October 26, 2009
THEY DON'T CALL IT DOPE FOR NOTHIN':
Medical marijuana is an insult to our intelligence (Charles Lane, 10/26/09, Washington Post)
I don't think the federal government should be spending a whole lot of time on small-time druggies, and I'm undecided about legalizing pot, which enjoys 44 percent support among the general public, according to a recent poll. Recreational use is not the wisest thing -- and if my 12-year-old son is reading this, that means you! -- but it's no more harmful than other drugs (e.g., alcohol) and impossible to eradicate. On the other hand, I worry it's a gateway to harder stuff. So I think we probably should have an open debate about decriminalization.
But it should be a real debate, about real decriminalization, and not clouded -- pardon the expression -- by hokum about "medical marijuana." To the extent it puts the attorney general's imprimatur on the notion that people are getting pot from "caregivers" to deal "with serious illnesses" -- as opposed to growing their own or flocking to "dispensaries" just to get high -- the Justice Department's move is not so constructive.
Marijuana Smokers Face Rapid Lung Destruction -- As Much As 20 Years Ahead Of Tobacco Smokers (ScienceDaily, Jan. 27, 2008)
A new study finds that the development of bullous lung disease occurs in marijuana smokers approximately 20 years earlier than tobacco smokers.
A condition often caused by exposure to toxic chemicals or long-term exposure to tobacco smoke, bullous lung disease (also known as bullae) is a condition where air trapped in the lungs causes obstruction to breathing and eventual destruction of the lungs.
At present, about 10% of young adults and 1% of the adult population smoke marijuana regularly. Researchers find that the mean age of marijuana-smoking patients with lung problems was 41, as opposed to the average age of 65 years for tobacco-smoking patients.
Lucky for them, their self-destructive behavior won't stand in the way of forcing insurance companies to cover the illness. Posted by Orrin Judd at October 26, 2009 12:24 PM