Marijuana Legalization: A Public Health Threat

Our friends at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview published a brief commentary today identifying some of the public health threats posed by legalization of marijuana.

John Stonestreet writes,

This is stone-cold crazy.

According to Alex Berenson, in a lead op-ed in the New York Times, the legalization of marijuana is a serious and growing threat to public health and public safety.

The article is entitled “What Advocates of Legalizing Pot Don’t Want You to Know.” In it, Berenson lays out the evidence for that claim, and it’s sobering. Maybe frightening.

Not only are cannabis users more likely to start using opioids, but the National Academy of Medicine reports that using pot “is likely to increase the risk of schizophrenia and other psychoses; the higher the use, the greater the risk.” Between 2006 and 2014, emergency room visits for marijuana-induced psychosis tripled to 90,000. And all of the first four states to legalize marijuana have seen “sharp increases in murders and aggravated assaults since 2014.”

And yet, more and more states are rushing headlong toward legalization. Folks, come to, we’ll link you to the Times piece. Share it with your state legislators.

If Christians are really for human flourishing and loving our neighbors, it’s time to speak out against legalizing marijuana.

We’ve written numerous times about the dangers posed by marijuana and the link between marijuana use and mental health concerns — including memory problems, a permanent loss in IQ, and schizophrenia.

As we have said time and time again, marijuana may be many things, but “harmless” simply is not one of them.

Marijuana Traffic Deaths Up 151% in Colorado: Official Report

This month the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area released an official report regarding the effects marijuana legalization has had on Colorado.

The report found that since Colorado legalized marijuana in 2012:

  • Traffic fatalities have risen 35% statewide
  • Marijuana-related traffic deaths have risen 151% statewide

The report also found that more than one in five Colorado traffic deaths was marijuana-related in 2017, and the annual rate of emergency room visits related to marijuana has increased 52%.

Colorado now ranks third in the nation for marijuana use among those ages 12 and older, confirming the notion that marijuana legalization encourages youth to use marijuana as well.

The report also indicated marijuana sales on the black market have increased since the state legalized recreational marijuana.

The number of highway seizures of marijuana by authorities in Colorado rose from an average of 242 seizures from 2009-2012 to an average of 336 seizures from 2013-2017.

As we have noted in the past, marijuana continues to be sold on the black market by those wishing to evade taxes and other regulations. Marijuana in Colorado also is being smuggled illegally into other states. All of this underscores that legalizing marijuana does not put a stop to crimes associated with marijuana.

As we have said time and time again, marijuana may be many things, but harmless simply is not one of them.

Photo by My 420 Tours [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons.