National Weed Appreciation Day: a reflection what you should (and shouldn’t) put in your body

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It’s National Weed Appreciation Day. My mother will be proud to know that when I first read of “National Weed Appreciation Day,” I thought of the weeds that can’t, you know, be inhaled, like the ones that are currently growing between the cracks in the Boulevard’s pavement. Yet, like any college student, when I actually thought about it, I soon realized that weed, in this sense, meant the marijuana kind. Oops.

After thinking “Hey, shouldn’t national weed day be on 4/20?” I got to thinking; it’s kind of ridiculous that the world makes such a big deal about weed and not some of the others things we put in and do to our bodies. Wait, Mom, just let me explain.

Be forewarned: No, this isn’t me saying that weed should be legal. (To all the other 20-somethings out there, my bad). But this is me saying that our society has made and continues to make mistakes about what we hold as “good and bad.”

Forms of marijuana have become legal in over 35 states and in Washington DC. Over 50 percent of the United States population supports the legalization of weed, and medical marijuana has been found to aid in many sicknesses, including seizures and mental/ stress-triggered issues. Hmm.

There are may studies that still need to be done, but the health effects of weed are still being explored. There are side effects, such as increased likelihood of repertory problems, schizophrenia development and other health issues, yet there is not direct link to violence or crime, depression, or birth effects.

So here’s what gets me: A lot of other things we put in our bodies cause us much, much more harm.

Take alcohol, for example, or processed foods. Alcohol has the possibility to result in alcohol poisoning, sexual assaults, drunken driving, liver damage, cancers and a myriad of other health problems.

Processed foods can cause one to over eat, resulting in the obesity crisis that is haunting the globe, as well as issues with mood, addiction, memory issues and diabetes.

I can go on. A sedentary lifestyle in which people spend too much time on electronic devices and do not get enough exercise can cause many health issues. Not taking mental illness and other disorders, such as eating disorders, body dismorphia, anxiety, and OCD, seriously leads to mental handicaps and can leave someone’s life in a standstill. Not regulating ads or media can lead to issues with body image, false advertising, and unrealistic beauty and societal standards. Lack of education and discourse about sex and sexual assault can lead to hostile campus environments, STDs, unwanted pregnancy, and relationship issues among our nation’s youth. But I digress.

I’m not saying that weed should be legal. I’m just saying that society should take a look at what it is making a huge deal about, prioritize, and think about what really matters to bodily health.

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