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Viewpoint | Illinois political priorities are a wreck

Dear Editor:

Governor Pritzker considers marijuana "essential". He must believe that being high is fundamental to survival. Whatever his reasoning, he has done a great injustice to Illinois families, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 is a greater threat to those with a weakened immune system or impaired lung function. There’s ample evidence that regular use of marijuana lowers immunity and damages the lungs.

"There is evidence that marijuana smoke is genotoxic, immunosuppressive, and can alter endocrine function… Prolonged exposures to marijuana smoke in animals and humans cause proliferative and inflammatory lesions in the lung," research from California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.

"Cellular immunity is impaired, pulmonary immunity is impaired, and the impaired ability to fight infection is now documented in humans," according to research from the The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

A "multitude of toxic microorganisms, many of which are known causes of serious lung infections, including Cryptococcus, Mucor, and Aspergillus fungi and Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Acinetobacter baumannii bacteria" are found in so-called "medical" marijuana, according to UC at Davis. Clinical Microbiology and Infection, titled, "A microbiome assessment of medical marijuana."

There’s also the issue of increased risk of psychosis, increased risk of traffic fatalities, increased hospitalizations, increased use by children, and the consequences go on.

Illinois political priorities are a wreck.

Kathy Valente, Director of Operations
Illinois Family Institute

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