The following information is sobering in light of the fact that in the November election Colorado and Washington became the first states in America to legalize the possession and sale of marijuana for “recreational use” and a USA Today poll recently found that 70% of Americans age 30 and older oppose enforcement of existing federal laws against marijuana use.
The following report doesn't address the drug’s spiritual dangers. This is excerpted from “Science Suggests Smoking Pot,” Melanie Haiken, Forbes, Sept. 10, 2012: “Here in California, marijuana is now treated as a minimal vice, with legalization inevitable and decriminalization for possession amounting to a tap on the hand. Medical marijuana cards are so easy to obtain, they’re the butts of endless popular jokes.
On the famed Venice Beach boardwalk, booths tout on-the-spot ‘evaluations’ and customers walk out the door with newly minted photo ID cards in under an hour. High schools across the country celebrate April 20th as ‘420 Day,’ a fact I know because my daughter’s high school, San Rafael High, is nationally famous (or infamous, depending on your perspective) as the birthplace of the term 420. (Coined, supposedly, because 4:20 pm was the time at which kids would meet after school to light up.) ... Is it really relatively harmless for young men--and women--to get high? Today’s headline was pretty bold: ‘Smoking pot leads to double the risk of developing testicular cancer.’... Those who smoked pot recreationally were twice as likely to develop testicular germ cell tumors, or nonseminomas, the most common kind in men under 35, says a study in Cancer.
Nonseminomas are faster growing and harder to treat--a deadly combination--say researchers at the University of Southern California. This study, though small, is actually the third study to link nonseminomas to pot use; the first two were also published in Cancer. ... Last week’s headline was at least as alarming as this week’s. Researchers followed a group of youngsters from age 13 to age 38, and found that the IQs of regular pot smokers fell up to 8 points during the 25-year period, compared with the IQs of those who didn't smoke pot, which stayed the same. ... In a German study that followed a group of teenagers for ten years, those who smoked pot at least 5 times were more than twice as likely to develop schizophrenia. ... The health risks of marijuana for women are much less well known, as of yet. But what is known is that pot smoking decreases fertility for both men and women, and appears to have the potential for genetic damage to future children.”
(Friday Church News Notes, January 18, 2013, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)