Father Raymond J. de Souza: Cannabis causes harm. But no one cares

Later this month, recreational use of marijuana will become legal in Canada. The toll of human misery will accordingly increase, but not to worry, some very wealthy firms will make a lot of money and the government will get its share of the booty, just as it does with tobacco, gambling and alcohol.

It has never been clear exactly what problem the legalization of marijuana is the solution to.

Over a year ago I asked questions about what social good legalized pot is supposed to achieve. The government did not have answers then and, on the threshold of legalization, is not greatly bothered to find any.

I have always suspected that the guilty conscience of the affluent is a major factor. Their adult children have the luxury of whiling away a few years snowboarding and smoking pot, but are not in legal jeopardy because rich kids do not get pot convictions. The prime minister himself alluded to that when he acknowledged that his late brother Michel was charged with possession but their father, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, made it go away.

No one predicts an increase in industriousness or health or greater social harmony from legal pot. To the contrary, employers are putting in place restrictions on pot use. Mental-health experts, already lamenting the lack of resources for the treatment, know that marijuana smoking will only make those problems worse at least for the young, but not only them.


National Post. “Father Raymond J. de Souza: Cannabis causes harm. But no one careshttp://www.nationalpost.com. 9 October 2018. Web. 14 February 2019 

How marijuana can harm teenage brains, and what may be done to prevent the damage

In a compelling new study, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine have established a fascinating hypothesis attempting to explain how marijuana use in some teenagers can result in cognitive impairment in adulthood. The research also suggests anti-inflammatory therapies may be able to prevent the marijuana-induced brain damage.

“Now that marijuana is moving toward widespread legalization and recreational use, it’s important to learn more about why it’s not harmless to everyone,” says co-senior author of the new research, Atsushi Kamiya. “There’s still a lot that we don’t know about how pot specifically affects the brain.”

Several studies have confidently linked adolescent marijuana use to certain cognitive impairments in later life. However, the connection has not been consistent across all research leading many scientists to suspect there must be an underlying genetic component that amplifies the adverse effects of the drug. This would explain why some people can smoke marijuana as a teenager with no adverse effects in later life while others may develop memory impairments or suffer from metal health issues.


New Atlas. “How marijuana can harm teenage brains, and what may be done to prevent the damage” http://www.newatlas.com. 19 December 2018. Web. 12 February 2019 

Could Pot Harm Men’s Sperm?

New research shows that marijuana causes genetic changes in sperm, though it’s not clear what effect those changes have, or if they’re passed on to a man’s children.

But the scientists said their findings suggest that men trying to have children should consider avoiding marijuana.

In experiments with rats and a study involving 24 men, the Duke University team found that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana — affects genes in two major cellular pathways and alters DNA methylation, a process essential to normal development.

“What we have found is that the effects of cannabis use on males and their reproductive health are not completely null, in that there’s something about cannabis use that affects the genetic profile in sperm,” said senior study author Scott Kollins. He is a professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke.


WebMD. “Could Pot Harm Men’s Sperm?http://www.webmd.com. 19 December 2018. Web. 7 February 2019 

Illinois Catholic Bishops oppose marijuana legalization

Illinois’ Roman Catholic bishops have taken a stand against legalizing recreational use of marijuana.

The six bishops issued a statement Monday that they oppose legalization because they are “committed to the common good.”

Illinois lawmakers are poised to push legislation to permit recreational cannabis use . Gov. J.B. Pritzker campaigned on the issue.

The bishops say legalization will only add to the country’s crisis with illicit drugs and prescription opioids. They point to peer-reviewed research that indicates marijuana is addictive and studies that show addicts started with alcohol and marijuana.


News Channel 20. “Illinois Catholic Bishops oppose marijuana legalizationhttp://www.newschannel20.com. 4 February 2019. Web. 5 January 2019 

Peoria doctor Raymond Bertino opposes the proposed legalization of marijuana in Illinois for recreational purposes

Debate on whether recreational use of marijuana should become legal in Illinois is shifting from candidates’ opinions to evidence of benefit and harm.

The advice several medical organizations and doctors are giving state officials is to say “no” to a legislative push that would make Illinois the 11th state with expansive laws allowing legalized recreational use for adults.

