Marijuana is still dangerous

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  • Jare Bear sl, UT
    Feb. 22, 2015 10:24 p.m.

    Where does modern medicine originate? Plants.This is just a plant. Like all the others that cover this planet. Its just another plant. And it happens to have know medical benefits that has been used for thousands of years. Where did our ancestors go when they needed a remedy?
    Out into nature, to find herbs. This happens to be a very beautiful herb with many qualities. Its just a plant.
    I say we accept this beautiful plant for what it is, a Gift, and focus our energy on cleaning up our air before we all die of lung cancer.

  • DKBlack Riverdale, UT
    April 13, 2014 4:51 a.m.

    I have been working since i was 14, I can also write scripts in C# and Javascript, I own my own home, Never been fired from a job, And have completed high school.

    I do not drink alcohol, i have not done cocaine, meth, heroine, etc.

    I am also a regular smoker of marijuana, had to quit multiple times for pre-employment screening with no side-effects.

    now tell me again why marijuana is so bad?

  • canafianvoice canads, 00
    Feb. 24, 2014 8:55 a.m.

    Sorry for the spelli g and grammatical error but small mobial phone and big fingers that like to hit 2 buttons at once

  • canafianvoice canads, 00
    Feb. 24, 2014 8:52 a.m.

    Yes the number of people know to be useing the drug will go up but remember 38% say they smoke or have smoked but there just the ones who admit to it when its legal more people will be open about it. I do agree pot and alcohol should fallow some of the same guidline granted since its a diffrent substance the alcohol some thing will be the same like not flying a plain with 100s of people on it well inebriated in any sence or intoxicated just like driving im sure there are lots of good driver out there that can handel it high but there are meny other who cant so yeah get off the road. Tax it sell it and make it a goverment controlled substince just like alcohol amd cigarettes. If you dont like it dont look be like the other people who dont smoke and dont worrie about us over the age limits we got this part. If its not you or your kid then its not your issu simple.

  • Janet Ontario, OR
    Feb. 20, 2014 12:18 a.m.

    There are cancer patients, HIV-AIDS sufferers, people with seizure disorders, and people with chronic pain disorders -- just to name four categories -- who have benefitted from medical marijuana when nothing else has worked. Like all herbs, cannabis has a purpose. At present, medical marijuana distribution is strictly governed in states where it is legal. It is time for the federal government to stop its costly and ineffective war on pot and either legalize it nationwide (at least by prescription) or leave the regulation to the individual states. It's so silly to argue that Utah should be able to prohibit gay marriage while arguing that the feds should keep marijuana illegal for the nation.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Feb. 19, 2014 7:26 a.m.

    There are 3 groups of people who do not want this legalized.

    1. Big Pharmacutical [because of the $]
    2. Street Gangs [again, because of the $]
    3. and the ignorant masses they scare and use fear to control them.

  • Close Call Ft. Worth, TX
    Feb. 18, 2014 4:22 p.m.

    The World is flat, the Sun revolves around the earth, earth was created in six days.
    Seems LOTS of our species want to look back to often. How about taking more than two
    steps forward, and not take one step back. The doom Sayers are forever on their soap box.
    If you take a step back, reflect on the untruths, the falsehoods, and the propaganda.
    The people have been hoodwinked. The earth is not flat, our pale blue dot revolves
    around a star, and the earth as been here a long time, deep time. Yep, we all have our opinions, and surly I have mine. The plant in question has been here for millenniums
    and been used in all kinds of products, from medicinal to cloth. Seeds for oil, and other
    uses, look it up. Don't me have bigger fish to fry?

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 18, 2014 4:07 p.m.

    Nanny state advocates. Big government control proponent. Freedom is freedom. The change is States right issue to legislate in favor of Federal law. The only constant is hypocrisy.

  • Mr. Bean Phoenix, AZ
    Feb. 17, 2014 9:23 p.m.

    "He always 'talked' about all he was going to do, but just never got around to doing anything."

    That's my malady and I've never touched drugs of any kind.

