April 13, 2022

SWEET SUCCESS: “We are  proud of our longevity and of being an independently-owned business. There aren’t as many of these as there used to be, and along with our high quality chocolate and ice-cream, this sets us apart. I am also so fortunate to have such a great staff.” Marco Cucchi (center) owner of Thomas Sweet, is shown with his team  of ‘Chocolate Elves’ in front of the Chocolate Shop, which is overflowing with an array of tempting Easter treats.

By Jean Stratton

Anticipation and discovery come together when customers enter the Thomas Sweet Chocolate Shop. Filled to the brim with happy choices, it is all ready for Easter.

The windows at the shop beckon. The display of chocolate rabbits of every size and style entice the customer to enter, and once inside, the aroma of freshly made chocolate and the selection of the bunnies, lambs, chicks, eggs, and baskets proves irresistible.

“All the Easter treats are favorites, but the chocolate rabbits in all sizes are the most popular,” says owner Marco Cucchi. “We also have peanut butter eggs, which people always like, and of course, jelly beans. And our chocolate-covered peeps are really in demand. In addition, we have Easter baskets pre-prepared and ready to go, and if customers prefer, we can customize the baskets with their individual choices.”

Opened in 1979 by Thomas Grim and Thomas Block, Thomas Sweet began operation on Nassau Street. The store initially offered homemade chocolate, and later added ice cream. The Chocolate Shop is now located at 29 Palmer Square West, and the ice cream store at 183 Nassau Street. more

To the Editor:

As a physician practicing internal medicine for over 30 years, medicinal marijuana was suggested to me, but I was very reluctant to start the program. I felt that this would invite patients into my office who just wanted to use marijuana for recreational use. After some persistence from my office manager, I slowly started to introduce qualified patients requesting medicinal cannabis to my practice.

To my surprise, the patients requesting to participate in the program proved to be some of the most complex patients that I have ever treated: crippling back pain with multiple failed surgeries that opiates insufficiently treated, war veterans and rape victims with PTS, anxiety not responding to conventional treatments, crippling pain from shingles, neuropathy, and much more.

The patients ages have ranged from 15-98 years old. I have treated police officers, lawyers, physicians, state workers, therapists, university professors, politicians, and anyone who has failed conventional medical treatments. Many older adults have expressed their concern trying the program but came in because nothing else has helped them.

In a relatively short time of treatment, I started to observe real control of disease that I haven’t witnessed in over 30 years of using conventional medicine.  more

To the Editor:

Blooming in many people’s yards right now is a small yellow flower that, upon closer inspection, proves not to be a dandelion. Variously called lesser celandine or fig buttercup, its radical invasiveness triggers a predictable progression of emotions in the homeowner. Delight at its pretty flower soon turns to alarm as year by year it takes over the yard, spreading through flower beds, across lawns and into neighboring properties. What may start as a few scattered, harmless-seeming clumps quickly becomes the equivalent of a rash upon the landscape. Unlike the dandelion, lesser celandine also spreads into nature preserves. Poisonous to wildlife, it forms thick stands reminiscent of pavement. Over time, our nature preserves become less and less edible to the wildlife they were meant to support. Native diversity shifts towards non-native monoculture.

The solution to this aesthetic and ecological problem is straightforward. Learn to identify the plant’s flower and leaves, catch infestations early, then spot spray with a systemic herbicide that will kill lesser celandine’s tenacious roots. This simple prescription, however, often comes up against various romantic views of nature. There’s the let-it-be view that nature will take care of itself. This has been repeatedly proven untrue but has the enduring appeal of excusing the individual from taking action. There’s also the common, seemingly high-minded view that all synthetic pesticides are “poisons.” Yet organic means of controlling lesser celandine have not proven practical. Digging more than a few up is not only time-consuming but also means more trash headed to the landfill. So-called organic herbicides don’t kill the roots. It’s worth noting that most people who prefer organic foods also take synthetic medicines to defend the body from invasions. Those medicines invariably have toxicities, which we minimize by limiting the dose. The same holds for synthetic herbicides to mend nature. more

To the Editor:

The Princeton Environmental Commission (PEC) would like to honor commission secretary Debra Mercantini, fondly known as Deb, who recently transitioned unexpectedly. 

