Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Pamela McColl
SAM Canada 

Marijuana Causes Male Sterility, Testicular Cancer, Munchies

LA City Considers Measure to Increase Penalties for Medical Marijuana Violations


As Californians consider a November measure that would completely legalize the use of Marijuana; the Canadian health ministry has issued a document warning of specific risks associated with the use of marijuana products for medical purposes.

"When the product should not be used: under the age of 25, are allergic to any cannabinoid or to smoke, have serious liver, kidney, heart or lung disease, have a personal or family history of serious mental disorders such as schizophrenia, psychosis, depression, or bipolar disorder, are pregnant, are planning to get pregnant, or are breast-feeding, are a man who wishes to start a family, have a history of alcohol or drug abuse or substance dependence," says Health Canada.

Weed products can reduce blood levels of testosterone, effecting sperm production,enough to render an individual sterile, warns Health Canada. "Even if a mother has never used cannabis, DNA damage from cannabis use can be passed on by father's sperm causing serious and fatal illnesses in offspring and may affect future generations."

Marijuana may significantly increase a man's risk of developing an aggressive type of testicular cancer. This cancer tends to strike between the ages of 20-25 and accounts for 40% of all testicular cancer cases.

In November, the voters will consider a ballot measure called the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, which would legalize the recreational use of marijuana, even without a prescription.

Meanwhile, a motion by Council President Herb Wesson and Councilmembers Koretz, Martinez, Price, et al. would increase penalties and enforcement to close down illegal marijuana-related businesses, create a regulatory framework for the City to implement the Adult Use of Marijuana Act if approved in November, and extend Proposition D’s gross receipts tax to all marijuana- related businesses.

UCBA Trade Association (UCBA), the trade association of compliant medical marijuana dispensaries operating within the City of Los Angeles, supports the measure, to be heard tomorrow in the Los Angeles City Council.

Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is a preparation of the Cannabis plant intended for use as a psychoactive drug or medicine. The principal psychoactive part of cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC); one of 483 known compounds in the plant, including at least 65 other cannabinoids. Cannabis can be used by smoking, vaporization, within food, or as an extract.

In California, users may obtain a prescription from any medical doctor. They may then purchase "medical marijuana," at a dispensary set up for that purpose. The prescriptions or scripts are easy to get, and as a consequence, the drug is now pretty much legal in California.

Cannabis is often used for its mental and physical effects, such as a "high" or "stoned" feeling, a general change in perception, euphoria (heightened mood), and an increase in appetite. Short term side effects may include a decrease in short-term memory, dry mouth, impaired motor skills, red eyes, and feelings of paranoia or anxiety, says Wikipedia. Long term side effects may include addiction, decreased mental ability in those who started as teenagers, and behavioral problems in children whose mothers used cannabis during pregnancy. The onset of effects is within minutes when smoked and about 30 to 60 minutes when cooked and eaten. They last for between two and six hours.

Cannabis is mostly used recreationally or as a medicinal drug. It may also be used for religious or spiritual purposes. In 2013, between 128 and 232 million people used cannabis (2.7% to 4.9% of the global population between the ages of 15 and 65). In 2015, 43% of Americans had used cannabis which increased to 51% in 2016.

About 12% have used it in the past year, and 7.3% have used it in the past month. This makes it the most commonly used illegal drug both in the world and the United States.


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