My smoke, my risk, my pleasure

Apparently Marie Claire magazine, at least according to the TODAY Show interview I saw this morning. Marie Claire has published a story in their latest issue, about women who smoke pot on a regular basis as a form of stress reduction. The Book Editor in the TODAY Show segment reported that she smoked a joint often rather than drinking wine. When I visited the TODAY Show website for more info the headline for the story was “Professionals smoking pot: Cool or taboo?” How about “Dumb or Dumber?” Sorry I meant to say “Healthy or Unhealthy?” Obviously, I realize that I am surely pressing someone’s hot buttons here, but have we forgotten about the health risk of such behavior? I know that there are many angles from which to debate the pros & cons of marijuana use, but as a Wellness Coach I must surely look at it from the perspective of its effects on a person’s health.

When I checked the NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) website I found this information:

Effects on Lungs:

…marijuana smokers can have many of the same respiratory problems as tobacco smokers, such as daily cough and phlegm production, more frequent acute chest illness, and a heightened risk of lung infections.

Effects on the Brain:

… Research has shown that marijuana’s adverse impact on learning and memory can last for days or weeks after the acute effects of the drug wear off.2 As a result, someone who smokes marijuana every day may be functioning at a suboptimal intellectual level all of the time.

I don’t know about you, but I need all the brain cells I can get firing at an optimum level at all times. And I hope the many people who make critical decisions at their jobs everyday that affect my life and yours, feel the same way.

Responders to the TODAY Show pole about the subject voted 88.3% for this answer,

“Oh honestly, who cares? The taboo around pot-smoking dissipated ages ago, and this is a completely private and personal matter.”

I get that, but again from a wellness perspective I also get that people like to eat fried oreos over apples, but I don’t suggest that on a regular basis either. To me the point is this. Aren’t there better, more effective and healthful ways to “get your relaxation on”? If life is so stressful, and I know from talking to my clients that it is for many people right now, is introducing a potentially problematic substance—be it marijuana, ice cream or wine into your daily routine the best solution to the problem? I’m just saying…how about the tried and true avenues of meditation, exercise, service to others, reading, and I could go on and on. Seems to me that the issue is not how we’re “medicating” ourselves, but rather the fact that we are treating the symptoms not the problem. If stress is your problem, find long-term ways to reduce it in your life, not simply cover it up.

Just my simple thoughts on the subject, but please share yours and pass this along to your friends who might have an opinion as well. Can’t wait to hear what you think and would love to know…

How do you reduce stress?


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