Deb served as the PEC secretary for many years, but she was more to most of us than just a Commission secretary. Deb’s warm, kind manner was apparent in many ways as she performed her duties for PEC and went above and beyond in thinking ahead and doing what needed to be done — sometimes before being asked. Deb’s visible care for commissioners made us feel like family and her heart was full of compassion when personal concerns occurred. Whether it was warmly greeting you with a smile as you walked into the clerk’s office or remembering that you were on vacation and truly being interested in hearing about it upon your return, Deb’s kindness never failed. 

The PEC is struck by the loss of Deb and our hearts go out to Deb’s family during this difficult time. May we all reflect the kindness that Deb so easily exemplified on a daily basis, in spite of the whirlwind that oftentimes funnels us in forgetting just how far kindness can take us and those on the receiving end.

Tammy L. Sands
Chair, Princeton Environmental
Commission & PEC Commissioners

Eve Niedergang
PEC Council Liaison

To the Editor:

On April 2, the community came together at the Starry Starry Evening Gala at Bedens Brook Country Club to support the incredible work of Princeton Nursery School (PNS). The event raised funds for PNS and celebrated our community’s commitment to ensuring that all local children build strong minds, strong bodies, and strong connections. Exciting news about the school’s future was also shared, as PNS announced a new executive director, Leanna Jahnke, after a comprehensive search.

PNS was founded in 1929 by Margaret Matthews-Flinsch to help working mothers who felt forced to choose between supporting their families or caring for their children. Today, the school honors this history by helping children and families break the cycle of poverty through a successful start to their education. Through the hard work and the support of staff, volunteers, and board members, PNS has been able to continue its mission of empowering children through exceptional early education and supportive family services that are affordable for all. All the funds raised during A Starry Starry Evening will sustain essential services provided by PNS, including providing high-quality education, nutritious meals, and comprehensive family support. more

To the Editor:

I am a psychotherapist and an LCADC (a state Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor) practicing in Princeton. Some years ago, I asked the social worker at a Princeton High School, “What do you see as the top three problems facing the kids we work with?” He replied, “Stress, stress, and stress.”

Our schools have heavy course loads. In our meritocracy, our teenagers are facing a competitive, high-pressure marketplace to get into good colleges. Marijuana is prescribed to adults to treat anxiety. Because it can relieve stress and anxiety, it is very seductive to youth. But with heavy use, it can also weaken motivation, and the ability to work hard.

People in general are not good at assessing their own capacity for addiction, teenagers even less so. Retail, on-street shops for selling marijuana, even though they will not sell to kids, will normalize its use and weaken our adult warnings about its risks. Youth use will go up. And with more kids using, more will get addicted. When you think about weed shops in town, consider their effect on the young.

Lucy Harman, LCSW, LCADC
Broadmead 

To the Editor:

Local Cannabis store proponents base their arguments on appeals to democracy, safe supply, and social justice. However, all of these arguments are flawed.

1) The majority of Princeton voters did vote to legalize cannabis possession and use in New Jersey. I was one of those voters. However, while I supported cannabis decriminalization because of racially biased enforcement of prior laws, I oppose the siting of stores in town within walking distance of schools. Decriminalization and siting are two separate issues, and the latter has not been voted upon.

2) I agree that legalization improves the quality of cannabis supply. As a result, users already have several, safe options available including home delivery, a large dispensary conveniently located (a 15-minute drive) on Route 1 near Quaker Bridge Mall, and up to 10 shops (including small businesses) in Trenton. Most Princeton residents cannot walk to a competitively priced grocery store to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. Why should they expect to walk to a cannabis store? more

To the Editor:

I agree that filling empty storefronts on Nassau Street should be a big priority for the town. But how should we fill those empty spaces?

In addition to pot shops, why not add vape shops and smoke shops as well as more liquor stores? Would Nassau Street then be a place all residents and visitors find more appealing and welcoming?  Not me. 

Cynthia Moorhead
Clover Lane

April 6, 2022

BRANDYWINE LIVING: “I  enjoy helping families find the best place for their loved ones. I introduce them to Brandywine and help to make sure they will be comfortable.” Hilary Murray, Brandywine Living Serenade at Princeton’s director of community relations, is shown with staff members, from left: Welcome Coordinator Casey Bonchi; Murray; Corporate Sales Specialist Christy Esandrio; Executive Director Shanna Garland; and Business Office Manager Christine Dandridge.

