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Marijuana is not beneficial to society | Letter

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Letter to the editor
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I find it interesting that in all of the discussions concerning marijuana there has been little or nothing said about the negative aspects. Users like to point out that it is no worse than alcohol. Excusing one bad behavior with another bad behavior is silly.

According to studies published in the British Medical Journal medical marijuana is no more effective than codeine. Medical marijuana is one thing, but the proliferation of marijuana used for recreation is very problematical, as can be seen in the following effects on students:

• Causes users to get lower grades and become less likely to graduate, compared to students who do not smoke.

• Significantly impairs skills related to attention, memory and learning even after not smoking for 24 hours.

• Cause  problems in sustaining and shifting attention.

• Effects the ability to register, organize and use information, even compared to occasional users of marijuana.

• Impairs users' ability to recall words from a list even a week after quitting marijuana use.

• Effects work performance:

Workers who smoke marijuana are more likely to experience increased absences, tardiness, accidents, workers' compensation claims and job turnover.

Workers who test positive for marijuana use have 55 percent more industrial accidents, 85 percent more injuries, and a 75-percent increase in absenteeism compared to non-smokers.

Heavy marijuana abusers self-report that their use of the drug had negative effects on their cognitive abilities, career status, social life and physical and mental health.

So for all practical purposes, regardless of how good or bad it may be, it is not beneficial to society.

Dave Lewis, Bothell

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