No matter how liberal you may think the Reading Eagle editorial board may be, they ain't going to call for the decriminalization of pot, not in this lifetime (the paper's, not yours). So when marching orders came from on high to write an editorial opposing the mounting decriminalization racket, the Eagle opinion shaper had to scramble to find reasons to support this preordained conclusion, much like Justice Antonin Scalia's law clerks must regularly do when drafting opinions:
But we don't know what the long-term health risks are for marijuana smoking. Would it increase the incidences of lung cancer and emphysema in much the same way that long-term tobacco smoking does? Common sense suggests that could be the case.
And let's not forget, marijuana may not be as debilitating as harder drugs, but it nevertheless is a drug that can impair the judgment of the user in much the same way alcohol does.
Imapirs judgment. Like, wow, man!
Conduct long-term studies! Why hasn't anyone else thought of that?
Here's one from 2003 ("...no long-term effects on simple reaction time, attention, verbal/language, abstraction/executive functioning, perceptual/motor skills, motor skills...") and another from the 1970s in Jamaica, Costa Rica and Greece ("...no significant attributable health problems in cannabis smokers...") and one from 1997 in Australia ("...the health of such users is on par with the general population...")
Actually, a 1970s study published as "Cannabis in Costa Rica" showed that people who smoke both pot and tobacco had a lower rate of lung cancer than those who smoked just tobacco!
But, of course, there are other studies that suggest pot may damage DNA or increase risk of testicular cancer or put one at higher peril of going to federal prison for selling bongs.
The editorial deftly concludes, despite the conflicting studies, not a single one of which is cited, that "Marijuana is not the harmless substance that its proponents suggest" and then calls for "much more study."
This all poo-poos the effects decriminalization would have on busting the Mexican cartel, reducing deficits through taxation, embracing libertarianism, etc. When available facts and reason don't support your conclusion, call for "more study." With some opinion shapers, you can call that chronic.