Marijuana also is known as cannabis, grass, pot, and weed is the common name for a drug derived from the plant Cannabis. Every form of the drug is psychoactive or mind-altering. There are other 400 chemicals in the plant. The volume of active ingredient in marijuana ranges from 0.01% to 10%, which implies that one of the types of marijuana can be 1,000 times more powerful than another. a large amount of scientific research has shown that heavy marijuana consumption negatively affects smokers' learning capabilities and social skills, resulting in problems in their daily lives and intensifying their existing problems. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has analyzed more than 11 scientific research studies that have shown that heavy marijuana use, generally described as smoking marijuana 27 days in the past one month, has a notable impact on user's ability to learn (Brook, Rosen & Brook, 2001).
These researches have shown that heavy marijuana use impacts negatively on personal relationships. Heavy marijuana smoking can contribute to depression, anxiety and personality disorders and can compromise with the ability to learn and recall information. This makes the victims poor in learning especially in developing intellectual, job, and social skills. It affects the victim's ability to recall and learn for days or sometimes weeks after abstinence from smoking (Brook, Rosen & Brook, 2001).
Effects on Students
Heavy marijuana use has been shown to impact negatively on students. Students who smoke marijuana heavily are likely to get lower grades compared to the others and have lower chances of graduating. This will strain their relationships with the teachers as well as other students. This is because the teachers are never interested in students who perform poorly in class. Most of the students are also not interested in drug addicts. The heavy smokers of the drug will thus have fewer friends and will remain withdrawn in class. The drug users will have impaired retention skills, memory and learning even after not sing the drug for the last 24 hours. The drug will cause problems in maintaining and shifting attention. Heavy smoking will affect the ability to register, organize and apply the information learned in relevant situations. It also impairs the victim's ability to remember words from a list even a week after quitting marijuana use (Pope et al, 2001).
Effects on Work Performance
Heavy smoking of marijuana has a negative impact on the work performance of the user. This affects the user's relationship with other people who include the bosses, other staff members, families, and friends. Various researches have shown that workers who smoke marijuana have higher chances of experiencing increased absences, tardiness, incidences, worker compensation claims and job turnover. These aspects will cause problems with the supervisors at the workplace because the workers will not accomplish all their duties. In response, the supervisors might lay off the drug users which will create more problems with their families and friends. The drug user will not be able to meet their daily needs and those of their families in cases where they are the bread winners. In other situations, the users might be dependent on others which cause strains in their relationships. Workers who heavily smoke marijuana have 55 percent chances of causing industrial accidents, 85 percent more injuries and 75% increase in absenteeism when compared to those who do not smoke. Some users of the drug have claimed that the drug has negative impacts on their cognitive capability, career status, communal life, and physical and mental health. According to this research by NIDA, it can be concluded that people who smoke marijuana every day could be functioning at a minimized intellectual level at all times, including the durations of short abstinence. Reduction of intellectual capability has a great impact on the user's relationship with colleagues at workplace and family members at home. Cognitive abilities though begin to recover after four weeks even after long-term daily consumption of the drug (Pope et al, 2001).
Heavy smoking of marijuana has a significant effect on the physical status of the person which translates to strained personal relationships with others. Some direct physical effects of heavy marijuana use include faster heartbeat, bloodshot eyes, and dry mouth and throat. There is no scientific evidence showing that marijuana enhances hearing, eyesight and skin sensitivity. Studies of marijuana's mental effects indicate that the drug can damage or minimize short-term memory, change the sense of time and minimize the ability to work out things which need concentration, fast reactions and coordination, such as driving vehicles or operating machinery. The negative effects on physical status of a person will affect the person's relationship with others. Such a person has lower chances of sustaining stable relationships with spouses. The effects caused may spend finances in treatment. This will impact negatively on a family relationship (Block & Ghoneim, 2003).
Panic Anxiety Reaction
Heavy consumption of marijuana causes acute panic anxiety reaction. This has an effect on the user's personal relationship with others. People refer to this type of reaction as extreme fear of losing control which results in panic. Though these symptoms disappear in a few hours, they can bring about devastating effects to the relationship between the users and their family members. Panic attacks are a common effect from marijuana, although the effects are generally short-term. People who loose control will not have the ability to maintain relationships especially with their spouses. They might act in a way that their spouses will doubt their spouses and might lead to breaks in the relationships. Such persons might not be able to control their families leading to mistrust in homes. In extreme cases, such individuals may be dependent on their families for basic needs and other needs as well. This might not be taken positively by the family members leading to strained family relationships (Block & Ghoneim, 2003).
