Drunken Drivers Are Bad; Now Marijuana Users Will Be Behind the WheelPosted: March 20, 2014
Drunken Drivers Are Bad; Now Marijuana Users Will Be Behind the Wheel
by JBS President John F. McManus
In 1974, a U.S. Senate panel issued a document entitled “Marijuana-Hashish Epidemic and Its Impact on United States Security.” In 1979, New York University and the American Council on Marijuana sponsored a Conference entitled “Marijuana: Biomedical Effects and Social Implications.” Conclusions published in each of these reports strongly warn about the use of marijuana and should have been enough to keep anyone in America away from it.
Expert testimony given in these studies came from an array of highly qualified and widely dispersed scientists including Dr. Gabriel Nahas (Columbia University), W.D.M. Paton (Oxford University), Dr. Robert Heath (Tulane University), Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Julius Axelrod (National Institute of Mental Health), Dr. Alexander Jacubovic (University of British Columbia), Dr. Reese T. Jones (California Medical School), and several others who have studied what marijuana use does to human beings.
What they found includes the following:
1. Cell production harmed.
2. Damage to the brain.
3. Reproductive system impaired.
4. Diseases of throat and lungs prevalent.
5. Builds up in the body.
6. Impaired mental function.
7. Leads to use of even stronger drugs.
All of this has been confirmed in a report available on an undated Harvard University web site entitled “The Medical Uses of Marijuana.” It cites the work of Dr. Donald P. Taskin and discusses marijuana’s use causing various respiratory illnesses, mental impairment, learning deficiencies, and more. Regarding the medical use of marijuana, the report states that, while easing pain for some who are already ill, it “can and does have a very serious effect on patients with pre-existing immune deficits resulting from AIDS” and “can accelerate the progression of HIV to full-blown AIDS.” In addition, a 2012 statement issued by the American Lung Association claims: “Marijuana use is not only associated with adverse physical effects, but also mental, emotional and behavioral changes.”
Should we be nervous if the mechanic who services an airplane in which we are about to travel is a marijuana smoker? Or the pilot? How about a doctor who is about to operate on you? Or a school bus driver who picks up the children day after day? How many auto accidents can be traced to marijuana use? How many marijuana users have graduated to stronger and even more dangerous drugs and are finding themselves in a life of addiction and crime to support the more expensive habit?
A common argument favoring marijuana use is that it is no more dangerous than drinking alcoholic beverages. In a recent interview, President Obama made such a claim: “I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.” That’s hogwash – dangerous hogwash. Without appearing to make a case for drinking, we believe the differences between imbibing booze and smoking pot are quite different. A heavy drinker will be incapacitated for a matter of hours while smoking “pot” stays with a user who will still be subject to its effects long after the telltale “high” is no longer noticeable. Sadly, many users of marijuana combine smoking it with drinking and become doubly dangerous behind the wheel.
Yet, we know that laws against marijuana use have never been very effective. The penalty for possession of marijuana has even become the equivalent of being given a parking ticket. And availability of the substance has been spurred by new laws that have legalized the sale and distribution of the substance in the states of Washington and Colorado. Users aren’t being told what they are doing to themselves – and potentially others. It isn’t very smart to go along with the trend. In fact, it’s not only stupid; it’s self- destructing.
Anyone indulging in marijuana needs to know what many doctors have concluded. Laws haven’t stopped the spread and probably never will. Self-preservation should stop and even reverse the trend.