White House drug office, school nurses oppose legalized marijuana

McClatchy Washington BureauJanuary 31, 2014 

A White House blog item this week threw support behind a new statement from the National Association of School Nurses that opposes legalization of marijuana.

The school nurses group in a Jan. 27 statement outlined its case against marijuana use by young people. Among other things, it said that smoking it can lead to memory and learning impairment and more driving accidents. The full statement is here.

"There is grave concern that marijuana use, given its impact on cognitive development, motor skills, and attention, will be detrimental to the learning environment for our young people," NASN president Carolyn Duff and White House Office of National Drug Control Policy deputy director for demand reduction David Mineta said in a blog post.

The post noted that the Office of National Drug Control Policy "shares the concerns of school nurses regarding the harmful effects of marijuana use among young people."

President Barack Obama in an interview in this week's New Yorker magazine noted that his pot smoking as a youth was well known. "I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life. I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol,” he added.

He added that he thought the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington should go forward "because it's important for society not to have a situation in which a large portion of people have at one time or another broken the law and only a select few get punished.”

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