Plumas County Office of Education


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(530) 283-6557
175 N Mill Creek Rd
Quincy, California 95971

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FAQs

If Marijuana is harmful to me, then why do doctor's prescribe it and why is it becoming legal?

As humans, we want to help people.  We want to try to take pain away from people we love, we want to cure illnesses and help people feel better mentally, physically and emotionally.  For this reason, doctors are constantly looking for ways to find that ever illusive "cure all".  Sometimes they are successful and sometimes they realize perhaps things aren't as great as they originally thought, or they realize the solution to some problems can quickly create bigger problems that are far worse.  Case in point... In the early 1900 if you went into your doctor with complaints such as a severe cough, insomnia, anxiety and a long list of other ailments, the cure all at that time, the "Wonder drug", the go-to fix was heroin.  Hard to believe, especially knowing what we know now about this very dangerous, highly addictive drug.  Fast forward to the 50's. If you went in and complained of things like depression, lack of energy, decreased metabolism and other similar problems, you were given cocaine.  Doctors didn't give their patients these drugs trying to hurt them, they genuinely thought it would help.  Today we are seeing the legalization and medical use of marijuana.  Does Marijuana have any medical benefits? Yes, that has been proven to be true for a small select group of individuals.  However, the FDA will not approve marijuana as a drug because it can not meet two of their very important criteria.  1, It has to show consistent therapeutic results across the board which it can not.  With Marijuana or specifically the THC in marijuana coming from a plant source, it is virtually impossible to have the exact same THC content in all doses which means that the test subjects available to test the effectiveness of this particular drug will not see the same results from dose to dose.  Second, they have to be able to prove that the benefits of a drug outweigh the risks associated with it's use, and again Marijuana falls short of meeting this criteria.  In the end, this means with the FDA refusing to recognize marijuana as a viable medically beneficial drug, it can NOT in fact, be prescribed.  Doctors can only recommend it's use.  To end this paragraph i will use a line from the move "Australia" that holds true for many ideas in today's day... "Just because it is, doesn't mean is should be."  

 

How many times (uses) does it take become addicted?

This question is almost impossible to answer.  There are a variety of factors that influence how a person's body metabolizes a particular drug or substance.  There are "averages" out there for things such as cigarettes (1 cigarette a day over the course of 7 days can create the addiction to nicotine), but those are just averages.  Nobody will ever know how much of something they can handle because the substances themselves can change in strength depending on how it was made, and other variables are ever changing for the person.  Some of the things that affect how your body responds to drugs, alcohol or tobacco include a persons age, gender and weight.  It can also include what they have had to eat that day, how active are they, how hydrated or dehydrated are they.  Another factor to consider is a person's predisposition to a certain addiction.  Were they born to a mother who smoked or drank or used drugs while pregnant, did they grow up in a household where use/abuse was the "norm".  These things all play a part in a person's ability or inability to fight an addiction.  

 

Are E-cigarettes, vapor pens, and hookah's safer than cigarettes?

Short answer, NO. Products like these have been introduced into our society in an attempt to rekindle the tobacco industry's financial success.  They were originally promoted as safer, healthier, not as harmful to your health as traditional cigarettes.  People were told that instead of inhaling smoke and chemicals they were now going to have the ability to get their nicotine fix in the form of a much healthier natural water vapor.  We now know that simply isn't true.  While the fact that you are no longer inhaling smoke from these devices is accurate, the healthier, safer for you bribe doesn't hold water (no pun intended.)  :)  They are in fact an aerosol device.  They contain hundreds of the same carcinogenic (cancer causing) chemicals as your regular every day cigarette.  Similar to your air freshener containers, every puff you take of a vape pen, an e-cigarette or whatever else you want to call them, you are introducing carcinogenic, chemically infused aerosol into your lungs which gets absorbed and is then distributed throughout your body.  Due to the latest information that contradicts original claims by tobacco companies, e-cigarettes are now being included in legislation, laws, statutes and other enforceable restrictions placed on regular cigarette uses.  Your body wants oxygen.  No matter how that introduction happens, whether it's through smoke, vapor, aerosol, patches or gum, your body doesn't want these substances inside it plain and simple.  

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Sara Patrick
Coordinator
175 N Mill Creek Road
Quincy, CA 95971
spatrick@pcoe.k12.ca.us
(530) 283-6557

Through prevention education, we encourage our youth to be tobacco, alcohol and drug free by promoting healthy choices and lifestyles. To help create a healthier, happier alcohol, tobacco and drug free community now and for our future.