October 21, 2021

FOUR THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT MARIJUANA BEFORE VOTING

On November 4 Floridians go to the polls to decide whether or not marijuana should be legally marketed for “Medical Use”.

Depending on our personal opinion, knowledge and political vision much has been written in recent months about this subject.

In this article I will mention four things that every citizen should know before voting YES or NO on the amendment number two.

1. MEDICAL MARIJUANA

marijuanaCannabis or marijuana has been used in medical practice in the US for many years. It is important to emphasize this point, the use of medical marijuana is not prohibited in the United States.

The drug was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the 80s as an appetite stimulant and antiemetic for certain patients with cancer, HIV related Wasting Syndrome and other chronic debilitating diseases. Some doctors have also used marijuana as an analgesic in certain conditions associated with severe or chronic pain.

The brand names of medical marijuana in the United States are Marinol y and Cesamet. These are synthetic forms of cannabis and classified in the medical literature as type C drugs according to the FDA. (The risk for the fetus cannot be ruled out. Either studies in animals have revealed adverse effects on the fetus or studies in animals and women are not available)

Patients who overdose on Marinol or Cesamet develop symptoms similar to marijuana intoxicated individuals. Depending on the dose these patients may have decreased motor coordination, altered mental status, hypotension, tachycardia and seizures.

2. SOCIAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL AND MEDICAL PROBLEMS

Marijuana use is associated with many social, medical and psychological problems. These problems are widely recognized in the literature but unfortunately ignored or denied by the proponents of the second amendment.

Among the major social complications associated with marijuana use are poor academic performance, premature withdrawals from school, illicit use of other drugs, interpersonal and family problems, unemployment and crime.

The smoke from marijuana contains carcinogens and cigarette smoke-like particles. Its use is also associated with respiratory diseases such as pharyngitis, bronchitis and exacerbation of chronic lung diseases such as asthma and cystic fibrosis.

Other studies indicate that smoking marijuana may increase the risk of cardiovascular problems. This risk is caused by increased levels of catecholamines and cardiac work associated with drug use. This is a concern in older people and patients with a variety of cardiovascular illnesses.

There is significant evidence in the literature that the use of marijuana causes psychosis. (Schizophrenia-like Problems). This appears to be the result of a neurochemical component called dopamine. Due to this complication the drug is contraindicated in patients with schizophrenia.

In addition, because of potential drug interactions the public should be warned about the possibility of undesirable side effects, especially in patients with certain neurological, psychiatric, cardiovascular conditions or those under certain treatment regimens

We should also keep in mind that marijuana use is responsible for more than 400,000 visits to emergency departments in the United States due to psychosis and panic attacks.

3. AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENTS AND FATALITIES

Several studies have shown the dangers of driving under the influence of marijuana. An analysis of nine studies found that marijuana use is associated with an increased risk of traffic accidents and fatalities.

According to the investigators the drug can cause a false perception of the sense of distance and drivers can follow vehicles too closely increasing the risk of automobile accidents. The findings of this study were published in the British Medical Journal.

A study by the University of Colorado recently revealed that fatalities due to marijuana use increased significantly after the commercial use of the drug was approved in that state in 2009.

The percentage of fatal accidents due to marijuana use increased from 4.5 percent in 1994 to 10% in 2011. The study also showed that fatalities in Colorado were much higher compared to states where commercial marijuana is not approved.

A more alarming study from Columbia University reported that the number of fatalities related to marijuana has recently tripled. In this study, researchers collected information on more than 25,000 drivers who died between 1999 and 2010 in six states: California, Hawaii, Illinois, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and West Virginia.

The study reported that the risk of a fatal accident to a driver under the influence of alcohol is 13 times higher compared to a sober driver. But if the driver was under the influence of alcohol and marijuana at the same time the risk increased to 23 times higher compared to a sober driver.

4. WHAT HAPPENED IN COLORADO

marijuana2The state of Colorado legalized the use of marijuana for medical use in 2009 and for recreational use in 2012. The changes that Colorado experienced in recent years are the best example of the negative effects of the law.

I will mention some of these changes:

* 26% increase in marijuana use in youth (ages 12 to 17 years)

* A survey of 100 Colorado school resources officers (SROs) revealed that the most common violation on campus is possession followed by being under the influence

* 32% increase in suspensions and expulsions from schools due to drug use.

* 48% of adults arrested in Colorado tested positive for marijuana.

* Most arrests for driving under the influence of drugs are related to marijuana use.

* Given the high taxation and cost, legalization of marihuana did not stop the black market. (Only 60 % of people who consume marihuana buy it through legal channels).

* Increase of 82% in the number of hospitalizations due to marijuana use.

* In 2013 up to 40 states received marijuana from Colorado, an increase of 397% compared to previous years.

* 18% increase in crimes against individuals and 8% increase in crimes against property.

It is noteworthy that the negative impact of consumption and the sale of marijuana in Colorado occurred massively despite the limitations provided by the law.

For detailed information on the impact of marijuana in Colorado you can review the report of the “Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Area Traffiking” published on August 2, 2014.

http://www.rmhidta.org/html/August%202014%20Legalization%20of%20MJ%20in%20Colorado%20the%20Impact.pdf

Conclusions: If medical marijuana is available in the US why do we need to pass amendment number two ?. Reports from Colorado and Washington State are conclusive. The CHALIE CRISTsale of marijuana has a negative and harmful impact on the social, educational, medical and economic spheres.

The report of the “Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Area Traffiking” in Colorado should be an example for states that want to legalize the use of marijuana and a message to the proponents of the amendment number two.

Unfortunately politicians like Charlie Crist ignore the facts, statistics and related damage to consumption and marketing of marijuana. No policy that ensures the safety of our citizens should encourage or support the use of drugs through constitutional amendments.

Amendment number two is a law against citizens, families and the state of Florida.

On November 4 vote in favor of FLORIDA and against amendment number two.

More information related to this topic can be found in this article published by the Heritage Foundation:

http://dailysignal.com/2014/04/27/time-reefer-sanity/

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