Health Risks

Marijuana Use is Linked to Increased Suicide Risk

Daily marijuana use below age 18 is connected to 7x the risk of attempted suicide before age 30. In today’s world, students have challenges even if they don’t abuse substances.  Marijuana is the most likely drug of abuse for teens. Any substance abuse –marijuana, alcohol, opiates, other drugs, or a combination – generally makes the depression more difficult to overcome.

The town of Pueblo, Colorado has had an alarming trend of suicides among its teens, at least five this year. Although local officials link these deaths to bullying, Pueblo is infiltrated with marijuana and other drugs. Dr. Steven Simerville, head of pediatrics at a Pueblo hospital, has spoken about the connection between marijuana and teen suicide.   In October 2016, he said that all but one of teens who attempted suicide had THC in their toxicology reports.

Suicide rates in Colorado have reached all-time highs, according to a recent report by the Colorado Health Institute. Each one of Colorado’s 21 health regions had a suicide rate higher than the national average.


Parents Opposed to Pot. “Marijuana Use is Linked to Increased Suicide Risk” 9 March 2018. Web. 24 May 2018.

Ultra Potent Pot: Growing Risks and Impacts

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (a division of the National Institute of Health) has released studies showing the use of marijuana has wide-ranging negative health effects. Long-term marijuana consumption impairs the ability of T-cells in the lungs’ immune system to fight off some infections.

These studies have also found marijuana consumption impairs short-term memory, making it difficult to learn and retain information or perform complex tasks; slow reactions time and impairs motor coordination; increases heart rate by 20-100% thus elevating the risk of heart attack. It alters moods, resulting in artificial euphoria, calmness, or in high doses anxiety or paranoia. And it gets worse…Marijuana has toxic properties that can result in birth defects, pain, respiratory system damage, brain damage and stroke.

Consumption of marijuana impairs the immune system, short-term memory loss, elevates the risk of heart attack, respiratory system damage and brain damage. There is strong evidence to suggest that legalizing marijuana would serve little purpose other than to worsen the state’s drug problems.

The scientific literature is clear that marijuana is addictive, per the NIDA study, and its use significantly impairs bodily and mental functions. Marijuana is associated with memory loss, cancer, immune system deficiencies, heart disease and birth defects, among other conditions. Even where decriminalized, marijuana trafficking remains a source of violence, crime and social disintegration.

Marijuana advocates have had some success peddling the notion that marijuana is a soft drug, similar to alcohol, and fundamentally different from “hard” drugs like cocaine or heroin. It is true that marijuana is not the most dangerous of the commonly used drugs, but that is not to say that it is safe. Indeed, marijuana shares more in common with the “hard” drugs than it does with alcohol.

Officials should not overlook what may be the greatest harms of marijuana legalization including but not limited to; increased addiction to and use of harder drugs. In addition to marijuana’s harmful effects on the body and relationship to criminal conduct, it is a gateway drug that can lead users to more dangerous drugs. Prosecutors, judges, police officers, detectives, parole/probation officers and even defense attorneys know that the vast majority of defendants arrested for violent crimes test positive for illegal drugs, including marijuana. They also know that marijuana is a starter drug of choice for most criminals. It is impossible to predict the precise consequences of legalization, but the experiences of places that have eased restrictions on marijuana are not positive.

Smart Colorado. “Ultra Potent Pot: Growing Risks and Impacts.” Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 17 July 2017. Web. 24 July 2017.

The Effects of Cannabis Among Adults With Chronic Pain and an Overview of General Harms: A Systematic Review

The use of medicinal cannabis has become increasingly accepted in the United States and globally. Eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for recreational purposes, and 28 states and the District of Columbia have legalized it for medical purposes. Between 45% and 80% of persons who seek medical cannabis do so for pain management. Among patients who are prescribed long-term opioid therapy for pain, up to 39% are also using cannabis. MORE

Shannon M. Nugent, PhD; Benjamin J. Morasco, PhD; Maya E. O’Neil, PhD; Michele Freeman, MPH; Allison Low, BA; Karli Kondo, PhD; Camille Elven, MD; Bernadette Zakher, MBBS; Makalapua Motu’apuaka, BA; Robin Paynter, MLIS; Devan Kansagara, MD, MCR. “The Effects of Cannabis Among Adults With Chronic Pain and an Overview of General Harms: A Systematic Review.” 15 August 2017. Web. 17 August 2017.

The EPA Won’t Regulate Harmful Pesticides in Marijuana Crops

The Environmental Protection Agency is in charge of regulating pesticides and other chemicals used on agricultural products. But it turns out there’s one crop that they don’t care if it’s poisoned: Marijuana.

Since it is illegal at the federal level, the EPA does not regulate the use of pesticides and other chemicals on marijuana plants. MORE

Civilized. “The EPA Won’t Regulate Harmful Pesticides in Marijuana Crops.” 9 August 2017. Web. 9 August 2017.

The World’s First Cannabis Genetic Test Can Tell You How Your Body Will React to Marijuana

What if a test could tell you that you may have a negative reaction to pot before you ever smoked your first spliff? What if this same test could tell you if you’re likely to develop a habitual smoking problem? What if you could perform this test in your own home? MORE

Merry Jane. “The World’s First Cannabis Genetic Test Can Tell You How Your Body Will React to Marijuana.” 9 August 2017. Web. 9 August 2017.

Marijuana Users 3X Likely to Die from High Blood Pressure, Study Claims

Marijuana users are 3.42 times likely to die from high blood pressure (hypertension) than non-users, according to a study by researchers from Georgia State University. However, the study got limitations, including the definition of marijuana users and non-differentiation of marijuana strains. MORE

“Marijuana Users 3X Likely to Die from High Blood Pressure, Study.” 14 August 2017. Web. 14 August 2017.