Some Illinois lawmakers are pushing to legalize recreational marijuana. Ironically, these very same lawmakers are launching opioid abuse helplines. Why the disconnect? Follow the money. They believe it will garner revenue, but are ignoring the damage created by those laws.
Colorado thought that, too, and here are the facts: Since legalizing marijuana Colorado has more pot shops than Starbucks and McDonalds combined. Colorado now ranks No. 1 in the nation for marijuana use among teens (55 percent above the national average). Colorado high school drug violations have increased 71 percents and suspensions for drugs have increased 45 percent. Colorado has seen a 67 percent increase in fatal car crashes where the driver tested positive for marijuana – soon to rival alcohol as the leading preventable traffic problem.
Drug use has also become a problem and as a result, Colorado recruits from other states, and many have moved their business to other states. The Colorado homelessness growth rate now ranks among the highest in the country.
It is clear that any revenue gained would be more than swallowed up by the negative issues created by legalizing recreational drug use. Is this what we want for Illinois?
If your answer is no, let your voice be heard. Tell your state representative and senator to oppose legalization efforts before it’s too late.
Julie Carr, Gridley