Opposition of the Legalization of Recreational Marijuana

Opposition of the Legalization of Recreational Marijuana


Opposition of the Legalization of Recreational Marijuana


Submitted by: Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Committee




WHEREAS, marijuana is a Schedule I substance, under the Controlled Substances Act, and Schedule I drugs are classified as having a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision; and

WHEREAS, marijuana has both short-term and long-term effects on the brain1 ; and

WHEREAS, marijuana, when smoked, passes from the lungs into the bloodstream which carries the chemical THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) to the brain and other organs of the human body2 ; and

WHEREAS, marijuana over-activates parts of the brain that contain the highest number of brain receptors that causes the "high" people feel, which can include altered senses, such as, an altered sense of time, changes in mood, impaired body movement, difficulty with thinking and problem-solving, hallucinations, delusions and psychosis, when taken in high doses3 ; and

WHEREAS, marijuana affects long-term brain development, particularly between the preteen years and early adulthood, by lowering intelligent quotient (IQ)4 ; and

WHEREAS, marijuana, in edible form, also increases the chance of harm, as edibles take longer to digest and produce a high. Therefore, individuals may consume more to feel the effect faster, leading to dangerous results5 ; and

WHEREAS, marijuana's effect on perception and coordination are responsible for serious impairments in driving abilities;6 and

WHEREAS, high doses of marijuana can result in mental confusion, panic reactions and hallucinations7 ; and

WHEREAS, researchers have found an association between marijuana use and an increased risk of depression; and increased risk and earlier onset of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, especially for teens that have a genetic predisposition;8 and

WHEREAS, driving after marijuana use is more common than driving after alcohol use, and teens are two times more likely to receive a ticket among high-school seniors who smoke marijuana, and 65 percent more likely to get into a car crash than those who do not smoke9 ; and

WHEREAS, legalizing recreational marijuana use in Colorado, Oregon and Washington states has resulted in collision claim frequencies that are approximately 3 percent higher overall than would have been expected without legalization10; and

WHEREAS, after retail marijuana sales began in Colorado, the increase in collision claim frequency was 14 percent higher than nearby Nebraska, Utah and Wyoming11; and

WHEREAS, treatment of teens (ages 13 to 21 year-olds) at a Colorado children's hospital emergency department, and its satellite urgent care centers, increased rapidly after legalization of marijuana for commercialized medical and recreational use, and a review of the diagnostic code for positive marijuana results from a urine drug screen more than quadrupled12; and

WHEREAS, marijuana-related traffic deaths increased 62 percent from 71 to 115 after recreational marijuana was legalized in 2013 13; and

WHEREAS, the Colorado Highway Patrol's yearly interdiction seizures of marijuana increased 37 percent from 288 to 394, since recreational marijuana was legalized14; now, therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the IACP is gravely concerned about the dangers of continued legalization of marijuana and the expansion thereof and strongly encourages greater awareness regarding the harms and dangers; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the IACP cautions that research suggests marijuana use is likely to precede use of other illicit drugs and/or substances and that marijuana use also is linked to substance use disorders, including addiction to alcohol and nicotine; 15 and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the IACP actively supports increased community-wide and nation-wide education programs, like the Red Ribbon Week, Red Ribbon Patch Program by the Boy and Girl Scouts of America, D.A.R.E America, and National Prevention Week, as well as local anti-drug coalitions, to raise public awareness of the impact of recreational marijuana drug use on individuals, families, and communities.

1 National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), DrugFacts: Marijuana; revised August, 2017.

2 Ibid., 2.

3 Ibid., 2-3.

4 NICA's Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, a major longitudinal study.

5 National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), DrugFacts: Marijuana; revised August, 2017, pg. 3.

6 DEA Drug Fact Sheet: Marijuana; www.dea.gov.

7 Ibid.

8 Ibid.

9 National Institute on Drug Abuse; Drugged Driving.

10 Status Report - Vol. 52, No. 4; Insurance Institute for Highway Safety; Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), p. 2.

11 Ibid.

12 Emergency visits related to marijuana use at Colorado hospital; http://www.aappublications.org/news/2017/05/04/PASMarijuana050417.

13 Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area report, The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado, The Impact; Volume 4, September 2016.

14 Ibid, p. 4.

15 DEA/DOJ publication: Preventing Marijuana Use Among Youth & Young Adults; NIDA, 2017, from www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana.



Scroll to preview content. Please sign in to read and get access to more member only content.



IACP - Loader Animation IACP - Loader Animation IACP - Loader Animation