Pubdate: Thu, 02 Jan 2020
Source: Wall Street Journal (US)
Copyright: 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Author: Peter Bensinger


Your editorial "The Vaping-Marijuana Nexus" (Dec. 26) is a wake-up
call for parents and politicians. Marijuana isn't harmless. Nor is it
legal under federal law, and for good reason. It contains more than
460 different chemicals and, as the editorial board points out, it's
four to five times more powerful than the marijuana of the 1970s, '80s
or '90s.

Extensive scientific research has documented serious harm to brain
development for teenage regular users, major consequences for pregnant
and nursing mothers and significant impairment for drivers and others
performing sensitive tasks. Colorado, the first state to legalize
marijuana, leads the nation in use by 12-to-17-year-olds. Meanwhile,
the gangs and drug dealers are cheering because their sales have
skyrocketed, selling to minors and others at lower prices than
dispensaries can offer.

Policy makers need to examine the consequences of legalization:
changes in teenage use, traffic accidents and fatalities, emergency
room and treatment admissions, homelessness and more. The Journal has
provided a public service to its readers by highlighting this problem.

Peter Bensinger

Lake Forest, Ill.

Mr. Bensinger was administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration
from 1976 to 1981.
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