Friday, April 6, 2012

Marijuana legalization: many points of view

Want to learn about both sides of the marijuana legalization issues . . . and then some?  Check out CNBC's Marijuana & Money Special Report.  

Some highlights from the prevention point of view:

Using Marijuana Will Remain A Bad Career Move
"Despite the national momentum toward softening cannabis laws . . . there is little reason to believe these developments will alter the way employers view the issue . . . According to a senior HR executive . . . 'For us, the issue isn't of strict legality; it's a business issue, and drug use - including marijuana - correlates with absenteeism and performance.  Not to mention potential liabilities.  So in that sense, the legal status of marijuana is not going to affect our policies."

Marijuana Is Addictive, Destructive And Dangerous
"Since 1982, I have treated literally several thousand individuals suffering from all varieties of addiction, including marijuana dependency and abuse.  From this clinical experience, I have taken away a strong conviction that marijuana is dangerous . . . It cannot be considered as anything but an abusable and addictive drug."

Why Sports Teams Worry About Marijuana Use
"But marijuana really doesn't have any athletic enhancing benefits.  By many accounts, it inhibits performance.  It impairs memory, hurts coordination and could affect heart rates . . . NFL talent evaluators are concerned about the draft class for next week's draft because of 'the increased number of prospects who have a history of marijuana use in their background."

Why We Should Not Legalize Marijuana
"Contrary to the beliefs of those who advocate the legalization of marijuana, the current, balanced, restrictive and bipartisan drug policies of the United States are working reasonably well and have contributed to reductions in the rate of marijuana use in our nation."

"The rate of current, past 30-day use of marijuana by Americans aged 12 and older in 1979 was 13.2 percent.  In 2008 that figure stood at 6.1 percent.  This 54-percent reduction in marijuana use over that 29-year period is a major public health triumph, not failure."

Legalizing Marijuana Not Worth The Cost
"Certainly some states are in dire economic straits; however, we cannot allow social and law enforcement policy to be determined simply by revenue needs.  Put plainly, marijuana was made illegal because it is harmful; citing revenue gain as a reason to legalize the drug emphasizes money over health and ignores the significant cost burden that will inevitably arise as a result."

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