Where there is more marijuana, more kids use. School nurses understand social norming pressures on kids today. As well as the negative impacts of recreational drug use. That’s why they oppose the legalization and commercialization of marijuana in Massachusetts.
They join a massive and growing list of organizations, including the The Mass Association of School Superintendents who see the harms of this ballot question including:
- 60% less likely to complete high school or obtain a university degree
- seven times more likely to attempt suicide
- 8 times more likely to use other drugs
- more likely to become addicted to marijuana
- more likely to become welfare dependent
- an increased risk of marijuana-induced psychosis
- an increased risk of schizophrenia
- permanent impairment of cognitive functions
Here’s there statement (and read below for why their concerns are borne out by the school experience in Colorado):
MASSACHUSETTS SCHOOL NURSE ORGANIZATION
Statement on the Ballot Question to Legalize Marijuana
The Massachusetts School Nurse Organization strongly opposes the ballot measure to legalize and regulate marijuana. As professional school nurses, we are charged with ensuring the health, safety, and wellbeing of Massachusetts children in our schools. Like many physicians, public officials, and parents, we fear not only for the health of those who would use the drug legally, but also for that of our school-aged children who may turn to the use of marijuana if it is legalized.
Adolescents are particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of marijuana. The National Institute of Drug Abuse have outlined the serious affects of marijuana on the health safety and education of adolescents, including memory and learning skills impairment, impaired attention, judgment, and other cognitive functions and an increase risk of anxiety and depression. It would be irresponsible and dangerous to increase its availability and ease of access for young people.
Marijuana use can significantly lead to an adolescent’s use of other drugs and long-term addiction. Studies have shown the adolescent brain may be more vulnerable to addiction, which is a growing issue among our children. As the Commonwealth attempts to defeat an extensive opioid epidemic, we should focus on limiting access to potential gateway drugs, not expanding it.
As professional school nurses, we have seen firsthand the negative effects of marijuana use in our young people. For the sake of the health, safety, and wellbeing of the Commonwealth’s children, we oppose the ballot measure that would legalize Massachusetts.
In Colorado Education News:
A superintendent in Colorado stated ,”The only thing marijuana legalization has brought to our schools is marijuana.” School suspensions for drug violations rose sharply there after legalization.
Colorado School Officials: Marijuana Is ‘The No. 1 Problem In Schools Right Now’