Letters to the editor for Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Legalizing marijuana is bad for Nevada

According to three public opinion surveys taken by Pew, Gallup and U.S.A. Today, Colorado voters increasingly regret their 2012 vote to legalize recreational marijuana — for good reason.

Teen and adolescent marijuana use is now 74 percent higher in Colorado than the national average. Teen and adolescent alcohol use has also gone up since legalization. In fact, alcohol sales across the board have increased since marijuana legalization. People are not trading alcohol for marijuana, they are using both — at increased rates. Colorado stands out as the only state that is a top abuser of opioids, marijuana, alcohol and cocaine, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Colorado’s Democrat Governor, John Hickenlooper, opposed the 2012 legalization. In 2015, he said legalizing it was a “bad idea” and wished he could go back in time and reverse the 2012 ballot initiative. In a recent CNBC appearance, Hickenlooper offered this advice to other states, like Nevada, considering legalization: “I would suggest waiting a year or two and see how it goes.”

Nevada is currently on a different course — let’s continue to invest in our schools and in our workforce — and not legalize something that hinders both.

Both Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, a Republican, and California Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, have indicated their opposition to legalizing recreational marijuana. A nonpartisan coalition of Nevadans must unite in recognition that legalizing recreational marijuana is bad for Nevada.

Jim Hartman



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