It’s bad for our kids, our community and is against federal law, Sheriff says
This November, residents will vote on ballot measure Amendment 64, which would make it legal for any adult to have and use marijuana. It could also make Colorado the only state in the nation where it’s legal to ingest, grow, sell or give away an ounce of marijuana for recreational use.
“If voters pass this amendment, I believe there will be many harmful consequences,” Douglas County Sheriff David A. Weaver said. “Expect more crime, more kids using marijuana and pot for sale everywhere. I think our entire state will pay the price. Please join me in voting against Amendment 64 in November.”
Sheriff Weaver formed his opinion after a careful study of the issues and facts. The Douglas County Board of County Commissioners passed a resolution on September 26, 2012 opposing Amendment 64. The Colorado Educators Association is also against it
What you should know about Amendment 64
IT’S BAD FOR OUR KIDS
- A new study says teens who regularly use marijuana have lower IQs long-term.
- People ages 12 to 17 are more likely to use marijuana in states that permit it than in states that don’t, according to Columbia University research.
- In Colorado, a 2011 study found nearly 40 percent of high school students use marijuana. Nine percent of those kids tried it before they were 13.
- If the amendment passes, experts predict the number of regular users will at least double and likely triple in the most vulnerable 12 to 25 age range.
- Each year, 60 percent of all new marijuana users are under age 18.
- Treatment and addiction rates would rise. Marijuana dependency is the number one reason why teens in Colorado seek substance-abuse treatment. Reports show kids who try pot are two-to-three times more likely to use other drugs, including tobacco, cocaine and heroin.
- Since 2008, drug-related suspensions at Colorado public schools have increased 45 percent, which the CO Department of Education attributes to marijuana use.
- How do kids say “No to drugs” when adults don’t? If parents use it, kids will too.
IT’S BAD FOR OUR COMMUNITY
- Today’s marijuana is more addictive than ever—it’s 10-20 times more potent than during the 60’s, according to nationwide tests of the drug.
- Colorado will be known as “Pot Capital, USA.” In Denver alone, there are already more dispensaries than Starbucks, liquor stores or public schools, according to a 2010 Denver Post investigation. If legal, the number of dispensaries, growing and manufacturing facilities is expected to explode.
- A study estimates the state would generate $14 million a year and save law enforcement $12 million a year in the beginning, with up to $40 million a year in later years. However, opponents say that money will cover only 15% of the collateral costs to our community such as: increased drug treatment, emergency room visits, crime, traffic accidents and school ‘drop-outs’ to name just a few.
- Economic losses. A work force that regularly uses marijuana is tardy, calls in sick, has more on-the-job accidents and is less productive than non-using workers. Businesses would be less likely to stay or move into a state where drug use related risks are high, according to a report by Healthy and Drug Free Colorado.
- Deaths from impaired driving would increase. About 50 people are killed in traffic accidents every year by drivers in Colorado under the influence of marijuana. Experts predict the number of deaths would double.
- Supporters say marijuana would be regulated just like alcohol. But the federal government concludes the societal costs of treating alcohol and tobacco use far exceeds the revenue from taxing those drugs. The health cost from smoking cigarettes is about $7 per pack, while the revenue from taxing cigarettes is about $2 per pack, according to Ken Buck, District Attorney of Weld County.
- 80% of cities and towns across Colorado have already kicked out dispensaries because of crime, negative perception and lower property values. If Amendment 64 passes, suppliers could grow in residential areas as a Constitutional right.
- Recent studies find marijuana use may cause or worsen mental health problems. Two 2010 reviews say it may bring on the disorders or worsen symptoms of schizophrenia and psychosis, particularly in young people.
- Despite what users claim, Children’s Hospital Boston concludes marijuana is highly addictive. It affects vision, memory, motor coordination and judgment.
IT’S A CRIME
- Federal law bans marijuana in Colorado regardless of Amendment 64. If it passes, Colorado’s recreational pot users will believe they’re protected by law, but they may be subject to federal prosecution. The federal government could arrest users, sellers and buyers, according to the Colorado Independent.
- Crimes connected to medical marijuana have increased since it became legal for patients. Police say there will only be more burglaries, robberies, illegal pot rings and homicides if voters approve the ballot measure.
- Federal agents say international drug cartels are already in Colorado supplying, funding and running dispensaries. Agents expect cartels will expand their criminal operations if every adult is allowed to use marijuana in Colorado.
 Reuters, April 26, 2007 “US marijuana grows stronger than before”
 Healthy and Drug Free Colorado.com website September 2012
 The Denver Post, 09/23/12, “Should pot be legal in Colorado? No.” Author Ken Buck, Weld County District Attorney
 The Boston Globe, September 24, 2012, “Pot Perceptions”
 Denver Post, 8/18/12, “Indictment: dispensary part of illegal pot ring” & 08/27/09, “International drug cartels infiltrating CO’s national forests”
 Long-term effects of adolescent-onset and persistent use of cannabis PNAS 2012, Madeline H. Meier
 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, June 8, 2012 “Risk Behavior Surveillance”
 Healthy and Drug Free Colorado, 2011 “Top 10 reasons not to legalize marijuana”
 Marijuana Prevention Summit, July 2012, presented by C. Tatum
 Votenoon64.com, No on 64, posted on front page 09/24/12