By Jean Stratton

Almost anything at any time will be available at Brandywine Living Serenade at Princeton. Do you want the butler to arrange transportation or bring lunch to your apartment? Or do you prefer to eat in the dining room at any time of your choice? A late riser? You can have brunch at noon or lunch at 4, and wine with dinner!

It’s all about choice at Brandywine Living Serenade at Princeton.

This upscale senior living residence, located at 775 Mount Lucas Road, is set to open in late spring or early summer. Brandywine Living acquired Acorn Glen, formerly at this location, and has totally transformed and renovated that facility.

“It has a whole new look,” says Hilary Murray, Brandywine Living Serenade at Princeton director of community relations. “We have a large wooded area, landscaping with colorful gardens and plantings, and pleasant walking trails. The inside has handsome appointments and beautiful decor.” more

To the Editor:

Washington and New York have their cherry trees to mark the arrival of spring. For the more than 30 years I have been a Princeton resident, the beginning of spring was marked by the glorious flowering of the pear trees lining Witherspoon Street in the center of town. For the remainder of the spring, summer, and fall, the trees provided beautiful shade along the sidewalks.

Now, we have come to learn that their time is past, and we are told that their invasive behavior rivals their beauty, not that we have all been outside digging up little wild Bradford pear trees from our backyards. While the species is known to be brittle in severe weather, I know other members of our tree canopy have their own significant vulnerabilities, such as the elm (Dutch elm disease) and the ash (emerald ash borer). No, I think we can agree that the greatest offense of our Witherspoon pear trees is that we have decided (collectively) to remodel downtown Witherspoon Street, and the trees would not survive the reconstruction.

This, at least, we can all understand and perhaps accept. Before we consign the pears to the dustbin of history though, we should at the least recognize the beauty and function they have provided us in Princeton for many years. The pear trees were a beautiful part of spring in Princeton, and we thank the designers and planners who created the Witherspoon streetscape years ago. We collectively recognize it is time to move on, but there is no need to blame the trees in retrospect as an “invasive species.” The trees more than served their function, and now it is time to pay our respects and give our thanks.

Don Denny
Nassau Street

To the Editor:

I would like to continue the discussion, sparked by the March 23 letter to the editor and the response from last week’s paper, about planned development in Princeton.

When I first read the letter by the Princeton Coalition for Responsible Development [“Widespread Development Will Have Broad, Lasting Impact Across Princeton,” Mailbox, March 23], I was confused by its timing.  Why was this group choosing the spring of 2022 to raise an alarm about current real estate projects and those that had already been approved and are either in progress or imminent? The fact is that all of the residential projects referred to in the March 23 letter have been part of a growth plan that two different mayors and various occupiers of Council seats have been working on for at least four years. 

Princeton’s obligation to provide affordable housing under the Mt. Laurel doctrine was fully litigated in the courts and was fully covered by our local press. The actual Settlement Agreement outlining the exact number of housing units Princeton would need to provide in order to fulfill its obligation was signed December 18, 2019. 

Rather than being “actively at work” with developers as the letter implies, what Council has been doing these last two years during the pandemic is implementing the plan that was thoroughly considered and vetted. It’s worth noting, in fact, that Council has been working to do myriad things such as: 1) keep cars off our streets, 2) place new development in locations that will have minimal impact on existing residential neighborhoods, and 3) require high performance buildings with enhanced storm water management. For example, much of the planned residential development will be near the Princeton Shopping Center so residents can walk to one of the main economic centers of our town. more

To the Editor:

The debate over cannabis dispensaries in Princeton has at times characterized many Princeton residents as “for” or “against.” I think we should be fair to all sides and “for” or “against” is not the most productive way to have a discussion with our neighbors. Some people in town are excited but some of us are concerned and I’m sure a few are both. I would like to address those concerns — two in particular: our children and our neighborhoods.

As a father of two daughters in the district I am extremely concerned about marijuana in Princeton schools, particularly Princeton High School. The truth is there is marijuana in Princeton High School right now — without any pot shops — it’s there in a student’s backpack or locker. When I was in high school I knew who had it and I knew what students would share it with you. Our kids do too.

