Marijuana should not be legalised

Dear Editor,

We learnt from several current press reports that the government is considering the legalizing and decriminalizing of the use and sale of marijuana for medicinal and personal purposes in Guyana.

Editor, I trust that your newspaper, the SN, would be on the side of the vast majority of decent-minded citizens who are against the legalizing of that soul-destroying poison. Our doctors would have to deal with more patients suffering from mental illness and the law and order authorities would be inundated with complaints and legal matters. A very few would benefit from the sale of this herb and thousands of decent citizens would lose their human dignity from its use. We may see more junkies in our land if we agreed to legalize marijuana.

We learn from various medical reports that when marijuana is used it affects the brain directly, and causes the user to feel euphoric, or high, by acting on the brain’s reward system, which is made up of regions that govern the response to pleasurable things like sex and chocolate, as well as to most drugs of abuse. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) also causes the user to make bad and rash judgments. It stimulates the brain cells to release the chemical dopamine. Along with euphoria, relaxation is another frequently reported effect in human studies. Other effects, which vary dramatically among different users, include heightened sensory perception (eg, brighter colours), laughter, altered perception of time, and increased appetite. After a while, the euphoria subsides, and the user may feel sleepy or depressed. Occasionally, marijuana use may produce anxiety, fear, distrust, or panic.

Marijuana use impairs a person’s ability to form new memories and to shift focus. THC also disrupts coordination and balance by binding to receptors in the parts of the brain that regulate balance, posture, coordination, and reaction time. Therefore, learning, doing complicated tasks, participating in athletics, and driving are also affected.

Marijuana users who have taken large doses of the drug may experience an acute psychosis, which includes hallucinations, delusions, and a loss of the sense of personal identity. Short-term psychotic reactions to high concentrations of THC are distinct from longer-lasting, schizophrenia-like disorders that have been associated with the use of cannabis in vulnerable individuals.

I trust that our incumbent President would not to agree to legalize this dangerous drug for use or cultivation in Guyana. The legalization of marijuana would have more disadvantages for this nation than advantages.


Yours faithfully,

Rooplall Dudhnath

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