Pubdate: Thu, 14 Jan 2016
Source: Tennessean, The (Nashville, TN)
Copyright: 2016 The Tennessean
Author: Greg Elam


Re: "Tennessee must get with the times on medical marijuana," by 
David Hairston, Dec. 13.

Regarding Mr. Hairston's article about legalizing medical marijuana, 
I found the logic faulty for the following reasons:

The statement that "God designed our bodies to use cannabinoids to 
maintain health " because cannabinoid receptors have been identified 
is like saying "God intends us to have cancer or diabetes because we 
have the genes for those."

Our bodies adapt to the environment and use the food and chemicals we 
put in them trying to best achieve a balance of chemicals in the 
brain. However, when we are out of balance in one area, the brain 
will seek to remedy it in another, thus the reason for using 
mood-altering drugs.

We already have more than enough drugs to the point where 50 people a 
day people are dying from drug overdose in our country. Every day! 
Imagine the headlines if those were terrorist-related deaths.

According to government statistics, for every death there are over 
130 people who abuse or are dependent, and over 825 people who are 
using the drug non-medically in spite of the consequences.

That would likely go up if more drugs were legal. This is not 
sustainable considering the loss of life and resources needed for 
health care and treatment.

What I think is fruitful is national dialogue where people support 
each other to live drug free in service to each other. Let's work to 
achieve that goal, and the need for even more medicators will become 

I see no better path for our country to survive and even thrive.

Greg Elam, M.D., Nolensville 37135
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