Tucker Carlson on his Fox News show of October 17, 2018, during a segment titled, Should America Legalize Pot?, debated with Mason Tvert of Marijuana Policy Project about Tvert’s claim that smoking marijuana is less dangerous than drinking alcohol.
Having thought about this claim for some time I was not surprised, as were the researchers, who found after studying 3,826 students over four years in and around Montreal, Canada, that cannabis has greater short- and long-term negative consequences than alcohol on the memory function of teens in four crucial areas, resulting in life-long brain damage. The results of this study were published in the American Journal of Psychiatry in October of 2018.
The lead author and a professor of psychiatry at the University of Montreal, Patricia Conrod, said of the report: “We initially suspected alcohol would have a bigger effect.” But they “found that cannabis had greater short- and long-term consequences than alcohol on four key components of teens’ memory.”
As to how the test was conducted, over a four-year period, beginning when students averaged 13 years old, these four “cognitive functions” were followed: problem solving, long-term memory, short-term memory manipulation, and the ability to stop habitual behaviors.
During this four-year period, students were given memory tests. They also had to self-report their alcohol and marijuana use. Furthermore, unless a student was found to be in danger, the study remained confidential.
Findings of study
Young cannabis users experience long-term damage to a brain function associated with substance abuse. This brain function damage is in the area of “response inhibition that allows an individual to change their actions. It also accounts for why young cannabis users have been shown to be at a greater risk for addiction later on in life. Use of marijuana by the young also leads to weak academic performance and other negative outcomes that could have lifelong consequences. As to the difference between alcohol and marijuana, alcohol doesn’t appear to change brain functions of young users, while the active ingredients in marijuana apparently do.
The co-author of the study, Jean-Francois G. Morin offered these warnings. Stressing that the cognitive functions affected are necessary to perform well, Morin also maintained there is no zero risk when it comes to (cannabis use) whether habitual user or otherwise. Morin concludes of importance “that the public — particularly young people–have this information.” For as Morin noted, many are trying to hide these facts as the push for legalization of recreational marijuana pushes forward, making some individuals extremely wealthy.
This alarming study was conducted at Sainte Justine Hospital and the University of Montreal in Quebec. Published in USA Today on Oct. 6, 2018, the timing of its release was notable. Canadian politicians apparently failed to either read it or refused to pay attention to its warning.
On October 19th, 2018 the Canadian Senate voted 52-29 to legalize recreational use of marijuana, becoming the second nation in the world to legalize, Uruguay being the first. For Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this was his final hurdle, having promised to legalize the drug that had heretofore been strictly forbidden in Canada.
The before mentioned Tucker Carlson presentation was aired two days before Canada’s legalization of marijuana for recreational use.
Recreational marijuana and Illinois
Colorado and Washington were the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational use when in 2012 both states passed referendums mandating that they do so.
What about our new Illinois governor JB Pritzker, who on legalizing pot said “Get at it” when attending an event to thank supporters of the Sangamon County Democratic Party Headquarter on Monday, December, 10. 2018? When campaigning, Pritzker also spoke about legalizing marijuana as one of his top priorities and further sees calling legalization an opportunity for Illinois to be the first state in the Midwest to make it available.
So far 10 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for recreational use, yet there must be some reason marijuana is still banned under federal law.
For Governor Pritzker and others who are dead set on legalizing recreational marijuana here in Illinois, heeded should be this warning by Jeff Hunt that appeared in U.S. Today in August of 2017, Marijuana devastate Colorado, don’t legalize it nationally. Jeff Hunt is the Vice President of Public Policy at Colorado Christian University
Highlights from article
- In the years since, Colorado has seen an increase in marijuana related traffic deaths, poison control calls, and emergency room visits. The marijuana black market has increased in Colorado, not decreased. And, numerous Colorado marijuana regulators have been indicted for corruption.
- In 2012, we were promised funds from marijuana taxes would benefit our communities, particularly schools. Dr. Harry Bull, the Superintendent of Cherry Creek Schools, one of the largest school districts in the state, said, “So far, the only thing that the legalization of marijuana has brought to our schools has been marijuana.”
- In fiscal year 2016, marijuana tax revenue resulted in $156,701,018. The total tax revenue for Colorado was $13,327,123,798, making marijuana only 1.18% of the state’s total tax revenue.
- According to the Colorado Department of Public Safety, arrests in Colorado of black and Latino youth for marijuana possession have increased 58% and 29% respectively after legalization. This means that Black and Latino youth are being arrested more for marijuana possession after it became legal.
- Furthermore, a vast majority of Colorado’s marijuana businesses are concentrated in neighborhoods of color. Leaders from these communities, many of whom initially voted to legalize recreational marijuana, often speak out about the negative impacts of these businesses.
- Since legalizing marijuana, Colorado’s youth marijuana use rate is the highest in the nation, 74% higher than the national average, according to the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Report. This is having terribly negative effects on the education of our youth.
Potency of today’s marijuana
Often overlooked by many who have smoked weed in the 70’s of 80’s is that marijuana is undeniably more potent than it once was. 40+ years ago the reports show that the average levels of THC were around 1%, while recent scientific discoveries report that the current average levels of THC in cannabis are much higher, ranging from 6 to 8%, with much stronger strains available on the market.
As to THC (the chief active ingredient in marijuana), the amount of it determines how strong its effects will be. Cannabinoids remain in the fat cells of the bodies of marijuana users. Since one-third of the brain is fat, cannabinoids are stored in the brain, hindering learning by impairing thinking, reading comprehension and verbal and math skills. It can impair or reduce short-term memory, alter sense of time, and reduce concentration. Breakdown products from THC have been detected in fat tissues for up to one month.
This article, Facts About Marijuana, is a must read for all Illinois legislators, teachers, and parents.
The negative impact on Colorado communities will be felt for generation. Do Illinoisans really want this for their state?