    @Dave Gurr:
    "...I would rather my teenage kids smoked pot than got drunk on alcohol..."

    If your kid uses cannabis he/she will soon be on alcohol... and even more serious drugs.

  • Neanderthal Phoenix, AZ
    Feb. 17, 2014 8:48 p.m.

    "Cannabis isn't the villain here..."

    Any alien substance drawn into the lungs, whether it be cigarette smoke, air pollution from autos/industry, or marijuana is harmful.

    If you wanna extract cannabis and drink/eat it, that would be fine.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Feb. 17, 2014 8:47 p.m.

    Go to Colorado and you can get it just for fun, to get high. But if you need it for stopping seizures, it is highly, highly regulated, and requires a several month wait.

    How much more backwards could government have it?

    Maybe I shouldn't ask. They might make it worse.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Feb. 17, 2014 4:17 p.m.

    The comments against seem to be in the I don't believe in altered states of mind, so nobody else should be allowed to enjoy the benefits of marijuana. Utah has a drug problem, a huge one in that if your doctor prescribes something it isn't against the dominate religions, Word of Wisdom. They then take psychotropic drugs for the rest of their lives, or worse get addicted to prescribed pain killers. You can still hold a recommend if you have a prescription, right?

    I personally find "big pharm" to act like criminals, give away that 1st pill, pay off the DR, with vacations and kickbacks for selling their drugs, advertise to people who don't need drugs, pay millions in fines for deadly drugs, but profit by billions.

    Once again this is more about prejudice than facts, knowledge is power.

    To compare Alcohol DUI to Pot, shows a glaring ignorance of the 2 drugs.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Feb. 17, 2014 3:16 p.m.


    I don't have any idea what your "dear Liza, dear Liza" bit refers to. But the concept that marijuana is without ill effect (especially when it is smoked into the lungs) is unlikely at best.

    I cannot speak to addiction in the physical sense but do I know folks dependent on it who seem unable to give it up despite significant incentives to do so. Call it what you wish, but they are dependent upon it and are unwilling to give it up despite high social costs.

    I assume that that marijuana is like most other drugs. Some are quite taken with it while it has little draw for others. And some find they cannot live without it.

    Is it less dangerous than alcohol - probably. But given the toll alcohol takes on our society, that is not saying much.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    Feb. 17, 2014 2:58 p.m.

    Yes, I've read them. Hense the reason for my point. I think all those arguments are invalid. If they are valid, then do you think that airline pilots for instance should be allowed to operate aircraft under the influence of marijuana? We know a good reason for not letting them operate under the influence of alcohol. And with more public use of marijuana, Iam pretty sure there are going to be more cases of DUI with marijuana. I didn't read one convincing argument for legal use of marijuana except purhaps medicinal. Which by the way has already been abused by certain doctors who will prescribe for money without any real medical need. Plainly put. Marijuana will be used, as alcohol was during prohibition. However, making it legal will only greatly increase the use and put the public in more danger than it already is with alcohol abuse. Unless you really believe that the number of users will stay the same with legalization, there is no other way to look at it.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 17, 2014 1:14 p.m.

    "Anyone out there think otherwise?"


    "Forthcoming arguments"? Wha. . .?

    Uh. . . How about you read the plethora of arguments that preceded your comment?

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    Feb. 17, 2014 9:17 a.m.

    I don't think there is any doubt that marijuana, like alcohol and other drugs, will impare a persons judgement, and capacity to act responsibly. I don't think there is any doubt that legalization will create more users. I don't think there is any doubt that new laws and tests will need to be enacted to judge the imparement of drivers under the influence of marijuana just as there is for alcohol. I don't think the increased use of this or any other mind altering drug will be good for society. It will only cause more human trajedy. The net result of the legalization of marijuana is going to be more bad for our country than any "more good". Anyone out there think otherwise? If so, I think your forthcoming argument needs to address my points about the DUI problem.

  • roknight Philadelphia, PA
    Feb. 17, 2014 6:08 a.m.

