As though North Dakota doesn’t have a large enough choice of mind-altering addictions, Measure No. 3 on the general election ballot will ask the voters to approve unfettered use of marijuana for general consumption.
By Lloyd Omdahl
This “recreational” drug is used to intentionally change the user’s state of mind in a way that modifies emotions, perceptions and feelings. It creates a real happy world which is not real or happy. An escape from reality.
There are many good reasons for voting “No” on Measure No. 3. Here are five.
1. Marijuana is addictive.
While some advocates for legalization deny that users can become addicts, Morgan Fox of the National Cannabis Industry Association, concedes that nine percent of users become addicted. A projected estimate of 50,000 users in North Dakota would mean 4,500 addicts down the road – and North Dakota isn’t able to handle the present caseload of addicts.
2. The kids will be hurt the most.
Scott Sowle, director of the Muir Wood center in California, said he keeps getting the same call: “My 16-year-old son was doing really well in school. He was interested in sports and involved in extracurricular activities. But suddenly, he’s just not the same kid anymore.”
Bucknell University Neuroscientist Judith Grisel says that “heavy-smoking teens show evidence of reduced activity in brain circuits” and are “60 percent less likely to graduate from high school, and are at substantially increased risk for heroin addiction and alcoholism.”
“They show alterations in cortical structures associated with impulsivity and negative moods and are seven times more likely to attempt suicide.”
Habits are expensive and when kids have burned up their financial resources, they sometimes turn to crime, especially robbery and burglary. Records show that involvement in criminal behavior by regular marijuana users is 1.5 to 3.0 times that of nonusers. So the kid starts life with a criminal record.
3. Law enforcement recommends a “No” vote.
Law enforcement leaders and associations have been advocating a “no” because they know what it is like to pick up the bodies after some driver with “modified perceptions” smashes up an innocent family. Supporters of Measure No. 3 point out that marijuana won’t mess up the roads like alcohol. With free use of marijuana available to all comers, we don’t know that marijuana addicts won’t soon outnumber alcoholics.
4. Big marijuana money will control the market.
A number of local entrepreneurs have been watching the marijuana measure with great interest, hoping that they will become major players in the economics of the drug. But recreational marijuana is not a local venture. It is controlled by large interstate corporations.
In California, supporters of legal marijuana promised that the industry would be “built around small and medium-sized businesses.” Instead, big corporations are muscling themselves center stage, e.g. $6 billion Canopy Growth and Scott’s Miracle-Gro. (Yes, your favorite garden supplier.)
Estimated revenue for the 2017 business year was $22 billion. This will increase to $60 billion in 2020. We’re talking big business here.
5. Big donor money available for politics.
Out-of-state investors are putting money in Measure No. 3 to legalize an industry in which they hope to multiply their investments. According to the Center for Public Integrity, two-thirds of the big donors have direct financial stakes in the success of marijuana ballot measures.
Money is not going to stay in fights over measures. It will be spent generously on lobbyists and politicians to influence policy and elect friends. North Dakota will need to reassess and strengthen its integrity laws.
These are only five of the good reasons for rejecting Measure No. 3 and we have not even touched on IQ suppression, heart and respiratory dangers, marijuana and prescription mixing, school expulsions, memory damage, the black market or international drug cartels. They will all be waiting for us on November 6,