(Official Washington Examiner editorial, March 24)

Real evidence of marijuana’s dangers should not get lost in the weed.

A second independent study released in less than a month offers serious warnings that even so-called medical marijuana easily can do more harm than good. The first lesson from these studies ought to be that lawmakers should not make marijuana generally legal and that they should go slow, with stringent regulations, even in legalizing medical marijuana. The second lesson is that even when legal, doctors should be wary of prescribing it.

As this newspaper editorialized March 6, a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that even medical marijuana “is associated with higher opioid mortality” and that legalizing recreational marijuana is “associated with greater death rates relative to the counterfactual of no legal cannabis.” This comes on top of earlier studies finding that habitual marijuana use can cause permanent brain damage, that marijuana use is a huge risk for heart and lung health, that it can cause psychosis and addiction, and that states that legalized it have suffered numerous measurably bad consequences on their roads and in their hospitals.

Then, on March 18, Massachusetts General Hospital released a report finding that medical marijuana not only can cause serious harm but that despite claims to the contrary, it usually “failed to improve” symptoms “of pain, anxiety, and depression” even when the cannabis use was prescribed by a licensed physician.Among the dangers frequently associated with even the medical use of marijuana is a significant risk of addiction to the drug and of various other “physical or psychological problems caused by the cannabis.” In fact, the addictive results even from prescribed use generally came with “rapid onset and increased incidence and severity.”

[To read the rest of this editorial, citing real science rather than mistaken ‘street wisdom,’ follow this link.]



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