So I thought that I heard it all when Senator Zirkin, who is sponsoring a decriminalization bill (from criminal to civil), said that he is not trying to get teens to smoke pot; he just wants to unclog the judicial system with marijuana possession cases. Then Delegate Anderson, in sponsoring his bill to LEGALIZE marijuana possession and use, says, "Marijuana is not addictive at all unlike other drugs and alcohol." Well, Delegate Anderson, it's time for a reality check.
Marijuana has proven to inflict a long lasting, negative impact on your brain and the younger you are the worse it is. Marijuana can result in functional brain deficits affecting communication skills and learning capabilities and shortening one's attention span. It also affects the lungs and can lead to use of stronger drugs. Studies have shown that the younger that you start to smoke marijuana, the more dependent that you become on other drugs. Today's marijuana is not the marijuana that was smoked in the 70's; THC, the main ingredient, is far more potent today than the pot from the 60's and 70's. And, don't even get me started on the effects of marijuana on the fetus when women smoke it while pregnant. In fact, researchers aren't even sure what the overall or long-term effects are on children whose mothers smoked marijuana while pregnant.
If you can't tell from today's blog, I am adamantly opposed to decriminalization and certainly legalization. I would support a bill legalizing medical marijuana with strict conditions as I think that there are enough people who would benefit from such a law. Hopefully, some sense will prevail in Annapolis during this legislative session and the bills sponsored by Senator Zirkin and Delegate Anderson are defeated.