Who Wrote Arizona’s Initiative to Legalize Recreational Marijuana?
It wasn’t anyone who cares about children, society, employers, or highway safety to name a few. If you think well-intended policy makers at the Arizona State Capitol wrote the 19 pages known as Prop 205, think again. It was written by the marijuana industry. Unlike Colorado that is scaling back and adapting their law, if approved, Prop 205’s resulting law cannot be changed. The marijuana industry is taking advantage of Arizona’s 1998 Voter Protection Act. Legalization of recreational marijuana in Arizona cannot be changed. For more information, go to www.azvoterguide.com.
Recreational Marijuana is No Fun!
Prop 205 allows highly concentrated marijuana edibles and candies without limits on potency. Children are targeted with packaging that looks like Butterfinger and KitKat and gummy bears. Did you know that one cookie contains 10 times the amount needed for a high and one gummy bear is equal to six to 20 servings? In addition, ingested marijuana takes longer for the dopamine to be released and the effects last longer than smoked marijuana’s one to three hours. This is how over dose occurs. When there’s a delayed euphoria, users eat more and more. When the effect hits, it is a powerful reaction, potentially deadly.
Research shows that a child at the age of 13 years and seven months has already smoked “weed.” One in six are addicted at that age. Now, many not only smoke and are vaping with 70 – 85% THC content, but can eat, drink, or inhale pot with little knowledge of the harmful consequences, including:
- Impaired Memory
Without a doubt, cannabis has psychological and physiological effects on the human body. The brain, sense of perception, immune system, drop in blood pressure, and increased heart rate are only a few ways the body changes. Feelings of panic, anxiety, and fear are additional negative effects. Yet, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is only one of about 400 different chemical compounds in the plant. In 1972, THC levels were less than 1%, but now as high as 18%.
For children still developing physically, mentally, socially and emotionally, marijuana has a critical impact. Decreased brain activity in areas of the brain that control learning and memory functions are a harmful result. Long-term effects include inability to think clearly and an inability to remember things. Teens with on-going use lost an average of eight IQ points—not to return.
The Marijuana Industry Gets Rich
So, why are children targeted by packaging that appeals to their age group? When a child becomes addicted, he is a customer for life. The industry makes tens of millions of dollars over a period of years on children. The marijuana industry doesn’t care that your child or grandchild is harmed; it is getting rich.
While the industry is making mega bucks, the heavy users of their product more often report:
- Lower satisfaction in life
- Poorer mental health
- Reduced physical health
- Greater relationship problems
- Less academic success
- Career failures
Finally, they report that marijuana use came before the use of other drugs. So, who is profiting? The industry…plain and simple. Who is losing? Arizona’s citizens and families…devastated and heartbroken. Responsible Arizona citizens will be faced with picking up the social consequences of marijuana use, of THC. Case in point, doctors in hospital emergency rooms in Colorado treat patients for over toxicity…over highs…psychotic break! Yet, there are more pot shops in Colorado that Starbucks and McDonalds combined. Money, money, money!
Cartels, Law Enforcement, Homeowners, and Employers
Cartels won’t go away. Remember, this is a “cash only” business. See any opportunity for profit and tax evasion here?
Law enforcement will have no way to identify the level of impairment. Unlike the alcohol level of .08 as a means for measuring unsafe Arizona drivers, marijuana levels cannot be accurately measured due to the amount of time THC remains in the system. You could conceivably convict a drunk driver in a fatal accident, but a high marijuana user could go undetected and unable to be prosecuted. By the way, only 131 out of 42,000 are in jail for marijuana.
Homeowners may be living next to a grow home of up to 18 legally protected marijuana plants. Six plants for each spouse and a caretaker could be in the yard or on the patio. When you get to know your neighbor, you may want to sell your home…it may become stigmatized and lose the value you worked a lifetime to enjoy. Who knows?
Employers, in addition, cannot do anything to employees who recreate with marijuana. Workers in dangerous jobs, like electricians, pilots, city bus drivers, fire fighters, and any number of other positions requiring skill and safety are exempt from the pink slip. Prop 205 would allow for impairment without personal responsibility or consequence. The writers of this reckless proposition don’t care…it’s all about the money they will make, regardless of the lives it will ruin. Their lives will be enriched. They don’t care about Arizona citizens.
Do You Care Enough To Vote “No” on Prop 205?
Just Vote No Arizona
Center for Arizona Policy
National Institute on Drug Abuse