Cannabis has consequences

03/30/2014 10:03 AM

03/28/2014 11:09 AM

Re "State must first solve medical marijuana mess" Editorials, March 2): I applaud The Bee's editorial team for cautioning California against the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes.

The consequences of legalization may prove costly to the health and well-being of individuals and communities.

In the past year, we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of burn injuries caused from butane explosions. Our consultations with patients and families have revealed that many of these injuries occurred when individuals were using butane to make hashish oil, a potent byproduct of cannabis.

Considering the severity of these injuries, we must also consider the time and expense incurred by police, fire departments and other agencies that must respond to the emergencies and investigate the accidents. All discussions regarding the legalization of marijuana require a thorough examination of the truth and consequences of more widespread use.

-- David Greenhalgh, chief of burns, Shriners Hospitals for Children - Northern California

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