Written by Julia Reinthaler and David E. Smith
Next week, elected officials in the City of Springfield will hold a hearing about whether to limit drug traffic and marijuana sales within the city limits. We hope and pray that they will seriously consider an ordinance that would prohibit marijuana retail businesses from setting up shop in Springfield.
It is imperative that local officials hear from pro-family residents, especially the clergy! They need to hear your concerns about the consequences of marijuana sales in the area.
The Springfield City Council has scheduled a Committee of the Whole hearing regarding future marijuana sales for Tuesday, September 10th. The hearing begins at 5:30 PM and will be held at the Municipal Center West, Room 106 at 300 S. Seventh Street in Springfield.
Don’t let proponents deceive you with their “tax revenues” talking points. According to a report published by the Centennial Institute, “for every dollar gained in tax revenue, Coloradans spend approximately $4.50 to mitigate the effects of legalization.” The costs of legal pot are not worth the costs to families, communities and lives.
Although the licensed growth, sale, possession and use of marijuana will be legal in Illinois effective January 1, 2020, the legislation signed into law by Governor JB Pritzker allows villages, cities and counties to opt out of marijuana retail sales. This gives communities the opportunity to say “no” to drug traffic and the retail presence of a federally classified Schedule 1 Drug, a dangerous intoxicant that the DEA deems has “a high potential for abuse.”
Far from being an innocuous drug that the marijuana lobby portrays as safe and even medicinal, marijuana has serious health risks that should alarm any parent and community.
According to a 2017 review from the National Academy of Medicine, cannabis use is likely to increase the risk of developing schizophrenia and other psychoses, and among regular users it is likely to increase the risk for developing social anxiety disorder.
According to a 2018 paper published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, people who used cannabis were almost three times as likely to use opiates three years later.
Another study, released in Australia, cited that patients with chronic pain who used cannabis experienced even greater pain over time, dispelling the myth that pot relieves pain better than other available pain medicines.
To understand the effects that marijuana legalization will ultimately have in Illinois, we need look no further than Colorado to see a cautionary tale of the unintended consequences of legalization.
In the six years since marijuana was legalized in Colorado, the number of drivers involved in fatal crashes who tested positive for marijuana has doubled. There have been increased rates in marijuana-related emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and higher rates of violent crime. Though legal for 21 and older, more than a fourth of Colorado’s middle and high school students use pot more than once daily. Chronic use by those under 25 can lead to a permanent loss of up to 8 IQ points.
Knowing what we know about the tragic and often irreversible effects of marijuana, we cannot in good conscience permit a retailer to peddle a drug that robs so many youth of their future and compromises the safety of our citizenry. Instead of making Big Marijuana richer and the the City of Springfield a haven for those selling the drug and those seeking to purchase it, let’s make it a refuge for families seeking to shield their loved ones from this drug’s destructive path.
Next month’s meeting might lead to a vote that will shape the future of the City of Springfield.
Take ACTION: Click HERE to send an email to Mayor James Langfelder and all ten Aldermen asking them to reduce drug traffic and protect the families they represent by passing a ban on the retail sales of marijuana. And if you’re able, please attend the September 10th hearing and make your opposition known.
Learn more about marijuana’s consequences at NoWeedIllinois.com.
See the U.S. Surgeon General’s Press Advisory about the health risks of marijuana use.
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