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Opinion >  Letters

Marijuana’s damage

There is now sufficient evidence of the damage to Washington state residents that the legalization of cannabis/marijuana has done. Marijuana and violence are directly related. The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs report that prior to legalization, the 2013 statistics for murders and aggravated assaults was 160 murders and 11,700 assaults; in 2017 after legalization, the numbers have increased to 230 murders (44 percent increase) and 13,700 assaults (17 percent increase) – considerably higher than national average increase. Most of the committers of these crimes have admitted the use of marijuana before or during the actual crime. Users are more apt to commit child abuse and assaults toward children and elderly. Have you checked the statistics for vehicle accidents? Black-market marijuana use has increased throughout this time also.

In addition, research indicates that larger numbers of youth and adults suffer from mental illness, depression, psychosis, schizophrenia and suicide resulting from marijuana use. Educators and employers will tell you that cannabis users demonstrate decreased motivation and less success in their studies and work.

What will it take for our governor and other lawmakers to realize that the personal, social and financial costs to each Washington state resident far exceeds any surmised financial benefits of this social experiment/epidemic?

Refer to “Tell your children: The truth about marijuana, mental illness, and violence,” Alex Berenson, Free Press (2018).

This well-documented compilation of evidence will open your eyes. As he says, tell your children.

Roger M. Long

Mead



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