    "Educated" Ha!

    Tell me Einstein what does this statistic tell you:

    UTAH #50 in alcohol use. #1 in prescription drug abuse.

    It tells me the inmates are running the asylum.

    Thats all.

  • DdC222 SCruz, CA
    Feb. 17, 2014 12:58 a.m.

    Pot More Dangerous Than? You Know
    Aspirin? Well No. Cigarettes? No. Booze or Pills? No. Than not smoking? No. Jail? No. Texting while driving? No. Anyone ever die from overdose? No. Get cancer? No? No. Lung problems? No? Nope. Nada. What is the antidote for cannabis overdose? dunno Coffee. So then why is Pot More Dangerous Than You Know? It& illegal. Why? Ah, because its more dangerous than you know? dear Liza, dear Liza

    The USA Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy 1987
    Cannabis can be used on an episodic but continual basis without evidence of social or psychic dysfunction. In many users the term dependence with its obvious connotations, probably is mis-applied. The chief opposition to the drug rests on a moral and political, and not toxicologic, foundation.

    Feb. 16, 2014 11:31 p.m.

    Cannabis is FAR less harmful than alcohol or tobacco. High school students GET that. That's why their booze and tobacco use is down. If all drinkers were to switch to pot, you would see immediate decreases in fatal car accidents, domestic abuse (wife & child beating), suicides, depression, alcohol related diseases like cancer, hepatitis, liver failure, all categories of violent crime. The prohibition on pot and hemp wastes police time, court time, and unnecessarily fills our prisons with non-violent offenders. President Obama... remove pot and hemp from Schedule 1 NOW !!!! Then watch the house of cards fall...

  • NowSwimBack Allen Park, MI
    Feb. 16, 2014 8:27 p.m.

    I just stopped smoking cannabis about 3 weeks ago because I'm trying to stay clean for a 2nd job, and I can tell you for a FACT that it is not addictive. I have not had any "cravings" for it whatsoever, although I do miss being able to sleep an entire night without being disturbed. As far as increasing the risk of a heart does the same thing!

  • JohnThomas Santa Cruz , CA
    Feb. 16, 2014 4:18 p.m.

    All of these claims of "harm" are bogus and have long been debunked. Every major government commission on marijuana concluded it is less "addictive" than coffee and FAR less harmful than alcohol. That includes Nixon's 1972 Shafer Commission. The findings of all these major commissions can read by Googling - Schaffer Drug Library

    The DEA's own administrative law judge, Francis Young, concluded after an exhaustive review of the evidence: "Marijuana, in its natural state, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man."

    Alcohol directly kills more than 50,000 Americans every year. It kills many thousands more in highway deaths and from alcohol-induced violence. The preponderance of the research shows marijuana consumption is neither a significant cause of auto accidents, nor violence.

    NO ONE has ever died from ingesting marijuana - in all of recorded history. - That makes it safer than aspirin, coffee and peanuts!

    Any sane society would clearly prefer it's members choose marijuana over alcohol.

  • bigralphsmith bexar, TX
    Feb. 16, 2014 11:00 a.m.

    Before anyone else posts anything about "gateway drugs", please put that term in Google or whatever search engine you prefer and actually read about it. Once you do the research and learn what the hypothesis really says and see how it has been thoroughly debunked, you will probably never mention it again.

  • TheTrueVoice West Richland, WA
    Feb. 16, 2014 9:59 a.m.

    @LovelyDeseret: "Look at testicular cancer and suicide rates among marijuana users. They are both extremely high."

    Have you ever had a look at the rate of lung cancer among cigarette smokers?

    Or the rate of cirrhosis of the liver among alcohol users?

    Are you aware of the vast number of people who die every day from obesity, or lose an appendage from Type II diabetes, all due to the most addictive drug in the country: processed, refined sugar?

    And yet.... nicotine, alcohol and sugar are completely legal. And we even allow the sugar industry to purposely target their marketing to children.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Feb. 16, 2014 9:04 a.m.

