Letter: Children and pot
The Glenwood Springs Post Independent’s “Our View” of June 22 expressed fear of the empowerment of our citizens who are members of the “Not In My Backyard Club” with their misplaced concern over the expansion of “legal marijuana operations” in town.
We learn from the Post that a pot shop is not much different than a restaurant or car dealer. Don’t expect the Post to research the effect in any community of new pot shops and the resultant acceptance by their children of the safety of marijuana. A high school freshman told me with certainty that marijuana is safe and has never hurt nor killed anyone.
The Post did meekly acknowledge that it is reasonable for council to consider whether these shops are bad for children. Readers will never see a 700-word Post editorial disclosing how marijuana’s active ingredient, THC, will permanently alter a youth’s brain cells, affecting movement, coordination, learning, memory, judgment and dramatically altering pleasure.
A few years ago an exceptional seminar was given on illicit drugs by Police Chief Terry Wilson, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers and Glenwood’s own Dr. Paul Salmen. The section on marijuana was especially troubling. Over the past 30 some years, marijuana’s potency has increased 400 percent. One in four children using it before the age of 18 become addicted. The brain reward system is damaged, requiring increased need for rewards. Youth using it before 15 years of age are six times more apt to be dependent than if their first use begins at about 20. Marijuana use is associated with a two times higher risk for developing psychosis.
In the report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, research conducted in New Zealand showed that teens who started smoking marijuana before age 18 and became addicted could experience an IQ drop of up to 8 points by early adulthood. I propose council mandate by ordinance that all dispensaries shall hand out a card for each and every purchase, cataloging the damage marijuana does to the brains of youth.
What say you, Glenwood Springs Post Independent?
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