Marijuana: A clear and present danger | Banner-press | – Columbus Telegram


The marijuana industry, which is now partially owned by Big Tobacco, has its eye on Nebraska as a new place to turn a profit. Previously, they hid this moneymaking motive under the guise of “medical” marijuana. Now they are just pushing for full legalization.

Nebraskans have common sense and instinctively understand how this dangerous drug could harm our youth, our communities, and our economy. We don’t have to guess at the steep social costs of marijuana legalization—they have already played out tragically all over the country.

States that legalize marijuana outright or incrementally (that is, through “medical marijuana”) have seen a human toll. This has included devastating effects on kids, tragic accidents, decreased participation in the workforce, and horrible mental health outcomes.

While popular media has tried to reframe how the public thinks about marijuana, it’s important to understand the health consequences and dangers of this drug. There are good reasons why the federal government classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, which means it has no medical value and high potential for abuse. Other Schedule 1 drugs include heroin, LSD, and ecstasy.

Marijuana has a profoundly harmful effect on teens and young adults. THC (the psychoactive component of marijuana) impacts the developing adolescent brain severely and in many cases permanently. Actual physical changes in the grey matter of the brain in young marijuana users are documented. Frequent marijuana use is associated with learning impairment and poor academic performance. Additionally, increased marijuana use is correlated with greater risk of depression and suicidal thoughts for adolescents.

In states that have legalized marijuana, use of the drug has escalated among youth. For these states, usage climbed 3.5% from 2016-2017 to 2017-2018. Earlier this month,

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