Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Con to the question "Should Recreational Marijuana Be Legal?"
"[Since marijuana legalization in Colorado] there has been an increase in school dropouts, fatal car accidents, and crime related to the use of marijuana...
I'm especially concerned about teenagers' use of marijuana since their brain is still developing, which makes them more sensitive to drugs' adverse effects. For many years now, studies have consistently shown that people who use marijuana have poorer cognitive performance...
The loss of motivation with marijuana is particularly devastating because it will affect a person's ability to perform not just educationally but professionally. When you think about this at the population level, you can see why it's of tremendous worry to increase access to a drug that the public believes is benign but, in fact, likely reduces motivation and drive...
Do we want to be a nation of stoned people in an era of globalization in which competition is fierce? Let's learn from history: England helped subdue China by bringing opium to that country. It's an incredible way to undermine a population.
In discussions of legalization, we must also consider that we'd be creating an industry that would make more money the more that people consume the drug. So legalization could lead to a very powerful industry with major advertising clout and lobbying power that would make it difficult to regulate...
Legalization would facilitate access to marijuana and change cultural norms. That would lead to an increase in the number of people that use it regularly, which would likely increase the drug's adverse health effects in the population."
Marty Nemko, "What's Up with Illegal Drug Use?," Psychology Today, June 2, 2016
Experts Individuals with MDs, PhDs, JDs, or equivalent advanced degrees in fields relevant to marijuana or drug policy. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to drug, crime, or public health issues.
Involvement and Affiliations:
Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) at the National Institutes of Health, May 2003-present
Member, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences
Former Director of Nuclear Medicine, Chairman of the Medical Department, and Associate Director for Life Sciences, US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL)
Former Associate Dean, Medical School, State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook
Former Professor, Department of Psychiatry, State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook
Former Assistant Professor, University of Texas Medical School
Recipient, International Prize, French Institute of Health and Medical Research
Recipient, Laughlin Fellowship Award, New York University, 1984