Director of Arizona Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD)
Con to the question "Should Recreational Marijuana Be Legal?"
"Any Arizonan under the age of 21 cannot legally buy or possess alcohol, but that has not kept beer and liquor from being the substances most abused by minors, sometimes with deadly consequences.
This isn't surprising. Alcohol is widely available, so it is widely abused. If the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act (RTMA) passes, marijuana will become just as available. The harm to our youth will be devastating.
Proponents like to trot out a survey showing marijuana use among American teens hasn’t risen in the last few years. That's because marijuana remains illegal across most of the United States. In those states that have legalized recreational marijuana, teen usage rates have skyrocketed. In Colorado, teen use of marijuana is 74 percent higher than the national average.
This comes with a huge price.
The teen brain is still developing, so any intoxicating substance causes more damage than it does to an adult's brain. THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, causes impaired coordination, difficulty with thinking and problem solving and disrupted learning and memory.
After smoking marijuana, a teen's thinking abilities bounce back more slowly than an adult's. Regular use leads to a permanent decrease in learning capabilities, a shortened attention span and an impaired ability to effectively communicate. Researchers have also linked youth use of marijuana to mental illness and psychosis...
Legal marijuana will only tempt more teens. In their inexperience, they will drive or take other foolish risks. Not looking beyond today, they will sacrifice their potential. And we all will lose.
Legalizing marijuana is a bad idea for adults. But the consequences for our youth will be worse."
"Arguments Filed against the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana," apps.azsos.gov, 2016