Sunday, September 04, 2016

LEGALIZIING POT BUT NOT PROTECTING YOUTH

I initially applauded CO's move to legalize personal possession of pot for adults.  I'm having second thoughts.  Will big marijuana become the next big tobacco and push a harmful substance even when the research shows it is harmful.   CO's law was poorly written and thought out.  I doubt other states will do better.

"Marijuana use is becoming more accepted among US adults as states loosen pot laws, new national survey data shows.
A shift in attitude
More are using marijuana, using it more often, and far fewer think it's risky, the government survey found.
That's understandable, experts say, as dozens of states now allow medical marijuana and four states have recently legalised pot for recreational use."

Maybe this isn't such a great idea afterall>

"That runs counter to scientific research about pot, said Dr Wilson Compton, lead author of the study published online by the journal Lancet Psychiatry.
"If anything, science has shown an increasing risk that we weren't as aware of years ago," said Compton, deputy director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Pot becoming more potent
Other research has increasingly linked marijuana use to mental impairment, and early, heavy use by people with certain genes to increased risk of developing psychosis, he noted." . . .
Hall said it's likely those changes will increase the use of marijuana and perhaps reports of disorders.

Young people have the highest risks of continued marijuana use.  Yet, the trend will only make it more available to  children.  We can't keep booze and other people's prescription drugs from kids. It is  na├»ve to believe that we can legalize marijuana for adults and it won't affect youth.

The study didn't report on kids, only those 18 and older. But research drawn from another large survey has shown marijuana use among high school students has been falling. Over two decades, it dropped from 25 percent to about 22 percent.
Why are fewer kids using pot at a time more and more adults are?
There could be a lag. Youths have said in surveys that it seemed to be getting harder in the last decade to get marijuana. But that may change as more states legalise the drug, more adults use it, and if teens get into less trouble if caught with the drug, experts said."

"Those laws are not without controversy. Among the critics' concerns is the worry that, despite age limits, legalization might make marijuana more accessible to young people. And adolescents' developing brains may be particularly vulnerable to lasting damage from the drug.
"There are a lot of open questions" about the long-term effects of marijuana, says Susan Weiss, PhD, director of the division of extramural research at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). "But there's a growing literature, and it's all pointing in the same direction: Starting young and using frequently may disrupt brain development."

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