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New York stinks of weed. Everywhere you go—theater lobbies, parking lots, construction sites, delis, public parks—you smell pot. Does anyone think this is good for our troubled city? Or for our country?
Can you imagine China encouraging the use of drugs that permanently reduce the intelligence of young people and reduce the productivity of workers? This is absurd, and yet Democrats in (mostly) financially disadvantaged cities and states rushed to legalize pot, basing their campaigns on three dubious arguments:
1. The war on drugs and smoking bans have led to racial inequality that can only be remedied by legalization;
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2. The sale of weed and the collection of large taxes from this sale fill the gaps in the budgets of absurd cities and states; and
3. Marijuana is no more harmful than alcohol and therefore should be legal.
Are these assumptions true?
The common claim that millions of black Americans are unjustly imprisoned for simple pot possession is a myth. A 2015 study found that in 2020, more than 99 percent of those convicted of drug possession in the federal prison system, which housed 226,000 people, were originally charged with trafficking or other crimes, but were allowed to face lesser charges.
President Joe Biden made a big show before the midterm election on the pardon, saying, “No one should be in prison for possession of marijuana.” He looked a little silly when it turned out that there wasn’t a single person in federal prison for this crime.
Long ACLU study concludes on marijuana arrests: “Blacks are 3.64 times more likely than whites to be arrested for possession of marijuana, despite comparable rates of use.” Interestingly, even the ACLU’s 110-page report, A Tale of Two Countries: Racially Targeted Arrests in the Era of Marijuana Reform, did not support the “comparable use” claim, which is the main claim of race. . injustice. It’s just that assumed Blacks and whites use marijuana at about the same rate.
Since legalization, the number of young people smoking weed has steadily increased. Is this how we help our children achieve their dreams?
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the obvious source of this estimate, shows that marijuana use is slightly higher among blacks than whites. But the survey doesn’t measure how often or regularly a person uses.
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An HHS study According to the Alcohol and Marijuana Use Disorders Summary published for the National Library of Medicine, white Americans are more likely to drink alcohol than blacks, but African Americans are nearly twice as likely as whites or Hispanics. Dependence and abuse of marijuana. Perhaps this suggests a higher level of use.
These surveys do not prove the case, and the war on drugs may have targeted blacks more aggressively than whites, but rather than proving racism, the higher arrest rates may reflect the abundance of illegal marijuana dealers or prosecution in the black community. possible Criminal possession of illegal substances was easier to prove than other crimes.
A second argument for legal weed is that communities like Colorado, which was one of the first states in the union to legalize pot for recreational use, needed revenue and taxing a budding new industry to help close gaps that partially delivered outside the budget. will give. control of public employee unions.
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The program worked for several years. Colorado sees weed sales surpass $2 billion in 2021 and tax collections exceed $423 million. But then other states started legalizing weed and for them the first seven months In 2022, revenues are down 21 percent.
In Colorado, pot dispensaries are closing, delivery operations are closing, and most importantly, school districts and other revenue earners are taking a big hit. As more states and communities legalize pot, the profits and tax opportunities will decrease. It’s already happening in Colorado, and it’s happening elsewhere.
The final argument of cannabis supporters is that pot is no more harmful than alcohol. The jury is out.
We know that long-term use by adolescents reduce their adult IQ by almost 6 points; In fact, children’s constant consumption of pot makes them stupid. Since legalization, the number of young people smoking weed has steadily increased. Is this how we help our children achieve their dreams?
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We also know that cannabis-related emergency room visits tripled in the four years after recreational pot was legalized in Colorado. Most of these emergencies were caused by the consumption of foods with unknown THC (the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis), and most of these visits involved children.
It’s illegal to sell pot to kids, but kids often mistake THC-laced gummy bears or cupcakes for their favorite treats and end up getting sick.
Over time, marijuana has become more potent (and many would argue, more addictive). In the 1990s, the THC content of pot averaged 4%; today it can be more than 80% in concentrates. Dutch authorities have classified potencies above 15% as “hard drugs”.
An activist group It claims that “teens aged 12-17 who use marijuana are twice as likely to develop a substance use disorder as teenagers who use alcohol or tobacco.” . They also found that young people are more likely to drive after drinking alcohol, and that “use of marijuana products with high THC potency is associated with higher rates of schizophrenia, psychosis, and general anxiety.”
Pot legalization is moving too fast, with desperate officials focused on profits rather than the well-being of their citizens. Twenty-one states and Washington, DC now allow the recreational use of pot.
It’s probably impossible to turn that ship around, but teams that haven’t made the jump yet should take a serious look at what’s waiting for them on the other side.
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