“The preponderance of the evidence so far says marijuana is not a benign substance,” said Dr. Raymond Bertino, a retired Peoria physician. “The evidence doesn’t look good any way you look at it. When medical evidence looks bad, you don’t need it to be conclusive to be careful.”


Journal Star. “Peoria doctor Raymond Bertino opposes the proposed legalization of marijuana in Illinois for recreational purposes” http://www.pjstar.com. 15 December 2018. Web. 31 January 2019 

Darryl Strawberry Really Hates Marijuana … It’s Destroying Lives!

Darryl Strawberry believes marijuana is DANGEROUS — telling TMZ Sports it should NOT be used as pain management because it’s a gateway drug that can ruin lives.

… and Strawberry says he’s living proof.

Of course, the ex-MLB superstar battled addiction himself — he was suspended 3 times for cocaine during his baseball career.

Now, with so many pro athletes calling for the legalization of marijuana for pain management, Strawberry says it’s the WRONG thing to do.


TMZ Sports. “Darryl Strawberry Really Hates Marijuana … It’s Destroying Lives!” http://www.tmz.com. 2 January 2019. Web. 23 January 2019 

Secondhand Pot Smoke Found in Kids’ Lungs

If you’re a pot-smoking parent and you think your kids aren’t affected, think again.

New research found evidence of secondhand marijuana smoke exposure in nearly half of children whose parents smoke the drug.

“While the effects of tobacco smoke have been studied extensively, we are still learning about marijuana exposure,” said researcher Dr. Karen Wilson, from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

“What we found in this study is that secondhand marijuana smoke does get into the lungs and little bodies of young children,” Wilson said in a school news release.


WebMD. “Secondhand Pot Smoke Found in Kids’ Lungs” http://www.webmd.com. 19 November 2018 Web. 15 January 2019 

Cannabis is often one of the first drugs a teen is offered

The new cannabis landscape in Canada 

The rate of cannabis use is three times higher among Canadian youth than adults. 1

  • Canadian youth have one of the highest rates of cannabis use worldwide. In 2016, the World Health Organization compared past-30-day cannabis use among youth aged 15 across 40 countries and found that use by Canadian youth (13%) was the second highest. 2
  • One in 5 teens aged between 15 and 19 have used cannabis in the past year. 3
  • In 2017 cannabis use increased in Ontario with high school grade level to a high of 36.9 % among 12th grade students. Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS) 2017 reported High School use of cannabis: Gr. 9-9.3%, Gr. 10-19.9%, Gr. 11-30.4%, Gr. 12-36.9%. 4
  • Cannabis use is still more prevalent among males than females, although the rate of use among females is on the rise.  5
1 CTADS 2017 2- Health Behaviour in School-aged Children 2016, World Health Organization, 3 – Statistics Canada 2016, 4- OSDUHS 2017, 5 – Statistics Canada 2016


Drug Free Kids Canada. “Cannabis is often one of the first drugs a teen is offered” http://www.drugfreekidscanada.org. Web. 10 January 2019 

Headlines bring up more marijuana – related behavioral issues

Amanda Bynes made headlines last week, sharing her story for the cover of Paper Magazine.  Her optimistic tale of recovery repeats in People Magazine, which published portions of the interview. Amanda admitted that she began drug abuse starting with marijuana, age 16.  She continued pot use and also used Molly, Ecstasy and Adderall.


Parents Opposed to Pot. “Headlines bring up more marijuana – related behavioral issues” http://www.poppot.org. 3 December 2018 Web. 8 January 2019 

PD: Naugatuck bus driver arrested with marijuana while reckless driving with teens on-board

A bus driver was arrested in Naugatuck Thursday after police found marijuana on the bus when they pulled her over for reckless driving while two teens were on-board.

Police say that at around 6:05 p.m., officers responded to a report of a school bus driving recklessly by running stop signs and speeding. The bus was then seen parked at Breen Field where the caller says they observed what looked like two juveniles fighting on-board.


WTNH. “PD: Naugatuck bus driver arrested with marijuana while reckless driving with teens on-board” http://www.wtnh.com. 30 November 2018 Web. 2 January 2019