During the 2012 election season two states passed Medical Marijuana Measures as ballot initiatives. This is not something the SAFE Coalition would like to see happen in Iowa. These are a few of the reasons why.
If the community cares about IQ levels and academic performance, it needs to oppose “medical” marijuana, marijuana legalization and/or decriminalization. Why? Marijuana use lowers IQ, because marijuana use negatively effects motivation, memory and learning! A recent study found that those who used cannabis heavily in their teens and continued through adulthood showed a permanent drop in IQ of eight points. A loss of eight IQ points could drop a person of average intelligence into the lowest third of the intelligence range. (M.H. Meier, Avshalom Caspi, et al. 2012 “Persistent cannabis users show neuropsychological decline from childhood to midlife.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences)
If the community cares about jobs, it needs to oppose “medical” marijuana, marijuana legalization and/or decriminalization. Why? More than 6,000 companies nationwide and scores of industries and professions require a pre-employment drug test. Since 6.6% of high school seniors nationally smoke marijuana every day, it renders them virtually unemployable because they will fail the pre-employment drug test.
If the community cares about highway safety in Iowa, it needs to oppose marijuana legalization. Why? Marijuana is the most prevalent illegal drug detected in impaired drivers, fatally injured drivers, and motor vehicle crash victims. According to Colorado Department of Transportation, drivers who tested positive for marijuana in fatal car crashes DOUBLED between 2006, when medical marijuana was legalized, and 2010.
If the community cares about crime and public safety, it needs to oppose “medical” marijuana, marijuana legalization and/or decriminalization. Why? Marijuana dispensaries lead to increased crime. Since most are cash only businesses, they tend to attract crime. Dispensaries often are tied to criminal organizations and deal with things like guns and other drugs. Dispensaries rarely have legitimate physicians available. We do not want pot shops in our neighborhoods!
If the community cares about the economy, it needs to oppose “medical” marijuana, marijuana legalization and/or decriminalization. Why? The total overall costs of substance abuse in the U.S., including productivity, health and crime-related costs exceed $600 billion annually. This includes approximately: $235 billion for alcohol, $193 billion for tobacco and $181 billion for illicit drugs. Federal and state alcohol taxes raise $14.5 billion, covering only about 6% of alcohol’s total cost to society. Federal and state tobacco taxes raise $25 billion, covering only about 13% of tobacco’s total cost to society. (Office of National Drug Control Policy - The Economic Costs of Drug Abuse in the United States, Executive Office of the President (Publication No. 207303) 2004)
If the community cares about youth drug use rates, it needs to oppose “medical” marijuana, marijuana legalization and/or decriminalization. Why? Studies show that states with medical marijuana have drug use rates twice the rate of other states. 74% of kids in treatment for addiction in Denver now report getting their pot from medical marijuana card holders.
If the community cares about the safety of medicines in the country, it needs to oppose “medical” marijuana. Why? There is a longstanding, effective national process in place to approve the efficacy and safety of medicines through the FDA and ballot initiatives circumvent the process. There is no scientific basis for using smoked marijuana as a medicine. Most “medical” marijuana users are not sick! According to Colorado’s State Department of Health, only 2% of users reported cancer, and less than 1% reported HIV/AIDS as their reason for cannabis use. The vast majority (94%) reported severe pain as their illness. The average “medical” marijuana user is a 32 year old white male with a history of alcohol, cocaine and meth use, but NO history of a life threatening illness.