Letter to the Editor: Warning - Buyer Beware! Marijuana Risks to know

March 03, 2023

The risks of marijuana use that you should know:

Marijuana is a psychotropic drug that contains the mind-altering drug THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and today’s marijuana is much stronger (the content as high as 80% as compared to 3-5% THC content of marijuana available in the past.

Marijuana is a Federal Drug Administration Schedule One drug with high potential for abuse and addiction (gateway drug) and a Federal crime to sell, possess, or cultivate. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has a very strong position on the negative health effects and risk of marijuana use. The American Psychiatric Association has also taken a strong position on marijuana warning of potential to cause psychosis. There is compelling scientific evidence that marijuana can harm your baby’s brain development and the brain development of children and young people up to age 25.

There is clear scientific evidence that marijuana affects your performance especially when driving under the influence which is against the law. Marijuana is already available (medical marijuana) in Oklahoma for 300,000 (9.3%) people whose physicians thought there might be a benefit for them if they had a wasting disease, anorexia or in some cases pain management. It is not however a panacea.

Some marijuana products such as gummies and cookies may look harmless but when ingested by children and pets can lead to a dire emergency. ER visits in Oklahoma which have increased dramatically since medical marijuana became available.

According to the CDC, 3 in 10 people who use marijuana will develop marijuana use disorder with direct effect on brain function decreasing memory, learning, concentration and attention. It also increases the risk of stroke, heart and vascular disease.

State Question 820 that would legalize recreational marijuana in Oklahoma does not protect the people of this state from a drug that can be very dangerous to those who are not aware of the risk and adverse effects.

The Physicians Campaign for a Healthier Oklahoma is charged with increasing the public and physicians about marijuana.

On March 7, we will vote on State Question 820 that would allow recreational marijuana to be sold in our state. I urge you to research the facts regarding this drug and this proposed new law.

I personally will be voting NO on SQ 820.

Robert J. Weedn, M.D.

(Weedn is a retired general and thoracic surgeon, past president of the Oklahoma State Medical Association and Chairman of the Physicians Campaign for a Healthier Oklahoma (PCHO).

Published in The Marlow Review printed edition - March 2, 2023

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