The real issue is normalization. If there’s a store, conspicuously renting retail space, in the fanciest part of our town will our kids believe us when we tell them people who smoke pot are morally bankrupt or destined for failure? Of course the answer is “no,” but unfortunately they already don’t believe it. This generation is too smart for that. Every high schooler already personally knows a kind, Ivy-bound fellow student who sneaks off to smoke pot in the woods. When we try to say otherwise, we only hurt our own credibility. To be clear, that student shouldn’t be sneaking off to smoke weed, but she is. We must have tough conversations with our children about responsible use, appropriate ages for experimentation, and resistance to peer pressure. Tough conversations are part of parenting, and we should not try to use zoning ordinances to shirk that responsibility. more

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to the recent letter to Town Topics [Mailbox, March 30] and the request to the Princeton mayor and Council to rescind the “area in need of redevelopment” (ANR) designation for the 10 non-contiguous properties owned by Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS).

This designation of an ANR for these properties essentially represented a “gerrymandering” of 10 lots of property, all owned by PTS, for the purpose of creating a residential campus, consolidating their existing accommodation across Princeton.

That project was abandoned by PTS in 2019 as a result of escalating cost and a change in priorities.

Furthermore, PTS has decided to sell five of the 10 lots classified under the ANR to a developer. Given that the original reason for granting the ANR no longer exists, and that some of the properties are to be sold or used piecemeal, it appears reasonable to request that the ANR be rescinded. more

To the Editor:

I am writing as a longtime (now retired) Princeton Board of Health member and resident acknowledging the many letters to Town Topics, etc. on the question of recreational cannabis retail stores in Princeton.

1) Numerous compelling resident expressions have given good reasons why we should not move forward with retail cannabis for a variety of public health, safety, and other factors. The Princeton Board of Health and health officer, as well as our police department’s, responsibilities and input are important in this matter. For example, I do not believe we have an accurate “on the spot” test, such as the alcohol Breathalyzer to measure (DWI) Driving While Impaired (Intoxicated). This is relevant to comparing the existence of liquor stores and initiating recreational retail cannabis. The decisions about alcohol sales were made in a different era and less complex world.

2) Promotion of retail cannabis via local government’s allowance for zoning changes can be expected to create additional health problems. These include increased smoking, motor vehicle accidents, and related impairment incidents. This is especially true with cannabis products, the dose of which cannot always be verified (in cookies, etc.).

3) A large number of New Jersey municipalities statewide, including those close to Princeton, have rejected retail cannabis. Princeton should do likewise. Otherwise, it could become a regional supplier. This would worsen already serious traffic (including air quality) and parking problems, more so with soon expected increased population density in Princeton. more

To the Editor:

Council has heard a lot of comments about cannabis and kids. Nobody wants our kids to be drunk or high, but the issue at hand is about cannabis stores in Princeton.

These stores are serious about customers being over 21. They have an entry room with security cameras where you show your ID, which they add to a database. (It’s more big brother-y than license plate readers or buying alcohol.) Only then are you allowed through a locked door into the showroom.

Who will be selling weed to kids? Not the stores. Kids will still be able to get cheaper, non-boutique weed from a friend of a friend, sometimes 0 feet away from a school.

Opponents say, “drive to another town,” but some folks can’t drive, or want to shop locally. Opponents say, “just get it delivered,” but given the wide choice of new products, knowledgeable retail salespeople are almost required.

Council’s power is to either allow these new small businesses, or not. The three new cannabis shops will help fill storefronts, help local retail activity in general, and help the adults who choose to buy there. The stores won’t sell to teens, who will still get weed elsewhere. We might increase the 500 feet buffer and share the tax with the schools, as School Board members recommended, but let’s proceed.

Bob Schwartz
Grover Avenue

To the Editor:

After months of reading about conflicting points of view and listening to the Princeton Council meeting on March 29, one thing is clear: residents are polarized about the social, medical, and financial implications of having cannabis dispensaries in Princeton.

We need to separate people’s vote to legalize cannabis from equating to people also supporting a local dispensary. We used a referendum to vote to legalize cannabis in the state, so why not use a referendum to decide whether to bring dispensaries into our town? Let’s be clear about what question we are asking, then let residents vote.

Rebecca Feder
Moore Street

March 30, 2022

PERFECT PAELLA: “We offer authentic Spanish street food, and it is very popular. Paella is our core business, but everything is in demand, and we already have regular customers,” reports Mi España owner John Procaccini. Shown is one of the restaurant’s favorite dishes — Paella Mixta with grouper, shrimp, chicken, chorizo, and bomba rice.

By Jean Stratton

Fans of Spanish food are delighted that they can now enjoy it in the Princeton Shopping Center.

