Letter: Dangerous for children’s brains
The regulation of marijuana is much in the news. Should it be legalized? Should the law allow medical marijuana?
As a retired mental health and alcohol/ drug counselor I asked some colleagues for their thinking about marijuana. In every instance there was a lack of decisiveness and clarity.
Marijuana is the most commonly used drug in the world, and it is the most dangerous because its use is on the rise with 12- to 18-year-olds, a time when the brain is still actively forming.
Scientists have been telling us since the late 1970s and early ’80s that marijuana affects working memory, motor skills, judgment, thinking, the movement of chromosomes, and sex and reproductive hormones. It creates behaviors such as lack of motivation and feelings such as anxiousness and anger.
Since practitioners know this, why would they not be clearer about the law? One reason might be that some practitioners have been lulled into a trance as patients are into heavier drugs such as heroin. However many opiate users began their history with drugs by using marijuana.
Is there any doubt about what needs to be done about marijuana? If we care about the culture we live in and the developing minds of the children who occupy it, marijuana needs to continue to be classified as an illicit drug and kept far, far away from our children. If you are wondering if your children are experimenting with marijuana, ask if their friends are using; that will help to open the discussion.
The web has an abundance of information a parent can access concerning marijuana or any other drug you might be concerned about such as: Scholastic.com/headsup/endocannabinoid.