Letter to the editor: Rezkalla and Rozar weigh in on marijuana
About four decades ago, the surgeon general of the public health service issued a clear warning about serious effects of marijuana use. He stated that the use of the drug may cause short term memory loss, impair lung function and possibly exert adverse effects on the heart. That was then, now several states of the union legalized marijuana for personal recreational use. In 2003, we reported in the literature, a case of a 34 year old man who developed serious heart rhythm irregularities, temporarily related to marijuana use. Stopping the drug corrected this condition and reversed all associated pathologic effects. Since then we have had several reviews published, detailing the cardiac effects of marijuana. The drug was linked to atrial fibrillation, heart attacks, even cardiac arrest.
Just this week, I was contacted by a father who lost his 22 year old son to marijuana use. We strongly believe that before marijuana use is legalized in our state, large scale controlled safety studies should be conducted to see whether or not the use of marijuana is safe for our community.
Shereif Rezkalla, M.D.
Marshfield Clinic Health System
Donna Rozar, RN