The election night news that may or may not have surprised you, depending on how much attention you’ve been paying to the issue, relates to marijuana. If you didn’t know, the citizens of Colorado and Washington State opted to legalize marijuana for recreational use and in Massachusetts doctors can now prescribe marijuana as medication.

In an opinion piece for the Los Angeles Daily News a doctor who has “spent 25 years as a doctor treating drug abusers” expressed his views on the matter. While he is primarily addressing the issue from a political standpoint, it is interesting to read what he has to say about the health ramifications of such laws:

Take, for example, medical marijuana laws. They were sold to more than a dozen states with promises that they’re only for serious illnesses like cancer. But that’s not how they work in practice. Almost all marijuana cardholders claim they need it for various kinds of pain,”

He notes that it is easy to pretend you are in pain and goes on to add that, “Pain patients are mostly female, whereas a recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that adult cannabis abusers were 74 percent male.”

This doctor feels that the notion that marijuana is harmless is misleading, especially for teens. Teens who use pot on a regular basis don’t perform as well in school as those who don’t and some can permanently lower their IQ by smoking pot.