Marijuana has always generated controversy. Once demonized, the herb is today glorified - mass media, movies, TV shows, music, everyone seems to be playing a part in glorifying recreational marijuana use. But is this herb as harmless as everyone claims nowadays? According to many scientific studies, such as those reported by Scientific American, it is not. For example, psychologist Brent A. Moore, and his colleagues found in a research study that 41 percent of successfully treated marijuana addicts had relapsed within six months.

The downsides

Marijuana affects the human organism in two major ways: physically and mentally.

THC and other chemicals enter the blood stream and cause cotton mouth, increased appetite, slowed coordination and increased heart rate. These are, of course, the physical manifestations of marijuana use. However, the real problem lies in the way marijuana influences one's brain, mental and emotional well-being.

Research has shown that heavy marijuana smokers have reduced blood flow to parts of the brain involved in attention, memory and information-processing, according to a paper housed in the Nationa Liberay of Medicine. These effects are more pronounced in adolescent smokers, as their brains are still developing. Anxiety, depression, paranoia, suicidal thoughts, even schizophrenia -- these mental issues can especially be triggered if the smoker has an inherent, genetic predisposition for Mental illness.

The "herb" can also spawn inertia and minimize productivity in some individuals. In short, marijuana is anything but benign.

Responsible use vs glorification

Responsible, recreational marijuana use shouldn't bother anyone. However, glorifying recreational use is wrong, dangerous and irresponsible. We, as a society, need to approach marijuana with respect and caution and view it as what it is - a psychoactive substance that can cause a lot of harm if used irresponsibly, too often, or by individuals with a genetic predisposition for mental illness.

Is there an agenda behind widespread marijuana use glorification? Perhaps there is. Conspiracy theorists would probably argue that the elites are shoving marijuana down our throats through their propaganda vehicles, with the entertainment industry being the most important one. It's hard to tell whether that is the truth or not, but Recreational Marijuana use has, evidently, become a part of our pop culture.

Subcultures have formed around this herb and even though its users often religiously defend it, we could all benefit from a little more caution and responsibility.

In plain and simple terms, glorifying anything that can have devastating consequences is wrong on every level.