About this blog

My name is Bill Hirt and I'm a candidate to be a Representative from the 48th district in the Washington State legislature. My candidacy stems from concern the legislature is not properly overseeing the WSDOT and Sound Transit East Link light rail program. I believe East Link will be a disaster for the entire eastside. ST will spend 5-6 billion on a transportation project that will increase, not decrease cross-lake congestion, violates federal environmental laws, devastates a beautiful part of residential Bellevue, creates havoc in Bellevue's central business district, and does absolutely nothing to alleviate congestion on 1-90 and 405. The only winners with East Link are the Associated Builders and Contractors of Western Washington and their labor unions.

This blog is an attempt to get more public awareness of these concerns. Many of the articles are from 3 years of failed efforts to persuade the Bellevue City Council, King County Council, east side legislators, media, and other organizations to stop this debacle. I have no illusions about being elected. My hope is voters from throughout the east side will read of my candidacy and visit this Web site. If they don't find them persuasive I know at least I tried.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Marijuana Risks,

An editorial in the Seattle Times supporting Initiative 502 prompted my to respond with the following.  I’m sure they will ignore it so I've posted it on my blog to at least inform readers of the risks involved. 

Opinion,  Marijuana Risks,

The Times editorial page supporting Initiative 502 urges opponents to “get real” because it “for the first time allows marijuana to be grown, processed and used for recreational purposes”.   Thus, “recreation” rather than “pain and nausea relief” is the new justification.

Voters should know that their “recreational use” is not without risk.  Dr. Jeanette Norden, is a neuroscientist, Professor of Neurosciences in the School of Medicine at Vanderbilt  University.  Her lectures on “Understanding the Brain” are featured in the Teaching Company Great Courses.  

Her course includes the following information concerning Marijuana affects on the brain:

A.   Contrary to popular belief, 2/3 of users show drug dependence, with anxiety, anger, and irritability upon withdrawal: drug dependency can also be induced in animals.
B.    A number of areas in the limbic system have receptors which bind marijuana, or are affected by its use. 
C.    These areas include the prefrontal cortex, VTA, hippocampus, nucleus accumbens, and amygdala.
D.   Effects on the prefrontal cortex may affect judgement and the ability to associate behaviour with consequences, resulting in disinhibition and risky behaviours.  It is implicated in a clinical disorder called amotiviational syndrome, which is seen in chronic and long-term users of marijuana.
E.    The hippocampus also shows a high concentration of receptors that bind marijuana: significant impairment in memory is seen in some long-term users.

So much for “fun and games”

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