Las Vegas Review-Journal

Know the risks of using marijuana


When the Muppets’ Cookie Monster grumbles, “Me want cookie! Om nom nom nom,” his mouth-stuffing antics delight children and parents alike. But in Colorado, where recreation­al marijuana is legal and marijuana-laced cookies and other consumable­s account for 45 percent of the drug’s sales, marijuana cookies can turn into lethal monsters.

That is because some pot-laced cookie-eaters get impatient when there’s a lag time between ingesting the drug and feeling its effects (it takes 30-60 minutes), so they eat more and more, until they’ve gobbled a mega-dose.

Just recently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report about an emotionall­y stable young man who started shaking, screaming and throwing things before leaping off a roof in Denver last year, all because he ate one or two THC-laced cookies. The recommende­d dose — a sixth of a cookie — didn’t seem to be having an effect, so he ate six to 12 times that amount. And besides, who can eat a sixth of a cookie? (Several states have approved capsules and gummi bears for people with end-stage disease, and Colorado and Washington are experiment­ing with them for the public.)

Legal or not, around 20 million North Americans say they’ve used marijuana in the past month. So it’s important that you and your kids know the risks. Teens who use pot may permanentl­y impair their brain’s ability to retain learning, form memories and think clearly. And regular use is associated with depression, anxiety and relationsh­ip problems.

The best highs? Endorphins from exercise and dopamine and oxytocin from great-tasting, good-for-you food, friendship, laughter and love.

Grab a protein blast

Things didn’t look good for Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) when he fought Clubber Lang (Mr. T., who pitied the fool) in “Rocky 3.” Then Rocky started taunting him, “You ain’t so bad!” Clubber lost his cool and wore himself out, and Rocky won the fight.

The lesson? Whether you’re off for a brisk walk or a championsh­ip bout, it’s important to eat right so you don’t run out of steam. A recent study says that the best way to do it is to grab a protein blast before you exercise. It can steady blood sugar and keep cortisol levels tamped down, something pre-workout carbs don’t do. And it helps preserve muscle mass without weight gain, while boosting your metabolic rate and your calorie burn all day long. — Email questions for Mehmet Oz and Mike Roizen to youdocsdai­ly@sharecare. com.

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