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Marijuana Legalization Opponents Worry States Can’t Keep Drug Away from Children

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Opponents of marijuana legalization say they don’t believe states where recreational use of the drug is legal will be able to keep it out of the hands of children, according to the Miami Herald.

“Kids are going to be bombarded with this – they’re already getting the message that it’s acceptable,” said Kevin Sabet, Director of the University of Florida Drug Policy Institute, who served as an adviser on drug issues to President Barack Obama and former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

Legalization supporters say they also want to prevent children from obtaining marijuana. “Forcing marijuana sales into the underground market is the worst possible policy when it comes to protecting our young people,” said Mason Tvert, spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project, a pro-legalization group. “It is odd that those who wish to keep marijuana out of the hands of kids are fighting to keep it as uncontrolled as possible.”

In Colorado, where recreational use of marijuana is legal for those over 21, the state will ban marijuana advertising aimed at anyone younger. The state will form a marijuana educational oversight committee to tell minors the drug could impair their neurological development, according to Jack Finlaw, Chief Legal Counsel for the Colorado Governor.

Washington state, where recreational use of the drug is also legal for those over 21, plans to sell marijuana in child-resistant packaging. None of the state’s retail marijuana stores will be allowed within 1,000 feet of a school, park, playground or video arcade, the article notes.

The University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future Study (MTF) – an annual survey on teen drug abuse tracking 8th, 10th and 12th graders – shows a multi-year surge in childhood marijuana use among the nation’s school-aged children. The 2012 survey of approximately 45,000 youth ages 13-18 found marijuana use among children escalates after eighth grade. The survey found that more than 11 percent of the youngest children surveyed (13-14 year olds) report they used marijuana in the past year.

14 Responses to this article

  1. Avatar of Casey Hopkins
    Casey Hopkins / November 1, 2013 at 2:42 am

    You want legal weed then you’re going to have to do something for it. You are going to have to have actively be involved with your kids life, you are going to have to be friends with your kids. The parental hierarchy is needed to come to an end. All the good parents know that. They are already doing it. Become the advice giver not the case taker. Parents sometimes push the kids along into a slaughter room and tell them to succeed those around you Must fail. So. Legalize it, and let’s bring families together.

  2. Avatar of Allie
    Allie / October 1, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    The only pro to it being illegal when I was 15 is that it made it so much easier to find. I had been smoking for two years before I ever drank alcohol. You don’t have to be 21 for the black market!

  3. Ken Wolski / September 27, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    The Monitoring the Future surveys also report, for over thirty years in a row, that over 80% of high school seniors find marijuana “easy to get” or “fairly easy to get.” This is the legacy of the current “Prohibition approach” to marijuana with its numerous, unintended negative consequences. The most pernicious advertizing of marijuana to teens is the government’s exaggeration of marijuana’s dangers. This only makes it more attractive to teens. By contrast, teen use of marijuana in California dropped over 50% since the medical marijuana law passed there in 1996. Teens don’t find it glamorous when AIDS patients, cancer patients and hospice patients are using marijuana. Honesty about marijuana is clearly the best policy.

  4. Avatar of Robert
    Robert / September 27, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Wow so much money spent on trying to kill something that can cure you all and as for smoking kids are little to age 10,11,12 maybe after that they are teenagers.

  5. Avatar of Boone
    Boone / September 27, 2013 at 10:17 am

    OMG .what are people thinking. OK, kids can’t get booze??, cigarettes??. I was a kid once and was able to booze. wasn’t a big deal then and unfortunately not now. I would rather SMOKE than know I won’t pass out. Plus, it does help with my back pain. It’s time has come to come out completely.

  6. Avatar of John Raab
    John Raab / September 26, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    For people who think it should stay Illegal, should first learn why it is. Alcohol kills more teenagers everyday than marijuana has killed ever, check the facts.

  7. Avatar of jeremy gesell
    jeremy gesell / September 24, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    The simple solution is to be a parent. If you want your children to grow up with your values you need to teach them yourselves and quit relying on government intervention to keep your kids from getting stoned. My freedom is more important than your ability to be a lazy parent.

  8. Avatar of ian MOroz
    ian MOroz / September 24, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Ya beacuse im a minor and its easier to get weed than achohol right now. How many drugs dealers do you that ask for an i.d?

  9. jboside / September 24, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    The Cartels will be targeting youth with their untaxed cheeper weed, not to mention anyone who decides to grow some in their backyard. Both states will find out that any law enforcement cost are going to triple trying to get rid of the underground weed.

  10. Avatar of Judy Griffith
    Judy Griffith / September 24, 2013 at 11:55 am

    The lack of success in keeping alcohol, America’s favorite drug, out of the hands of children is a classic example of what is to come with marijuana. What happened in Montana a few years ago, when medical marijuana legislation passed, is a prime example of the avaricious, self-serving, underhanded nature of many of those who stand to profit from changes in marijuana laws. Children and their families will pay the price.

  11. jeremy gesell / September 24, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    So, I take it you would rather the government and corporate owned prisons to profit from punishing adults using a completely natural substance than a local entrepreneur?

  12. Avatar of Chris O'Hara
    Chris O'Hara / September 25, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    Ok so keeping it illegal and destroying a young persons future to save them in the present? You do realize there is no such thing as a teen who can’t get cannabis 24/7/365……..lets ban steak because babies can’t chew it……..how well has keeping it illegal for adult use worked keeping it away from children? People like you must work in the rehabilition……legal cannabis no more forced rehab……

  13. Avatar of BA
    BA / September 27, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Ummm they can’t keep it out of there hands where it is illegal and then kids caught up in it get charged with a crime and are branded for life. Legalization is a more fair, sensible course and also easier to control when it can be regulated.

  14. Casey Hopkins / November 1, 2013 at 2:46 am

    Exactly! Good to see we get it.

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