Pot too unhealthy to be legal

...there is four times the amount of tar in a marijuana cigarette as a tobacco cigarette...

In his letter “Mayors deserve support in pot decriminalization,” (May 1 edition of The News), Gary Huntbatch seems to be an  apologist for the pro-drug lobby.

Tobacco has been controlled/legal for many years. The use of tobacco by youth continued to increase until millions of dollars were spent educating the public of the harm being caused. How many deaths have been caused by tobacco?

Marijuana is more dangerous than tobacco. Current research tells us there is four times the amount of tar in a marijuana cigarette as a tobacco cigarette; a major cancer-causing chemical, Benzo(a)pyrene, is present in greater quantities in marijuana than in cigarettes; and we know smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer.

The risk of heart attack is five times higher than usual in the hour after smoking marijuana. A person who smokes five joints per week may be taking in as much tar and cancer-causing chemicals into his or her lungs as someone who smokes a pack of cigerettes every day.

Smoking marijuana weakens the immune system, raises the risk of lung infections, and is linked with depression, suicidal thoughts and schizophrenia. There is potential for marijuana smoking during pregnancy to damage the fetal brain.

Research tells us that young people who use drugs are more likely to engage in other high-risk behaviours.

In trying to save a few lives in the criminal element, how many youth would be at risk by making marijuana legal? If it’s legal it must be considered safe? Let’s give our head a shake and think again! Where is Health Canada? They have studies on everything else, why not a complete study of marijuana?

If politicians approve marijuana as a legal drug and a few years down the road it becomes obvious that it creates serious harm, who will be sued?

Eric Myrholm