Say No to Marijuana legalization in MA

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This year, Massachusetts is debating on a House Bill 1561 to legalize recreational marijuana. Such bill permits residents to buy marijuana at certain dispensary and grow marijuana for personal use. The bill also places taxes on Marijuana sales. The use of marijuana is associated with poor cognitive function, drug addiction, and respiratory illnesses. In 2012, Colorado was one of the states that legalized recreational marijuana use. From the Colorado experience, such legislation led to an increase in marijuana related traffic fatalities and emergency admission from marijuana use. Between 2011 to 2013, there was a 57% increase in emergency room visit for marijuana related conditions. Toxicology report indicated that driving under the influence from marijuana rose 16% from 2011 to 2013 (http://www.rmhidta.org/html/august%202014%20legalization%20of%20mj%20in%20colorado%20the%20impact.pdf). Furthermore fatal traffic accidents from being under the influence due to marijuana rose 92% from 2010 to 2014 (https://www.coloradopotguide.com/media/2987/2015-hidta.pdf). In additional, the use of marijuana can lead to addiction to the drug. Massachusetts is facing a signficant drug addiction problem with 1099 death in 2014 from opioid overdose (http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/dph/quality/drugcontrol/county-level-pmp/data-brief-overdose-deaths-ma-residents-january-2016.pdf), and by legalizing marijuana, this problem may get much worse and will require more resources to treat patients.

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Legalizing marijuana caused multiple significant health concerns. This mistake should not be repeat in MA, a state that already has a big opioid crisis. Some proponents of this bill indicated economic benefits from taxes, but the social costs from addiction and life lost are outweighed such economic benefits. Please vote “No” for this bill. Lets your state official know that your concern today!!!

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3 Responses to “Say No to Marijuana legalization in MA”

  1. edl22 Says:

    I found your post very eye-opening! I was unaware of the consequences seen in Colorado until reading this. Thank you. I think you have started an interesting debate. However, I am curious about other think will happen to the rate of marijuana use among adolescents with the legalization of the drug. History has shown that taxes on substance reduce the rates of consumption by adolescents. Evidence supports the effectiveness of tobacco and alcohol taxes. Wouldn’t we expect a similar trend if the tax is large enough on marijuana?

    Studies supporting the tobacco and alcohol taxes can be found here:
    http://ftp.iza.org/dp9144.pdf

    http://centaur.reading.ac.uk/17960/1/MS-08-0405_Alcohol_price_meta-analysis_REVISED_9-23-08.pdf

  2. GuajiraThomas Says:

    Criminal prohibition of marijuana has lead to millions of arrests and countless years of prison sentences. The war on cannabis has been a failure. I am for a legally controlled market where consumers can purchase marijuana from a safe source and pay taxes along the way. As edl22 mentioned, regulation and taxation of tobacco and alcohol has resulted in decrease use by teenagers. Currently it is easier for teenagers to access illegal drugs, like marijuana, than it is for them to access alcohol or cigarettes. It is important to consider the increased number of ER visits in Colorado due to cannabis use and overdose, but by regulating the market and through taxation, funds can be used to research ways to improve safety.

  3. lmandel6 Says:

    Thanks for your post! I previously lived in Mass, and I know people definitely have strong opinions about this issue there especially since marijuana is already decriminalized in Massachusetts. Did you look at the difference in regulations proposed in Massachusetts versus Colorado? When I looked up the MA marijuana debate, it actually looked like the most likely thing to happen was a ballot in November 2016 with a very highly regulated proposal for legalizing marijuana – https://www.mpp.org/states/massachusetts/ , so it may not even be dependent on state lawmakers. Do you think a highly regulated system would be better or worse than the current one?

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