Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

I recently read an article in the Epoch Times, dated October 27, 2020 regarding recreational marijuana use in Pueblo Colorado.  Here is the link: https://www.theepochtimes.com/the-true-cost-of-marijuana-a-colorado-town-that-went-all-in_3546091.html?utm_source=newsnoe&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=breaking-2020-10-27-4 . I urge you to read the entire article.

Pueblo, like the rest of Colorado, allows recreational use of marijuana. It’s a town smaller than Glendale with a population of about 160,000. There is no doubt that marijuana is earning a ton of money for the town—about $100,000 in sales tax monthly. That’s over a million dollars in sales tax a year for the city. The industry employs about 2,000 people at a rate of $12 to $15 an hour. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

However, the article shares the experiences of several Pueblo emergency physicians and now the picture is not quite so rosy. They say the harmful effects far outweigh any monetary benefits. Many people end up in the ER with something called cannabinoid hyperemesis. The cause is chronic cannabis use of high-potency products and stops when the use of cannabis stops. The main ingredient in marijuana is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Twenty, thirty years ago a marijuana joint contained about 4% THC. Now the potency is pegged at more than 80%. Then there are the issues of psychosis and schizophrenia typically affecting 17, 18 and 19 year olds.

Pueblo and all of Colorado has seen an increase in all drug use and not just marijuana. Marijuana is a gateway drug that often leads to the use of opiates. Methamphetamine use is up 143 percent, opiates are up by 10 percent, and cannabis is up by 57 percent, according to data from the ER drug screens over the past seven years.

Then there are the not so obvious results. It is much more difficult for employers to find sober workers. There is the effect of more school drop outs and those not dropping out have more difficulty in learning resulting in a larger, unsatisfactorily educated work force. And while town coffers may be bulging, health care costs have increased dramatically. Public safety spends more and more time answering overdose calls taking them away from more serious medical emergencies and crimes.

Arizona already allows the use of medical marijuana and the system is often abused but that action should not be used to allow the use of recreational marijuana. What are we doing to our people ? And most especially to our kids? Aren’t we obligated to protect them?

It’s on the Nov. 3rd ballot. The choice is yours.

© Joyce Clark, 2020         


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