    Red Corvette,

    Folks very familiar with drugs tell me that different folks are differently affected by a particular drug. While you might have found nothing attractive in marijuana, others certainly do. I have heard from several folks that drug A held no interest for them while drug B virtually dominated their lives.

  • Bob A. Bohey Marlborough, MA
    Feb. 16, 2014 8:24 a.m.

    I choose not to use tobacco products, marijuana, alcohol, opiates, other mind altering substances, fried, fatty, sugary and salty foods because of health reasons and how I choose to live my life and how I want to feel. As a parent I was able to role model a healthy life style. My daughter lives a healthy life style and I'd like to think she does so due to some small measure of what she was exposed to in her formative years. I do not believe that making these things illegal is the answer. Education about the health effects is. Some will make the right choice and some won't not matter if it's illegal or how much information is available. That being said I believe it's supremely arrogant for one to tell another what they can or can not consume. Free agency and all.

  • Dave Gurr Porirua, 00
    Feb. 16, 2014 2:09 a.m.

    I totally agree that cannabis use should not be encouraged for young people. It may interfere with their education and long-term happiness. But, god forbid, I would rather my teenage kids smoked pot than got drunk on alcohol which is a far more toxic drug (both physically and socially). Cannabis is also definitely much less addictive than tobacco. Now please DON'T think I'm advocating cannabis consumption by writing this! I don't smoke dope just like I don't smoke cigarettes and don't drink alcohol. But I have heavily consumed all three in the past and I know which is the least toxic. There are millions of (often high-achieving) moderate cannabis smokers out there who know this -but cannot speak up because of the illegality factor. As soon as it is no-longer illegal, people will be able to treat dope as what it is: a totally unecessary threat to young people's long-term happiness. Obama correctly said it is no worse than alcohol or tobacco. If you really believe in cannabis illegality, then be consistent and illegalize the far more dangerous alcohol and tobacco too.

  • bigralphsmith bexar, TX
    Feb. 16, 2014 12:26 a.m.


    Tell us how much worse. I'm interested to hear your predictions of doom.
    tell us what you think will happen.
    It only took us 13 years to learn our lesson with alcohol.
    Don't you get it, no one is saying cannabis use is necessarily a good or bad thing.
    What we already know is that it's the prohibition laws that are doing most of the damage.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Feb. 15, 2014 10:02 p.m.

    I've got to agree with the Deseret News on this one. Saying "its not all that bad" isn't terribly encouraging. It is harmful.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 15, 2014 9:07 p.m.

    "In our opinion marijuana is stlll dangerous and the gonernment isn't helping".


    I wouldn't partake because Good health and a sound mind are things I treasure too much and there are too many questions about marajuana's effects.

    However not throwing millions of people into prison because of marijuana and not having police break down doors of homes, sometimes the wrong door makes a lot of sense.

    The war on marijuana is one instance where the cure is worse than than the desease.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Feb. 15, 2014 8:52 p.m.

    "If educated adults do not speak out about the real hazards, lives could be lost."


    Let's examine the facts.

    Annual deaths in Utah --

    Vehicles - 270
    Guns - 317
    Legal prescription Drugs - 470

    Marijuana - ZERO

  • LovelyDeseret Gilbert, AZ
    Feb. 15, 2014 8:41 p.m.

    If I were to ruin a country I would promote the drug trade. The only time China ever fell to a foreign power was when the drug trade was legalized and flourished.

    While I do not think marijuana use should be criminalized, it shouldn't be legalized either.

    Look at testicular cancer and suicide rates among marijuana users. They are both extremely high.

  • iron&clay RIVERTON, UT
    Feb. 15, 2014 8:19 p.m.

    Marijuana like tobacco was never meant to be smoked.

    It fits in the realm of herbs 'to be used with judgement and skill'.*

    *D&C 80:8

  • freedomingood provo, Utah
    Feb. 15, 2014 7:20 p.m.

    keep it illegal and make it a fine for possession and selling rather than jail time. That way I don't have to deal with potheads out in the open. Nothing worse than grown people giggling.

