As legalization of marijuana has gained momentum, we're hearing more and more from students about how "safe" and "natural" it is. But saying "smoking pot is better than doing meth" isn't really a good argument, is it? Let's stop with the rhetoric for a moment and look at the facts:
Marijuana isn't any more natural than tobacco or wine - and hopefully you've learned the negative consequences of the abuse of those substances by now. It's also important to note that the marijuana you're getting today ain't your grandpappy's weed - no one was smoking g13 at Woodstock. You need to understand that today's marijuana is carefully and scientifically cultivated. The THC levels are very concentrated and NOT what you would find in "nature."
Marijuana is a drug. Legal, illegal - doesn't matter. Still a drug. Does that mean smoking a bowl is the same as shooting heroin? No. Does it mean that you can smoke all the time with no consequences though? No. ANY drug used regularly will impact your body's chemistry. That's true for Asprin, coffee, bath salts, alcohol...and marijuana too.
Marijuana is addicting if you abuse it. Yes, you read that correctly. Are you going to get DTs and seizures from withdrawal? No. Are you going to feel like you really, really, really want to smoke even though it's probably not a great idea (e.g. when sitting for a final)? Probably.
The take home message here isn't one of reefer madness - no one is going to send you to rehab if you smoke occasionally. But please keep in mind that just because it's a plant, it's socially acceptable, and it doesn't cause severe withdrawals that means you can smoke all the time with no consequences.