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Many state legislators continue to push legalized recreational marijuana as a way to increase revenue for the state, despite evidence demonstrating the risks to our children and community. The leadership of Scott Cochran and Catherine Barden of Madison Youth & Family Services to provide education, prevention programs and being advocates for our youth on this issue should be recognized. A big thanks goes to state representatives Noreen Kokoruda and Vincent Candelora for co-hosting the recent “Know the Risks” press conference to further raise awareness on this issue.
Findings from states that have legalized marijuana and other studies show that some Alaska, Colorado, Vermont, and some other states that have legalized marijuana lead the U.S. in teen use. In Colorado, marijuana-related traffic deaths increased 86 percent following legalization.
Additionally, those dependent on marijuana are three times more likely to become addicted to heroin. Today’s marijuana is much more potent than in the past, and use carries additional neurological risks for youth and adults under age 25.
I encourage parents and our community to let our legislators know how they feel regarding this issue. As stated by Rep. Kokoruda “collecting tax revenue from legalizing retail marijuana is simply not worth the negative repercussions of doing so.”
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