Dear Old Hippie: My parents keep trying to convince me to stop smoking weed. Their latest tactic is to tell me that “weed shrinks your balls”, and they’re using our family doctor as backup. I personally think this is a lot of crap, but I need some more information when my balls are at stake! Can this be true? — Worried
Dear Worried: People have been smoking weed for at least 5,000 years. Believe me, someone would have noticed such a personal effect in all that time!
In the 60s, there were similar legends spread about LSD causing broken chromosomes. Anything that makes kids worry about long-term health problems, especially involving sex in some way, fits into the agenda of the people who don’t want people expanding their minds, or medicating themselves with non-patentable substances that any fool can grow in their back yard. They want our minds dumb and numb, to be sure, and that requires much more dangerous drugs (alcohol, cocaine, and heroin).
There are studies, generally funded by anti-drug forces, purporting to prove that marijuana reduces your sperm count or testosterone levels, despite centuries of user experience that cannabis is, if anything, a sexual enhancer. We even have Doug Benson showing increased sperm count after 30 days of nonstop marijuana use.
As far as your actual balls go, there are similar idiotic rumors spread about everything from coffee to Mountain Dew. This is no more than urban legend and/or the nonsense that stupid or ignorant people spread by email. I’m a bit surprised at your doctor joining in, being that this is, like, the 21st century and all. But after all, doctors are human too (well, most of them), so there are still plenty of doctors who believe nonsense like this. Perhaps they stopped thinking in medical school, back in the day when anesthesia consisted of hitting someone in the head or getting them too drunk to care.
More likely, like your parents — who probably know better themselves — s/he figures a “little white lie” is worth it, if it will keep you away from drugs. Your parents are experienced in this sort of thing, because they started off by telling you about the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus, and now they’ve graduated to this. So you can think of Santa Claus as the “gateway lie” to much bigger and more serious lies about things like drugs.
In the long run, of course, all these “little white lies” add up and turn into Official Government Propaganda. But all it takes is for you to find out or realize that it’s all based on lies, and then all their carefully constructed crap falls down like a house of cards. That’s when you really start doubting everything your parents say (or the government). Frankly, it’s a pity because both your parents and the government should be telling you the truth about everything, and it’s their lies that cause you to be so untrusting.
But they never see it that way.
Got a question for Old Hippie? Just post a comment below, or use the contact form.