Letters to the Editor

‘Legalization’ doesn’t mean ‘healthy’

Regardless of the view of legalizing the use of marijuana, most of us can understand the importance of promoting abstinence among our youth. Unintended consequences should be considered. Health risks with alcohol, marijuana and other drugs do not become less with legalization. We have seen an outbreak of the prescribed drug Oxycontin because of the false perception of a legalized prescription being safer. Legalization should be cause for concern about an increase in use among our youth.

Some important aspects of the use of marijuana on those who use it follows. Please also consider the increased detriment to maturing young people physically and socially: Short-term memory loss, impaired lung function similar to that found in cigarette smokers, decreased sperm count, interference with ovulation and pre-natal development, impaired immune response and more.

According to the National Institutes of Health, about 9 percent of all users who started in their teens actually form an addiction. Twenty-five to 50 percent have marijuana factor in a mental disorder; also, it plays a factor in schizophrenia disorders in those people where there was a pre existing vulnerability. Depression and anxiety are associated with marijuana use.

Kids will not listen to the “Reefer Madness” portrayal of pot use and other drugs, but they will listen to common sense, facts and genuine concern. Anything that becomes an integral aspect of development of our young people socially and physically that is unhealthy should be responsibly addressed.

Mick Sheldon


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