Healthy Drug Free Colorado - Marijuana Legalization: A Bad Idea

Healthy and Drug Free Colorado

 
Home
 
|
 
Amendment 64
 
|
 
Marijuana: What’s the Truth
 
|
 
What Experts Say
 
|
 
How To Get Help
 
|
 
Taking Action
 
|
 
Links
 
|
 
Contact
 
 

 

Marijuana: What's The Truth?

READ WHAT OBJECTIVE EXPERTS, SCIENTIFIIC RESEARCH AND WELL DOCUMENTED STUDIES HAVE DISCOVERED

TRUTH:  INCREASED USE

  • The number of teenage and adult users would increase if marijuana was legalized.1 The number would at least double and most likely triple.
  • There are 16.7 million regular marijuana users (6.7% of Americans 12 years old or older.)2 The increase would mean an additional 17 to 34 million users in the United States.
  • Colorado could have anywhere from 20% to 30% of its teenage population regularly using marijuana.

ASK YOURSELF: Do you think increased marijuana use among teenagers and adults is good for Colorado and its future?

TRUTH:  NEGATIVE IMPACT ON YOUTH

  • Signs that a youth may be using marijuana are apathy, disrespect, disinterest in activities, lower grades, frequent mood changes, depression, and isolation from the family.
  • Teens who use marijuana are more likely than non-users to engage in delinquent and dangerous behavior.3
  • Those same teens experience increased risk of schizophrenia and greater levels of depression including being three times more likely to have suicidal thoughts.3
  • Teens using marijuana are more likely to engage in violent behavior (fights/assaults).3
  • Marijuana-using teens are more likely to have multiple sexual partners and engage in unsafe sex.4
  • Marijuana use has been shown to permanently impair brain development in youth.5 Learning skills such as problem solving, concentration, motivation and memory are negatively affected.
  • Of those youth in drug treatment, 68% are there for marijuana use.6 In 2009, 830,000 youth displayed characteristics of marijuana addiction.7
  • Colorado currently has the nation's third highest rate of marijuana use among youth ages 12 - 17.5

ASK YOURSELF: Would you want your son or daughter to become involved in using marijuana?

TRUTH:  IMPAIRED AND DANGEROUS DRIVING

  • Marijuana use adversely affects concentration, coordination, and perception, all important skills to safe driving. 
  • Stanford Medical School research shows that tested pilots were still somewhat impaired on a simulator twenty-four hours after having smoked marijuana.8
  • In 2009, 28% of all fatally-injured drivers tested positive for marijuana use.9
  • In California, from 2005 to 2010, 1,240 persons were killed in traffic accidents where the driver had used marijuana.10
  • Last year in Colorado, over fifty people were killed because of marijuana-impaired drivers.11
  • More people driving on weekend nights were under the influence of marijuana (8.3%) than alcohol (2.2%).12
  • A study of 182 truck accidents causing death found 12.8% of the drivers were under influence of marijuana and 12.5% under the influence of alcohol.13
  • A study revealed 28,000 high school seniors admitted to at least one accident after using marijuana.
  • ASK YOURSELF: Do you want more impaired drivers on our interstates and roadways?


TRUTH:  INCREASED-RISK EMPLOYEES

  • Safety, absenteeism, turnover rate, tardiness, productivity, work quality, and lawsuits are significant liabilities for employers with marijuana-using employees.
  • Employees who tested positive for marijuana had 55% more industrial accidents and 85% more injuries compared to those that tested negative on a pre-employment exam.14
  • Employees who abuse drugs are five times more likely than non-users to injure themselves or coworkers and cause 40% of all industrial fatalities.1
  • Those testing positive for marijuana had absenteeism rates 75% higher than those that tested negative.14
  • A study found that 38% to 50% of all workers' compensation claims are related to substance abuse.15

ASK YOURSELF: If you were an employer, would you want to hire an employee who uses marijuana?

TRUTH:  SKYROCKETING POTENCY

  • Today's marijuana potency is five times higher than that of the 70's.
  • During the 70's when marijuana use was at an all-time high, the THC potency was between 1.5 - 3%.
  • During that same time users would speak about being 'stoned', 'wasted', 'out of it', or 'spaced out' clearly indicating that even 3% potency causes intoxication.
  • In 2009, the average THC level was 10% which is well over a 300% increase from the 70's.16 Some marijuana has tested at 30% potency.
  • At a similar rate for increased potency, there has been a corresponding increase in emergency room visits for marijuana use.1
  • ASK YOURSELF: Do you think this higher intoxicant level in marijuana is a positive factor for the health and safety of Coloradoans?

TRUTH:  ADDITIONAL ADVERSE AFFECTS

  • Despite assertions to the contrary, marijuana is addictive.   More than 4 million Americans are classified as meeting the criteria for marijuana addiction.17
  • Of emergency room visits, 374,000 people were there because of a primary marijuana problem.18
  • Marijuana smoke contains 50% to 70% more cancer-causing agents than smoked tobacco.19 
  • Only .7% of all state inmates are there for marijuana possession, with many pleading down from more serious crimes.20  In Colorado, possession of less than two ounces of marijuana (between 120 - 168 marijuana cigarettes) although illegal, is only a citable offense with a $100 fine. 
  • Taxing marijuana to create revenue is 'blind side economics.' Based on the experience with heavily taxed alcohol and cigarettes, revenue from marijuana would cover less than 15% of the societal cost associated with the adverse consequences of increased marijuana use.

ASK YOURSELF: Do you think it enhances Colorado's future or attracts quality people and businesses to be considered "The Pot Capital" of the U.S.?

IF YOU ANSWERED 'NO' TO ANY ONE OF THE ABOVE QUESTIONS, THEN YOU SHOULD ALSO SAY 'NO' TO LEGALIZING MARIJUANA FOR RECREATIONAL USE.

____________________
1  DEA, "Speaking Out Against Drug Legalization", 2003 and 2010 (see document for specific citation)
2  SAMHSA, 2009 Annual Survey on Drug Use and Health, September 2010
3  DEA, "DEA Position on Marijuana", July 2010 (see document for specific citations)
4  Bovassco, G., American Journal of Psychiatry, 2001
5  Dr. Christian Thurstone, M.D., Director, Denver Health - Substance Abuse, Treatment, Education and Prevention Programs
6  SAMHSA, "Highlights for the 2008 Treatment Episode Data Set"
7  SAMHSA, "2009 National Survey of Drug Use and Health", September 2010
13  CNOA, "The Myths of Drug Legalization", 1994
9  Cesar Analysis of 2009 National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration FARS Data
10  Cramer and Associates, "Study Shows Passage of California Cannabis Initiative Will Increase Traffic Deaths"
11  "Drugged Driving Getting Worse in Colorado", 9News.com, 2011 February 17
12  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Report, 2009
13  Concerned Citizens for Drug Prevention, Inc. citing National Transportation and Safety Board, 1994
14  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, "Marijuana - April 26"
15  National Drug-Free Workplace Alliance, September 21, 2010
16  ONDCP, "New Report Finds Higher Levels of THC in U.S. Marijuana to Date", May 2009
17  National Institute of Drug Abuse, "Marijuana", 2010
18  ONDCP, Director Kerlikowske Speech, March 4, 2010
19  ONDCP, "Marijuana:  Know the Facts", October 2010
20  Bureau of Justice Assistance Report, "Substance Abuse and Treatment, State and Federal Prisoners", January 1999

 

 

Top 10 Reasons NOT to Legalize Marijuana

Download a Printer Friendly Version

Dowload Printer Friendly Version