political exploits. I propose a medium here.
Tried to find scientific articles, not funded by the NIDA, on actual pot research.
Labs have reported that the NIDA would not fund them when doing research on the benefits of marijuana but would fund them when they changed their purpose statements to the negative aspects of marijuana use. Most articles found in support of marijuana use and against marijuana use do not contain any references to scientific data. Many reports suggesting that marijuana use leads to depression do not suggest that depressed people are more likely to use marijuana, which would probably make a large difference in their data. Actual organizations (kinda) outside of the political realm such as the WHO refuse to give an actual declaration on whether they believe pot is harmful or not and yearly release the statement “more research is needed.” Many scientists and professors have tried to develop theoretical models for how pot effects the body and aside from decreases in short term memory and ambition levels while on the drug, and the very act of inhaling smoke (if not considering vaporizers or food) can be damaging to the lungs, no permanent or serious damage occurred. Studies have never been able to link marijuana use to lung cancer. Studies have shown that the toxicity of marijuana is below that of alcohol, cigarettes, and ASPIRIN (50 people died of aspirin related problems last year, 0 died of marijuana related issues). No significant data has related marijuana use to schizophrenia that considers the fact that people who are triggered into schizophrenia are more likely to use pot. Research on monkeys found that pot did create a decrease in motivation while on the drug, and for heavy users this effect lasted for weeks after last use. Caffeine use is considered to be more addicting.
More research is needed! But it appears as if the drug is not NEARLY as damaging as the government would seem to have you believe and if used in moderation would have no adverse side effects (any more than any other drug we take on a daily basis). This seems to be a purely political battle.
http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/180/3/216.full (biased – Anti Legalization)
http://norml.org/component/zoo/category/recent-research-on-medical-marijuana (biased – Pro legalization)