Recreational Marijuana | PennLive Reader Panel

PennLive invited some of its readers to discuss the decriminalization of marijuana in the state of Pennsylvania.


  1. As disrespectful as this sounds maybe McDonalds, fast food, and other poor lifestyle choices should be illegal and excessive sugar should be limited as it is very addictive and a real gateway to more sugar. My point is that one of the speakers is majorly obese and said that marijuana is a gateway drug and comparatively says "whats next…coke"….get real…Marijuana is not a drug. It is a plant and it can be used effectively for medical purposes and recreationally for MATURE adults. Any mature adult knows how to use this drug recreationally and there are always going to be knuckleheads who abuse other drugs including marijuana. There is already a black market and there always will be. Lets legalize marijuana for recreational purposes so the people who do consume responsibly can enjoy a healthy FDA approved version so theres no worry about lacing with fentanyl or anything else that has already killed enough people…good people!

  2. Under present law,you must go to a doctor who specializes in marijuana(4hour seminar).$200 to ok your $50 license.I called UPMC,my health carrier and they will not allow me to go to my pcp $5,since they do not recognize marijuana as a drug.$250 and you never even got a drug from an inflated dispensary yet.Back to the street!

  3. psychosis

    POSTED MARCH 07, 2011, 11:03 AM , UPDATED NOVEMBER 30, 2011, 2:28 PM

    Ann MacDonald
    Contributor, Harvard Health

    Teenagers and young adults who use marijuana may be messing with their heads in ways they don’t intend.
    Evidence is mounting that regular marijuana use increases the chance that a teenager will develop psychosis, a pattern of unusual thoughts or perceptions, such as believing the television is transmitting secret messages. It also increases the risk of developing schizophrenia, a disabling brain disorder that not only causes psychosis, but also problems concentrating and loss of emotional expression.
    In one recent study that followed nearly 2,000 teenagers as they became young adults, young people who smoked marijuana at least five times were twice as likely to have developed psychosis over the next 10 years as those who didn’t smoke pot.
    Another new paper concluded that early marijuana use could actually hasten the onset of psychosis by three years. Those most at risk are youths who already have a mother, father, or sibling with schizophrenia or some other psychotic disorder.
    Young people with a parent or sibling affected by psychosis have a roughly one in 10 chance of developing the condition themselves—even if they never smoke pot. Regular marijuana use, however, doubles their risk—to a one in five chance of becoming psychotic.
    In comparison, youths in families unaffected by psychosis have a 7 in 1,000 chance of developing it. If they smoke pot regularly, the risk doubles, to 14 in 1,000.
    For years, now, experts have been sounding the alarm about a possible link between marijuana use and psychosis. One of the best-known studies followed nearly 50,000 young Swedish soldiers for 15 years. Those who had smoked marijuana at least once were more than twice as likely to develop schizophrenia as those who had never smoked pot. The heaviest users (who said they used marijuana more than 50 times) were six times as likely to develop schizophrenia as the nonsmokers.
    So far, this research shows only an association between smoking pot and developing psychosis or schizophrenia later on. That’s not the same thing as saying that marijuana causes psychosis.
    This is how research works. Years ago, scientists first noted an association between cigarette smoking and lung cancer. Only later were they able to figure out exactly how cigarette smoke damaged the lungs and other parts of the body, causing cancer and other diseases.
    The research on marijuana and the brain is at a much earlier stage. We do know that THC, one of the active compounds in marijuana, stimulates the brain and triggers other chemical reactions that contribute to the drug’s psychological and physical effects.
    But it’s not clear how marijuana use might lead to psychosis. One theory is that marijuana may interfere with normal brain development during the teenage years and young adulthood.
    The teenage brain is still a work in progress. Between the teen years and the mid-20s, areas of the brain responsible for judgment and problem solving are still making connections with the emotional centers of the brain. Smoking marijuana may derail this process and so increase a young person’s vulnerability to psychotic thinking. (You can read more about how the adolescent brain develops in this article from the Harvard Mental Health Letter.)
    While the research on marijuana and the mind has not yet connected all the dots, these new studies provide one more reason to caution young people against using marijuana—especially if they have a family member affected by schizophrenia or some other psychotic disorder. Although it may be a tough concept to explain to a teenager, the reward of a short-time high isn’t worth the long-term risk of psychosis or a disabling disorder like schizophrenia.

  4. Do not make it like the PA lottery or your casinos…no one will stop going black market…your casinos are awful….their take is sadistic …then they tax….jesus christ…find a bookie…these casinos are mafia run or what? Their payouts are insulting.

  5. Legalize it! Pay teachers more! Allow for mom and pops to apply for Business licenses at a reasonable cost that the average person can afford and not just wealthy corporations and conglomerates can only afford. six plants for personal use because growing is therapy I have many veteran brothers and sisters that could benefit from such therapy. Not everyone can have a serves animal in there lives. I found it's more stressful having a serves animal for my ptsd then it is having a couple spider plants on the front porch. Please help save my brothers and sisters lives already. Let the new bill pass I beg you

  6. Why are we seriously still debating!? Its not man made it's a plant that you can grow and that it has no additives to it! Cocaine man made as well as other drugs! I'm all for legalization it would help so much and people wouldn't feel a need to sneak around and hide alcohol was illegal however many years ago but now it's legal but only to people who are of the age 21 but alcohol kills it has so many negative health benefits as well as other drugs but if marijuana is controlled in a positive way you wouldn't have to worry about the crimes that are so called being made…. but all in all marijuana would be like alcohol you are to 21 to use…

  7. I think Pennsylvania is going about this correct way…gather data, look at it, and make a decision based on your results. I am fully for the legalization of marijuana for the following reasons:
    1. There is no LD (lethal dosage) associate with Marijuana.
    2. Its been used for thousands of years by many cultures.
    3. There is a peaceful culture now associated with it. And those that make it demonized is happening only because the current system has people move towards those street dealers and not approved vendors.
    4. If it is regulated like beer, wine, spirits and manufactured according to the FDA and GMP Practices, then access to it and the education involved in it will only benefit the user.
    5. The government should not be telling us what to do with our bodies.
    6. You cannot become physically addicted to the substance (anything can be addictive…so this to me isn't a valid reason against marijuana).
    7. It has aided those with physical ailments as well as increasing someone's mental health if used for that reason.
    8. It doesn't alter your ability to be an empathetic, sympathetic, and compassionate person. You can have a fully involved and intellectual conversation while under the influence. I cannot stress enough that if you are a lazy, uninspired, violent person, you will be that way regardless if you are using marijuana or not.

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