Recreational Marijuana – Good or Bad?

By Kenneth O. Peterman, Ph.D.

Possessing and using recreational marijuana has actually been legal for a full year in both Washington and Colorado. But Jan. 1 marked the first time that the drug could be sold commercially to non medical customers. At least a couple dozen stores are already operating around the state, legally selling marijuana for recreational use to adults.

The biggest concerns of critics – whether the new policy will increase teen use or lead to marijuana trickling out of the state . . .   

The press is going crazy with joy over the legalization of marijuana in Colorado as evidenced by the above two lead paragraphs in an article on the Christian Science Monitor website.

How will this legalization of marijuana influence your kids? Years ago when marijuana was just coming on the scene a father was concerned that it would be harmful. His children answered with the usual “marijuana is no worse than tobacco or alcohol.” This father realized that he could not readily give them the necessary facts and decided to study the issue. His study resulted in one of the best books on the harm of marijuana that I know of.

As director of one of the largest drug rehabilitation centers in Baltimore, Maryland, for 9 years I learned something of the dangers of marijuana. Marijuana is not merely a harmless recreational pastime or a “gateway “drug to more serious substance abuse. It is, in and of itself, a very damaging drug.

In the Introduction to his book, With Love from Dad – Why haven’t marijuana smokers been told these facts? Malcolm Smith says . . .  “that marijuana is not only more dangerous than cigarettes and more dangerous than alcohol, but that it can cause irrevocable brain damage and adversely affect almost every part of the human body.”

While this book is now dated, he lists each source for every bit of information he cites. These facts do not change. In the Preface, he says, “. . . that in spite of all that is known about marijuana’s harmful effects, the common view of most Americans remains that marijuana can be used without concern.” He continues, “This book . . . presents the bad side of marijuana in the most compelling and convincing way imaginable. You will find 758 short presentations, all adding up to the most devastating critique of marijuana ever assembled.”

If you have children, especially young children, this book is a must. Remember it was written by a father who did an objective study of marijuana. Amazon.com has used copies on sale from $0.01. You can’t beat the price.

In light of the coming push for legalization of the recreational use of marijuana, the facts in this book must be seriously considered by every parent. I highly recommend it.

Let me give you are two examples of the 758 short presentations:

On page one entry number two says, doctor reports on fundamental biological problems from marijuana use.    

Dr. Robert L DuPont stated that research done from 1973-1975, in both the U.S. and Switzerland, “all points toward possible fundamental biological problems resulting from marijuana use.These new areas of concern include the effects of cannabis on DNA,        the fundamental repository of genetic information; and on sex hormone (testosterone) levels. Other sources of concern included interference with the body’s immune response, effects on fundamental cell metabolism and acute effects of marijuana intoxication including the effects on driving and work performance.”

On page 104, entry number 347 says, that even a small amount of pot has an effect on the mind.

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration, describing the effects of marijuana upon users who smoke just one or two cigarettes, states that the results can be “alteration of sensory perceptions, including expansion of space and time . . . and subtle changes in thought formation and expression.” Higher use dulls the attention of the user and has other effects which “can produce feelings of panic and anxiety in an individual who has little experience with drugs.”

These are only two of the 758 entries. Each entry is carefully and accurately documented and recorded in the appendix. The following are seven of the 22 general subject areas covered:

  •    Stays in the body
  •    Damages in the brain
  •    The connection with cancer
  •    Damages memory
  •    Impairs learning and concentration
  •    Affects mental health  
  •    Reduces coordination

Believe me; you won’t be sorry if you buy this book. I just hope you’re not too late.

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