To the editor:
It seems that all we hear from Illinois’s new governor and legislators is all the revenue the state will harvest with the legalization of marijuana. None of these giddy proclamations want to consider the societal or hidden costs this might bring.
It is true that it would give our legislators more money to spend. However, they might want to consider the 37% increase in murders in the four years in the first four states (Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon) that legalized cannabis. Or they might want to review the numerous studies that show a significant link between heavy marijuana use and psychosis and schizophrenia! The facts and studies are there, if they care to look. And there are more studies coming every month that confirm this link.
To be sure, the well-funded cannabis legislation lobby doesn’t mention those trivial matters. They want everyone to focus on the good that the extra tax dollars will do for the state. Never mind the lives and families destroyed. We’ll have more money for pensions and schools! Remember all the lottery money that was going to fund our schools.
Supporters of legalization like to compare marijuana to alcohol use. To be sure, more people consume alcohol than marijuana. What they don’t talk about is problem of daily users. One out of 15 drinkers consume alcohol daily. For those that use marijuana, one out of five users consume it daily! Do we really want to encourage this sort of dependency in Illinois? Who can predict the cost of psychosis, schizophrenia, violence, addiction or motor vehicle accidents?
For once, it shouldn’t be all about the money but about the quality of life for the citizens state of Illinois.