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The legalization of Marijuana is a hot topic and disappointment to state legislators as their greedy high-taxing plans have driven the drug back underground.  That the Federal government has not removed “Grass,” “Mary Jane” or “Weed” from the “Class I Narcotic” list has complicated the situation.  It allows Federal officials to seize money and property involved in the drug trade.

Even rental property in which cultivation, preparation and sale are happening can be seized.  Federally chartered banks are not allowed to handle money involved in illegal drug trade so great amounts of cash are regularly accumulated in the selling facilities and inspiring robbery and burglary.  Armed robbery rates in these facilities are very high.  Is all of this worth the new tax money our ever-greedy governments get?

People driving under the influence of marijuana double their risk of car crashing and about one in ten daily marijuana users becomes dependent on the drug, according to new studies, but medical uses, particularly dealing with chronic pain have shown positive effects.

Marijuana use has become increasingly prevalent over the years. Better studies have been done and the review of marijuana studies confirm what researchers have learned about the drug’s effects on human health and well-being over the past two decades.

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Wayne Hall, a Professor and Director of the Center for Youth Substance Abuse Research at the University of Queensland in Australia, examined scientific evidence on marijuana’s health effects between 1993 and 2013 in a “master study,” study of studies.

Adolescents using cannabis regularly are twice as likely as nonusers to drop out of school and twice as likely to have cognitive impairment and psychoses as adults.  This is probably linked to the fact human brains are not fully formed until age 21 or 22.   This appears to be a greater threat in cultures where families are broken, incomplete and not functioning normally to keep young people from using dangerous drugs.

The journal “Addiction” reports several studies linked regular cannabis use in adolescence to the use of other illicit drugs, according to the October 2017 edition of that Australian journal.

Nonetheless, researchers in those studies debate whether Marijuana use leads to the use of other drugs.  While the “gateway” effect may not be inevitable it is present and ominous.

Hall points to longer-term studies and studies of twins in which one used marijuana and the other did not as particularly strong evidence that regular cannabis use necessarily leads to the use of other drugs while unsettled shows the hazard is significant.

Hall claims marijuana is not as harmful as illicit “hard” drugs like amphetamine, cocaine and heroin, with which it is classified in the law of many countries, including the USA.  This is the basis of the complaint it should not be a “Class I” narcotic, but where it is a introductory, “gateway” drug in a significant number of cases the classification is appropriate.

The major risks of using Marijuana are similar to those for alcohol in accidents, dependence and psychosis. It is likely middle-age people who smoke marijuana regularly are at an increased risk of having heart attacks, according to the data.

However, the drug’s “effects on respiratory function and respiratory cancer remain unclear, because most cannabis smokers have smoked or do use tobacco,  Nonetheless, putting smoke of any kind in our lungs is not a good idea.  Regular cannabis users  double the ordinary risk of having psychotic problems like disordered thinking, hallucinations and delusions.

A study of more than 50,000 young men in Sweden, those who had used marijuana ten or more times by age 18 were twice as likely to be diagnosed as schizophrenic within the next 15 years than those who had not used the drug.  The size and quality of the study make it conclusive.

Critics argue other variables may be at work in the increased risk of mental health problems, and it is possible people with mental health problems in the first case are more likely to use marijuana.

In a 27-year follow-up study in Sweden researchers found a positive dose and response relationship between the frequency of cannabis use at age 18 and the risk of schizophrenia during the whole follow-up period, but they did not quantify the relationship as it was difficult to document.  Long term studies always have trouble keeping track of people now that we are so mobile.

The investigators estimate that 13 percent of schizophrenia cases diagnosed in the study could have been averted if all cannabis use had been prevented in the group.  This alone appears to disqualify the drug from open use, but schizophrenia is not fully understood so this conclusion is not considered confirmed.  Many take issue with this stricture and feel the link is confirmed.

The effects of cannabis on pregnant women show the drug may  reduce birth weight slightly and no other effects have been documented, but long-term follow-up studies have not been done.

The effects of euphoria that cannabis users seek from the drug come from its psychoactive ingredient, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, known as “THC.”  For the past 30 years, the THC content of marijuana in the United States has jumped from less than two percent in 1980 to 8.5 percent in 2006, a 425% increase with the effect of users finding themselves far more intoxicated than expected with consequent danger and disastrous results.  How long increases will continue is unknown as intense culturing of a plant seemingly very adaptable is impossible to predict.  Thus we conclude Marijuana is an increasingly dangerous drug on this point alone.

Not one has seriously debated the Marijuana issue.  These people are not working for us.  They are working on us for money and power.  This only confirms the worst about them and calls for a rule, “One term is enough.”  If all elected people knew they were going home after one term we believe they would think more about their responsibilities than just what they can steal.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by iPatriot.com.

Adrian Vance

Adrian Vance is a writer and producer of educational films, filmstrips and audio programs with over 325 productions from script to screen. See a partial list of his credits at http://worldcat.org. He has written for ten national magazines, been on the masthead of two as an Editor, written 20 books. He is an FCC licensed broadcaster with ten years of on-air experience in talk radio and television. He is a frequent participant on CRN Talk Radio. He is an inventor and US Patent holder. His blog, "The Two Minute Conservative" is at http://adrianvance.blogspot.com It includes over 4500 daily pieces.

 

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