U.S. Surgeon Issues First Marijuana Advisory in 30 Years

On Thursday U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams issued the first Surgeon General’s advisory on marijuana since the 1980s.

In the advisory, Dr. Adams wrote,

No amount of marijuana use during pregnancy or adolescence is known to be safe. Until and unless more is known about the long-term impact, the safest choice for pregnant women and adolescents is not to use marijuana.

The warning also reiterated what we have heard others say: That marijuana today is more potent than it used to be, and that marijuana use increasingly is linked to psychotic disorders like schizophrenia, saying,

Marijuana has changed over time. The marijuana available today is much stronger than previous versions. The THC concentration in commonly cultivated marijuana plants has increased three-fold between 1995 and 2014. . . .

The risks of physical dependence, addiction, and other negative consequences increase with exposure to high concentrations of THC and the younger the age of initiation. Higher doses of THC are more likely to produce anxiety, agitation, paranoia, and psychosis. . . .

Marijuana use is also linked to risk for and early onset of psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia. The risk for psychotic disorders increases with frequency of use, potency of the marijuana product, and as the age at first use decreases.  Adolescent marijuana use is often also associated with other substance use. In 2017, teens 12-17 reporting frequent use of marijuana showed a 130% greater likelihood of misusing opioids. Marijuana’s increasingly widespread availability in multiple and highly potent forms, coupled with a false and dangerous perception of safety among youth, merits a nationwide call to action.

All of this underscores what we have said for years: Marijuana may be many things, but “harmless” simply is not one of them.

Read the U.S. Surgeon General’s entire marijuana advisory here.

Recreational Marijuana Would Harm Arkansans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 9, 2019

On Tuesday activists in Arkansas announced plans to propose measures legalizing recreational marijuana in Arkansas, letting Arkansans grow marijuana at home, and letting a criminal convicted of a low-level marijuana offense petition a court for expungement of the conviction.

Family Council President Jerry Cox released a statement saying, “There’s nothing safe about marijuana. People are killed every day in marijuana-related car accidents in this country. Children in Colorado, California, and other states where marijuana is legal have been hospitalized after getting ahold of an adult’s marijuana. In Alabama, a toddler recently died in a hot car while his parents allegedly were passed out under the influence of marijuana. Legalizing recreational marijuana will put Arkansans at risk.”

Cox said legalization will not end the illegal sale of marijuana. “Legalizing marijuana doesn’t eliminate the black market for marijuana. In Colorado, people still buy and sell marijuana illegally all the time so they can avoid paying taxes. Drug dealers buy marijuana in states like Colorado or California so they can sell it illegally in other states.”

Cox said recreational marijuana ultimately will cost taxpayers. “The taxes on marijuana can’t possibly cover all the cost to the taxpayer. This measure will require the state’s Alcohol Beverage Control Division to spend public funds overseeing recreational marijuana sales and use in Arkansas. The measure lets people grow marijuana at home. Every law enforcement agency in Arkansas from the county sheriff to the state police will have to spend time and money making sure folks growing marijuana at home aren’t selling it to their neighbors. Taxpayers are the ones who will have to foot that bill.”

Family Council is a conservative education and research organization based in Little Rock, Arkansas.

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