Facts about Amendment 44
(Editor’s note: This letter was originally addressed to elected officials in Eagle, Garfield and Pitkin counties.)Dear Editor:I find it alarming that the Pitkin County commissioners unanimously agreed to support Amendment 44, which legalizes possession and use of non-medicinal marijuana for adults. Please do not follow suit. What the commissioners failed to acknowledge are the extreme health and safety risks associated with marijuana use:Fact 1: Even low doses of marijuana tend to induce intoxication, which includes alterations in thought formation and expression.Fact 2: Even low doses of marijuana tend to distort time and space relationships and impair coordination which can result in driving, occupational, or household accidents.Fact 3: The stronger the dose, the more intense the reaction.Fact 4: Marijuana contains more identified toxins and cancer-causing chemicals than tobacco smoke.Fact 5: Marijuana is stored in fat cells for as long as several months.Fact 6: Marijuana users experience the same health problems as tobacco smokers, such as bronchitis, emphysema, bronchial asthma, long-term risk to the lungs and reproductive system, and immune system suppression.Fact 7: Other known side effects may include: substantial increase in heart rate, rapidly fluctuating emotions, fragmentary thoughts with disturbed associations, an altered sense of self identity, impaired short-term memory and concentration, fantasies, hallucinations, paranoia and impairment of motivation and cognition making acquisition of new information difficult.The potency of marijuana is much stronger than in days past, resulting in an inability to accurately assess how much was used, when the last use was and to what extent residual side effects are impacting the user. Any use nowadays is often problematic for days after. Shelley Evans Carbondale
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