Liu’s Illiteracy

To The Editor:

Mayoral Democratic candidate John Liu’s racist pandering ploy, supporting the legalization of marijuana, is absolutely oblivious to the proven adverse biological and psychological effects of this obnoxious substance.
A few research citations will suffice to prove why pot should never be legalized for recreational or medical uses.

A study by Block, et al. (Pharmacology, Biochemistry & Behavior 40 (1992), pp. 907-17) reported significant impairment in learning, associative processes and psychomotor performance in marijuana smokers.

Abood & Martin (Neurobiology of Marijuana Abuse, Trends in Pharmaceutical Sciences 13 (1992), p. 202) have
shown that marijuana use is significantly correlated with cognitive deficits inclusive of memory impairment and
defects in conceptualization, learning, attention and signal detection. In terms of histopathology and pathophysiology, Gong et al. (American Review of Respiratory Disease 136 (1987), pp. 142-49) have linked marijuana smoking with bronchial irritation and inflammation, constriction of pulmonary airways, reduced macrophage immunological and ciliary activity and signs of early stages of emphysema (identical to the effects of smoking).

Long-term use of marijuana has been associated with immunosuppression of the immune system, rendering
smokers increasingly susceptible to infections, diseases and cancer. Studies have shown that binding of THC,
the psychoactive molecule in marijuana, to canabinoid receptors in spleen cell membranes reduces functioning in
the immune response. Diaz et al. (International Journal of Immunopharmacology 15 (1993), 523-32) have reported similar adverse immune modulation by THC leading to lymphocyte suppression.

It should also be pointed out that acute use of marijuana impairs the ability to perform complex psychomotor functions (such as driving) requiring attention and mental coordination. Driving while intoxicated with marijuana is more dangerous than drunk driving, since one may deceptively feel capable of driving yet impaired in motor functions for four to eight hours beyond the time of subjective effects of the drug. A study of motor vehicle accident trauma patients by Soderstrom et al. (Archives of Surgery 123 (1988), pp. 733-37) showed that marijuana was detected in 35 percent of subjects, while alcohol was present in 33 percent of subjects. Since the effects of marijuana, a sedative euphoriant-psychedelic drug, upon driving ability are additive with those of alcohol, such a cocktail is a prescription for disability and death, since 50 percent of marijuana usersdrink alcohol while smoking pot (Julien, p. 345).

Before John Liu panders to Black and minority voters by citing statistics projecting a racial disparity in arrests
for marijuana possession and promoting an “ends justifies the means” legal myopia for tax aggrandizement by the
government, he should do some research into the physical, psychological and social effects of the use of any drug he proposes to decriminalize. It would be the height of stupidity to legalize marijuana possession or any form of use, whether home recreational, public or medicinal, in view of the plethora of scientific evidence of its deleterious effects. But then come Primary Day, when we delete John Liu from mayoral candidacy, this letter would become moot until we vote on his fellow political bedbug, Andrew Cuomo.

Joseph N. Manago,
Briarwood