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The documented dangers of marijuana

Do we really need to make Federal Way even more vulnerable to crime and violence than it already is?

This fall, Federal Way voters are considering whether to allow marijuana stores within the city limits. Initially, I was ambivalent about the marijuana issue – I had no strong feelings either way. Then, I began reading Alex Berenson’s book about marijuana (entitled “Tell Your Children: The Truth about Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence”), and what I learned astonished me. Consider the following facts, all supplied by Berenson in his book:

• Marijuana use breeds crime and violence. “All four states that legalized [marijuana] in 2014 and 2015 – Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington – have seen sharp increases in murders and aggravated assaults since legalization” (Berenson xxxi). Further, several prestigious medical journals have published papers asserting that the use or abuse of marijuana is more strongly associated with violence than the abuse of alcohol is (Berenson 167).

• Medical marijuana is far more ineffective than one might think. Recent studies by the National Academy of Medicine have shown that the usage of medical marijuana has little to no effect on helping cure humans from ailments like cancer. In fact, such studies actually found evidence that “cannabis use is associated with testicular cancer – and that mothers who smoke are more likely to have children who develop leukemias and brain cancer” (Berenson 75).

• Marijuana use is overtaxing our emergency rooms. The number of people who go to the emergency room because of marijuana-related problems has increased dramatically in the last decade. In 2014, for instance, emergency rooms saw more than 1.1 million cases that included a diagnosis of marijuana abuse or dependence – up from fewer than 400,000 in 2006” (Berenson 152).

It’s sad and scary that marijuana is legal in Washington state. Isn’t it enough for those who use it that they can go to a nearby city to obtain it? Do we really need to make Federal Way even more vulnerable to crime and violence than it already is? The answer is clearly “no.” So, vote no on Proposition 1 to ban marijuana stores within the city limits.

Harold Geno

Federal Way

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