Marijuana use

Mr. Wilson works for Merit Resource Services and spoke to the Sunnyside Daybreak Rotary Club on July 6. I appreciate Mr. Wilson's stance on marijuana, but some of the points he makes are problematic.

First, over one hundred million Americans have tried or currently use marijuana. Many of these Americans are professionals that you and I speak to every day and include U.S. presidents.

Second, studies have consistently shown that marijuana is not physically addictive and possibly only mentally addictive after years of abuse. A user does not suffer painful withdrawals when he stops smoking marijuana.

Third, marijuana does not cause cancer. Ask yourself how many times you have heard of someone being diagnosed with marijuana induced cancer while keeping in mind how many people have tried or used marijuana.

Donald Tashkin of the University of California at Los Angeles is a pulmonologist who has studied marijuana for 30 years. He headed the largest study of its kind to better define the link between marijuana use and cancer. Federal health and drug enforcement officials use Tashkin's previous work on marijuana to advocate for its prohibition. The study found absolutely no association between marijuana smoking and cancer, but did find a 20-fold increase in lung cancer among people who smoked two or more packs of cigarettes a day.

Finally, the United States is addicted to prescription pain meds more than ever before that are narcotics and that can easily cause an overdose.

A responsible adult should be able to use marijuana, which is safer than caffeine, Tylenol and Aspirin, in the privacy of his own home. It is a liberty issue. It is a commonsense issue.

/s/ Alex Newhouse, Sunnyside


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