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Allegations marijuana not addictive simply not true

I feel compelled to respond to a letter to the editor from Alex Newhouse in regards to my presentation to the Sunnyside Rotary Club earlier this month. Mr. Newhouse is welcome to his opinion in regards to his efforts to legalize marijuana and as I reported in my presentation, it is my belief that the legalization of marijuana would lead to an increase in business for my agency, Merit Resource Services.

Mr. Newhouse indicates that millions of Americans and professionals currently use marijuana, including presidents. I would like to point out that millions of Americans and professionals, including presidents, have also cheated on their spouses and been caught. Is this a good argument for me to cheat on my spouse?

Mr. Newhouse reports that marijuana is not physically addictive and only possibly mentally addictive after years of abuse. This is simply not true. The Diagnostic Statistical Manual has a Cannabis Dependence diagnostic code (304.30). This manual is the combined works of hundreds of the most recognized scientists, doctors and professionals in the world.

Upon further review there are no diagnostic codes for ibuprofen dependence or acetaminophen dependence as neither of these substances, while commonly used and abused, create dependence.

Cannabis dependence is currently the second most common dependence diagnosis in Washington state with the single largest group being diagnosed being youth under the age of 21. While researchers and experts have argued about marijuana's ability to create physical addiction for years there is no clear winner in this argument.

What we do know is that marijuana is addictive and that when it comes to addiction there does not appear to be any less of a life problem for those who are "only psychologically" addicted as compared to those that are physically addicted.

Finally, in the research that Dr. Tashkin has done over the years on lung cancer, he has concluded the following, "I still believe that smoking marijuana is potentially harmful."

/s/ Dave Wilson, Prosser

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