Marijuana is a dirty drug. “Marijuana concentrates” (“THC extractions”), ranging up to 80% tetrahydrocannabinol, are even dirtier.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse has warned, “70% of today’s illicit drug users started with marijuana, not prescription drugs.”
Proponents argue that marijuana has palliative benefits that will reduce the need for stronger, highly addicting narcotic pain-killers. A recent study (Am J Psychiatry. 2018; 175(1):47-53) concluded just the opposite: “Cannabis use appears to increase rather than decrease the risk of developing nonmedical prescription opioid use and opioid use disorder.” Caution is advised in promoting cannabis use for pain.
“Marijuana is not a harmless drug, nor is the pot industry made up of responsible corporate citizens. Researchers in Colorado called 400 marijuana dispensaries, pretending to be 8 weeks pregnant and experiencing nausea. Seventy percent of the stores recommended THC products, ignoring the risks of marijuana use during pregnancy” (Kennedy, Sabet – Wall Street Journal, Jun 14, 2018).
“Marijuana is not a benign drug, especially for teens,” according to the New American Academy of Pediatrics, Feb 27, 2017. “Their brains are still developing, and marijuana can cause abnormal and unhealthy changes.”
Adolescents who are regular users can develop “serious mental health disorders such as addiction, depression and psychosis,” due to the highly potent products on the market today. The concentration of THC, the psychoactive substance in marijuana plants, has increased from “roughly 4 percent in 1995 to 12 percent in 2014, and current strains contain concentrations as much as 20 percent – increasing the risk of overdose and addiction.
American College of Pediatricians (ACP), April 2017, confirms that “Marijuana is addicting, has adverse effects upon the adolescent brain, is a risk for both cardio-respiratory disease and testicular cancer, and is associated with both psychiatric illness and negative social outcomes…. THC suppresses neurons in the information-processing system of the hippocampus, thus learned behaviors, dependent on the hippocampus, also deteriorate.”
The ACP strongly opposes the legalization of marijuana “for recreational use and urges extreme caution in legalizing it for medicinal use.” It further “urges parents to do all they can to oppose the legalization of marijuana, such as working with elected officials against the drug’s legalization and scrutinizing a candidate’s positions on this important child’s issue when making voting decisions.”
And finally, NBC News reported that “foreign cartels” are finding new profit streams by setting up “black-market marijuana” operations in states that have legalized cannabis.
“Chinese, Cuban and Mexican drug rings have purchased or rented hundreds of homes and use human trafficking to bring inexperienced growers to the United States to tend them, federal and local officials say.” (Source: NBC News, May 29, 2018, “Foreign cartels embrace home-grown marijuana in pot-legal states”).
These foreign cartels are specifically targeting states that have already legalized marijuana “in an attempt to shroud their operations in our legal environment here and then take the marijuana outside of the state,” according to Mike Hartman, executive director of the Colorado Department of Revenue, which regulates and licenses the cannabis trade.