In response to Mrs. Gjovaag's personal column on Friday, Oct. 5 ("End the battle against marijuana"), I do not agree that just because tobacco and alcoholic drinks are legal, marijuana should also be.
Smoking pot has advrse medical effects. Within minutes, THC and other substances in marijuana smoke cause these physiological effects: rapid heart rate, increased blood pressure, increased rate of breathing, red eyes, dry mouth, increased appetite, or "the munchies," and slowed reaction time.
Marijuana hangs around in your system for as long as a month after smoking. The lingering effects mean you're impaired for several days to weeks after the high wears off.
Short-term psychological effects of pot include distorted sense of time, paranoia, magical or "random" thinking, short-term memory loss, snxiety and Depression. Residual effects can last for days.
Contrary to what many pot smokers say, marijuana is addictive, at least psychologically. Even among occasional users, one in 12 can feel withdrawal symptoms if they can't get high when they want to. Among heavy pot smokers, the rates of dependence are higher. Many experts also believe that marijuana is physically addictive. Symptoms of withdrawal from pot might include aggression, anxiety, depressed mood and decreased appetite.
Is pot a "gateway" drug? It's true that pot smokers are more likely to use other drugs after trying marijuana.
Find more information at: www.webmd.com by typing "marijuana" in the search block.
We should be actively teaching the truth about the effects of smoking marijuana as was finally done about tobacco, using TV, radio, billboards, newspapers and all manner of media possible. Maybe those found guilty of drug offenses should be required to teach others the truth.
It will be a truly sad day for our communities the day that marijuana use is legalized.
/s/ Kathryn Furan, Sunnyside