For broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 16 Feb 2014.
U.S. President Barack Obama made headlines recently when he claimed that, while he smoked marijuana as a young man – a habit he now regards as a “bad idea” – he believes drinking alcohol is more dangerous to personal health.
Researchers claim that health risks associated with marijuana and alcohol increase with quantity and frequency of use and, in relation to marijuana, the age of first use.
The Australian Drug Foundation notes that “low to moderate doses of cannabis” may lead to increased heart rate, low blood pressure and anxiety. Cannabis can have a negative impact on brain and lung function, hormone levels, the immune system and mental health. Cannabis use can also double the chance of developing schizophrenia in those vulnerable to the illness.
Marijuana and alcohol are dangerous drugs, and there are good reasons for maintaining strict regulation of sale and consumption in the interests of public health – despite what U.S. Presidents might say.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.