Magazine article Addiction Professional

Enter SAM

Magazine article Addiction Professional

Enter SAM

Article excerpt

SAM: Smart Approaches to Marijuana is a new group of professionals advocating a fresh approach that neither legalizes nor demonizes marijuana. We need a smart policy that reduces marijuana use hut does not cripple marijuana users with life-devastating arrest records. This common-sense, third-way approach uses science, public health and public safety principles to guide marijuana policy.

Sure, most people Will not get in trouble with marijuana use. Most will not get addicted, and most, alter using a few times or less, will stop using drugs altogether. But for a growing minority or users, marijuana is a significant public health problem. And a policy of legalization, along with the American-style promotion and commercialization that will inevitably accompany it, will only expand problems associated with the drug.

And the science shows that marijuana use is increasingly a problem. That is why the American Medical Association (AMA) came out strongly against the legalization or marijuana sales and in favor of a public health approach. it reviewed the science and found some startling statistics not known by most Americans.

For example, marijuana contributes to psychosis and schizophrenia, (1) leads to addiction for one in six children who ever try the drug, (2) and reduces IQ among those who used marijuana regularly before age 18. …

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