Marijuana: Helpful or Harmful?

Posted on January 29th, 2014

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Air Date: January 29, 2014

Host: Jim Schneider

Guest: Dr. David Stevens

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Dr. David Stevens is the Chief Executive Officer of the 16,000 member Christian Medical & Dental Associations, the nation's largest faith-based organization of doctors.

There's a lot of money to be made in growing and selling marijuana. It can go for anywhere from $150 to $400 per ounce. The result? Colorado is estimating that they will gross 578 million in annual marijuana revenues and 67 million in tax receipts.

What effect does marijuana have on the body? According to Dr. Stevens, marijuana impairs sleep, coordination, balance, short term memory, judgment, the general ability to think, it increases the heart rate and can cause psychotic episodes.

Long term effects include addiction, chronic cough and bronchitis, anxiety, depression and the lack of motivation to work and learn. In addition, Dr. Stevens noted that we know marijuana has a significant effect on the long-term learning ability of babies long after they're born.

Dr. Stevens also pointed out that marijuana has undergone genetic modification and selective breeding in order to increase the concentration of the active substance that causes the psychoactive effect. This means the marijuana that's sold today is 3 to 5 times stronger than it was when President Obama used it as a kid.

Is the cry to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes legitimate in light of alternatives like Marinol? Is it a “gateway” drug that leads some people to harder drugs? These are questions to consider as you review this important edition of Crosstalk.

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