Marijuana is not worth the risk
By: By Allen King
| Posted: Wednesday, Sep 11, 2013 12:28 pm
While Canada’s politicians lobby their opponents to come clean about their marijuana use, the question should really be is legalizing the drug really worth the risk?
Why do people use this narcotic substance? Is it a fad? Is it because they feel they need to be in a state of euphoria in order to function properly? Do they feel they need to smoke it to appear fashionable? Have those who use this drug habitually or even just occasionally ever stopped to think about what the long-term effects of using it are on their mind and body? By using this chemical have they ever given any thought as to what dangers they place themselves and others in? Have they stopped to think about how dependent they may become on marijuana with constant use?
Many articles have been written by authors and politicians who advocate the decriminalization of marijuana, and ideally its outright legalization. Would this put the drug dealers out of business? I would question this considerably. Have these correspondents and in some cases, politicians, declared what the advantages are of legalizing THC other than making it more available to the public? If legalized, would marijuana be offered to the public in a standardized and sterile form? I have grave doubts about that. Would legalizing THC end the necessity of worthwhile supportive clinics? Of this, I would be skeptical, meaning this particular issue would still be a problem for society only to be contended with at taxpayer’s expense.
Some politicians have advocated and even admitted smoking marijuana. I don’t think I would feel confident with these persons as leader of my party, prime minister of our country or even my MP of my riding or MLA in my constituency.
Using cannabis or marijuana in daily life can cause problems thereby lowering the quality of life such as impacted mental and physical health.
Socially, this results in lateness and/or absence at work or school. It can also result in the inability to attend school or hold a job, poor working and study habits, work injuries and car accidents.
For adolescents, the effects of the drug may last for many years. People who start using marijuana in their teens can lose eight points in their I.Q. ranging anywhere between the ages of 13 and 38. Reduced or lost cognitive abilities may not be restored even in those persons who quit smoking marijuana in their adult years. Individuals who start smoking cannabis in adulthood do not generally show significant I.Q. decline, but it is still considered a possibility by medical researchers.
Marijuana can have adverse effects on the cardiopulmonary and mental systems. It can seriously impair judgment and the transitional effects cannabis can cause mentally are astronomical.
In pregnancy it can cause many neurobehavioural problems in the baby and in some cases, produces effects somewhat similar to those caused by excessive alcohol consumption by the mother during gestation.
Marijuana also has the same disastrous effects on the lungs, as does smoking tobacco. Marijuana raises the heart rate by 20 to 100 percent. Cannabis users generally have a four to eight-fold increase in the risk of suffering heart attacks within an hour after smoking a marijuana cigarette.
In spite of the assertions of medical marijuana advocates, cannabis has not been refined significantly to be used effectively as a substance to treat a medical condition. So, why would anyone really want to use marijuana?
Possibly the study of cannabis should be a part of the school curriculum, maybe in junior high, so students are aware of its potential side effects. I would advise this subject be taught by those well versed on the subject, and can advise on its predominantly negative effects, particularly police officers, emergency room physicians and addiction counselors.
I understand many writers use the argument cannabis is no more harmful than tobacco or alcohol. We know excessive smoking of tobacco and over consumption of alcohol can have serious effects on the body. However, I am convinced these effects are not as grave as the deleterious effects using marijuana can have on the body. To compare any of the above-mentioned habits is comparing apples to oranges.
Regardless of what is written, marijuana is and can be, addictive. Long term users who “take the plunge” to quit the habit experience withdrawal symptoms including irritability, sleeplessness, decreased appetite, anxiety and drug craving and may suffer permanent loss of cognitive ability and motor function.
The legalizing of marijuana should be approached carefully — if at all. Using marijuana is something that should be shied away from by all people of all ages. Remember, altering the mind with marijuana can have permanent negative effects on the whole body.