Contrary to popular myth, marijuana is an addictive and debilitating drug, and currently at the center of much political, legal, medical and social controversy.The best available evidence reveals that 22.2 million Americans currently use marijuana, with more starting every day. In fact, marijuana use is increasing in nearly all demographic groups. On average, 9 percent of those who use marijuana will become addicted to it—and for those who are initiated as children or adolescents, that percentage nearly doubles, to 17 percent, or 1 in 6. 

In spite of these data, many people, including some physicians and healthcare professionals, believe that the use of cannabis is benign, or at least no more harmful than small amounts of alcohol.  In recent years the controversy has escalated, as several states have legalized the use of cannabis for either medical or recreational use, and some states have done both. As scientist’s we look to the peer reviewed literature for evidence regarding the nature and effects of psychoactive drugs, including their safety profile, as we are honor bound to “do no harm”. We have also witnessed, up close and personal, the tragic effects of marijuana on individuals and families. At present there is no credible, empirically derived evidence to support any legal or political initiatives that would legalize the “recreational” use of cannabis. Conversely, there is a plethora of high quality evidence demonstrating the harmful effects of even moderate and occasional use, especially for children, teens and the unborn... MORE

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