Marijuana use has negative impact, especially on young people’s developing brains
I am an Adolescent Medicine and Addiction Medicine doctor, who has practiced for 35 years. Having State Representative Jamie Callender say that marijuana is not the taboo thing it used to be and should be legalized in Ohio is very wrong. The goal of such a law is to increase money to marijuana supporters.
More: New Ohio marijuana legalization bill drafted by Republican lawmaker
Fifteen states and the District of Columbia have already legalized marijuana. This leads most people to consider marijuana safe to use and increases use among youth. This change is of critical concern because of the potential harmful impact of marijuana exposure on adolescents.
Marijuana use has been associated with several adverse mental health outcomes, including increased incidence of addiction and comorbid substance use, suicidality, and new-onset psychosis. Negative impacts on cognition and academic performance have also been observed.
The brain is not fully developed until age 25 in all youth. Marijuana use by adolescents and young adults leads to permanent damaged areas of the brain. Adolescent marijuana use is associated with increased prevalence of psychotic, mood, and addictive disorders and with short and long-term impairments in cognition, and academic performance.
In 2017, teens 12-17 reporting frequent use of marijuana showed a 130 percent greater likelihood of misusing opioids, which leads to overdose deaths. I have had several marijuana using teens admitted to the hospital for a paranoid schizophrenic attack.
It seems that every politician should want to support healthy adolescent development free of substance abuse for every child in Ohio.
Ladegard K, Thurstone C, Rylander M. Marijuana Legalization and Youth, PEDIATRICS Volume 145, number s2, May 2020
Steven C. Matson, MD, Columbus
Beatty should co-sponsor Medicare for All bill to provide unified, affordable healthcare
Thanks to the participants of the car caravan that made its way through the streets of Columbus on Nov. 6. The car caravan was sponsored by National Nurses United and partnered with SPAN Ohio.
The purpose was to echo the ad in the Dispatch on Nov. 5 and Nov. 6, to ask our Congressional House representative, Joyce Beatty, to sign on as a co-sponsor of Medicare for All, HR 1976.
We were surprised early this year that her name was not on the co-sponsor list because she was an original co-sponsor in 2019, and is a member of the Medicare for All caucus in the House.
Medicare for All is now mainstream, desired by both Democrats and Republicans. Too many people have been devastated by medical bills from hospitals and meds, out-of-network nonsense, and pre-authorization refusals on the part of health insurers.
With administrative medical costs now at 36 percent of medical revenue, people are realizing we have a health care payment system that is just plain “wacko.”
People who are poor experience a disparity of life expectancy of 25 years; maternal death rates and infant mortality that are three times the rate of more affluent people.
With Medicare for All, we would join the First World nations which have unified and affordable health care, creating a wellness system in which no one is bankrupted by illness.
Please, Congresswoman Beatty, sign on as a co-sponsor of Medicare for All, HR 1976.
Bob Krasen, SPAN Ohio Columbus Area Coordinator
This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Letters: Marijuana has negative effect on teen, young adult brains