Pubdate: Thu, 04 Aug 2016
Source: Washington Post (DC)
Copyright: 2016 The Washington Post Company
Author: Paula D. Gordon


Regarding the July 30 editorial "One reason for cannabis caution":

A 1967 study reported that THC (the major psychoactive component of 
marijuana) caused psychotic-like effects in some normal human 
subjects. An ever-increasing number of scientific studies show that 
cannabis use has triggered symptoms involving psychosis and 
schizophrenia. Today's cannabis with extremely high THC content helps 
account for that.

The editorial noted the increase in children being treated for 
cannabis-induced symptoms in Colorado and stated that it is important 
for the District to wait to see what further harmful effects are 
found. One needs only to study the existing literature. Not only can 
those with developing brains lose up to 10 IQ points, but also brain 
anomalies have been found in users of all ages. One out of six youths 
and one out of 10 adults who use marijuana become addicted. Research 
shows that marijuana use impairs DNA. Secondhand marijuana smoke is 
more harmful to cardiovascular functioning than cigarette smoke. What 
more proof could one require?

The District should abide by federal law, launch a campaign to 
dissuade people of all ages from using controlled substances and put 
in place alternative, non-punitive provisions for additional early 
intervention and treatment and rehabilitation efforts.

Paula D. Gordon, Washington The writer helped draft legislation that 
established the Special Action Office for Drug Abuse Prevention.
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