CT Teens and Leaders Speak Out Against Legalizing Recreational Marijuana
"Know the Risks" Press Conference at CT's Legislative Office Building
On Wednesday, January 23rd, law enforcement along with ministers from the Just Say Know advocacy group, medical and addiction services experts, Voices of Opposition, the CT Chapter of Smart Approaches to Marijuana and CT Association of Prevention Professionals united for a press conference. The press conference provided members of these groups an opportunity to present their reasons for opposing the legalization of recreational marijuana in CT. The room in Hartford’s Legislative Office Building was filled with elected officials, media and concerned citizens eager to hear testimonies from the diverse panel.
The video below shares a powerful plea from a CT high school student who’s worried about the negative impact legalizing recreational marijuana would have on her peers.
The leaders of the Just Say Know advocacy group lead by Rev. Abraham Hernandez: National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Rev. Todd Foster: former pastor Church on the Rock- New Haven, Rev. Giles Gentley: Director of New Haven Teen Challenge and Rev. Roger Wilkins: President of the New Haven Clergy Association are traveling across the state meeting with community members in urban cities and listening to their concerns. The advocacy groups opposing this legislation have important questions for elected officials fighting to legalize recreational marijuana. They are making it clear that unless and until their questions are answered satisfactorily, legislators should refrain from legalizing marijuana for recreational reasons.
They shared this statement in an email regarding data from other states who’ve legalized marijuana,
“This data needs to be ferreted out, not ignored under the pressure to pass legislation. Our legislators should have scientific, peer-reviewed evidence and the actual results of states that have legalized recreational marijuana in hand before going in the same direction.”
Here are the 12 questions opponents of legalizing recreational marijuana in CT want answers to:
1. Has overall marijuana consumption increased in states that have legalized for recreational purposes? What are the potential health risks associated with marijuana use at different levels of use and for different age groups?
2. It’s clear and indisputable that young people have much to lose by being introduced to pot at an early age. What will be done to protect them from the black market (which isn’t going away) and from unscrupulous marketers?
3. What will be the impact on children as a result of the prevalence of edibles (marijuana-laced candies and other foods) in households? What will be done to protect them in terms of labeling, child-proof packaging, and education?
4. What will be done to discourage youth from indulging once marijuana is normalized and commercialized? What have been the consequences to those who become heavy users in their teen years? Will legalization encourage or discourage their use?
5. What restrictions would need to be placed on the marketing promotion of marijuana products to prevent further debacles like candy cigarettes, “Dr. recommended” healthy cigarettes, Joe Camel, etc.?
6. What will be the impact on DUIs, automotive accidents, vehicular homicide, and insurance rates? Will our roads become more or less safe than they are now? What will be done to protect us on the highways and hold down insurance rates?
7. What will be the potential costs that will offset perceived revenue gains? What is the reality and what have been the revenue trends over time in other states? Given the added costs, is it worth it?
8. What will become of the black market? Has it gone away in other states where recreational pot has become legal? What will their response be to the legal market infringing on their former territories?
9. What is the risk to pregnant women and their babies? How will they be warned and protected?
10. What will be the impact in our Black and Brown urban communities? On the quality of life? On incarceration as demonstrated by other states that have gone the legalization route?
11. Proponents of legalization deny the reality of addiction and dismiss all connections to marijuana as the starting point for many who become addicted to harder narcotics? What does recent, relevant, objective science say?
12. What will be the impact to employers in terms of absenteeism, productivity, and workplace safety as a result of normalization and commercialization of Marijuana through legalization for recreational purposes?
3 ways to get involved in the fight against legalizing recreational marijuana right now: