Four recent medical news stories bring home the truth about the many dangers of smoking marijuana.
The first is a White House report that links smoking marijuana to addiction, mental illness, and depression. The report says that depression, teens, and marijuana are a dangerous mix that can lead to dependency, mental illness, or suicidal thoughts.
In fact, according to the report, using marijuana increases the risk of developing mental disorders by 40%. And teens who smoke pot at least once a month over a year-long period are three times more likely to have suicidal thoughts than non-users, it said.
A second story is about Great Britain’s plan to raise cannabis penalties. Why? Authorities there cite health threats.
Britain’s home secretary said she plans to increase punishments for the use of marijuana, increasing the maximum prison time for possession from two years to five. She said she wanted to send a strong message to the public, particularly the young, that the drug is dangerous.
A third story warns us that marijuana withdrawal is the real deal. In this study, about 42% percent of chronic marijuana smokers “said they had experienced withdrawal symptoms when they tried to quit,” and of those, “78% said they began using marijuana again to reduce them.”
Finally, U.S. Government researchers have found that heavy marijuana use results in higher blood levels of a particular protein that may raise person’s risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Here in the U.S., our kids are not only getting the message, they are heeding it. Overall, marijuana use among teens has decreased 25% since 2001, down to about 2.3 million kids who used pot at least once a month.
For our kids and our culture, that’s good news indeed.