For those seeking reference material about marijuana, following are gleanings from several articles on marijuana, mostly from Baptist Press (bpnews.net):
Our country has outlawed marijuana use for good reason. Marijuana is a multiple gateways drug. For starters, it is a gateway to addiction and other drug abuse. There are many pathways to addiction, and marijuana is one of them. Users can become addicted to marijuana itself, more often psychologically, but physical addiction also can occur. For others, marijuana is a gateway to harder drugs. Some will decide to experiment with harder drugs as they chase stronger highs. Peer pressure also is a significant problem. Marijuana introduces users to a subculture where drug abuse is common. The pressure to participate more fully in this culture is simply irresistible for some. Addiction is sure to follow for many. -Barrett Duke, ERLC, BP; 9-4-2012
Marijuana and Crime
“In a 2002 Department of Justice survey of convicted inmates in jail, 29 percent reported using illegal drugs at the time of their offense. Marijuana was used most commonly, more than cocaine/crack (14 percent to 11 percent). Crimes of robbery and theft were committed most often to obtain money for drugs. Clearly, not all marijuana users will commit other crimes, but the relationship between drug use (including marijuana) and crime is undeniable.” -Barrett Duke, BP; 9-4-2012
“But by keeping marijuana illegal, we can better develop ways to discourage its use. A system of increasing fines, penalties and requirements, like substance-abuse counseling, can be developed. Penalties even could include the loss of one's driver's license. Jail could be a last resort for habitual offenders.” -Barrett Duke, BP; Sep 4, 2012
Drop in I.Q.
“Individuals who use marijuana during their teenage years have an average drop in I.Q. of eight points and are vulnerable to mental health problems, according to a study by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) released in August…
Eight points lowers a person from an average I.Q. rate of 100 to 92, dropping him from the 50th percentile to the 29th percentile of intelligence… Users who quit smoking marijuana cannot fully reverse the neurological damage, according to the study.” -BP; 10-22-2012
Legal Marijuana and Driving
“Drivers in Washington and Colorado now not only have to be aware of drunk drivers, but they also have to be concerned about drivers who are stoned. States don't need more impaired drivers behind the wheel.” -Kelly Boggs, editor of Baptist Message BP; 12-7,-2012
Effects of Marijuana
"Impaired memory for recent events, difficulty concentrating, dreamlike states, impaired motor coordination, impaired driving and other psychomotor skills, slowed reaction time, impaired goal-directed mental activity, and altered peripheral vision are common associated effects." -A Fact Sheet of the Effects of Marijuana, Partnership for a Drug Free America, Kelly Boggs, BP; 12-7-2012
Acutely Impair Driving Skills
"Cannabis [marijuana] and alcohol acutely impair several driving-related skills...." -from a 2009 study by Veterans Administration Healthcare/Yale University School of Medicine, Kelly Boggs, BP; 12-7-2012
“Don't be taken in. Marijuana is a dangerous drug with countless negative effects. The rush to decriminalization in the name of pain control or mental health cannot be justified.
Most people who use marijuana to relieve severe pain combine it with stronger pain relievers because marijuana is not effective enough by itself. Furthermore, marijuana's pain-relieving ingredient has been available by prescription for years. A person can purchase Marinol -- right now -- with a doctor's prescription…
“The plain fact of the matter is that there are better and safer drugs [for pain]. Marijuana is not the solution. It merely adds more problems.” -Barrett Duke, BP; 8-6-2012
“Marijuana introduces multiple toxic chemicals into the systems of people…”
“Medical marijuana puts the user at higher risk for cancer, psychosis, strokes, respiratory damage and heart attack.” -Barrett Duke, BP; 8-6-2012
“Part of the reason we have not had more success ending rampant illicit drug abuse in our nation is the fact that so many states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes. Such counterproductive policies are the equivalent of drilling holes in the bottom of your boat while you are frantically trying to bail water.
In fact, if you take a closer look, you will see that most states currently debating legalizing the use of marijuana for recreation first legalized it for medicinal use. Medical marijuana is the Trojan horse of recreational marijuana.” -Barrett Duke, BP; 8-6-2012
Parents & Teens
“The National Institute on Drug Abuse says about one in 10 people who try marijuana get addicted and younger users are more vulnerable. To help parents guide their teenagers away from the drug, USA Today offered this advice:
- Talk to teenagers early and often about the risks of drugs, including addiction, learning problems and impaired driving.
- Stop smoking marijuana or doing drugs in order to be a proper role model for teenagers.
- Get over the feeling that because you used drugs you can't tell your teenager not to use them.
"Have an honest conversation about decisions you made then, why you think your teen should make different ones, and how today's marijuana is far stronger and more addictive," USA Today said.
- Acknowledge the urge to experiment but underscore that trying marijuana even once can lead to trouble.
- Watch teenagers closely enough to know if they have access to marijuana, and make clear that drinking and drugs at parties are unacceptable.
- Communicate with teenagers, staying informed of the happenings in their lives and making sure they can talk to you about problems.
- Ensure that teenagers are busy with after school activities that help them feel successful and supported.
- Intervene quickly if you learn your teenager has started using drugs.”
Drivers and Drugs
“Drivers who test positive for marijuana within three hours of using the drug are more than twice as likely as other drivers to be involved in crashes, according to a report from Columbia University…
The analysis found that 28 percent of people killed in accidents and more than 11 percent of the general driver population tested positive for non-alcohol drugs, with marijuana being the most commonly detected substance, the newspaper said.” -BP, 11-4-2011
Trouble in Amsterdam
“Acknowledging that marijuana decriminalization has led to an increase in crime and societal problems, the new Netherlands conservative-leaning government wants to crack down on drug tourism by limiting marijuana sales in so-called ‘coffee shops’ to Dutch residents.” -BP, 11-19-2010
Disagrees With President
“I adamantly disagree with the President. According to a 2012 Drug Use and Health survey, marijuana is the number one drug that citizens over the age of 12 are addicted to or abuse. The negative effects of marijuana use on a developing brain can be permanent, and our President is recklessly giving what amounts to parental permission to our most impressionable citizens to break the law. Marijuana is creating deadly situations right here in Harris County. I welcome the President to come to Houston to review the same Capital Murder cases I did just last week that were the result of marijuana drug deals. Maybe then he will see that the most effective way to keep our law-abiding citizens safe is to obey all laws that our legislators put on the books at our State Capitol.”
-Harris County, Texas District Attorney Devon Anderson, in reply to presidential comments about marijuana; KHOU.com; January 20, 2014
Those who use their freedom to engage in self-destructive behaviors are letting themselves down, depriving society of their very best contribution to its well-being, and dishonoring the God who made them. Rather than encouraging such negative consequences by legalizing marijuana, we should be helping people to focus on the best of what they can be.
-Barrett Duke, ERLC, BP, 9-4-2012
-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor; January 21, AD 2014.
Why Marijuana Should Remain Illegal