Christians, Conservatives and Cannabis
The Impact of Legalization/Decriminalization On Youth.
Another major concern of conservatives and Christians is the potentially negative impact that legalizing medical marijuana will have on youth, fearing that legalization would result in increased use as legalization would send the message that marijuana is not dangerous.
The simple fact is, most youth today know full well that marijuana is not as dangerous as they are being told. Nearly every public high school student in the US today probably knows someone who uses marijuana. They can see its effects with their own eyes, which stand in stark contrast to the government’s anti-drug campaigns in school, which portray marijuana as a dangerous drug, alongside heroin, cocaine and meth.
One could argue that these “official” lies undermine a young person’s respect for authority, and could actually be a factor in some young people deciding to try harder drugs, simply because the advertised danger does not line up with their experience once they try it and find it to be quite harmless.
California has several years of historical experience from which to draw statistics in regards to the effects of legalization on youth. A recent article by the Washington Post examined what’s happened there with the youth after decriminalization took affect 4 years ago:
“A new report from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice adds to the growing body of evidence that legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana does not lead to any number of doomsday scenarios envisioned by legalization opponents. Looking specifically at California, where full marijuana decriminalization went into effect on Jan. 1, 2011, the report finds that “marijuana decriminalization in California has not resulted in harmful consequences for teenagers, such as increased crime, drug overdose, driving under the influence, or school dropout. In fact, California teenagers showed improvements in all risk areas after reform.”
The article goes on to provide additional statistics in regards to the effects of legalization:
- Teen drug and alcohol use continues to fall, even as more states decriminalize marijuana and make it available for medical purposes;
- States with medical marijuana laws haven’t seen any uptick in teen marijuana use;
- States with medical marijuana have actually seen decreases in prescription drug overdoses;
- In Alaska, where personal marijuana use has been de facto legalized for nearly 40 years, is completely average on a variety of economic and demographic indicators;
- Traffic fatalities have fallen in Colorado since legalization there.
Again, correlation does not necessarily mean causation, and the intent of this article is not a plea for the full legalization of recreational marijuana. However, it is an attempt to provide a foundation of statistical evidence and scientific fact that will hopefully dispel some of the common fears that conservatives and Christians hold in regards to legalizing medical cannabis – fears which simply have not materialized in the forerunner states that have decided the benefits of cannabis as a medicine outweigh the risks to society.
Let me summarize by encouraging my fellow conservatives and Christian brothers and sisters to do their own investigation on the medical benefits of cannabis.
Watch the videos of little children suffering with intractable (uncontrollable) epilepsy who are being harmed not only by their disease, but by the powerful, addictive pharmaceutical drugs they are being treated with as the only legal medication available to them if they live in the a non-medical cannabis state. Watch the dramatic changes in real people’s lives when they have been allowed to use cannabis as medicine to treat their disease.
It is an eye-opener for most. It was life-changing for me. It became a matter of justice, of righteousness, and of love and concern for my fellow man. For all these reasons, and more, I believe Christians and conservatives should come out in support for the legalization of medical marijuana. Doing so will do more to ease the suffering of our fellow man than anything else I can think of.
“You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” – Jesus ChristPrevious Page