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Letters to the Editor

Marijuana ain't hay

TO THE EDITOR

In view of Canada's unbelievable sanctioning the recreational use of marijuana, I think that we ought to pause for station identification and look at some reality. I remember the days when smoking tobacco was classified by my medical association and the general public as harmless. This was done for economic and not scientific reasons.

So what do we have with marijuana? Actually the same scenario only this time adequate research work has been done but is ignored. When I was an orthopedic trauma surgeon in the 1960's and 70's, and well remember two distinct fatal accidents where the drivers admitted to a

loss of depth perception after attending two separate marijuana parties. Both thought that an oncoming vehicle was at least a half block away, when in reality the oncoming vehicle was much closer and a left turn proved fatal, one to a wife passenger and the second to a 2-year-old infant.

So let's look at the scientific research. An excellent article appeared in "Practice Pain Management," the nation's premier teaching journal for pain practitioners, September 2015. Seth Ammerman, M.D. stated clearly: "We now know that marijuana can be very harmful to adolescent health and development, and making it more available to adults will increase the access for teens."

The Journal goes on to state: "While both alcohol and marijuana alone impair driving performance, and combined alcohol and marijuana use was shown to cause severe impairment."

Further research has shown that both occasional and long-term use of marijuana does affect the human brain, and some individual's brain tissue is far more sensitive than others.

Do you really want to take a chance on impaired cognition, whether temporary or permanent? Remember, these effects are not only on yourself, but usually affect other family members and loved ones.

Is it worth it?

David W. Florence, M.D. (Dr. Trucker)

Hudson

'Options' Pregnancy Center is asset to our community

TO THE EDITOR

According to a study recently released by the Charlotte Lozier Institute, pregnancy resource centers in the United States provided nearly 2 million people - primarily women and youth - with free services in 2017. These services, funded largely by private donations from caring local residents, resulted in an estimated annual cost savings of more than $160 million across communities nationwide.

In the St. Croix Valley, we are served by the Options for Women - River Falls pregnancy resource center, which serves many local communities including Hudson, New Richmond, Roberts, Ellsworth and Prescott.

Although pregnancy resource centers are generally operated by caring staff, their work would be impossible without the help of committed volunteers. Last year, 7,500 medical volunteers and 59,900 non-medical volunteers shared their time and talents to serve women, men and families to improve overall public health and wellness in their communities.

A pregnancy resource center is truly a community asset, and we are blessed to have Options for Women and its own compassionate staff and volunteers within minutes of the largest cities in St. Croix and Pierce Counties.

Options for Women - River Falls provides free and confidential services including STD/STI testing, pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, prenatal education, parenting courses, material support, and after-abortion support. Options also provides referrals to a wide range of public and private services addressing concerns such as abuse, education, financial assistance, health insurance, legal assistance, mental health and nutrition.

Anyone interested in taking advantage of the services offered by Options for Women may stop by their downtown River Falls office or visit www.ofwrf.com.

John R. Danneker

Maiden Rock