WASHINGTON, Nov. 4, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In his first column on Medium, Dr. Richard Carmona, the 17 th Surgeon General of the United States encourages voters and policymakers to proceed with caution as they consider the expansion of legalized marijuana use. "When contemplating marijuana for recreational use, we must first consider what potential harm may ensue: what the health care costs would be for the projected harm, and who would bear the cost burden for the increased morbidity and or mortality? These answers would then be juxtaposed against the benefit of pleasure or a "high" that is expected," Carmona said in the piece. Carmona listed a number of potential consequences associated with marijuana use including inflammation of the airways, breathing problems, a decline of cognitive development and function, changes in mood and memory, impaired body movement, altered sense of time, and altered senses. He went on to say that "although there is evidence that some components of marijuana may have medicinal value, the FDA has not put marijuana through the appropriate scientific testing and due diligence to ensure it can be safely and effectively used as a drug and not cause harm to the user." Carmona closed saying, "It appears that the proverbial cart has been placed before the horse and the horse is blinded by the cloud of smoke. Considering that, and other facts about the known and potential deleterious effects of marijuana use, citizens and policymakers should be extremely cautious about any changes to marijuana policy without appropriate due diligence to ensure the public's health and prevent the unintended consequences of an emotional decision."