Con to the question "Should Recreational Marijuana Be Legal?"
"I'm a lifelong liberal, but after thirty years practicing psychiatry, much of it with children and adolescents, I'm totally against legalizing marijuana.
And it's not just me. The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and American Academy of Pediatrics also staunchly oppose legalization. Why? Because just like Big Tobacco, a legal marijuana industry would target teenagers. With both tobacco and marijuana, 90% of adult users start as teens. All the profit in both industries depends on adolescent use. Big Tobacco used Joe Camel to get teenagers started.
Big Marijuana is even worse. In Colorado, they entice kids with marijuana candies, cookies and soda. Denver pot stores aren't filled with green leafy weed; they're filled with THC infused gummy bear, lollipops, and sweetened products called Reefer's peanut butter cups, Hashey's chocolate and Pot-tarts. Google them. As a result, Colorado now has the country's highest rate of teenage marijuana use, and the number of dogs and toddlers overdosing on pot has skyrocketed.
The pot industry is directly targeting kids, even though hundreds of scientific studies show that marijuana – especially today's high-potency weed – permanently damages the teenage brain. Teens who smoke pot regularly drop out at twice the rate of non-users, and as adults they earn less and have lower IQ. No parent wants this for their kids. But does the marijuana industry care? No more than Big Tobacco cares about cancer and heart disease; it's just part of doing business. Remember: this initiative wasn't written by hippies who want to get high; it was written by businessmen who want to make money getting your kids started on drugs. That's why doctors who work with children – pediatricians and child psychiatrists - adamantly oppose this measure. As should we all."
"Arguments Filed against the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana," apps.azsos.gov, 2016
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:
Addiction psychiatrist, Jan. 2000-present
Former Member, Steering Committee, Keep AZ Drug Free
Former Democrat Candidate, Arizona State Senate, 2006
Consulting Psychiatrist, Aspen Hill, Jan. 1997-Dec. 1999
Consulting Psychiatrist, Jan. 1996-Oct. 1999
Medical Journalist, Mental Health and Addiction, Dec. 1994-Dec. 1997
Medical Director, Copper Mountain Behavioral Health Services, Oct. 1996-Aug. 1997
Consulting Psychiatrist, The Meadows, June 1995-July 1996
Medical Director, META Services, Aug. 1994-June 1995