  • Arizona1 Tucson, AZ
    Feb. 15, 2014 7:09 p.m.

    It's stunning to see all the comments disparaging the Deseret News for the stance it has taken on this subject. Does a group of pot users camp out waiting to shout down anyone that stands up for truth and good in society? If society was as accepting of marijuana as those who have commented on this article imagine how much worse things would be than they already are.

  • lindaj72 salt lake city, UT
    Feb. 15, 2014 6:45 p.m.

    I feel so fortunate to be drug free. I was around during the hippie era. I saw so many including my first husband turn their lives over to marijuana. I watched many treat it like a religion as they sat around a table and made a ceremony of passing the bong. Getting high was about the only thing they looked forward to. I saw some so high on a combination of marijuana and wine they couldn't remember how they got home. My first husband used so much pot he lost all motivation to do anything but sit around and smoke. He always "talked" about all he was going to do, but just never got around to doing anything. He lost his beautiful baritone voice. Couldn't remember anything. You say people have smoked for 40 years with no ill effects. Anything that dulls the mind is dangerous. How much more you might have accomplished had you stayed away from drugs of any kind. Many went from pot to more addictive drugs. I agree with this article, Your negative comments make you sound like you are heavy users and can't see reality.

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    Feb. 15, 2014 6:17 p.m.

    I can tell you, beyond a shadow of doubt, that marijuana is a gateway drug. I saw this happen with many of my former friends, way back in the 1960s. It hasn't changed. The current youth are just a naïve and gullible, as back then. History repeats itself, once again.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    Feb. 15, 2014 5:55 p.m.

    @1Reader asks, "If pot is medicinally beneficial, why hasn't the absolutely massive and profit-hungry pharma industry ... not released it as a prescriptive product?"

    Easy. There's nothing to patent, hence no profit to make, and pharma companies don't do research out of the sheer human kindness of their shareholders. Secondly, being an illegal drug with criminal statutes against it, it's really hard for researchers to get permission to work with it. They can, but it's a bureaucratic nightmare.

    If it was legal, more investigative work could be done by academic researchers.

    Pot has ruined far fewer lives than alcohol, far fewer lives than prescription pill addictions. Considering the tens of millions of Americans who are regular users, marijuana has remarkably few medical side effects, and remarkably low association with fatal accidents. As others have mentioned, the real devastation is caused by the criminal justice system's toll, especially on people of color. To that, I would add the massively stupid side-effect of funding huge criminal enterprises that span multiple nations.

    If legalization is a bad idea, keeping it illegal is an even worse one.

  • Anonymous254 Meridian, ID
    Feb. 15, 2014 4:38 p.m.

    The health effects marijuana are known, but there are dangerous substances more easily available to children, like caffeinated beverages containing high-fructose corn syrup. The obesity epidemic should be of far greater concern.

    States like Utah might see a drop in tourism because of marijuana legalization right next door, losing many adult tourists to Colorado. The Gallup polling organization has determined that a clear majority of Americans are in favor of legalization, by 58 percent. 38 percent admit using it, including the US President. Politicians will soon realize that their careers might be shortened if they oppose the opinion of the majority. It is interesting how a state like Utah, with fewer regulations and other impediments to business, and which supports libertarian ideas of freedom, still wants to control this aspect of people's lives, while more regulated, liberal states like Washington and Colorado have allowed marijuana legalization. Business people are already capitalizing on this, and marijuana vacations dot com, for example, is offering services for the cannabis tourist. This is just the beginning, and already the federal government is loosening banking rules so that state-legal marijuana businesses can now use this highly regulated system.

  • Star Bright Salt Lake City, Ut
    Feb. 15, 2014 4:13 p.m.

    Interesting comments. Obviously most of you know more about marijuana than I do. So just an uneducated comment, since I have never tried it or smoking or alcohol, but I wonder if it's a wise, smart thing to always alter the brain chemistry -especially amongst our youth?
    I guess the choom gang was the way to get through high school.

