The Debate On Marijuana Continues

Yesterday PJ Media posted an article about the impact of the legalization of marijuana in Colorado. There is still not a clear picture of the effect of the legislation.

The article lists some of the negative impact:

Along with five years of legal weed, Colorado has also seen its homeless population swell to a level that is among the highest in America. The Gazette editorial board sees a link between people living on the street and the availability of free weed because homeless shelter directors said substance abusers move to Colorado because it’s easier to score a bag of weed.

More kids than ever are getting high inside Colorado’s K-12 schools, the Gazette also reported. Drug violations reported by the state’s public schools increased 45 percent since the legalization of pot, according to a 2016 Rocky Mountain PBS investigation.

The article further reports:

On top of all of that, something stinks in Colorado Springs.

“Visitors to Colorado remark about a new agricultural smell, the wafting odor of pot as they drive near warehouse grow operations along Denver freeways,” the Gazette editorial read.

“Residential neighborhoods throughout Colorado Springs reek of marijuana, as producers fill rental homes with plants,” the Gazette added.

The article states that there have been some problems with overdoses:

Dr. Daniel Vigil of the Marijuana Health Monitoring and Research Program at the Colorado Department of Public Health said those “bumps in the road” included “rare deaths.”

The marijuana fatalities included “one following overconsumption, paranoia and falling off a balcony,” Vigil told Insider Louisville. Another death involved “unintentional ingestion of a large dose of THC in a candy bar.”

Vigil said new regulations and policies are needed to prevent marijuana overdoses.

I have no problem with marijuana being available in pill form for medical purposes. I do, however, question the wisdom of legalizing another substance that may interfere with the ability of people to function. Marijuana may not be addictive, but I clearly remember a teenager I knew years ago who began smoking in his teens and thoroughly changed his life for the worse because of it. I suspect his story might not be all that unusual.

How Does This Help Anyone?

On Friday the Huffington Post reported that starting next summer, Berkeley, California, residents with incomes below $32,000 per year will be able to fill their prescriptions for medical marijuana at no cost.

I am not opposed to medical marijuana. I am opposed to the fact that it is over-prescribed in places where it is legal. If you pick up a Sunday paper in California, you will find multiple pages of advertisements for doctors who prescribe medical marijuana for headaches, flat feet, stress, etc. Historically, when medical marijuana is legalized in a state, the results are not significantly different from simple legalization of marijuana.

The article reports:

Under a law passed unanimously by the city council, dispensaries must set aside 2 percent of their pot for distribution to the poor.

Not everyone is on board with the plan.

“It’s ludicrous, over-the-top madness,” Bishop Ron Allen, head of the International Faith Based Coalition, told Fox News. “Why would Berkeley City Council want to keep their poverty-stricken under-served high, in poverty and lethargic?”

A website called drugfreeworld lists the effects of marijuana:

SHORT-TERM EFFECTS

  • Sensory distortion
  • Panic
  • Anxiety
  • Poor coordination of movement
  • Lowered reaction time
  • After an initial “up,” the user feels sleepy or depressed
  • Increased heartbeat (and risk of heart attack)

LONG-term effects of marijuana

  • Reduced resistance to common illnesses (colds, bronchitis, etc.)
  • Suppression of the immune system
  • Growth disorders
  • Increase of abnormally structured cells in the body
  • Reduction of male sex hormones
  • Rapid destruction of lung fibers and lesions (injuries) to the brain could be permanent
  • Reduced sexual capacity
  • Study difficulties: reduced ability to learn and retain information
  • Apathy, drowsiness, lack of motivation
  • Personality and mood changes
  • Inability to understand things clearly

I have never used marijuana, so I cannot personally verify this information; however, as a parent, I have known teenagers who have used the drug. My personal experience with one particular teenager was that heavy marijuana use in high school totally ruined his ambition and his hope for achieving the things he was capable of achieving. I believe that marijuana has a negative impact on ambition and drive for success. Someone needs to explain to me how giving people living in poverty free access to marijuana is actually going to help anyone.

The Result Of Doing The ‘Popular’ Thing

Colorado legalized marijuana in 2012. They are reaping in tons of revenue as a result, but what is the actual cost? Today The Daily Signal posted an article about seven negative results of the legalization of marijuana.

The article lists some of the negative impacts of legal marijuana:

1. The majority of DUI drug arrests involve marijuana and 25 to 40 percent were marijuana alone.

2. In 2012, 10.47 percent of Colorado youth ages 12 to 17 were considered current marijuana users compared to 7.55 percent nationally. Colorado ranked fourth in the nation, and was 39 percent higher than the national average.

3. Drug-related student suspensions/expulsions increased 32 percent from school years 2008-09 through 2012-13, the vast majority were for marijuana violations.

4. In 2012, 26.81 percent of college age students were considered current marijuana users compared to 18.89 percent nationally, which ranks Colorado third in the nation and 42 percent above the national average.

5. In 2013, 48.4 percent of Denver adult arrestees tested positive for marijuana, which is a 16 percent increase from 2008.

6. From 2011 through 2013 there was a 57 percent increase in marijuana-related emergency room visits.

7. Hospitalizations related to marijuana has increased 82 percent since 2008.

This information is from a new report by the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area entitled “The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact.”

Do you love your children enough to oppose the legalization of marijuana for recreational use?