Last updated on: 1/6/2018 | Author: ProCon.org

Martin J. Walsh Biography

Title:
54th Mayor of Boston
Position:
Con to the question "Should Recreational Marijuana Be Legal?"
Reasoning:

“The question before us now is whether marijuana should be fully legal and widely available for commercial sale. We think the answer is ‘no’…

In the year after the drug was legalized in Colorado, marijuana-related emergency room visits increased nearly 30 percent, as did traffic deaths involving marijuana. Edible marijuana products – often in the form of brownies, candy, or soda – pose a particular threat for children, who may mistake them for regular treats. According to data from the National Poison Data System, marijuana exposure has been on the rise among children under six, particularly in states where the drug is legal. High potency edible products also pose a risk to adults, who can easily consume more marijuana than intended and experience serious adverse effects.

The financial backers of legalization are not neighborhood leaders, medical professionals, or grass-roots activists. They’re big businesses and investors, who are spending millions on campaigns across the country because they will profit from the legalization of marijuana…

Decades of research have now debunked the myth that marijuana is harmless. The science also shows that regular marijuana users – especially those who start at a young age – are more likely to try more dangerous drugs…

Our emergency departments and drug treatment centers are beyond capacity, and our first responders are stretched to their limits. We should not be expanding access to a drug that will further drain our health and safety resources.”

Cowritten with Charlie Baker and Maura Healey, “Mass. Should Not Legalize Marijuana,” bostonglobe.com, Mar. 4, 2016

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
Experts
Individuals with MDs, PhDs, JDs, or equivalent advanced degrees in fields relevant to marijuana or drug policy. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to drug, crime, or public health issues.
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Mayor, City of Boston, Jan. 2014-present
  • State Representative (D), 13th Suffolk District, Massachusetts, Apr. 1997-Jan. 2014
  • President, Building and Construction Trades Council, Metropolitan District, Massachusetts, 2011-2013
  • Former Business Manager, Laborers Local 223, Dorchester, MA
  • Former Union Laborer, Laborers Local 223, Dorchester, MA
Education:
  • BA, Political Science, Boston College, 2009
Contact Info:
Phone
617-635-4500
Email
mayor@boston.gov
Website
Boston government profile
Other:
  • Recovered from alcoholism as a young adult
  • Survived Burkitt lymphoma when he was a child
  • His parents emigrated to the United States from Ireland
Quoted in:
Pro & Con Quotes: Should Recreational Marijuana Be Legal?