Mi España, featuring authentic street food from Spain, opened in February and customers are lining up waiting to sample the variety of Spanish specialties.

“We are set apart because there is really no one else like us here, ” says owner John Procaccini. “Our chef, Jose Diaz, is Spanish, and not only does he create our wonderful dishes, he was the inspiration for Mi España. We specialize in authenticity, and we import the rice for the paella from Spain, also the cheese, and special spices. We will also include locally-sourced products seasonally.”

The cozy cafe-like setting is very appealing, and customers stream in and out all day long. It seats 23 inside and 30 outdoors during warm weather. Takeout is also very popular. more

To the Editor:

On March 28, my neighbors and I submitted a request to the Princeton mayor and Council to rescind the “area in need of redevelopment” (ANR) designation for the 10 non-contiguous properties owned by Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS).

This designation process for these properties began nearly four years ago as part of an effort to meet the strategic priorities of PTS. As neighbors, we entered a process hopeful that there would be a win-win-win outcome for the institution, the neighbors, and the town. We were led to believe there would be improved pathways and lighting, traffic mitigation, improved storm water management, and dedicated open space. However, no redevelopment plan was ever developed or approved, and after a number of community meetings, PTS paused the process and ultimately announced that their priorities had changed. Subsequently, we learned that PTS has a contract buyer, a private developer, for five of the 10 properties. All efforts to begin a dialogue with the private developer have been rebuffed.

Recently, PTS announced that Dr. Craig Barnes, president of PTS, would be stepping down next year. Shane Berg, the former executive vice president of PTS and our primary point of contact during our preliminary discussions with PTS, has left the organization. Planning Board Chair Wanda Gunning has stepped down, and the chair of this ANR Ad Hoc Committee, Gail Ullman, also retired. Of the elected officials who held office when the ANR designation was adopted, former Mayor Lempert, and former Council members Crumiller, Howard, Liverman, and Williamson all chose not to run for re-election. more

To the Editor:

In the March 23 issue of the paper, a letter raised an alarm about development in Princeton [“Widespread Development Will Have Broad, Lasting Impact Across Princeton”]. It cited an eclectic group of projects — University housing, a new hotel, a relocated restaurant, affordable housing, elder housing — as cause for concern. Claiming to simply “bring attention” to these projects, the letter ends by asking “What impact will all of these projects have on our streets, on our neighborhoods, on the environment, and in our schools?” (italics are mine). Implied in this question is the assumption that the increase in visitor and residential population in Princeton will be harmful to us, those who have already settled here, by bringing more traffic, less parking, more students in schools, and myriad other problems.

There was no mention of the value of these projects to the community. Yet the continued health and vitality of Princeton depends on not just tolerating but welcoming growth that helps encourage a diverse population to live, learn, work, and visit here.

More notably absent was any consideration for the implied them, the people who would benefit from these projects: the students and faculty, the visitors to the town, the merchants, and, most critically, those who wish to find a home here but can’t. Are we really going to choose ease of parking, speed of travel, and comfort with the status quo over the things that allow more people to live and work here in a satisfying and healthy way?

I believe that such priorities need to be examined and realigned.

Meg Davis
Shadybrook Lane

To the Editor:

As we approach National Library Week (April 3-9), we’re pleased to acknowledge the Princeton Public Library. Recently, Library Journal magazine awarded our library its highest rating, Five Stars.

This recognition is significant for three reasons:

  1. Our library is the only one in the state to receive this rating;
  2. This is the sixth year in a row our library has achieved this rating;
  3. PPL was ranked No. 1 nationally in its budget category.

Many factors contribute to such excellence. Thank you, municipality. Your ongoing financial support recognizes that many consider the library our community’s living room and their favorite place in Princeton.

Thank you, patrons. Your respect for, embrace of, and participation in all that our library offers — print and online resources; a range of programs; a peaceful, vital oasis in a bustling downtown; a locale that enhances opportunities to build community — confirm why our library is the second most-popular destination (after Princeton University) of folks who visit Princeton.

Thank you, Friends and Foundation and donors. Your support allows us to provide materials that engage our diverse population and sponsor events that enhance, celebrate, and challenge our patrons’ lives and intellect. more

To the Editor:

On behalf of People & Stories/Gente y Cuentos, we would like to thank the many people who contributed to a successful March 24 fundraising event, Notable Words: An Evening with Susan Choi.

