Pubdate: Fri, 14 Aug 2015
Source: Times-Standard (Eureka, CA)
Copyright: 2015 Times-Standard
Author: Richard Leamon
Note: Richard Leamon resides in Fortuna.


In response to Mr. Martin's column on the church of cannabis ("Hark, 
dude! Dost thou not feel the buzz?", Times-Standard, July 26, Page 
A4) I am convinced he is a very dangerous man. Far more dangerous 
than one realizes. He is a danger to infants in their mother's womb 
and a danger to those of us who drive.

A pregnant woman on marijuana can give birth to a child with a 10 
percent smaller brain. A toddler eating edibles can be rushed to the 
emergency room because it cannot breathe. Marijuana stores sell 
edibles attractive to children, and those edibles can be candy, 
brownies, suckers, drinks or ice cream. It is possible to put 
marijuana into almost anything. You can't do that with alcoholic 
beverages. Yale Medical School was unable to find any kind of medical 
use for marijuana.

Kids start smoking marijuana at early ages and then start to do 
poorly in school. Drugs are the single most important reason students 
are suspended from school. The dropout rate in our California high 
schools is 20 to 25 percent in some parts of California. Nearly half 
our state tax dollars go to education. We want our children to live 
good lives. Don't you? Marijuana also lowers college and university 
graduation rates. According to Mariam Arain and cohorts in the 
article "Maturation of the Adolescent Brain," in the book 
"Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment," "Epidemiological studies 
have suggested that adolescent cannabis abuse may increase their risk 
of developing cognitive abnormalities, psychotic illness, mood 
disorders, and illicit substance abuse later in life. Cannabis abuse 
in adolescence could increase the risk of developing psychiatric 
disorders, especially in people who are vulnerable to developing 
psychiatric syndromes."

I heard on NPR that marijuana and heroin are an epidemic in Oregon. 
It could happen here.

Today's marijuana is not the same as the flower children smoked at Woodstock.

Legalizing marijuana will only make these problems worse. To talk 
about legalizing marijuana for persons over 21 is insincere when 
marijuana is so widely available everywhere. I live in Fortuna and a 
man told me all three of his neighbors grow it, and it hangs over his 
fence. A woman cut back her neighbors marijuana plants to keep her 
horses from eating it. Our police chief said he can smell it as he 
drives around our community.

I spoke to our new district attorney regarding the penalty for 
providing marijuana to underage kids and she confirmed what I heard 
that it is only a "slap on the wrist fine." That should please Mr. Martin.

Garberville is a city of high unemployment and poverty. People there 
shoot at airplanes and sometimes at each other. People sometimes 
disappear in Garberville. Is that what Mr. Martin wants for Fortuna? 
I like Fortuna the way it is and do not want to see marijuana shops 
open on Main Street.

So Mr. Martin can mock the good people that go to church but they 
harm no one, while cannabis destroys lives.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom