Report to the People # 74: Legalization of Recreational Marijuana by Philip W. Chapman, County Board District Three

I serve on the Health and Judiciary Committees. As the Illinois Legislature readies to approve recreational marijuana use Madison County must be ready. There at least two major misconceptions. First, legalization will generate positive cash flow. Second, legalization neutralizes youth’s health risks.

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Anticipated marijuana taxes axes won’t pay governments’ costs. Andrew Freeman, former head, of the Colorado marijuana program stated; ”You do not legalize for taxation. It is a myth. You do not pave streets or pay teachers.” The Colorado Centennial Report stated; legalization of recreational marijuana costs $ 4.50 for every $1.00 received in revenue. A tax bonanza?

Marijuana use damages youth health. Alex Berensen, author of Tell Your Children, writes; ”marijuana’s risks are different than opioids but no less real.” Marijuana is addictive. (NIDA) Approximately 9 % of users become addicted. About 17% started in adolescence one in six who use regularly will become addicted. 70% of 12 to 17 year olds who enter drug treatment programs because of marijuana. (American College of Pediatricians) The Center for Disease Control stated; marijuana’s side effects include; difficulty with memory and problem solving, impaired coordination, depression anxiety, and judgment issues like risky sexual activity and driving while impaired. Adolescent use is linked to school drop- out rate and lower educational achievement. The National Institute on Drug Abuse states; “approximately 10 % of users develop marijuana use disorder impacting school and family”.

Ready Madison County?

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