On Wednesday, April 22, the sector leadership members of the Wood County Prevention Coalition voted to support the Drug Free Action Alliance’s “Marijuana as Medicine” position paper.
The four-page position statement, which can be read at http://goo.gl/RkHXeR, states marijuana should be subject to the same research, consideration, and study as any other potential medicine, under the standards of the United States Food and Drug Administration. Legalizing marijuana for medical use should not be decided by legislative or voter initiative.
Current attempts to convince the public that marijuana can be used as a medicine ignore the fact that not only has smoked marijuana not been thoroughly researched and vetted like legitimate medicines. No major medical association has been willing to support the idea that smoked marijuana is or should be used as medicine. These associations include the American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, National Institutes Of Health, Institute of Medicine, American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
A move bypassing the FDA regulation process is highly dangerous and is not in the best interest of public health or safety. Based on current medical value, marijuana is not the purported silver bullet that it is being touted. More research needs to be done by medical experts to pinpoint safe usage and proper dosage. It wasn’t that long ago that tobacco was marketed as a medicine. We all know now that it has been responsible for millions of deaths and diseases.
The Wood County Prevention Coalition is concerned that any effort to legalize marijuana through voter initiative would target youth and increase their substance use/abuse. It also would be costly to businesses in terms of lost productivity, attendance, and worker’s compensation claims. It would create a burden for mental health providers with waiting lists for treatment. It would be dangerous for public health, particularly when dealing with marijuana edibles and other extracted forms, which have higher concentrations of THC than smoked marijuana. Public safety concerns will also grow, with increased emergency room visits and the difficulty for law enforcement to monitor those who are under the influence of marijuana.
As shown by data being released from Colorado, the public and social cost of legalizing marijuana would far exceed any potential revenue, which proponents claim it will generate. We hope everyone in Wood County and throughout the great state of Ohio understands that legalization of marijuana, as currently proposed, is not a panacea for revenue, or a viable treatment for any ailment.
Any community members who would like to join us in this stance, or are interested in helping to fight for the health and safety of our youth are invited to attend the next Wood County Prevention Coalition meeting. It will be held May 8, 2015 from 10-11:30 a.m. at the Wood County Educational Service Center, 1867 N. Research Dr., Bowling Green, OH, 43402.
For more information, contact:
Drug Free Communities Program Director
419-354-9010, ext. 251
Drug Free Communities Program Coordinator
419-354-9010, ext. 174
Our Vision: Helping youth be drug-free, productive and responsible citizens.
Our Mission: We are a coalition of compassionate community members working together to coordinate high quality programs for the prevention of youth substance abuse in Wood County.
Another article in the NBX is about a town meeting to address the “opiate epidemic” that is occurring. Legalize marijuana, period, for recreational or medical use; people are using opiates and Rx drugs because they are easier to acquire than marijuana, but the effects and addictions are much worse, along with the likelihood of an overdose. Marijuana has been called a “gateway drug” that might lead to the use of “hard” drugs, but what we have, now that marijuana is difficult to obtain, is young people going straight to opiate use. I know many middle-aged people who have used marijuana for twenty years or more, but have never gone on to use “hard” drugs; all the people I know who have overdosed on opiates are under thirty.