The Massachusetts Assocation of School Superintendents (MASS) has taken a unambiguous position against the proposed Massachusetts ballot question that would open the doors to legal marijuana commercialization and an industry interested in expanding use of the drug. Citing negative impacts on young people in their communities, MASS “are strongly united in opposition to House Bill #3932”
BOSTON – Raising concerns about the negative impact increased access to marijuana will have on students and young people in their schools and communities, the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents (MASS) announced their opposition to the ballot question that would legalize commercial marijuana in the Commonwealth.
The Association, which represents 277 Superintendents and 148 Assistant Superintendents, cited numerous concerns about the impact on young people, including:
• In states where Marijuana is legal, minors and young adults have seen an increase in use. Since becoming the first state to legalize, Colorado has also become the #1 state in the nation for teen marijuana use. Teen use jumped 20% in Colorado in the two years since legalization, even as that rate has declined nationally.
• Regular marijuana use that starts in adolescence has been shown to impair brain development, shrink school and career outcomes, and even lower IQ.
• According to data from the National Poison Data System, marijuana exposure has been on the rise among children under six, particularly in states where the drug is legal and high potency edible products are more common. These products are rarely labeled properly to reflect their THC content, which is particularly concerning given that edible marijuana products constitute half of the legal marijuana market in Colorado.
“As Superintendents, our primary focus is on helping each and every student reach their full potential, and we believe the commercial legalization of marijuana runs directly counter to that goal,” Tom Scott, Executive Director of MASS said. “Where marijuana is legal, we see increased use and abuse by young people. We urge all parents in our communities to vote against this proposal this fall.”
Bottom Line: “We are strongly united in opposition to House Bill #3932 – Initiative Petition – The Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act and urge the voters of Massachusetts to reject this ill-conceived and dangerous effort. A vote in support of this petition would allow irresponsible people to profit at the expense of our children’s health, safety and educational success. This cannot happen.”
The Superintendents’ Association joins a growing 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.
Among the groups that have already come out in opposition to this initiative include: the Massachusetts Hospital Association, the Massachusetts Medical Society, Associated Industries of Massachusetts, and all Massachusetts District Attorneys.