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Testimony: ‘Reduces initiative and ambition,’ ‘Black market puts in the hands of kids,’ ‘Costly to employers’

Testimony is continuing in the Capitol Auditorium this morning on two anti-marijuana resolutions. Among those testifying:

Darin Taylor, mayor of Middleton, spoke in favor of SCR 112 and SJM 101. “The source of my information is former recreational marijuana users,” he told the Senate State Affairs Committee. “Marijuana use is dangerous because it is subtle, its consequences are subtle. … Marijuana is a feel-good drug. It artificially relaxes the mind and body beyond what is normal. … It also reduces initiative and ambition and increases … laziness. …. It naturally trends to an unproductive individual, group of friends and community.” He said, “As a society we cannot afford less productive individuals and workforce.” He said moves against marijuana are “desired by a majority of Idaho residents, it is in the best interest of a majority of Idaho residents.”

Theresa Knox, who used a cane to walk to the podium, said, “It is the black market that puts marijuana in the hands of kids every day. … Regulating marijuana is the best way of keeping our kids off of it, while ensuring that responsible adults have the option for safer medication (and) recreation.” Knox said, “It does not cause cancer, but kills it.” She said patients should be able to use medical marijuana, or recreationists to choose it over alcohol or tobacco, “without running the risk of losing our children for using a plant.”

Marianne King, director of Drug Free Idaho, said, “Imagine a workplace where employees show up high on marijuana and there’s nothing we can do about it. That’s the concern we hear.” She said, “Finding someone that can pass a pre-employment drug test is getting harder and harder – some say impossible. … The effects are costly, both to our employers and to our community. … Drug-using employees simply are not as safe.”

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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