[Letter to the Editor (LttE)]
I am planning to vote against the proposal to legalize marijuana now in the Vermont House of Representatives. It came over to us from the Senate about ten days ago.
Here are some of the reasons why I think I should vote no:
- Research completed by the American Academy of Pediatrics shows a decrease of eight IQ points from adolescence to adulthood among heavy users of marijuana who started in adolescence. This drop is comparable to the decrease experienced by children who have high exposure to lead.
- There is a documented negative impact on brain development, both in structure and function. Keep in mind the young brain matures until the person is in mid twenties. True especially for boys.
- Poorer working memory is evident, poorer visual scanning and less cognitive flexibility, and decreased concentration.
- There is significantly reduced chance of completing high school and of degree attainment.
- Increase use of illicit drugs, mental illnesses and increased suicide attempt.
- As the perceived risk goes down, usage goes up, especially among teens.
Also I have learned that in the first year of legalizing marijuana in Colorado the number of 12-17 year olds using increased eight percent. The number of 18-25 year olds increased eleven percent.
Every police officer with whom I have spoken opposes it.
I want to hear from you. Let me know what you are thinking about this issue. Contact Me!
Rep. Carolyn Branagan
Vermont House of Representatives