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Assessment Of Marijuana Needed

August 23, 2018

Editor: It’s become decidedly uncool to criticize marijuana and the rush toward legalization. So far 30 states including Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia allow medical marijuana, while nine states and D.C. permit recreational use. Sixty one percent of Americans believe the drug should be legal according to a Pew Research Center survey. The public’s perception of marijuana as a safe drug is being manipulated by big money and state governments desperate for tax revenue. But underscoring this momentum for legalization is the misconception that marijuana can’t hurt anybody. Most physicians believe cannabis is habit-forming. Dr. Sharon Levy, director of the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, states, “There’s no question at all that marijuana is addictive.” Research shows that one in six teens who smoke pot will become addicted. The marijuana industry and the Food and Drug Administration must provide a scientific and balanced assessment on the pros and cons of using marijuana especially for our most vulnerable teens. Dr. Jodi Gilman, a professor at Harvard Medical School, published research showing teens who smoked marijuana had significant abnormalities in areas of the brain linked to emotion, motivation, and decision making. Gilman also found that teens who smoked pot daily showed long-term memory loss in adulthood even years after they stopped. Teens must be taught healthy coping skills to deal with the adversities that confront them. Except for medicinal purposes the smoking of pot is an escape mechanism with dire consequences. Any drug that alters the natural function of the human brain is not a healthy proposition. The legalization of marijuana is just another sign of America’s moral decline in the age of postmodernism where truth is relative based on one’s perspective. It’s to our country’s detriment to blindly consider legalization of marijuana a victory. Bill Sarnak HARDING

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