Pubdate: Sun, 16 Jun 2013
Source: Pueblo Chieftain (CO)
Copyright: 2013 The Pueblo Chieftain
Author: Dale Fish


Dr. Chris Nevin-Woods' article on marijuana in the (Pueblo Chieftain, 
June 2) is inaccurate.

Marijuana has little if any physical withdrawal symptoms associated 
with addictive drugs such as alcohol, narcotics, sedative-hypnotics 
drugs and amphetamines. A few studies have shown that some people 
smoking marijuana daily for 70 months or more had some mild symptoms 
(anxiety and insomnia).

Most researchers and experts classify marijuana as having some 
psychological dependency but no physical dependency. In fact, when 
the federal government was attempting to pass the Marijuana Tax Act, 
Dr. William Woodward representing the AMA testified against the act 
and said all the horrific stories about the effects of marijuana had 
no verifiable proof.

Much of what Ms. Nevin-Woods claims to be the effects of marijuana 
seem right out of the 1937 newspaper hysteria. Does marijuana have 
negative effects . . . yes. It does decrease motivation for long-term 
smokers. It also can cause lung cancer, the same as cigarettes. It 
also impairs perceptual and motor skills and concentration the same 
as alcohol does. I am a retired professor of counseling and 
rehabilitation, and worked as a mental health/drug counselor for 
those same 30 years.

Marijuana smokers do put themselves at risk. But over my professional 
career, I have seen many more health issues, societal issues, family 
issues and criminal justice issues with alcohol than with marijuana.

Dale Fish

Pueblo West
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom