Guest opinion: The decriminalization of marijuana is dangerous

By buseman · Jun 28, 2010 · ·
  1. buseman
    A pro-marijuana group is currently collecting signatures to qualify an initiative that would legalize marijuana under the guise of medicine in the state of Florida.

    So, what's the harm, you may ask.

    After all, California's Proposition 215 is called the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, and we all want to be compassionate to those who are suffering from AIDS, glaucoma, or end stage cancer.

    In looking at the facts, it's not quite so simple.

    Marijuana is illegal for a reason. It has numerous health risks, including poor memory, panic attacks, paranoia, persistent anxiety, decreased coordination, increased heart rate and blood pressure and difficulty concentrating.

    More troubling is the lack of data on its usefulness as a medical treatment at all - most medical associations, including the American Medical Association, do not support smoked marijuana as medicine.

    Unlike other medication, "medical" marijuana is not approved by the FDA for use. It is not tested, it has no quality controls and it is not required to be processed in a sterile setting.

    Proponents of "medical" marijuana would have you believe that only those with debilitating physical conditions who have unsuccessfully sought out other, effective, approved treatment will qualify for "medical" marijuana. One only has to look at the numbers from other states to see how widely the programs are being abused.

    In California, of the 300,000 to 400,000 individuals using "medical" marijuana, the highest percentage of individuals are 18-25 year old males.

    In cities like San Diego, where the issue has been closely examined, 2 percent of those smoking marijuana under the guise of medicine have conditions such as AIDS, glaucoma or cancer.

    Ninety-eight percent are being treated with "medical" marijuana for back and neck pain, anxiety, muscle spasms or insomnia.

    In North Hollywood, there are now more "medical" pot clubs than Starbucks.

    Let's look at the cost to businesses.

    Medical marijuana legislation limits the rights of the employer to sanction marijuana users in the workplace or to terminate a person based on a positive drug test as long as the individual tested is using marijuana under the guise of medicine.

    Years of marijuana prevention and education in Lee County would be undermined by the passage of a bill legalizing marijuana.

    The 2008 Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey found that marijuana use has declined in Lee County, with lifetime use declining from 29.8 percent in 2000 to 24.8 percent in 2008.

    Overall-past-30-day-use went from 15.6 percent in 2000 to 13.0 percent in 2008. Seventy-nine percent of youth surveyed reported that it would be wrong or very wrong for someone their age to smoke marijuana.

    States that have legalized "medical" marijuana rank in the top ten for states with the highest marijuana use in the 12 and older age category.

    Do we want to send a message to our children that smoking marijuana is acceptable?

    "Medical" marijuana is not "compassionate."

    It's dangerous.

    JUNE 27, 2010
    Deborah Comella

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  1. EscapeDummy
    I agree that the current medicalized marijuana system is a complete farce set up to let people legally buy pot. I also agree that it can cause "poor memory, panic attacks, paranoia, persistent anxiety, decreased coordination, increased heart rate and blood pressure and difficulty concentrating."

    Swim has experienced all of those symptoms at some point or another while smoking marijuana, although not persistent like the author claims. However, there isn't a doubt in swim's mind that marijuana is far more dangerous and harmful as an illegal schedule I substance. The paranoia, panic attacks, and anxiety can all be exacerbated because of its illegality! Plus, the most detrimental effect marijuana can have on one's life is getting caught with it and facing legal action. Decriminalization or legalization are no doubt the intelligent, harm reducing actions to take.
  2. misetusa
    yeah, and what's to be said of the cannabis usage of local youths in the Netherlands.

    and don't get SWIM started on the alcohol argument, this article raises the question: "is it really acceptable that our children think it's ok to consume alcohol"

    complete hypocrisy, and SWIM aknowledges that cannabis is by no means harmless, however, nothing is harmeless if taken excessively!
    The key is to promote responsibility with the youth.
  3. godztear
    That just simply is not true as there are many stories of people loosing their jobs due to positive drug tests for marijuana. People have in turn tried to sue their former employers to no avail. Just for example here is a quick news article I found relating to this issue:

    [h1]Man loses job because of legal use of medical marijuana [/h1]

    Joseph Casias has been legally using medical marijuana to deal with pain caused by sinus cancer and an inoperable brain tumor pressing against his skull.
    Unfortunately, despite his legal use of the substance and the fact that he says that never used it when he was on duty as an associate at a Wal-Mart in Battle Creek, Mich, one morning he was fired for it.

    According to MSNBC, Casias stated that he never thought he would be terminated for the use of the substance.
    Despite his ongoing health problems and the fact that the medical marijuana was prescribed for him by a doctor, he was fired. He even had a card sactioned by the state that says he can legally use the drug.
    The problem is a gray area as to what happens in the work place.
    I interviewed a Wal-Mart manager in a Dallas store who said that state legality in his opinion is irrelevant to the corporate position that forbids drug use on the job because of what he termed "Safety concerns."

    It is unclear why Wal-Mart would specifically target medical marijuana use when legal use of prescribed narcotics is allowed.
    What is your opinion on the case?

    March 25, 12:06 PM
    Dallas Health Examiner Steven Carter


    Does the author mean to say the "Reefer Madness" will go unpaid? Cannabis was made illegal on false pretense and propaganda. We just need an "Al Capone" to start killing people over marijuana for it to be made legal.... not gonna happen in hippy land but one day the wig wearers will come around. Just like in November when California will completely legalize marijuana.
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