Cannabis has long been a source of great debate. Proponents often tout its harmlessness and medicinal properties, while opponents cite its possible health risks and enduring status as a prohibited Schedule I drug. Even the term "marijuana" is controversial, and has racist origins dating back to the early 20th century. But both sides of the argument have fallen for some common misconceptions about pot. Is weed a perfect or innocuous substance? No. Is cannabis a dangerous threat to personal and public health? No. The truth tends to lie in the gray areas.
Given its still-illegal status in many countries, weed is often a subject clouded by misinformation, often perpetuated by outspoken figures who took strong, unfounded stances against the substance. These pot myths illustrate that there are some very basic things people misunderstand about marijuana, what it is, and what it can do. On the other side of that, there have long been many celebrity cannabis connoisseurs who have tried to preach the benefits of the drug. As the US has taken the first tentative steps to reevaluating its relationship with cannabis, it can be helpful to clear up some confusion.
Here's a rundown of marijuana myths you should stop believing. Oh, and don't call it marijuana, either, unless it's the medicinal stuff.