Jake Fromm should be congratulated on his thought-provoking comments in his viewpoint (Talk policy, not pot,01/20/2011). As faculty members, it’s our responsibility to help educate students educate themselves.
The Ann Arbor law that decriminalized marijuana years ago was clearly a step in the right direction for users as well as naysayers. Controversial issues always have a pro and con set of facts. Furthermore, the “facts” may not always have as much truth as society needs to know to formulate rational drug policies.
As a professor concerned with what drug abuse does to the human body, it’s important to note some so called “facts” aren’t actually facts. This is especially true with occasional vs. chronic use of pot. Personal education on the pro and con use of pot, tobacco and other drugs of abuse is far more helpful to society.
Chronic marijuana use has very serious potential side effects. These include a greater incidence of schizophrenia in young people, reduction of male fertility and possible testicular cancer. These effects need to be studied further — some of the money spent on the War on Drugs needs to be used to support more medical research. Also, current medical marijuana needs to be standardized for relative D9THC, cannabidiol and tar content.
Jake: You and your fellow students here at the University, take advantage to educate yourselves. Personal education will do far more to change drug policy and someday truly let our remarkable country reach its full potential.
Edward F. Domino, M.D.
Active Emeritus Professor of Pharmacology