Why worry about lead, but not weed?

By August 17, 2013Uncategorized

If we, as a nation, were so concerned about lead exposure that we worked hard to remove it from gasoline, paint and air, what should be our collective response to marijuana given everything responsible science already knows about that drug?

This sharp question recently posed during a meeting of drug-prevention advocates in Massachusetts prompted SAM board member Dr. Christian Thurstone, who also serves as medical director of one of Colorado’s largest adolescent substance-abuse-treatment programs, to do some digging.

As he writes:

[box type=”shadow”]”The permanent IQ loss associated with childhood lead exposure is highly similar to the permanent IQ loss associated with childhood marijuana exposure. It’s also interesting that our country’s prevalence rates of childhood exposure to lead and marijuana are similar.

“Our nation’s response to protect children from marijuana exposure should be as serious as our response to protect them lead exposure — but it’s not close. Is that because many adult marijuana users — most of whom first tried the drug when they were kids — don’t have as much fun with lead? Is it because many adults aren’t aware of marijuana’s irreversible harms to brain growth and development?

“I don’t know. But I do have some ideas about what our collective response to marijuana should be.”

We hope you’ll read Dr. Thurstone’s findings and thoughts about what our nation’s collective response to marijuana should look like.


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