• Marijuana will cause problems
    September 20,2013

    Marijuana will cause problems

    Taxing legal marijuana, as suggested by Gov. Shumlin and others, will never compensate for huge increased costs in mental health treatment and possible horrific criminal violence associated with this dangerous drug. And that doesn’t even take into account the loss to our economy of the additional fine minds that will be devastated by pot. And, of course, there will be costs associated with increased rates of lung cancer and other diseases caused by smoking.

    According to Dr. Samuel T. Wilkinson, resident physician in the Yale Medical School Department of Psychiatry, “there is a significant and consistent relationship between marijuana use and the development of schizophrenia and related disorders.” Writing in the July 2 issue of The Wall Street Journal, Dr. Wilkinson cites several British studies in reputable journals showing up to a 200 percent increased risk of developing a psychotic illness, including schizophrenia, among people who start using marijuana in their teens or early 20s.

    We know that many people suffering from schizophrenia require extended periods of hospitalization, and that about one-third of homeless people in the U.S. have this disease. Following the mass shootings by delusional young men in Connecticut, Colorado and elsewhere, there was much talk about detecting mental illness in young people and keeping guns out of their hands. Legalization of pot, one likely cause of mental illness, won’t help this situation.

    Newly powerful industrial nations that are determined to compete economically with the U.S. have very strict laws against mind-altering drugs like pot. Why do some of Vermont’s political leaders seem determined to take us in the opposite direction? And where do your legislators stand on this issue?

    Andy Leader

    North Middlesex

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