  • Chuck Farley Phoenix, AZ
    Feb. 15, 2014 3:36 p.m.

    The complete falsehoods written in this opinion piece are easily disproven with just a few Google searches. The amazing thing about the internet is that you can look up basically every scientific study ever done. The truth is out there, you do not have to believe an opinion piece. The lies we have been told over and over are being exposed as just that: lies. The studies out there show the truth; cannabis prevents diabetes, kills cancer cells, stops epileptic seizures, rebuilds brain tissue damaged by disease and injury, relieves pain, prevents nausea in chemotherapy patients and has many other health benefits. Plenty of "educated adults" have known this for years. "Lives could be lost" is just over the top ridiculous. Cannabis has never directly killed anyone in the millennia it has been used by humans. It is gratifying to see the desperate lengths prohibitionists feel pressured to go to, because it means we are winning. The biggest "hazard" from cannabis is incarceration, which is far more ruinous to a person than cannabis usage could ever possibly be. The War On Drugs is a war on Americans. Legalization cannot be stopped, because the truth has been set free!

  • sandydog5 Big Bear Lake, CA
    Feb. 15, 2014 2:55 p.m.

    "If educated adults do not speak out about the real hazards, lives could be lost."

    We educated adults are speaking up, and it's about time! We've lost/ruined enough lives to your "war on drugs". Legalize cannabis and get it out in the open.

  • 1Reader Sunnyvale, CA
    Feb. 15, 2014 2:19 p.m.

    In this region, there are literally hundreds of home/building fires a year from 'medicinal' grow businesses; that was never predicted.

  • Socratrees Garberville, CA
    Feb. 15, 2014 2:18 p.m.

    Cannabis is not physically addictive. I know plenty of people who have smoked pot for decades and decades and then stopped without any side affects. For some it is mentally addictive, but never physically. So quit lying, Deseret News. Papers are supposed to tell the truth based on fact. I want to concur with the complaints about this Nanny state. As pot is far less harmful in every way than driving, gun ownership, alcohol, cigarettes, and the worst legal addictive drug of all, sugar, it's time to decriminalize it. Time to break way from the racist, ignorant views of the reefer madness 1930's. In fact, Cannabis is the perfect nightcap after a stressful day. And some stats show drivers are actually safer on the road after smoking. Not that I'm recommending it. I'm just sayin'. And guess what the ground breaker is now: epileptic seizure are now confirmed to be reduced dramatically in children through cannabis use in a particular configuration, leading lawmakers in Georgia and Alabama to consider regulations of medical cannabis. Your writer is a caveman. Except that cavemen smoked pot. I'd suggest your writer try some and chill out.

  • 1Reader Sunnyvale, CA
    Feb. 15, 2014 2:18 p.m.

    I see several strange comments posted here. Just because marijuana may not be as bad for youth or people as alcohol in same cases or tobacco in other ways, does not mean we should promote it. Criminal justice laws and incarceration policies may need to be improved or revisited; however that is not best achieved by allowing or promoting unhealthy, unwise and dangerous practices that sound laws should discourage.

    As cited, very many teenagers think that weed is just funny and harmless. In fact, strongly negative outcomes are related to it in lots of important areas--but that scene is often not viewable for years later. MJ has been a strong gateway drug to greater problems, and will surely continue to be so for decades.

    If pot is medicinally beneficial, why hasn't the absolutely massive and profit-hungry pharma industry--with its hordes of hard-working PhDs--not released it as a prescriptive product? Likely it is because there are not actual medical benefits, in reality. Its legalization has been driven by adults who value pleasure over societal health and development. Its benefits do not nearly approach its costs of use and distribution in sundry critical aspects.

  • alanmonrovia Monrovia, CA
    Feb. 15, 2014 12:48 p.m.

    I agree that "educated individuals" need to speak out on this subject. However, don't expect anyone having even a basic knowledge of this plant and its effects to say something negative. It is becoming clearer by the day that we have been deceived regarding the many benefits of cannabis. Our constitutional rights have been systematically trampled upon for decades. Unfortunately for the few remaining prohibitionists, the more one knows, the more one becomes convinced that it must be legalized, and this without delay.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 15, 2014 12:40 p.m.

