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Health Risks of Legalizing Recreational Marijuana

As a physician specializing in family medicine and public health, I know there is clear, scientific evidence of the many negative health effects of marijuana, especially in our youth.

I also know that in states with legalized marijuana, surveyed youth state that is it “very easy” for them to get marijuana. This is why as a parent and a doctor, I am urging a no vote on Proposal 1, which would legalize the recreational sale of marijuana in Michigan.

One in 6 teens that use marijuana will become addicted to marijuana. I know that facts show teens that use marijuana: score worse on tests of memory and thinking; have problems learning, doing math, and reading; are less likely to graduate from high school; are more likely to have psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations, when they become an adult, and; are more likely to use other drugs, like heroin and cocaine.

Newly available research has revealed that marijuana use causes long-term damaging effects to the teen brain, and this damage is worse than occurs with alcohol use.

Pregnant women who use marijuana expose their unborn child, and these children are later found to have lower reading and spelling scores, be more inattentive and impulsive, and have trouble solving problems.

Adults also face consequences from marijuana use. One in 11 adults that use marijuana become addicted. Adults that use marijuana daily or nearly every day can develop psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia.

Marijuana use can also worsen depression and anxiety and increases the risk for suicide. Those that smoke marijuana regularly can develop lung problems similar to smokers, like chronic bronchitis. Marijuana use increases the risks for car accidents and workplace accidents.

Please help protect all Michigan citizens, particularly our children: vote no on Proposal 1.

Jennifer Morse, M.D.

Clare

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