Long-term heavy users of marijuana may become psychologically dependent. This can result in coping difficulties, signified by stress, mood swings and nervousness without consumption of the drug. Generally, this can result in difficulties in keeping employments and personal relationships. These can particularly be addictive in long term regular users.
Effects on Relationships
Long-term users of marijuana can experience a restraint of the production of hormones that assist regulate the reproductive system. In the men, heavy smokers have decreased sperm count and probably erectile dysfunction. The ladies may experience uneven menstrual cycles. These problems minimize the chances of conceiving children. For those in relations with long-time marijuana users can be very frustrating. Their spouses lack aspiration can inhibit creating goals as a couple or achieving goals that were set. Apathy also becomes an issue in such relationships. When the partners are not able to access marijuana, they tend to become very moody and bad-tempered. They are not able to be happy except after smoking the drug.
When a marijuana user develops anxiety attacks, paranoia is unable to recall important things or even develops health problems due to the chosen lifestyle it becomes progressively more difficult to support that partner. As the years pass, the weighted side effects of marijuana use can destroy the relationship. Heavy marijuana users should take the consideration of harm reduction strategies or cessation before it not only damages their emotional and bodily health, but also their personal relationships. In conclusion, for those whose life spouses have been smoking marijuana each day for several years and it is obvious that Amotivational Syndrome exists even without scientific evidence (Block & Ghoneim, 2003).
Marijuana is a Gateway Drug
A major concern about marijuana is that its usage especially among the adolescents may result to, or may enhance the risk of consuming other more dangerous illegal drugs like cocaine and heroin. The most popular evidence for this assertion is that the majority of heroine and cocaine user had previously consumed marijuana before. There is plenty evidence of an association between marijuana and heroin consumption from several cross-sectional studies of adolescent drug use in the United States and all over the world. Consumption of other drugs as well may impact negatively on the adolescent's relationship with others (Lynskey & Hall, 2000)
Problems in Social Relationship
Experiments on moderate and heavy smokers of marijuana have shown that the two share similar characteristics. Heavy users of the drug seem to require more of the drug more often. Their initial and continuous consumption of the drug is motivated not only by the desire to consume the drug but also the urge to share a social experience. These people will instead have problems in maintaining social relationships with their families and friends. This is because they have problems in expanding their attentiveness and perceptive and relief of anxiety or boredom. Normally, heavy use of the drug interferes with the user's lifestyle, activities, values and attitudes making them exceptional and at discrepancy with those of the larger community. These people are more distrustful, insecure, irresponsible, and unusual. They find routine particularly distasteful. Their behavior and mood are agitated and uneven. Heavy users place specific strong emphasis on the spontaneous response in the interest of pleasure seeking, immediate gratification, and personal expression. They tend to show social and emotional immaturity, are particularly unresponsive to rules and conventions and often opposed to authority. Various researchers have also shown that they tend to be curious, socially insight, skillful and responsive to the needs of other people and possess wide-based, though unconventional, interests. The Boston free-access study allowed the Commission to observe a group of individuals whose lifestyles activities values and attitudes are representative of a segment of the exceptional youthful subculture. The month-long period of prohibited study during the fall prevented the involvement of individuals who were married, progressively employed, or enrolled in school. Individuals who smoked marijuana once a week or less were sought by the researchers but were exceptionally unusual among the population accessible for the study. As a result, the group studies contrasted with the student and full-time effective populations in which weekly marijuana use is more common. For this reason, the irregular users studied appeared to be similar to, rather than dissimilar from, the moderate and heavy users studied. Both groups had used marijuana for an average of five years (Lynskey & Hall, 2000)
Heavy use of marijuana has been shown to have devastating effects on personal relationships between the users and the community at large. Students who are heavy smokers perform poorly in schools which make their relationship with teachers and fellow students strained. This is because few or no one is normally happy to be associated with failures. Heavy users of the drug are unable to sustain their families and are normally dependent on their family members. Effects on the physical status of the person affect their relationship with their spouses. Heavy male smokers of the drug are likely to have low sperm count and erectile dysfunction. It will thus be a challenge to them in terms of maintaining social relationships.