“I was a drug addict, “Jones says as lunch arrives midway through the course of a day spent with USA TODAY Sports in late March, a month out from his UFC 197 bout with Ovince Saint Preux in Las Vegas. A recent article posted by USA TODAY gained access to Jones and his substance abuse problem with marijuana. Jones is one of the toughest and most credentialed fighters in the UFC, but his habit was harder to kick than the pads and heavy bags he uses to hone his craft.

“One thing you don’t realize is that you can be a drug addict even if you are a stoner. If you are waking up every day and smoking, smoking before you eat, smoking before you train, smoking before you sleep, smoking before you watch a movie, smoking before your study session, you are an addict” says Jones. It doesn’t have to be a hard drug to be an addict.

“Smoking pot had been a part of Jones’ life since he was in high school, and through his college career wrestling. His habit carried over into his MMA career also. “IT was literally what I would do in-between fights, I was just sitting, enjoying life and thinking that I was a hippie. I didn’t feel like I was hurting anyone else, didn’t feel I was being a bad person”

In May 2012, Jones was caught for driving under the influence after running his car into a pole. In early 2015, Jones failed a drug test for cocaine. In April 2015, he was involved in a hit-and-run in New Mexico. He pleaded guilty to leaving the scène of an accident and was sentenced to 18 months of supervised probation. The UFC stripped him of his Light Heavyweight Belt due to their policy.

Jones doesn’t hide his troubled past, he wants to help and inspire others to emerge from their mistakes.

People who smoke pot often think they can’t get “addicted” particularly if they don’t smoke every day. They’re right, a pot addict is able to go for a few days without smoking another bowl. There are hundreds of metabolites in pot that stay in your system for a while, extending the half-life of the drug. Its only when the half-life is over that the symptoms kick in. The first sign is craving, it’s a powerful urge to smoke again.

Some research suggests that marijuana use is likely to precede use of other licit and illicit substances and the development of addiction to other substances. In a study, early exposure to cannabinoids in adolescent rodents decreases the reactivity of brain dopamine reward centers later in adulthood. To the extent that these findings generalize to humans, this could help explain the increased vulnerability for addiction to other substances of abuse later in life that most epidemiological studies have reported for people who begin marijuana use early in life

A study conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse said a person who smokes marijuana is 104 times more likely to use other substances than a person who never tires pot. So is here is old question, is pot a gate way drug? It seems plausible at first when you hear other addicts share that they started smoking with pot first.  The answer is simple., A person who interested in altering their state of mind and body is more likely to try other ways of doing it.

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