Sunday, October 30, 2011

Yeah, That Makes Sense

About a month ago I posted about the White House site where citizens can petition their government and the top petition at the time was Legalize and Regulate Marijauana in a Manner Similar to Alcohol. Well the White House has responded via Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

According to scientists at the National Institutes of Health- the world's largest source of drug abuse research - marijuana use is associated with addiction, respiratory disease, and cognitive impairment.

Let's see, alcohol consumption is associated with addiction, cardiovascular disease, malabsorption, chronic pancreatitis, alcoholic liver disease, and cancer.

We know from an array of treatment admission information and Federal data that marijuana use is a significant source for voluntary drug treatment admissions and visits to emergency rooms.

Both links they point to list alcohol use as a much greater reason for voluntary treatment and emergency room visits.

Studies also reveal that marijuana potency has almost tripled over the past 20 years, raising serious concerns about what this means for public health – especially among young people who use the drug because research shows their brains continue to develop well into their 20's.

Everclear, Ouzo, and Spirytus Vodka. Enough said.

Like many, we are interested in the potential marijuana may have in providing relief to individuals diagnosed with certain serious illnesses. That is why we ardently support ongoing research into determining what components of the marijuana plant can be used as medicine. To date, however, neither the FDA nor the Institute of Medicine have found smoked marijuana to meet the modern standard for safe or effective medicine for any condition.

Where are the studies, completed or in progress, to back up those statements? Congress won't let that happen. In the meantime, alcohol is not a safe or effective medicine but it is a legal substance that causes greater harm than marijuana and is available to adults who are encouraged to drink responsibly.

As a former police chief, I recognize we are not going to arrest our way out of the problem.

But we're not going to let that stop us.

We also recognize that legalizing marijuana would not provide the answer to any of the health, social, youth education, criminal justice, and community quality of life challenges associated with drug use.

Like legalized alcohol does?

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