SERWAN ZANGANA: Democrats Are Ignoring The Risks Of Marijuana

Marijuana legalization has been one of the Democrats’ main agendas in Virginia. They successfully pushed the matter far enough to be legalized. And now they voted for Senate Bill (SB 448) sponsored by Sen. Aaron Rouse (D-VA Beach) which would establish a framework to open marijuana markets in Virginia.

Seemingly, being a minority in the House and Senate, the Republicans have been defeated in many ways in their attempts to protect Virginians. While many Virginian families are looking for a safer neighborhood in our Commonwealth, Democrats are instead creating a harmful situation by establishing marijuana stores. It appears to be a dishonest act from Democrats to export this harmful illegal substance to Virginia’s communities and legalize it.

The Democrats’ main arguments for legalization is the disproportionality in marijuana law enforcement and prosecution. But Democrats are not willing to admit that legalizing marijuana and establishing retail markets is exactly similar to transporting it to the minorities in Virginia’s communities with only one difference: the term “legal.”  However, legalizing marijuana and exposing it to the public does not reduce its many health risks.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), marijuana delivers a risk to human health and causes major complications. It has been proven that marijuana smoking causes the heart to beat faster and raises blood pressure. In fact, marijuana contains the same carcinogen that in cigarettes causes cancer. The effect of marijuana on health is beyond the public’s imagination but the pot advocates underestimate (or hide) the risks involved.

SB 448 perhaps can establish a framework for marijuana markets and control its retail but indeed this bill cannot keep pot from slipping into youths’ hands. By adding another dangerous substance next to cigarettes, Democrats are completely harming Virginians.

Moreover, the risks from marijuana are not limited to cardiac problems only, but also extend to a number of other serious health problems including mental health.

According to the CDC, marijuana use causes conditions such as disorientation and paranoia or anxiety. The link between marijuana and schizophrenia can be detected more in people who start using marijuana at an earlier age.

Also, the CDC reports that 3 out of 10 marijuana users have marijuana-use disorder, and people who have such a disorder need to use marijuana more often, which is an addiction. However, the greater amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in marijuana will have a stronger effect on the brain.

Harming physical health, smoking marijuana affects lung tissue and damages blood vessels. However, the long list of the risk of marijuana smoking cannot be controlled and regulated by SB 448.

Establishing marijuana markets will open a path for adults and youths to easily access the narcotic. Obviously, schools will take a big hit because of their vulnerability. In addition to dealing with cigarettes among students now there will be an additional marijuana problem that school administrators will have to face.

It seems that marijuana is indiscriminately affecting human health and now invading every community alike. But instead of following the medical procedures and cautionary guidance about the many risks, Democrats disposed of all the facts and voted for Senate Bill SB 448.

However, with Gov. Glenn Youngkin being a “defensive end,” the upcoming days will tell whether he can tackle and stop Bill SB 448.

– Serwan Zangana supported Operation Iraqi Freedom as a U.S Army translator before coming to the U.S from Kurdistan, Iraq in 1997 to seek political asylum. He was granted asylum status and years later proudly became a U.S citizen. He currently serves as a correction officer in Roanoke.




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