Legalizing marijuana without knowing its dangers is irresponsible, Leef says
Jeff Leef, a River Forest physician running in the Republican primary in the 7th Congressional District for the seat held by U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL), is against the legalization of marijuana, arguing that today’s version of the drug is far different from what was available in the past.
“It is far more potent,” Leef told the West Cook News. “The vast majority of medical research in this field relies on old data. There is nowhere near a sufficient body of research on the current forms of marijuana and its effect on the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems of the human body. To legalize marijuana without knowing if its current form damages the lungs, the lining of the bowel, or causes certain forms of depression is tremendously irresponsible.”
Cook County commissioners recently voted to have the question of legalizing recreational marijuana use placed on the March 20 primary ballot as an advisory referendum.
While voter approval won’t make use of the drug legal, it could set the table for lawmakers who support legalization as a form of generating revenue to more easily make their case in Springfield.
Leef argues to legalize the drug only raises more questions about the its toll and effect on its users.
“Whether we talk about the new or old marijuana, this much is known: it absolutely increases reaction time,” he said. “Therefore, until there is an equivalent to a breathalyzer test to determine if a certain blood level has been exceeded, how can we allow people who have been smoking to drive?”
Leef added the climate of today simply isn’t conducive to more mind-altering drugs being so freely put forth in the marketplace.
“Everyone, rightfully so, is up in arms over the opioid epidemic,” he said. “While I personally agree that one particular pharmaceutical company plays a large role in this crisis, are we so confident to say that in fact the abuse of marijuana is not a precursor to that of opioids? The same people who condemn big pharma are waving the marijuana leaf banners and declaring their rights. Who exactly will benefit most when marijuana is legalized? Will real data ever be released once it legally becomes a billion dollar business? Perhaps people should pause and think before they blindly follow a narrative they are instructed to follow.”