    I've never had much interest in pot, but you should keep some perspective here. Utah has the highest rate of anti-depression and anti-anxiety prescriptions in the nation. Why? Well, people are trying to cope with an increasingly difficult situation. Pot is an alternative. So maybe you ought to consider why the legal drugs are so attractive. It might make you a little more sympathetic.

  • glendenbg Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 15, 2014 12:34 p.m.

    Dr. Lester Grinspoon spent decades studying the effects of marijuana. He found the claims in this article to be nonscientific and inaccurate.

    In a recent interview (google it), Dr. Grinspoon rejected the claim marijuana is addictive, he pointed out that its effects on the ability to function are significantly less than alcohol. In the interview, he also pointed out that the drug itself is far less problematic than our societal, political and criminal response to it.

    To the claim in this article that marijuana impairs brain function, that's not supported by science or experience. The late Carl Sagan use marijuana to unleash his creativity in thinking about scientific and social problems and his insights while high led to insights he used successfully in essays and lectures for many years.

    It seems to me our current policy of criminalizing marijuana does more harm than the marijuana itself.

  • Ecologist Sioux Falls, SD
    Feb. 15, 2014 12:21 p.m.

    The author is correct in only one assertion in this story. Marijuana use among the young and still-being-educated is a problem. Learning IS impaired.
    So it overall makes sense to regulate it much like alcohol. We can't keep it out of youths' hands altogether, but can do so much more effectively than allowing the current status quo to continue.
    The only reason it has been a "gateway" drug is because the dealers who sell it also have other products they'd like to market. Neutralize the dealers by legalizing it.

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    Feb. 15, 2014 12:17 p.m.

    The federal government still has marijuana listed as a schedule 1 drug. That is ignorant enough for me to wonder why that is.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Feb. 15, 2014 11:09 a.m.

    People are not dumb and teenagers aren't naive. I know Doctors, Lawyers and very sucessful businessmen who have smoked pot for over 40 years. The "refer madness" approach that this article takes and that many critics use is easily tossed aside by people with real life experiences to draw off. I'm not advocating pots usage or legilization I'm just pointing out that fear won't dissuade most people from trying or using. A better approach would be an honest discussion that would respect peoples right to choose what's best for themself.

  • TheTrueVoice West Richland, WA
    Feb. 15, 2014 10:52 a.m.

    How unfortunate that this type of chicken-little hysteria can still be offered as a legitimate position on marijuana, despite all the facts to the contrary.

    All drugs can be abused. To single out a relatively benign intoxicant like marijuana and demonized it as if "Reefer Madness" was a documentary, is to reveal an dishonest agenda. Today, far more harm is caused by marijuana prohibition, than by the use of marijuana itself.

    The best way to prevent drug abuse is with honest, credible and factual drug education. Only in a climate in which marijuana is viewed from a public health perspective, instead of a criminal justice perspective, can prevention efforts be effective.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    Feb. 15, 2014 10:52 a.m.

    Until you're about 25, your brain is still developing. I do not believe that marijuana does any harm to adults over that age. I would caution those under that age that they should avoid regular exposure.

    From about the age of 16 until about 30, I smoked cannabis regularly. The material available at the time wasn't as strong as what gets sold now, but we'd smoke enough to get pretty high. After my wife and I married, and I couldn't share the pleasant times with her due to her asthma, I gave it up. It's not addictive. There was no withdrawal or difficulty of any kind.

    What I want to do is caution younger folk about what it does to developing brains. For a period of a few years after I stopped smoking cannabis, it seemed like development that should have happened when I was younger slowly resumed, with a clear increase of intellectual and emotional capacity, and maturity.

    At no time, though, did the drug significantly impair my function. I made a wonderful and rewarding career in IT and have built assets for an affluent retirement.

  • bigralphsmith bexar, TX
    Feb. 15, 2014 9:14 a.m.

