I must completely disagree with Shayne Felberg ("Oppression keeps marijuana illegal," March 3) and all those who want to push the legalization of marijuana upon us. But my disagreement carries little weight.
The Augusta Medical Examiner wrote about marijuana in its April 20, 2007, issue. Clinical exams and research concluded that marijuana impairs short-term memory; impairs attention, judgment and other cognitive functions; increases heart rate; can lead to addiction; and increases risk of chronic cough, bronchitis and emphysema. It also increases risk of cancer of the head, neck and lungs.
The Drug Abuse Warning Network that monitors the health impact of drugs estimated in 2002 that marijuana was a contributing factor in some 119,000 emergency calls. The National Institution of Justice's Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring Program found 41 percent of arrestees tested positive for marijuana.
The National Institute for Drug Abuse and the Epidemiology Work Group researchers consistently report that marijuana "frequently is combined with other drugs such as crack cocaine, PCP, formaldehyde and codeine cough syrup without the users being aware of it."
Also: "Research findings for long-term marijuana abuse indicate some changes in the brain similar to those seen after long-term use of other major drugs."
In addition to all of this, marijuana is illegal, and the law is trying to save you from doing stupid things!