NASN recognizes that marijuana made available for adult recreational use poses the potential for increased prevalence and abuse potential among youth. The well-documented, serious cognitive effects; health implications; and safety concerns of recreational marijuana use lead NASN to conclude that the legal availability of marijuana presents more accessibility to the student population and, therefore, puts students at higher risk of use and health consequences.
Media in the United States, especially The New York Times, are putting in print recommendations that out-right prohibitions against smoked marijuana be eased everywhere. After researching marijuana, my view is this is ill-advised as envisioned.
While there is something to be said for decriminalizing marijuana use, and modifying enforcement procedures against its use, we should be careful about a willy-nilly condoning of the use of marijuana. I urge everyone to read the statement by the association of school nurses on the harmful effects of smoked marijuana. There is evidence that memory loss associated with marijuana use can be long-lasting. There also remains concern about marijuana as a gateway drug.
It is true that alcohol, and to an extent tobacco share many of the same dangers of marijuana use. But it is inappropriate to use the ill effects of other drugs to justify marijuana use.
As with any other addictive or habit-forming substance, it must be asked what is one's purpose in using the substance. It doesn't make sense to cavalierly add legal protections for another deleterious substance, especially when marijuana smoked in the home can have such a bad effect on children present.
The marijuana legalization train should be slowed.
School Nurses Association Finds Marijuana Unsafe