Marijuana Legislation Puts Teens at Greater Risk

According to the Narragansett Prevention Partnership, relaxing marijuana laws will put more teens at risk.

The Narragansett Prevention Partnership has joined forces with other Rhode Island Drug Free Communities grantees to form the Ocean State Prevention Alliance, a statewide coalition of prevention specialists and mental health professionals committed to reducing the negative impact that decriminalization and “medical” marijuana legislation is likely to have on Rhode Island communities, especially among youth.

Evidence from 16 other states clearly identifies a dramatic increase in social, economic, health and safety issues that followed decriminalization or the enactment of “medical” marijuana laws, including a dramatic rise in the number of youth who report using marijuana.

The NPP wants to give the community data-driven information about what we can expect when RI marijuana legislation goes into effect in 2013. Our goal is to encourage Narragansett residents, especially parents, to advocate for policies, additional legislation and prevention programs to reduce the negative impact on our youth that 16 other states have already experienced.

Here are some facts from other states, along with some recent scientific discoveries about marijuana, that suggest what RI can expect – unless we take steps now to address the known risks associated with legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana.

  • Teen Use Skyrockets. In 1979, after 11 states legalized marijuana, the United States saw the highest rates, 51%, of marijuana use in history by teenagers. States with “medical” marijuana programs had an increase in marijuana use not seen in other states.
  • More Drivers Drive Stoned. Marijuana is the most prevalent illegal drug detected in impaired drivers, fatally injured drivers and motor vehicle crash victims. It has also been reported that after Colorado relaxed their marijuana laws in 2006, drivers who tested positive for marijuana in fatal car crashes doubled between 2006 and 2010.
  • Weed Lowers IQs. A recent study found that those who used cannabis heavily in their teens and continued through adulthood showed a permanent drop in IQ of 8 points. A loss of 8 IQ points could drop a person of average intelligence into the lowest third of the intelligence range. 

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Warren Hudson February 27, 2013 at 09:17 PM
I do believe that this law shows exactly what type of people thrive on Smith Hill. What type of an IDIOT would vote for a law that would guarantee that in the future these people would not be able to get any job that requires a drug test, from School Bus Driver to Defense worker. I already know exactly what type of IDIOT would sign it.
Politics Sheriff of NK February 28, 2013 at 01:52 AM
NANCY DEVANEY gets herself lots of this "grant money". I just want to know any benefits are real. From these posts, I feel there is doubt, on NPP for example.
Henry Doyle February 28, 2013 at 12:55 PM
1. I'd rather my teen smoke pot than abuse alcohol. 2. Carl Sagan would probably disagree about smoking pot lowering IQ. He was a recreational marijuana user and the preemminent astronomer of his time. 3. Legaizing marijuana may increase the use in teens slightly but what it will really do is not ruin a teens future if they are caught using. Getting busted is more of a gateway than actual usage.
frmr resident April 05, 2013 at 03:19 PM
After looking at the organizations web site, I am impressed with the messages there and the information as to how important drug abuse PREVENTION is very important, especially for our children. However, to focus on one of the leadt harmless of all drugs is not really, in my opinion a priority as to oppsed to the other messages I saw on the site. Alcohol, tobacco and pharmaceutical companies are shifting the dangers of the "legal" drugs, of which all are. Prioritise,, while marijuana abuse is something to worry about, much like methadone, it is a safer alternative. If teens are switching from alcohol, tobacco and pills,,, I see that as a positive move. No one dies from Marijuana.
frmr resident April 07, 2013 at 01:13 PM
Yes,,, people who have real world experience. “[The APHA] encourages research of the therapeutic properties of various cannabinoids and combinations of cannabinoids, and...urges the Administration and Congress to move expeditiously to make cannabis available as a legal medicine.” American Public Health AssociationOldest and Most Diverse Organization of Public Health Professionals in the World http://marijuanamajority.com/?id=424


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