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”