BOSTON – Two child wellness and anti-addiction advocates responded to comments made by marijuana legalization proponents that sought to diminish the harmful impact of the drug.
At a press conference on Friday held by the Committee to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, legalization proponents called marijuana a relatively “benign plant.” In response, a letter was sent by a doctor from Children’s Hospital and the Director of the Northshore Recovery High School objecting to those “unfortunate comments that diminished the harms marijuana imposes on our kids.”
“We can have a healthy debate on the issue of legalization,” wrote Dr. Sion Harris and Director Michelle Lipinski. “But the fact that marijuana is addictive and has a negative impact on young people is not debatable.”
Harris and Lipinski then referenced their work with families and outlined basic facts about the impact of marijuana on youth, including:
One in six people who start using marijuana as minors become dependent.
Marijuana products now have THC content that is 300% higher than it was in the 1990s.
Use of marijuana can have serious impacts on young people’s brain development, career growth, and even their IQ.
They labeled the attempts of the legalization proponents to tie the impact of marijuana to alcohol as a “misdirection.”
“There is one issue before the voters this November, and that is whether to legalize the marijuana industry in Massachusetts and dramatically expand access to a drug that we know is harmful to our kids and communities,” the child advocates said.
For a complete copy of the letter, click here.
The Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts is a growing, bi-partisan coalition of health care and community leaders, anti-addiction advocates, educators, business groups, first responders, and families who are opposing this proposed legalization of the commercial marijuana industry in Massachusetts.