Pubdate: Fri, 20 Jun 2014
Source: Asbury Park Press (NJ)
Copyright: 2014 Asbury Park Press
Author: Gerry Scharfenberger


I want to applaud Gov. Chris Christie for taking a firm stance against
the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes.

As a longtime member of the Middletown Municipal Drug and Alcohol
Alliance, it is heartening to have a governor who refuses to concede
the health and well-being of New Jerseyans in the face of numerous
states weakly caving in to pressure from ill-advised advocacy groups.

Christie's statement is especially timely as a new report conclusively
shows that even casual marijuana use results in significant brain
abnormalities. Moreover, marijuana has been proven to be a gateway
drug to such horrifically addictive and deadly drugs as heroin,
cocaine, crack, methamphetamine, and countless others.

On a larger scale, the United States cannot afford to create an
unmotivated and less-productive populace and expect to remain
competitive as a nation on the world stage. One need only look at the
chaos ensuing in Colorado since its legalization of marijuana to get a
sense of the damage that can and will occur.

Legalization, in the eyes of many, will also be a signal from the
government that marijuana is safe and acceptable and will encourage
people who may otherwise stay away from it to become involved.

In addition, whatever short-term revenue benefits the government
realizes will be dwarfed by the long-term costs to society in lost
productivity, increased DUIs and other crimes, increased medical
costs, skyrocketing addiction rates, higher accident rates and
increased government dependency.

Gerry Scharfenberger

Middletown Township Committee
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