We greatly appreciate our ticket buyers, sponsors, and corporate sponsors Stark & Stark, NRG, Lear & Pannepacker, Taft Communications, and Beaumont Investments, who made possible the celebratory evening. Your donations sustain our programs!

Princeton Unitarian Universalist Church, the event venue, provided a gracious space and staff, and delicious food was provided by Emily’s Catering. Thank you to the local businesses that contributed to the silent auction.

We are grateful for our guest speaker, author Susan Choi, who made the trip from Brooklyn on a rainy evening. Choi’s insightful words, reading and the discussion that followed, encapsulated the power of stories and the very human experience of sharing them. This has been the heart of People & Stories/Gente y Cuentos programs for the past 50 years.

Charlotte Friedman
Andrea Honore
Board Co-Chairs, People & Stories/Gente y Cuentos
Eggerts Crossing Road, Lawrenceville

To the Editor:

I appreciate the recent public-spirited expression by Cannabis Task Force (CTF) member Kimberly Levitt, MD, MPH [“Banning Cannabis Dispensaries Hurts Adults Who Have Legally Made the Choice to Use It,” Mailbox, March 23].

Dr. Leavitt is a local family physician and acupuncturist who laudibly wants to advance the interest of public health as she sees it. But her reasoning seems illogical and suggests for a public health expert like herself an inexplicable predisposition favoring retail shops selling a indisputably psychoactive substance demonstrably harmful to the health of many.

First, the presence or absence of retail marijuana shops in Princeton in no way will influence cannabis research and a local doctor’s capacity to give the best possible advice from the medical literature on cannabis. Second, while the lack of tested products makes harder her ability to advise, this also has nothing to do with marijuana shops in Princeton. Ironically, such lack is a matter that she as a public health expert should insist the CTF itself address before any shops are permitted anywhere. more

To the Editor:

I am in favor of having three marijuana dispensaries in Princeton. Then I could pick the marijuana shop I wanted to patronize based on my view of the quality of the various products offered. Parking availability, knowledgeable staff, and ambiance would probably count too.

As an 80-year-old and grandparent of three, I am of course concerned about anything that could harm young people. But my concerns for youngsters run more to the dangers from bicycle accidents, unattended swimming pools, drunk drivers — and global warming and nuclear war.

Our country survived during 12 years of governance by individuals who had some contact with marijuana (Clinton, Bush, Obama). Surely the town of Princeton can survive the presence of three legal marijuana shops.

Dawn Day
Meadowbrook Drive

March 23, 2022

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PERFECT PAPER PRODUCTS: “There is really something about coming into a store and actually seeing the items firsthand. Also, the staff can help with questions people may have and offer advice. It’s much more personal, and we enjoy talking with our customers and getting to know them.” Chelsea Muro, manager of the Paper Source, is shown near a display of many of the store’s popular products.

By Jean Stratton

Writing a note or letter, sending an invitation, or an important message via pen and paper is still the choice of many people today. Even in a time with a plethora of electronic communication devices, there is something special about this “vintage” style of connection.

Chelsea Muro can vouch for this — as manager of the Paper Source at 42 Witherspoon Street, she sees daily evidence of the ongoing popularity of paper products.

“Even in the digital age, people still want to write a note on paper. It is really more personal and meaningful that you took the time to do it. We have a full range of styles and companies for note cards and stationery, including Crane and Rifle Paper Co. The latter also offers jewelry, purses, and even wallpaper, all in wonderful designs. We also have our own exclusive Paper Source brand of cards, stationery, and invitations.” more

To the Editor:

The growing number of states legalizing marijuana doesn’t change the fact that multiple adverse health effects are linked to marijuana. I am an anesthesiologist, practicing in New Jersey for about four years. I’ve seen patients using marijuana coming to the operating room due to various causes. I’d like to present some facts from academic articles and clinical databases.

First, marijuana is known as the gateway drug toward harder drugs. Contrary to popular belief, marijuana can be addictive. Early exposure to cannabinoids in adolescent rodents decreases the reactivity of brain dopamine reward centers later in adulthood. To the extent that these findings generalize to humans, this could help explain the increased vulnerability for addiction to other substances of misuse later in life that most epidemiological studies have reported for people who begin marijuana use early in life. Recent data suggest that 30 percent of those who use marijuana may have some degree of marijuana use disorder. People who are addicted to marijuana are three times more likely to be addicted to heroin. more