Column: No to Proposition 205
I ask all of you folks who care about the young to vote against Proposition 205. Summarizing information from a number of sources in Arizona and Colorado, here are some of the primary reasons:
*Prop 205 Endangers Arizona’s Young People
Prop 205 authorizes the production and sale of highly concentrated marijuana edibles and candies without limits on potency.
Prop 205 permits sales of marijuana edibles near preschools and youth clubs such as the Boys and Girls clubs.
Prop 205 expands drug use permitting current medical marijuana dispensaries to sell recreational marijuana from the same store front.
Prop 205 allows blatant advertising of marijuana and marijuana products.
*Prop 205 Causes Major Public Safety Risks
Prop 205 prohibits authorities from imposing a THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol—the mind-altering ingredient found in marijuana) limit for impaired drivers.
Prop 205 prohibits most cities and towns from banning marijuana operations in our communities, unlike Colorado’s law.
*Prop 205 Protects Marijuana Special Interests
Prop 205 stacks the new Marijuana Commission with industry representatives to “regulate” their own industry.
Prop 205 is 20 pages of legalese written by out-of-state lobbyists and in-state special interests to guarantee marijuana monopolies.
*The Colorado Experiment is a Disaster
Colorado youth now ranks #1 in the nation for marijuana youth.
Colorado marijuana-related traffic deaths increased 62% since the drug was legalized for recreational use in 2013.
Large hospital organizations in Colorado are trying to ban pot shops as more newborns are born with THC in their systems.
Marijuana-related hospitalizations have jumped 38% and Emergency Room visits have climbed 29% since legalization.
Crime, homelessness, and drug cartel activity have all increased in Colorado since legalization. State resources otherwise used for those in need are spent on the influx of homeless seeking shelter and services.
“Denver is losing visitor and valuable convention business as a result of these overall safety issues.” Denver Post.
*From Arizona Governor Ducey: “The claim that marijuana will bring dramatic new money to help pay for education has been exposed in the Arizona Republic as “bunk and a lie.” In fact the social, health, law enforcement, and other costs will far, far outweigh any tax revenue generated by tax sales. This is a money loser for Arizona, not a winner.”
*From Colorado Governor Hickenlooper: “I tell other governors that we are not making any extra revenue from pot sales. That’s because every tax dollar Colorado brings in goes to cleaning up the problems legal weed causes; the money goes to drug treatment, or to public health programs like the ones to prevent teenage use and drugged driving. Not only is there none left over, but there are even more costs.”
*Legalizing marijuana will significantly harm our state’s young citizens. This drug is a mind-altering, addictive substance. Teenagers who use this drug are 60% less likely to finish high school; college students who use it are at twice the risk of dropping out.
*According to a recent study out of Northwestern University marijuana use “affects focus, working memory, decision-making and motivation, and has structural effects on the brain.”
*The marijuana now being sold is approximately 60% more potent than it was in the 70s. If this proposition passes, marijuana will be sold to our youngsters as candy, lollipops, gummy bears and brownies. Our children will think that this drug is okay to use and will not have negative affects on them. They will be wrong. Marijuana has become a “Hard Drug.”
*As one Arizona physician (Dr. Richard Rutkowski) wrote: “Advocates of legalization try to mislead you and distinguish marijuana from hard drugs, That might have been true decades ago, but it’s not true today. The psychologically active ingredient of marijuana is THC. In the 1960’s, marijuana contained about 1% THC. In 2016, marijuana edibles contain from 30% to 70% THC. What may not have been addictive then is certainly addictive now.”
*Dr. Rutkowski presents a scientifically proven list of what today’s marijuana does to individuals who use it. (Users will experience) “memory problems, impaired judgement and problem solving, loss of motivation, loss of coordination, impaired brain maturation in adolescents and teens, poor school performance, lower IQ, chronic bronchitis and lung damage, and higher rates of schizophrenia.”
*Please don’t kid yourself and believe that sale of this drug will be regulated like alcohol and sold only to adults. Youngsters have always found ways around the alcohol laws and will find ways around this one. With both tobacco and marijuana, 90% of adult users start as teens.
*Understand that if this Proposition passes, the youngsters in our state will assume that since adult voters approve it, then it must not be harmful. Do you want your children and grandchildren to accept this conclusion?
*The American Academy of Pediatrics which represents over 62,000 pediatricians in our nation, reaffirmed its opposition to the legalization of this drug.
*For the protection of our young people, vote NO on The Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act (RTMA) on the ballot, Nov. 8, 2016.