Refuting 8 Arguments on Recreational Marijuana Proposal
There are common arguments on recreational marijuana that surface as one considers the topic. Many of them are false and misleading. As the state of Michigan considers whether to legalize or not legalize recreational marijuana in November, our Grassroots Director, Matthew Yascolt has taken time to address some of them.
How to Answer Arguments on Recreational Marijuana
1) “Marijuana prohibition takes a financial and societal toll on Michigan.”
Currently, in the state of Michigan, there are six people in prison for marijuana possession.
Marijuana legalization has cost Colorado police more money, as they had to decommission all of their current drug dogs that indicate marijuana. As a canine that identified another drug and marijuana was present, probable cause would have the case thrown out.
Think about the financial toll that Big Tobacco had on our great nation: we spend 60 billion a year on medical implications of tobacco, businesses lose 80 billion per year on lost output and workdays because of tobacco, and fires caused from smoking cost an additional 500 million per year.
2) “Marijuana enforcement is inherently biased.”
In states like Colorado — where marijuana is legal for recreational use — we have found that not only does the state continue to struggle with racial bias — they are getting worse. A study conducted by the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justices concluded more African American and Hispanic youth are being arrested for marijuana in Colorado after legalization than before. Adolescents overall had a 5% increase in arrests, with Caucasians seeing a decrease of 8% in arrests, where Hispanics saw an increase of 23% in arrests and African Americans an increase of 58%.
Disproportionate arrests and other systemic issues must be addressed. Marijuana legalization is not the way to do this. In states like Colorado and Washington, D.C. disproportionate arrests continue and prison populations are on the rise; There is a better way.
3) “Recreational marijuana legalization will reduce the number of opioid-related deaths.”
This argument is used to blur the lines between recreational marijuana and medical marijuana. We are not voting on medical marijuana, we are voting on recreational marijuana.
According to numbers assembled by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment heroin-related fatalities in Denver CO increased 933% in the past 14 years. Marijuana is a gateway drug.
4) “Marijuana isn’t as dangerous as alcohol.”
In the 1960s marijuana contained 1% THC. Commercialized marijuana has now created highly potent marijuana extract that is 90% THC, the chemical that makes the user high. The healthcare community has no research on the detrimental effects of high THC content marijuana. Marijuana has 4x more tar than tobacco.
5) “Recreational marijuana legalization has not led to increased youth use.”
Logically this argument has no ground. Increased availability means increased use. Marijuana in Colorado elementary schools has increased 34% since legalization. (Colorado Bureau of Investigation) Per the Rocky Mountain HIDTA there was a 12% increase in youth marijuana use and a 5% increase in youth marijuana arrests.
6) “Recreational marijuana legalization will generate revenue for Michigan.”
The ballot language taxes marijuana 10%, which is the lowest tax rate in the nation. The Michigan Lottery has made the same argument that it would improve schools and roads, we have seen neither.
7) “Legal recreational marijuana will eliminate the black market.”
Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman stated- “The criminals are still selling on the black market. We have plenty of illegal activity that has not decreased at all.” Legalizing a drug that is still illegal on the federal level will always profit the black market. Since recreational legalization in Colorado, there has been an 844% increase in parcels of marijuana seized in U.S. mail. Colorado has become the black market for the rest of the United States, do we really want to follow in that legacy?
8) “Legalizing recreational marijuana creates jobs.”
Legalizing recreational marijuana makes it harder for businesses to hire and retain employees. In business communities the unemployment rate hovers between 4.3 and 4.5 there is a need and a want for entry level, and skilled trades jobs.
Making hiring practices harder will not help Michigan economy. Are companies going to want to move in here? Or are big businesses going to look to leave to states like Ohio?
Do you recognize these arguments on recreational marijuana? Please help us by sharing this post and informing others so they know the truth!
About Healthy and Productive Michigan
“Healthy and Productive Michigan” formed in November 2017 as a response to the petitions circulating from the ‘Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol’. Healthy and Productive Michigan is a ballot questioning committee that opposes recreational marijuana legalization in Michigan, we are a statewide committee of concerned persons that have the common goal to keep recreational marijuana out of our schools, communities, businesses, and families. We believe that our communities should not be victims of the commercialization and normalization of marijuana. The Board of State Canvassers has approved the petitions submitted from the ‘Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol’ and we expect the proposal to be on the November ballot.
Please join us in saying NO to the legalization of marijuana in Michigan by joining our “Healthy and Productive Michigan” team!
How You Can Help:
Visit the Healthy and Productive Michigan website and learn more about the FACTS of the dangers of marijuana use. Help us inform the public and refute arguments on recreational marijuana. But please also:
- Like the Healthy and Productive Michigan Facebook Page
- Share your story: please tell others why this issue matters to you!
- Spread the word!
We say YES to a Healthy and Productive Michigan which means = VOTE NO on the legalization of marijuana in November 2018. Email us with questions (firstname.lastname@example.org) on other arguments on recreational marijuana and explore this helpful resource we have prepared for you on Questions and Answers regarding the ballot initiative.