CANNABIS IS SAFE!
Drugs commonly prescribed, like Oxycontin, warns users that misuse can lead to respiratory distress, addiction, overdose or death. See generally, www.Oxycontin.com (official product site). Marijuana on the other hand is relatively safe with the most commonly noted side-effect being hunger and euphoria for first time users. Caution should be exercised when giving medical cannabis to patients with a cardiovascular history, those with mental disorders, and for adolescents. Borgelt, L. M., Franson, K. L., Nussbaum, A.M. & Want, G.S. (2013). The pharmacological and clinical effects of medical cannabis, Pharmacotherapy, 33(2), 105-209.
Comparative toxicological risk assessments have placed marijuana at extremely low risk whereas alcohol and tobacco are deemed to be high risk. Lachenmeier, D.@. & Rehh, J. (2015). Comparative risk assessment of alcohol, tobacco, cannabis and other illicit drugs using the margin of exposure approach, Scientific Reports, 5. www.ncbi.nim.hih-gov/pmc/articles/PMC4311234. In comparison to heroin where national overdose deaths rose six-fold from 2001-2014. National Institute on Drug Abuse. www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates, in contrast there are no recorded cases of overdose deaths from cannabis EVER! Gable, R.S. (2006). The toxicity of recreational drugs. American Scientist, 94, 206-208.
Why is it important to inform people?
The history of marijuana regulation is replete with outright falsehoods, demonization and racism. The association with “undesirables” and years of the “War on Drugs” have left the American public, and our law makers with the impression that marijuana is dangerous and addictive. This is not the case. The argument that marijuana is addictive has also been disproven. Even using the broad definition of “addiction” that is employed by the NIDA, “researchers concluded that 9% of people who ever try marijuana will be addicted at some point. National Institute on Drug Abuse. www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/marijuana-addictive.
The age-old argument that cannabis is a “gateway drug” inviting use of harder drugs has also been turned on its head. Marijuana has become a gateway to get off the hard drugs. ” The inclusion of medical marijuana represents an important adjunctive therapy to behavioral therapy and treatment with naltrexone/Vivitrol for individuals struggling with opiate addiction. Raby, W.N. et al (2009). Especially relevant is the conclusion that intermittent marijuana use is associated with improved retention in naltrexone treatment for opiate-dependence. The American Journal of Addictions, 18, 301-308.
Our Laws Are Out of Step
Much of the law surrounding marijuana is premised on the above-cited outdated arguments. Because of fear, legislators pass draconian laws that are out of touch with the science. All that most people involved in the legalization/medical marijuana movement want to achieve is to have laws based on rational, scientifically smart bases. I am an OVI attorney that dedicates my practice to defending the accused impaired driver. In my practice I see lives ruined because of the faulty laws passed by our legislature. I do more than complain. In addition, for over 15 years I have been part of the legalization movement. I am a member of Miami Valley NORML, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and I have spoken to groups ranging from civic groups to the national NORML convention. In conclusion,f you need an attorney who is experienced and dedicated, give me a call. I am at (937) 318-1384.