By Lemar Turner
From the hip hop culture to the white collar businessmen and classy entrepreneurs of today, marijuana is used and loved by a good percentage of African American men. Glorified in the music we listen to and the urban films that we watch, it is a common habit and hobby of many black men across the country. What most black men don’t realize is the actual personal and health problems this can cause for their current daily life and their future.
Sadly, many young black men lack father figures and positive male role models so without the proper guidance they become curious about what’s glorified on t.v. and urban music, “marijuana.” Healthy living is very rarely taught in our black families, so it easily becomes ignored by young black men. Three of the biggest effects of marijuana are increased blood pressure, memory loss, and lower sperm count. Heavy smokers can experience higher blood pressure which we all know can cause heart disease. As black men, we have to be fathers to our children, husbands to our wives, and role models to our community. Why shorten your life span with a smoking habit that doesn’t benefit you, your family, or the people around you? Smoke now, reap the consequences later. African American men seem to consistently neglect the consequences. Heavy smokers are not able to live long enough to see their grandkids with health problems that increased by use of marijuana. They also put their spouse through unnecessary stress by having to aid them when their health issues become more serious.
Memory loss from heavy marijuana smoking can effect your relationships with people and your work performance in your career. Many people will stray away from someone who has poor memory, and it is a turn off to women. Even in the workplace, employers will not continue to keep you on their roster in you are unreliable. Memory loss leads to a pattern of irresponsibility which can keep you from getting job promotions or even cause you too be terminated. This drug can also lower your sperm count which endangers your fertility. Problems with reproducing children can have a negative effect on a man’s self esteem and his love relationship with his significant other.
Other effects of marijuana are dry mouth and red eyes. Who doesn’t want to look healthy? No one, but young African American men usually want to fit in with their peers and do what is considered to be cool. People will always judge you on how you look, especially when you don’t look healthy. In the eyes of family, employers, and the community, you don’t want the reputation of being a drug user. Black men losing their jobs over a failed drug test, black men losing their girlfriend because of lower libido and lower sperm count, and black men not being role models for their kids by not nurturing their own health. This is an issue that has to be addressed and a smoking habit that has to be terminated from our families and community.
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