Letter to the Editor: Are relationships better off when people use marijuana?

Dear Editor,

Would you want to buy marijuana in a pack like you buy cigarettes? How about buying a marijuana muffin? Would you like to see a “Pot Shop” in downtown Barbourville? How about country stores where marijuana displays are near the counter? In some places gum is being sprayed with THC. Seventy percent of marijuana business is from edibles.

Do you know that legalization of medical marijuana may be considered in Kentucky in the future? According to history, it takes approximately fifteen years from medical marijuana usage to marijuana legalization.

Marijuana is now the second leading cause of impaired driving. Marijuana potency has increased 10-20 fold since the 60’s. More young people use marijuana than tobacco. One in six teens become addicted to marijuana. However, the brain of young people remains undeveloped until age 25. Therefore, marijuana affects judgment, is associated with lower educational attainment, and is also associated with lower IQ’s among adolescents. Ninety-nine percent of youth who smoke marijuana go on to other drugs. Marijuana is a demotivator – causes you to tune things out.

The gulf has never been greater between the scientific understanding of marijuana’s harms and the public’s misunderstanding. The average user of medical marijuana is a white male, thirty-two years old, no history of life-threatening disease, and has a history of drug and alcohol abuse. Fewer than 5% of medical marijuana card holders are cancer, HIV/AIDS, or glaucoma patients.

Residents of states with medical marijuana laws have abuse/dependence rates almost twice as high as states with no such laws. Among youths age 12 to 17, marijuana usage rates were higher in states with medical marijuana laws (8.6%) compared with those without such laws (6.9%).

So consider these questions. Are your relationships better off when people use more marijuana? Does marijuana make for better neighbors? Parents? Better kids? Better employees? Better drivers?

I think not. Sure is something to think about.

Claudia Gibson Greenwood

Knox County UNITE Chair