Unsafe at Any Dose.

Author:Puterbaugh, Dolores T.
Position:PARTING THOUGHTS - Alcohol and marijuana

THE PUBLIC is outraged (well, nothing new there; people seem to thrive on outrage, adrenal fatigue be damned). This affront, this latest emblem of bureaucratic bumbling, is the terrible threat to public safety, especially for children... are trace amounts of lead in drinking fountains at some public schools at higher levels than the Federal government deems safe. Wait, does that mean some lead is safe? It is a trace element, occurring naturally, and it, like other minerals, will find its way into our environment.

Vowing to keep all lead out is impossible (trace elements are like that). If you doubt that, see what happens when a person with a nickel allergy develops an acute, toxic response and has to be on a nickel-free/very low nickel diet. There is almost nothing left to eat. So, things we think of as very dangerous--lead, nickel, other metals in the soil that creep into the water and food supply--are tolerable in tiny amounts.

Other things are not safe at all. Recently, researchers assert that, contrary to Mediterranean and Blue Zone diet recommendations, alcohol is not safe no matter how little you consume. It's all poison, and any benefits are far outweighed by the long-term damage. You might argue, "but alcohol has been used for many centuries; ancient beers are found in the pyramids and Scripture is full of references to wine. Just so; yet research indicates that, eventually, alcohol creates grave problems. Of course, if those problems do not arise until age 50 or 60 or later, they would have been unremarkable in eras when the average lifespan was 35 or 40, and most people died some other dreadful death, never knowing that their wine would have caused brain problems in old age.

Another substance unsafe at any dose is marijuana, aka cannabis, aka the latest craze (ha, ha) in medication. The research has been devastatingly clear for years, and the denial equally impressive. Adolescents using marijuana have a greatly increased risk for both anxiety and psychosis within a year of smoking, and this is not terribly dosage and/or frequency sensitive. It also applies to all adolescents, not just those with a family history of psychosis (and if that means a baby boomer relative or two who smoked marijuana for years and is now anxious or only dimly acquainted with reality, who would be surprised, given the meta-analyses?).

The media, generally, has been unfriendly--nay, shunning--towards any professionals or information that seems to counter...

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