Bong Bowl? Marijuana’s New Best Friend; The NFL - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

From Jeff Michael

Bong Bowl? Marijuana’s New Best Friend; The NFL

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This is the first Super Bowl that is making me reflect; not on the game—you'd have to be Cheech or Chong to think Denver and Seattle have already played! Nope, I'm weighing the pros and cons of the product getting more publicity than anyone actually paying for a 30 second spot in the Super Bowl; Weed.

For the first time ever, the Super Bowl is being played by teams from states that have legalized the recreational use of Marijuana. And everyone from pot heads to punsters are having a ball… err… a bowl. See? The Sea Hawks are being called the "THC-Hawks". Neighborhood gatherings this Sunday are billing themselves "Smoke a Super Bowl" parties.  The permissive, pervasive message is that taking a toke every time your team scores is no different than throwing back a shot (no endorsement of the latter intended). But doctors who treat addiction disagree.

Wednesday on Studio 11 LA, Dr. Damon Raskin was unequivocal; Marijuana use in people under the age of 26 is potentially dangerous. The brain doesn't stop forming until that age and the intoxicants in weed have been shown to alter that formation. He cited a recent study of those who were chronic users at a young age that showed adult brain activity in some to be similar to schizophrenics. Raskin pointed out that unlike alcohol (again, not suggesting that shot of tequila) weed can't really be adjusted. You can slow down or stop after a second beer but after one sit-down with a bong, you're committed.

Whether you argue with Dr. Raskin or not, what's not debatable is the shift in acceptance of marijuana. A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that 55% of Americans support efforts to legalize pot, as did Colorado and Washington. Nearly 25% more wouldn't fight it. To be sure, the benefits of medicinal marijuana have boosted those numbers. But most legit docs are waving their collective hands in the air saying, "Slow down! Just because cannabis, used one way, may help doesn't mean it is inert when used in excess by younger adults."

If the trend of legalizing pot continues should the age limit be raised to 26? Would that mean raising the age to consume alcohol as well?  Look, I've never come down passionately on either side of this issue but I'm not sure that adding smoke rings to the thousands of drinking games this Sunday is something to laugh about… unless you have the giggles already. In that case, go ahead, grab the chips and get back to me after a couple hours.

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