    It's obvious that the author of this article is still under the thrall of past government propaganda. The issue here is not the relative dangers of using Cannabis, it is about the dangers of keeping current policies in place.
    It's a simple fact that laws against Cannabis are far, far, FAR more harmful than the harms caused by the plant itself, This is not about "Is Cannabis use good?", it is about "are our policies hurting people for no good reason?". Far more people lose their lives as a result of the policies than lose their lives as a result of the plant.
    We, as a country, have made criminals out of otherwise good, law-abiding people. This insanity has to stop.
    It's like most other things in society, if you don't like it, don't use it. But lets stop demonizing those that choose to.

  • undytaker long beach, NY
    Feb. 15, 2014 8:42 a.m.

    "In our opinion marijuana is still dangerous". In MY opinion the real danger is the lies that you are perpetuating. I neither want nor need the government to tell me what I can and can not ingest. I am an adult and can make that decision for myself. I choose what I believe to be a safer alternative to the DANGEROUS "Legal" drugs that are forced on me by big pharma who are fighting tooth and nail to prevent me from having that choice. The danger is the "war" on the citizens of this so called "free" country who have been incarcerated at record numbers for making this same choice. I am hurting no one and should not be ashamed nor arrested for making what should be my right to choose. Stop trying to enforce the unenforcable and end this war!

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Feb. 15, 2014 8:22 a.m.

    "If educated adults do not speak out about the real hazards, lives could be lost."
    If that was a valid argument, we'd have gun control.

  • bustaken gaithersburg, MD
    Feb. 15, 2014 8:12 a.m.

    even if what you are saying were true it still makes more sense to legalize, regulate, and tax it. the penalties for weed cost society far more than any real or perceived harms of the plant itself.

  • Morraine Puyallup, WA
    Feb. 15, 2014 6:19 a.m.

    Cannabis is NOT addictive.
    The article writer needs to go look up the definition of "addictive".
    This paper won't tell the truth and won't even address those who are functioning at higher levels than possible on "drugs" and they run the gamut from psychiatric drugs that do massive damage to the painkillers that destroy bodies from the inside.
    So many people walk and drive on dangerous drugs but this newspaper deems it necessary to vilify a simple plant that can only give good health and many productive products when used properly.
    Cannabis isn't the villain here - people who are prejudiced without cause are.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Feb. 15, 2014 6:17 a.m.

    "It's just an herb. It's OK. In fact, it's used for medical purposes . . ."

    Like digitalis.

    The concept that something is natural or occurs in nature and is therefore harmless is stunning.

    On that basis Uranium would be safe.

    Please do not confuse natural or occurring in nature with being safe. They are not the same.

  • Cru Fairfax, VA
    Feb. 15, 2014 4:36 a.m.

    "It makes little sense for the nation to be systematically discouraging cigarette smoking, regulating trans fatty acids, limiting the size of soft drinks — all while many are turning a blind eye to the dangers of marijuana."

    Which is why we shouldn't be discouraging cigarette smoking, we should be making smoking sections, we shouldn't be regulating fatty acids, or limiting soft drink sizes. We should let adults make adult decisions and stop trying to be their nanny!

  • jack bauer21 ada, ID
    Feb. 15, 2014 3:12 a.m.

    First off, there is not one recorded death from marijuana overdose, you may call this hackneyed but it is true. Second off, ask yourself what you would rather have your 12th graders use, alcohol, tobacco or marijuana. In a utopia, drug use wouldn't exist, but this is not possible. Also, start stating the facts about alcohol use, it's just as harmful to your brain if not more. I hate these poorly biased articles written, by collectivists-in laymen's terms "squares". That is all!

  • SEY Sandy, UT
    Feb. 15, 2014 12:07 a.m.

    Marijuana is bad bad bad. Got it. So is alcohol. Got it. Now how about addressing the disastrous policy with the tragic misnomer "war on drugs?" It should be called "the war on the poor and minorities." Those are the real victims that the editors choose to ignore.