Voters in six states will decide on Tuesday whether or not to legalize the use of marijuana for medical use, and even for recreational use. This should be deeply disturbing to Americans who see the country heading towards moral, spiritual and cultural implosion. Illegal drug use is already on the rise in the U.S. Young people often start by experimenting with marijuana, but then move on to even harder, more dangerous drugs. Marijuana use is already soaring among all Americans, and especially young people in the U.S. Now heroin use among suburban teens is soaring, too.
There are numerous reasons for growing drug abuse by teens. One is that American young people are in deep pain over seeing their families implode. Far too many youths are seeing their parents at war with each other, fighting, at times physically abusing one another, having affairs, committing adultery, getting separated, getting divorced. The break up of the American family is a pandemic. Increasingly, many kids are self-medicating to numb the emotional and spiritual (and at times physical) pain they are experiencing.
Advocates of legalizing marijuana try to portray pot as harmless. But the facts say the opposite: marijuana is an addictive, harmful and often destructive drug. Now is no time to legalize it and make it readily available for adults and teenagers.
According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse:
- Marijuana is the most commonly abused illicit drug in the United States.
- Marijuana intoxication can cause distorted perceptions, impaired coordination, difficulty with thinking and problem solving, and problems with learning and memory.
- Research has shown that, in chronic users, marijuana’s adverse impact on learning and memory can last for days or weeks after the acute effects of the drug wear off.
- As a result, someone who smokes marijuana every day may be functioning at a suboptimal intellectual level all of the time.
- Long-term marijuana abuse can lead to addiction; that is, compulsive drug seeking and abuse despite the known harmful effects upon functioning in the context of family, school, work, and recreational activities.
- A number of studies have shown an association between chronic marijuana use and increased rates of anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia.
- Contrary to what many pot smokers may tell you, marijuana is addictive, at least psychologically.
- Even among occasional users, one in 12 can feel withdrawal symptoms if they can’t get high when they want to. Among heavy pot smokers, the rates of dependence are higher.
- Many experts also believe that marijuana is physically addictive.
- Is pot a “gateway” drug? In other words, does smoking marijuana make someone more likely to try cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, and other “hard” drugs? The jury is still out on this one. It’s true that pot smokers are more likely to use other drugs after trying marijuana. What’s not clear is whether smoking pot causes further drug use or if people who start smoking pot are just more likely to try drugs in general.
“Marijuana advocates have placed measures on ballots in six states dealing with the recreational or medical use of the drug, defying federal efforts to crack down on use where it’s already legal,” reports Bloomberg news. “From Massachusetts to Oregon, measures on tomorrow’s ballots aim to make three states the first in the nation to allow recreational marijuana use and expand on the 17 states that already allow its medical use. ‘The attitudes about marijuana have changed sufficiently to make the issue of legalization politically viable and these initiatives are one way to measure that change,’ said Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, a Washington-based group that advocates legalizing marijuan. Voters in Oregon, Washington and Colorado will decide whether their states will become the first to legalize recreational use of marijuana. In Massachusetts and Arkansas, voters will consider legalizing it for medical use. In Montana, they’ll decide whether to affirm or reject a 2011 law that scaled back a 2004 initiative legalizing medical marijuana. St. Pierre said ballot measures in Washington state and Massachusetts have the best chance at winning voter approval. The Washington measure has the best political support, he said. The initiative has 55 percent backing among likely voters, with 38 percent opposed, according to a KCTS-9 Washington poll.”
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