Pubdate: Thu, 19 Jun 2014
Source: Globe-Gazette (Mason City, IA)
Copyright: 2014 Globe-Gazette
Author: Todd Blodgett
Note: Todd Blodgett served on President Ronald Reagan's White House 
staff from 1985-87 and on the 1988 campaign staff of President George 
H. W. Bush. He also worked for the Republican National Committee and 
the FBI. Blodgett lives in Clear Lake and is a recovering drug addict.


On July 1, an oil extract of marijuana will be legal in Iowa. But 
Iowans must reject proposals to legalize pot on a broader scale.

Legally sanctioned weed would thwart economic growth, destabilize 
families, cause more crime, overburden police and courts, and 
victimize law-abiding citizens and taxpayers.

Lawmakers often ignore unintended consequences when considering 
legislation, but does Iowa need more Iowans to be stoned? That's the 
question, as the new law has incited demands for decriminalizing cannabis.

Teenagers in states with legal marijuana have higher drug abuse than 
in states where it's illegal. The New York Times reported on Nov. 7, 
2012, that 90 percent plus of so-called "medical marijuana" is used 
by those who claim "pain" and not serious illness. Addictive drugs 
corrupt even more so than money or power.

Pot is extremely insidious, harmful and it adversely affects users 
far worse than they realize. Even High Times magazine in October 2013 
published arguments against medicinal marijuana.

Studies show that smoking cannabis regularly can lower the IQ of 
teenagers by up to 8 points, and today's weed is more potent than 
ever. This stuff isn't your dad's or your grandpa's pot. It's far 
more lethal with significantly more serious and counterproductive 
side-effects. Marijuana is also a Gateway Drug which can and will 
lead users to even more dangerous, illicit (and often fatal) drug addictions.

Alaska learned the hard way that legalizing even small amounts of 
weed was a huge mistake. When marijuana use among Alaska's teens 
jumped to twice the national average, voters there passed a ballot 
initiative to recriminalize it.

History proves that no nation has ever withstood the legalization of 
mind-altering drugs; not a single country. The late Dr. James Q. 
Wilson of Harvard University opposed legalization, saying, "Drug use 
is immoral ... because it enslaves the mind and destroys the soul."

Why would any society ever want unhealthful substances destroying the 
minds, bodies, souls, character and potential of its own citizens?

Experience proves that whenever controlled substances are legalized, 
consumption rises. Do Iowans want the level of damage which will 
surely result from legal Mary Jane -- as junkies call pot -- to even 
approach the damage alcohol causes?

Colorado legalized medical weed in 2009. Today, pot is available 
there in vending machines. Yes, Colorado's law prohibits use by 
minors. But this prohibition, as with booze and cigarettes, has 
proven ineffectual. Marijuana-infused brownies, "Pot-Tarts," cookies, 
candy, sodas and even pasta sauces now line the shelves of Colorado's stores.

The state's highways, particularly around Denver, are littered with 
billboards advertising cannabis, many of which feature cartoon 
characters to target young people.

Pot producers and drug dealers know what Big Alcohol and Big Tobacco 
know: hook users early and they're yours for life. Get them to use 
heavily, get them addicted -- and big profits flow.

The American Medical Association issued a report in 2013 opposing 
legalization. Among its irrefutable, damning conclusions was that 
"heavy cannabis use in adolescence causes persistent impairments in 
neurological performance and in IQ, and is associated with increased 
rates of anxiety, mood and psychotic thought disorders."

Consequences of pot usage aren't restricted to those who smoke it. 
Since 2004, fatal auto accidents involving stoned drivers have 
tripled, according to a recent report in The American Journal of Epidemiology.

With Iowans debating health care, high taxes and spending, and how to 
fix our schools and universities, why push now for more dumbed-down, 
lazy, counterproductive citizens?

Ask your legislative candidates if we need dumber Iowans and if they 
want more potheads. If they say they'd even consider voting to 
legalize marijuana for broader usage, then ask them what they're smoking.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom