Pubdate: Tue, 24 Nov 2015
Source: Appeal-Democrat (Marysville, CA)
Copyright: 2015 Appeal-Democrat
Author: Buck Weckman


On Jan. 11, 1964, Dr. Luther Terry, Surgeon General of the United 
States, took bold action and identified cigarette smoking as a public 
health hazard. Following this action, a broadbased anti-smoking 
public education program was initiated. But the big tobacco industry 
was not easily intimidated; they fought back with their own 
misleading advertising and even committed perjury in testimony before 
Congress. However, over a period of time, the facts and truth 
prevailed. In 1965, 42 percent of Americans smoked, but thanks to the 
Surgeon General the number has been reduced to 17%. He is responsible 
for saving thousands of lives.

Now we are being subjected to the same caustic scenario by the big 
marijuana Industry. Under the false premise of "medical marijuana" 
they are promoting their product based upon a desire to make huge 
amounts of money. Their profit comes before public health.

Considerable evidence exists indicating smoking today's high potency 
marijuana by our younger population causes brain damage and a loss of 
IQ. A pregnant women using marijuana also places her unborn child in 
danger. Prominent health organizations such as the American Medical 
Association, the American Cancer Society, the American Academy of 
Pediatrics and the America Glaucoma Foundation either oppose or do 
not recommend use or further legalization of marijuana.

Yuba County has an effective program addressing tobacco use. They are 
even promoting bicycles as a healthier form of transportation. But 
what about the marijuana menace? Colorado, since marijuana 
legalization, is reporting an increased use of the drug by students, 
even down to the middle school level. Recently during a public 
hearing, our previous County Health Officer and a prominent educator 
presented their arguments against any expansion of marijuana 
cultivation. The health hazard is evident: We should not ignore this danger!

Last July, Yuba County was fortunate to obtain a young promising 
Health Officer. Dr. Nichole Quick has a Master's Degree in public 
health and lives with her husband and two young children in Yuba 
County. She has stated, "I want to treat population health, rather 
than individuals, and affect population change." I hope she will show 
the same courage as Dr. Terry and develop a Yuba County Health Policy 
on marijuana. The Yuba County Board of Supervisors should expect her 
to accomplish this urgent task and soon.

Buck Weckman

Yuba County Families Against Cannabis Trafficking (FACT)
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