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Other Cannabis Risks
It's fine if you support pot legalization, but at least be aware of the true risks even if you're willing to accept them. DON'T just listen to what the pot lobby has been promoting. Here are some reliable facts, references and links.
Click here for a fascinating report on how the early marijuana adopter states are doing.
Also, here is a recent study on total financial cost/benefit of marijuana in the state of Colorado.
AND BLACK MARKET
MARIJUANA, PSYCHOSIS AND SCHIZOPHRENIA
Excess supply means greater availability at lower prices. What happens when there's too much supply? Basic economics... prices drop and producers look for alternate sales channels. Some find their way to the black market.
Legalizing reduces crime? Note in this article, too, how ineffective the 'track and trace' systems are for catching supply chain anomalies. California's track-and-trace will be no better.
The black market is generally healthier than ever with legalization because it can tap into two different supply chains. Note, too, that as supply goes way up, prices drop, and government percentage-based tax revenues go down, too.
LEGALIZATION AND INCREASED USE
Despite promises from the pot lobby, legalization has resulted in an increase in use. Any increase in use is severely problematic, period. Note in the Washington report (the fourth one, below) the spike in calls to poison control centers in 2014 when pot was legalized.
Pot and Increased Use Links:
POT USE AND DEPRESSION
Large and recent epidemiological studies have highlighted the link between marijuana, depression and suicide. People starting cannabis use in their formative teenage years are particularly susceptible.
Cannabis and Depression Links:
Marijuana is NOT merely associated with mental illness and crime. Years of independent and cross-correlated research have proven, finally, what pot promoters would prefer you not know. Cannabis use DOES cause schizophrenia and psychotic episodes. This is not U.S. government propaganda, as the pot lobby would have you believe - ironically, most of the research and epidemiological studies have originated outside of the United States.
Cannabis and Psychosis Links:
The acute effects of synthetic intravenous Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol on psychosis, mood and cognitive functioning
LEGITIMATE VS. DUBIOUS MEDICAL CLAIMS
Even the few physicians in favor of marijuana caution against declaring it 'medicine,' as medicine implies highly rigorous criteria are defined to establish its efficacies in addition to side effects prior to use. Though some people do use it as medicine, most studies have compared marijuana to placebos, NOT other medications. When some make claims that it treats dozens and dozens of illnesses and symptoms, one should be suspicious. If it's too good to be true, it probably is.
Marijuana DOES need to be studied because it has hundreds of compounds (like CBD) and possible interactions, the full medicinal effects of which we don't understand. Many drug compounds are derived from plants, tested and evaluated. Cautiously allowing marijuana to be used in a few medicinal cases with the care and oversight of a physician is very different than allowing an entire 'recreation' industry to be built in which people self-medicate from supplies coming out of your neighbor's back yard.
An excellent 2017 evaluation by the National Academy of Medicine provides very useful information on today's medical knowledge of marijuana (and prudently notes many of its harms).
Many marijuana advocates have glossed over the many real health risks and the unsuspecting public have taken heed. Here is a neonatal intensive care unit physician in Colorado who frequently has to tell new mothers (who thought it was "no big deal") that their babies were just born with marijuana THC in their system:
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