Know ‘The Big Deal’ for kids
Massachusetts’ children and their parents and schools face enough challenges, and so-called medical marijuana would only compound them.
But don’t take our word for it. Look, instead, at the numbers rolling into the Colorado Department of Education, where medical marijuana is legal. The numbers speak for themselves: school expulsion for drug violations overwhelmingly associated with marijuana use and dealing have rocketed up at alarming rates. Consider:
- Drug violations reported by Colorado’s K-12 schools have increased 45% in the past four years while the combined number of all other violations has dropped.
- During the 2009-10 academic year, Colorado schools recorded a concerning 25.2% increase in disciplinary reports for drug offenses over the previous school year. In that same period, school expulsions for drug offenses shot up 24.6%, and out-of-school suspensions were up 29%. Though the data include, but are not limited to, marijuana-related offenses, department officials attributed the dramatic changes to marijuana use and dealing. These troublesome increases happened in the same year that hundreds of marijuana dispensaries opened in Colorado.
- A lot of people thought the 2009-10 school year might be a blip of sorts on a radar. However, the level of drug violations reported during the 2010-11 school year not only held steady, but slightly increased.
This is not the same marijuana as a generation ago. THC levels are substantially and dangerously higher: Graph of data from the University of Mississippi Potency Monitoring Project (.pdf) shows dramatic increase in percentage of THC in marijuana between 1983 and 2009.
Then there’s an extensive, longitudinal study linking teen pot use with a decline in IQ and irreversible cognitive impairment. The study — peer-reviewed and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences — examined survey data from more than 1,000 people. It closely follows other new research reported in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry that has found heavy diversion of so-called “medical marijuana” to youth.
Massachusetts is smarter than this. Massachusetts deserves better than this. Vote No on Question 3.
Because of its jarring concerns, the Colorado Department of Education commissioned the development of materials aimed at helping teachers and parents understand why marijuana is especially harmful to adolescents. Learn more about the current state of peer-reviewed, respectable marijuana research, which overwhelmingly shows that marijuana undermines education.