MMS Restates the Risks of Marijuana
The following statement from MMS President James S. Gessner, M.D. was issued November 4 in response to a press conference held by proponents of Question 4 and featuring physicians who advocate for the legalization of recreational marijuana. Coverage of the event may be read here.
“Presenting recreational marijuana as something most physicians believe is beneficial to health is deceiving and dishonest. Massachusetts already has a program for medical marijuana, strictly regulated by the Department of Public Health. Question 4 provides no public health oversight and directs no revenue to health or substance abuse education or treatment.
The facts are that marijuana presents a real risk of addiction. Its use damages the developing brains of young people, risks pregnancy, and increases the risk of accidents.
We urge voters to read the ballot question carefully. Question 4 is bad policy and bad for public health. Those are the reasons why the Massachusetts Medical Society, 11 physician specialty organizations, hospital and nursing associations, and other health care groups in the state are strongly opposed to Question 4.”
The public health dangers of recreational marijuana are further outlined in this commentary by Dr. Gessner and in this essay by five health care professionals from McLean Hospital. More information on marijuana and the risks it presents is available on the MMS website and at the National Institute of Drug Abuse.