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Marijuana Is Not a Soft Drug

by Ned Wicker
(Wisconsin)

Over the years there has been the on going debate over whether or not marijuana is really a dangerous drug. I suppose it comes down to your own, personal preference on what you choose to believe, but increasingly the medical and scientific evidence is supporting the fact that marijuana is potentially an extremely dangerous drug.

I am a fan of the News Hour on PBS, and a few years ago they spoke with Joseph Califano, who was then the President of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA). He shared a rather alarming piece of information regarding marijuana and its relationship to other drugs.

Increases risks by 17%!

“A teen who drinks, smokes, and uses marijuana, in and of itself that activity is going to make it 17 times likelier that that teen will use cocaine, heroin, acid, those kinds of drugs,” said Califano. “We now have recent studies indicating that nicotine, cocaine, heroin and alcohol have the same kinds of effects on dopamine levels, which are the levels that give us pleasure, in the pathways to the brain.

“So we now have both statistical and biomedical evidence that makes it very important for us to substantially increase our research. One other thing makes it quite clear that marijuana no longer deserves to be called a soft drug.

Marijuana is physically addictive!

“We have one of those recent studies indicates that marijuana is physically addictive, not simply psychologically addictive, and the head of the National Institute of Drug Abuse has indicated that there are more than 100,000 Americans, most of them teens, in treatment because of marijuana use. So I think we've got to call marijuana from now on a hard drug just like heroin and cocaine and acid.”

Marijuana has become MUCH more powerful!

Teens today are also getting a more powerful marijuana than their parents had when they were teenagers. Many of those parents believe that there is not any serious concern. But in another PBS interview, with John McLaughlin, Califano said there were more teens in treatment for marijuana abuse than there were for alcohol abuse. Most people would probably think the reverse, but this disturbing find indicates that the parents who don’t think marijuana is serious are playing a deadly game. They’ll scream about having asbestos in the walls of the school, but they say anything about the presence of marijuana and other drugs.

Califano talked about how we don’t have time for anything. We take a pill for everything, to sleep, to wake up and to feel better. It’s easy to see how people get into trouble. Getting back to kids and marijuana, it’s also easy to trace when the problem really started to take off. We have become an increasingly more secular society. There is no prayer in schools, no Christmas pageants, and the mere mention of God horrifies those same parents who think it’s OK for their children to smoke marijuana. We have become a Godless society and the reports of teenage drug use from CASA are just a piece of evidence.

Forgotten too is the insight that Alcoholics Anonymous gave us over 70 years ago concerning the nature of addiction…

”you may be suffering from an illness that only a spiritual experience will conquer.”

Kids are conditioned by their parents… they imitate… they’re also impacted by their peers, who are following their parents’ behaviors and attitudes. When they get into trouble, their parents do not consider the spiritual solution to the problem, because anything “religious” is offensive.

Kids have always experimented, but the younger and younger age of first-time users is frightening. The younger, the more likely it is that they will develop an addiction.

CASA and other organizations have put the proof on the table. Marijuana is serious business and parents need to smarten up. Kids using marijuana is just a symptom of a deeper problem in their lives. There is a hole and it’s a spiritual hole that needs filling.

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- Matthew 7:7-8






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