I would like to share my thoughts about the recreational marijuana production business that was under consideration in Walla Walla County.
Eastern Washington was against legalizing recreational use, yet once again King County determined the direction of our state. We now have the dubious distinction of being one of only two states in the country that legalized pot.
Our county had the option not to allow crops to be grown or businesses to sell pot, but I guess the revenue was just too enticing. Has anyone considered the impact that a more readily available supply of pot will have on our youths; or how the additional law enforcement costs will offset the financial gains of this revenue?
An article came out today in Time Magazine entitled, “Legal Pot Might Make America’s Kids Stupider, Say Researchers.” Based on a report from the New England Journal of Medicine, the report states, “For starters, smoking pot regularly from an early age is correlated with a lower IQ.”
It also states the following: “ ... scientists speculate the drug can interfere with a critical period for brain development during the teen years. ‘Adults who smoked regularly during adolescence’ according to the review, have ‘impaired neural connectivity’ in parts of the brain involving alertness and self-conscious awareness, executive function, processing of habits and routines, learning, and memory. Smoking marijuana as a teenager is also linked with poor grades, criminal behavior, and increased risk of dropping out of school, according to the review.”
Allowing the production and sale of marijuana in Walla Walla County puts our children at risk, both by exposing them to secondhand smoke, which carries about 50 percent as much of the chemicals to systems that are unable to process them as an adult can, and also making it much easier for teenagers to have it available for recreational use.
Is the revenue really worth the negative impact on our community regarding criminal escalation and the impact on our children? I say a resounding, “no!”