Annmarie Galvin is the parent representative for the Scituate "Families, Adolescents, and Communities Together Against Substances” (FACTS) coalition, however this is her personal opinion and is not endorsed or reviewed by the FACTS organization.
Legalization of marijuana, whether for medicinal or other purposes, often leads to decreases in perceived harm and social disapproval, and increases in use among youth. Sending the message that marijuana should be used as medicine is confusing for youth, and has a negative effect on substance abuse prevention efforts.
Children who first smoke marijuana under the age of 14 are more than five times as likely to abuse drugs as adults, than those who first use marijuana at age 18.
In Massachusetts, marijuana use among youth already up (fifth state overall in nation, 14.5 percent of Massachusetts residents smoke pot).
In Massachusetts, already a decline in youth's perception of risk.
These trends are likely due to the 2008 decriminalization of small amounts, says Plymouth County DA Tim Cruz.
Past 30-day use of marijuana has already eclipsed that of tobacco among 10th graders nationally.
Chris Herren recently reminded us that he never met a hard-core drug user (heroin or cocaine) that did not start with alcohol and marijuana
Even though marijuana use for limited medical uses (cancer, HIV, glaucoma) may be beneficial, there are too many loopholes in the system that is being proposed:
- 35 Pot Shops would open in Massachusetts in year one
- A 60-day Supply would be legal with card
- Quantity of "60-Day Supply' is not defined at all (could be person walking around with 100 joints)
- Card, not an actual Prescription, since marijuana will remain illegal federally
- Growing pot at home ok
- Access point for youth (as in Colorado: In Denver, of kids in drug rehab, 74% had received illegally diverted marijuana from a medical marijuana cardholder and had reported using diverted marijuana an average of 50 times)
- Medical Marijuana use would be a recommendation for life
- Cards from other states would be honored in MA - major problem with all of the colleges in Massachusetts
- Anyone with a medical degree can give cards, including chiropractors
- Includes cancer, chronic pain, ADHD, and "any other condition" in other states that allow Medical Marijuana use, only 10 percent gave AIDS/Cancer [as a reason]. Ninety percent have vague illnesses = drug users
- Twice the rate of marijuana dependence in Medical Marijuana states