Letter: Medical marijuana is bad medicine for Idaho

For 30 years psychiatrists
and epidemiologists have
been finding more and more
scientific evidence for marijuana’s
dangers rather than its
medical benefits.
The conclusions of the
National Academy of Medicine,
in 2017, after analyzing
reams of literature, are that
there is limited or insufficient
evidence of its efficacy in
any of several neurological
diseases, including dementia
and depression.
What is known is that
“cannabis use is likely to increase
the risk of developing
schizophrenia and other psychoses;
the higher the use, the
greater the risk.” This risk is
greatest during the teenage
The use of cannabis has
been associated with increased
risk for fatal car accidents.
To make matters
worse, recent developments
in plant breeding and growing
techniques have increased the
concentrations of THC since
these studies were done.
A study published last year
in “Frontiers of Forensic
Psychiatry” found that over
a 3-year period young men
with psychosis who used
cannabis were four times
as likely to become violent
compared with those with
psychosis who didn’t use.
And despite allegations
that its use prevents progression
to more potent drugs,
marijuana use almost triples
the risk of opiate usage three
years later, according to a paper
in the “American Journal
of Psychiatry.”
There are a few rare diseases,
such as pediatric epilepsy
with intractable seizures, for
which tetrahydrocannabinol
(THC) may be effective.
But the most common prescribed
use of THC is for pain
relief. Marijuana, like alcohol,
is a weak painkiller that
is much less effective than
opiates in those with severe
pain (e.g. terminal cancer).
Studies comparing it with
other pain relieving drugs seldom
show a statistically significant
improvement; in fact,
one study of patients with
chronic pain actually showed
cannabis use was associated
with greater pain over time (4
Finally, it’s important to
keep in mind that cannabis
advocates, like Rob Kampia,
co-founder of the Marijuana
Policy Project, acknowledge
that they have always viewed
medical marijuana laws primarily
as a way to protect
recreational users, who are a
far greater source of income
to marijuana producers than
medical users.
So keep “medical” marijuana
off the ballot, and vote
“No” if it gets there.
Glen I. Reeves, MD, MPH


Signal American

18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
PH: (208) 549-1717
FAX: (208) 549-1718

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