Reader's View: Cannabis anything but safe, recreational
Researchers are finding rising trends of heart attack, stroke, and psychosis among adult cannabis users.
Many people, including legislators, assume that legalizing and regulating cannabis products will make them safe for recreational use. That assumption is false, based on Minnesota’s own experience. Following the legalization of hemp-THC edibles on July 1, the Minnesota Department of Health reported a record increase in hospital-treated cannabis poisonings for the third quarter of 2022. In April, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture warned consumers of mold contamination found in Wonky Weed brand Delta-9 THC syrup that was distributed in Minnesota.
Outside of Minneota, In February, two adults were poisoned by tainted cannabis edibles purchased legally at a smoke shop in Pennsylvania. Despite strict regulations, our Canadian neighbors saw pediatric hospitalization rates for cannabis poisonings triple following legalization of recreational weed. Ending prohibition in California has not slowed cannabis-related emergency-room visit rates for seniors. They increased from 20.7 per 100,000 visits in 2005 to 395 per 100,000 visits in 2019, a whopping 1,804% as the American Geriatrics Society reported this year.
Cannabis is an addictive, intoxicating drug that interacts with multiple medications and co-morbid conditions. Researchers are finding rising trends of heart attack, stroke, and psychosis among adult cannabis users. Does this seem like a safe drug for recreational use?
Marijuana is medicine. However, no amount of patchwork state regulations will reach the level of consumer safety provided by U.S. Food and Drug Administration pharmaceutical standards. That’s why it’s important to only use cannabis under direct clinical supervision, preferably by prescription.
Please ask your state legislators and Gov. Tim Walz to oppose the recreational cannabis bill. They are not qualified to play doctor, pharmacist, regulator, and venture capitalist with a potentially harmful drug.
Dr. Maria Poirier
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