Based on science and concern about young minds and the safety of our citizens, we believe that the crude drugs from the plant Cannabis should be illegal. There are differing views on this issue. In our democracy, divergent views are expected. The more personal the issue, the more passionate and less logical the discussion.
Media articles support marijuana as a medicine. This complex weed is supposed to cure insomnia, arthritis, glaucoma, nausea, loss of appetite, epilepsy, etc.; and that, if legalized and taxed by government, as with alcohol and tobacco, it could solve our financial woes.
Let’s examine some misinformation used by marijuana proponents, which is mostly based on anecdotal evidence or driven by political agenda. Before the emotional and political issues drive a mass experimentation, using Americans as guinea pigs, we must scrutinize marijuana.
Marijuana is a crude drug from the Cannabis plant, known to contain more than 700 chemicals. When smoked, these components produce more cancer-causing compounds than found in tobacco smoke. Cannabinoids are chemicals found only in the Cannabis plant. Many are psychotropic: have mind-altering effects and are fat soluble. They are stored in and alter the brain, reproductive organs and other fat cells. A nursing mother will pass THC and other cannabinoids to her baby through her milk.
THCis the one chemical that most people associate with marijuana. It is an intoxicant with some medical properties. Marijuana is not just THC. Pure THC is a prescribed medication that has passed rigid Food and Drug Administration requirements to protect public health; whereas, marijuana will never pass any approval process.
In Florida, a 2010 survey of high school students, reported 21.8 percent of seniors used marijuana in the past month. This is up from19.7 percent in 2008; thus, today one in five of our high school seniors are being exposed to a drug that can cause much harm. Additionally, marijuana is listed as the primary substance of abuse for 31.1percent of treatment admissions in Florida. Over halfwere12-17 years of age.
In December, 2012, the Government Drug Abuse Warning Network Report stated that over 45,000 American youth between the ages of15 to17 entered emergency rooms because of marijuana. If 100 young people needed emergency room treatment because of a FDA approved drug, pro-marijuana groups and elected officials would demand the drug’s removal from the market.
As reported by the U.S. Surgeon General, marijuana reduces the immune system’s ability to fight infections, interferes with the reproductive system, affects memory and learning, creates paranoia, and is addictive. Marijuana reduces the IQ of young users by 8 to10 IQ points, changes depth perception and alters the ability to judge distance.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse reported in December of 2012 that “research from different areas is converging on the fact that regular marijuana use by young people can have long-lasting negative impact on the structure and function of their brains.” Want your child on pot?
Marijuana users are dangerous drivers. There is no roadside test to detect or to determine impairment. Highway deaths will increase if marijuana is used more frequently in Florida.
Research shows that cannabinoids in marijuana are mind altering. They will alter the consciousness and make any disease seem less severe. The disease is not being treated.
And, the disease can be made worse. Will the passionate supporters of “medical marijuana” obliterate years of scientific research that has revealed the dangers of marijuana? Will Florida use its citizens as experimental objects? Hopefully, Florida voters will not have to decide.
Source: Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
Copyright: 2013 Sun-Sentinel Company
Authors: Carlton Turner and Herbert Goldstein