In the rush to appear progressive, governments around the world are legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. The millions of dollars they collect in additional tax revenues is also proving very tempting.
But the bigger issue for me is not the legalization of the drug, but rather the messaging behind why they are doing it. Politicians and activists are insisting Marijuana is a safe drug.
This is happening in the face of a growing body of medical research warning people that Cannabis is not the safe drug many are proclaiming it to be. There are big concerns.
Foxnews recently interviewed Dr. Marc Siegel who serves as a professor of medicine at NYU Lagone Medical Center and is also a regular Foxnews contributor. In the interview, he said:
“My job is to let you know that there is no free lunch medically with marijuana or any drug. Even if a state or a society decides that it is wise economically and politically to make marijuana legal, at the same time we must be prepared for the health consequences even more than the legal ones.”
Dr. Siegel then focused on several areas of concern about Cannabis usage.
The first involved pregnant women using Marijuana to deal with morning sickness. A 2018 survey conducted by California’s Kaiser Permanente found that overall 7% of pregnant women in California were using Marijuana, but what was more disturbing this jumped to a stunning 20% for those under the age 24.
Siegel said that studies are showing that Marijuana usage during pregnancy negatively impacts the well-being of the baby’s development and a child’s attention span once birthed.
- (Note: Siegel never cited this research.) Researchers at Copenhagen’s University Hospital’s Mental Health Centre discovered that the children of women who smoked Marijuana during pregnancy were six times more likely to experience schizophrenia.
Siegel added that California’s decision to legalize Marijuana will undoubtedly result in more pregnant women using Cannabis.
Secondly, Siegel pointed to the growing number of adolescents using emergency medical services because of difficulties they encountered using Marijuana. This includes paranoia, anxiety and heart difficulties.
- (Note: Siegel never cited this research.) A study conducted by Researchers from the Psychiatry Institute at London, England’s King’s College attributed 25% of the increase in mental disorders (delusions, hallucinations, hearing voices) among young people to Marijuana usage. They further stated that Marijuana usage tripled the risk of psychosis.
If that wasn’t bad enough, Siegel says that extended Cannabis usage by adolescents impairs memory resulting in school and work problems.
- (Note: Siegel never cited this research.) After studying adolescents, who they classified as heavy users of Marijuana, researchers at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine found they had significant memory problems that impacted both school and work situations. Using MRI scans they also analyzed the area of their brains associated with memory. The researchers found, “memory-related structures in their brains appeared to shrink and collapse inward, possibly reflecting a decrease in neurons.”
In the interview, Siegel also expressed concerns about Marijuana’s impact on driving. A study by the Columbia University School of Public Health revealed that Marijuana usage increases the chances of a fatal car crash by 62%.
Though this is substantially below the impact of alcohol, that increases chances of a car accident by 500%, Marijuana remains in the system for days. The study also revealed that when alcohol and Marijuana are used together, which often happens, it increase the likelihood of a fatal accident by 600%.