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BUTAs a family doctor filling in the gaps in our drug addiction and mental health care system, I encouraged President Joe Biden when he announced his
new plan
to expand mental health and drug treatment services in its address on the state of the country. FROM
Beto O’Rourke
by campaigning as a “health candidate” here in Texas, the Democrats could claim the title of “mental health party” following the opportunity to credibly state that they are more of a “science party” regarding COVID-19 vaccination rates. . But
overwhelming majority of Democrats
support “medical” marijuana, and most agree with O’Rourke that marijuana should not just be decriminalized to protect users from severe punishment, but fully legalized.

“Follow the science” should not be a situational ethic. This distribution of marijuana goes against scientific evidence and expert advice. “
Position statement against cannabis as a medicine
” from the American Psychiatric Association clearly states that “there is currently no scientific evidence that cannabis is in any way useful for the treatment of any mental disorder” and that there is “strong association of cannabis use with the occurrence of psychiatric disorders”. In addition, the organization advises that any proposed treatments must be evidence-based and approved by the FDA, not “voted sanctioned.”

National Academies of Sciences
also debunked many other touted medical benefits of marijuana. While the report found several proven medical uses for some derivatives of the plant, it also found evidence of “problematic cannabis use” causing other addictions and adverse mental health effects. it
warned
that there is “substantial evidence” that marijuana use increases the risk of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. Since then more
supposed

research
showed a 3 to 10-fold increase in psychotic illness depending on age at first exposure, THC concentration, and duration of use.

Although the toxicological reports following mass shootings receive little attention, marijuana’s contribution to such paranoid, delusional, and psychotic acts is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore. No single factor fully explains a heinous act of violence like the one that was perpetrated against 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde. The timid response of law enforcement and the easy access of an 18-year-old to such a powerful weapon are important factors. But we must also explore the “why” of these seemingly random killings if we are to prevent them, not just the “how.”
marijuana lover
Darrell Brooks Jr. used his car in a massacre at a Christmas parade in Waukesha.

While the Texas DPS director was still saying we “don’t see a motive or a catalyst right now,” those with experience with youth psychosis and marijuana knew what was coming next. The newspaper “New York Times confirmed (then inexplicably deleted) a colleague’s report that one of Ramos’ conflicts with his grandmother was because she “wouldn’t let him smoke weed” under her roof. Ramos and shooter at Sutherland Springs Church Devin Kelly
more the rule than the exception
as chronic marijuana users. Although individual responses to THC exposure vary greatly, this can cause
paranoia
,
delusional thinking and psychosis
. As marijuana use and effectiveness increases, we will only see more of these tragedies. In 2013, the year before the legalization of marijuana, there were only 16 murders in Portland. He had 90 last year and that’s
in pace to break this record
in 2022. Although no state permits “recreational” marijuana use by minors, studies show that teenage marijuana use disorder
increased
while risk perception
decreased
presumably due to the normalization and commercialization inevitably following legalization.

The “social justice” marijuana case also requires more scrutiny. As long as it brings money to the treasury of marijuana supporters
politicians
all this leads to
disadvantaged areas
there are marijuana shops. Tax revenues are likely negligible due to the increase in marijuana spending.
social spending
. In states where marijuana is grown, black markets have become
stronger
and roads
less safe
. Here in Texas Department of Family and Welfare 2020
report
showed that the perpetrator of abuse or neglect with a fatal outcome was most often heavily used marijuana (84 such cases). For comparison, for alcohol this number was 25, and for opioids it was only four.

Addiction experts report that
3 out of 10
chronic users suffer from substance use disorder – much higher than drinkers. Primary care physicians like myself know all too well that marijuana can cause or exacerbate mental health problems and contribute to
suicidal thoughts
. Researchers know marijuana leads to everything from
driving violation
to
IQ disorder
.

The youth and the poor will suffer the most from the expansion of the marijuana industry, hitting our healthcare system where it is already weak. If Democrats want to be the party of marijuana, they may have to give up aspirations to be the party of science or mental health.

Matt Pauling is a family physician, former adoptive parent, and medical advisor to Citizens for a Safe and Healthy Texas.

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