By Mario Strong

Maybe it’s just me but didn’t the rest of our American society get the memo regarding the dangers of recreational marijuana. Here we are, well into the 21st century and instead of going forward with respects to improving and preserving our health and safety, we, as a collective group, are going backward…quickly.

Why is it that today, after witnessing the drug epidemics that our country has already suffered through are today’s political deal makers beginning to legalize marijuana throughout the states? Haven’t we already seen enough horrors of what the painful impacts of alcohol impaired drivers alone have caused on our families, friends, and neighborhoods to know that marijuana impaired drivers will cause added devastating consequences? It’s just common sense, but instead of there being an outrage from the populous that even more impaired drivers will soon be on the streets thanks to the legalization of recreational marijuana many Americans actually support the idea (which should come as no surprise since millions of Americans use it regularly). Sometimes I feel as if I’m in the Twilight Zone - where what was once wrong has become right and what was once right has become wrong. Please wake me up!

And why is it okay for me or my family to be subjected to the harmful stench that this DRUG gives off? What impact is it going to have on one’s children as they grow up inhaling the secondhand smoke from marijuana? What problems between neighbors will occur as the odor from stench-full homes travels into others where marijuana is not used? Don’t we have enough problems in this country without creating even more? So many questions, but no honest answers.

Many people actually think that the use of marijuana will have no ill effect on their health. How wrong they are. Inhaling or eating marijuana releases substances called cannabinoids (cannabinoids are chemical compounds that naturally occur in the resin of the marijuana plant) into your body. The cannabinoids, especially THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol is the principal psychoactive constituent of marijuana), travels through your lungs or stomach and into your bloodstream, eventually finding their way to your brain and causing your brain’s receptors to produce the ‘high sensation’ this DRUG produces. The way you take marijuana affects how quickly your body absorbs the THC and other chemicals. If you inhale it the DRUG is going to have a more rapid onset of action. If you eat it, the DRUG works more slowly, creating a greater chance you’ll consume too much. Not for nothing, but I don’t want anyone ‘high’ behind the wheel of a vehicle. Even if it’s parked. If you want to get high go climb a tree and do all the hallucinating you want.

Marijuana has a range of additive effects that vary based on the person and the potency. The more marijuana you use, the longer you use it, and the more THC it contains, the more effects you'll feel. In the short term, marijuana can affect your coordination, reaction time, judgement, memory, mood, and ability to think clearly and solve problems. Over the long term, regular use can lead to changes in your brain’s structure, memory loss, and difficulty in being able to think and learn. It can also cause mental health disorders such as depression, psychosis, and anxiety. This obviously is not advantageous if you’re trying to get an education or be successful at your job or home life.

Marijuana use also poses a major threat to lung health. Marijuana smokers, especially those who begin using the DRUG at a young age, can have the same respiratory problems as tobacco smokers because marijuana has four times the tar, three to five times more carbon monoxide and over 50% more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than cigarettes. Just three or four joints cause as much lung damage as 20 cigarettes. Marijuana can also increase the risk for a heart attack because of the increased heart rate it causes.

It’s disgusting the way political operatives are spinning their false narratives (nothing new) to promote their slanted view on the ‘benefits’ of legalizing marijuana. It’s all about achieving their agenda, which is to help big corporations create a new powerful industry that can be taxed heavily and bring localities humongous financial windfalls. The bottom line is that it’s all about $$$...end of story! Anybody tells you otherwise – they’re full of crap. These political crooks would sell their mothers if they could make a dime off of them. Who cares if thousands of more Americans are killed on our roads or develop serious health issues because of this power grab for money. If you think your government is truly concerned about your health and wellbeing just ask yourself one question – why, after the millions of deaths and millions who now suffer, are tobacco products still legal in this country (the answer is always $$$). You’re not as important as you think.

Speaking of money; how is the legalization of marijuana going to affect insurance premiums as new injury/fatality stats regarding vehicle accidents caused by this DRUG begin to get compiled? Guess who’s paying for that. Your risk of getting into a car accident goes up significantly after you've used marijuana because it affects your judgement. Drivers who use alcohol might neglect to check their mirrors or drive over the speed limit. With marijuana, it’s different, you're aware that you're impaired and become overly cautious. When you're drunk you run red lights, and when you're high on pot you stop at green lights. At this time, law enforcement doesn’t have the technology (like it does with breathalyzer test for alcohol) to test the level of impairment that marijuana may cause with drivers. Since no test can tell whether a driver is too high to operate a vehicle why are we rushing to get it on the street by legalizing it?

Questions still remain; what is this need by people to use products such as alcohol and marijuana to feel high or get a buzz or have a far out hallucination where they think they’re flying to the moon? Do they really need to intentionally alter their state of consciousness in order to produce feelings of elation? Why can’t they just be happy with life? Why don’t they have harmony within? What are they escaping from…even if it’s temporary? And where does the term ‘recreational marijuana’ come from? Sounds like a day at the amusement park. Unfortunately, it’s not so amusing for your health.

There has been a drug war raging on American soil since the last century and it’s because of those who abuse these types of substances that this war still rages on today. I truly believe that making this weed legally accessible will not only create new users of this substance but also act as a stepping stone for many as they seek even more powerful highs. Millions have paid the price; through loss of life, money, health, self-respect, families, etc. It’s a very selfish act to get high and those who do are responsible for the suffering they bring upon themselves and others. I have no delusional aspirations that one day we, the American people, will come to our senses and say to ourselves “what the hell are we doing to our families and our country.” All I ask of you is ‘Where Is The Outrage?’




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