Marijuana should remain illegal!
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Marijuana should remain illegal.
The federal government is planning to legalize marijuana, however, it’s policy on marijuana is like an octopus. It requires clear and decisive leadership across the board to untangle it.
What we know
Marijuana is derived from the Cannabis sativa plant. It contains more than 100 chemical compounds, called cannabinoids. The main psychoactive chemical in marijuana, responsible for most of the intoxicating effects, is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
As more states move forward with marijuana legalization, medicinal or recreational, what will the true costs of legalization be?
The brain is a spiderweb, delicate, minimal, hypersensitive and orchestrates movement of things, ideas, and emotions. One of the most disturbing effects of marijuana is its impacts on the brain.
- A study in New Zealand found that persistent marijuana use starting in adolescence was associated with a loss of an average of 8 IQ points.
- It prevents nerve pathways from maturing in areas of the brain known to be involved in executive functioning. This maturing process occurs in our adolescent years and helps us with planning, reasoning, problem-solving and decision-making.
- A recent Northwestern University study found that marijuana users have abnormal brain structure and poor memory and that chronic marijuana abuse may lead to brain changes resembling schizophrenia, a long-term mental disorder. The study also reported that the younger the person starts using marijuana, the worse the effects become.
- Cannabis causes abnormal cell division, which leads to severe hereditary defects.
- Children whose parents are marijuana users have reduced initiative, poorer performance on visual-motor coordination, higher behavioral problem rates and lessened abilities to concentrate.
- Researchers in Canada report that marijuana smoke contains ammonia levels 20 times higher while hydrogen cyanide occurred at levels 3-5 times higher in the marijuana smoke than tobacco smoke
- Marijuana smoke contains 50% to 70% more cancer-causing substances than tobacco smoke. One major research study reported that a single cannabis joint could cause as much damage to the lungs as up to five regular cigarettes smoked one after another. Long-time joint smokers often suffer from bronchitis, an inflammation of the respiratory tract.
Medical Marijuana/ CBD
- From a research perspective, medical marijuana is simply hard to study. Marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I substance, which means that it has a high risk for abuse and lacks any accepted medical use.
- According to Dr. Mukamal, a professor from Harvard Medical, states that most of the available data are from animal experiments or observational studies that rely on people's willingness to report their marijuana use and since most users are recreational, it's tough to accurately measure dosage and frequency.
- There have been no uses of medical marijuana that subjected to the kind of rigorous testing we’d want for a pharmaceutical.
- For medical purposes, legalizing marijuana is not needed because there are existing laws for legal cannabidiol.
- CBD is a cannabis compound that has medical benefits, but does not make people feel “stoned or high” and can actually counteract the psychoactivity of THC.
- Many states have passed laws allowing the use of a CBD extract usually in oil form often used for the treatment of epilepsy and seizures in seriously ill children and can provide relief from pain, anxiety, and nausea.
A useful analogy can be made to gambling. Legalized gambling has not reduced illegal gambling in the United States; rather, it has increased it. Legal marijuana would set the stage for illegal marijuana trafficking.
- Other than alcohol, Marijuana is currently the leading cause of substance abuse in the U.S.
- In 2008, 4.2 million of the 7 million people aged 12 or older suffering from any substance use disorder are suffering from marijuana abuse. If the U.S. were to legalize marijuana, the number of marijuana users would increase.
- After marijuana was legalized in Colorado and Washington state, positive marijuana drug test results increased to 23% and 6.3% in the workplace nationally.
- According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, Marijuana proved to be the main drug involved in the increase of drugged driving, contributing to 12% of 2010 crashes and 28%of traffic deaths in 2010.
Is legalizing Marijuana going to make this a better country or a worse one? Would you want to live in a neighborhood filled with people who regularly smoke marijuana? Would you want young kids, the future of this nation, regularly smoking pot? Now is the time to think about it because although it's easy to thoughtlessly legalize a drug like marijuana when things go wrong down the road, it will be a lot harder to put the genie back in the bottle.
Legalizing marijuana is not a smart public health or public safety strategy for any state or for our nation. Those who support its legalization, medicinal or recreational, fail to recognize that the greatest costs of marijuana are not related to its prohibition; they are the costs resulting from marijuana use itself.
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