Americans must get used to the fact that marijuana use is increasing, pot laws are changing, and getting high is here to stay, says Martin Lee, director of Project CBD, a pro-medical marijuana group.
"It's nice to have laws that reflect reality," Lee told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV, referring to the controversial legalization of marijuana in Colorado.
"[Marijuana has] been used for over 4,000 years both medicinally and even somewhat recreationally . . . Whether we like it or not, whether we think it's indicative of a more hedonistic society or not, it's out there, people are doing it, young people do it."
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Lee, author of the book "Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana, Medical, Recreational and Scientific,"
does not agree with pot opponent Ben Carson, former chief of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Carson told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Tuesday that marijuana should not be legalized because of its harmful effects, which can include flashbacks and mental impairment.
"Cannabis actually doesn't show a harm in terms of health effects when you look at the demographics, and there is no scientific consensus," Lee countered.
Lee does, however, think marijuana can be harmful to a young person's brain.
"I don't think it's a good idea for kids to smoke marijuana, and I'm very concerned if someone, particularly a young person, smokes it in excess," he said.
"That would suggest that something is wrong. Fortunately, if they're smoking marijuana rather than drinking — binge drinking and so forth — they're at least not injuring their brain cells."
On Jan. 1, Colorado became the first state to allow the sale of recreational marijuana to anyone age 21 or older.
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