Legalizing pot for recreational use is not a good idea

Since Lt. Gov. John Fetterman is coming to Lock Haven to talk about legalizing marijuana for “recreational use” in Pennsylvania, we will weigh in. Bad idea.

Fetterman supports legalizing marijuana for recreational use in Pennsylvania.

Gov. Tom Wolf has said he’s not ready to do that, though he is open to the issue being investigated. Medical marijuana is legal in Pennsylvania, but highly regulated.

The Republican-controlled state Legislature is reported to be hostile to the idea.

Of the 10 states that have legalized pot, nine did it through voter-sponsored referendums.

Pennsylvania’s law does not allow such direct access to the ballot … though the Legislature could change that with Gov. Wolf’s approval.

Why is legalizing pot in Pennsylvania wrong?

Because it’s just a money-making scheme for state government.

Because federal law does not recognize pot as legal.

Because it sends the wrong message to our youth.

Because it creates some impossible challenges for our employers as they try to find the best, most dependable workers.

Let’s talk about Colorado, among the first, if not the first state to legalize pot.

The Centennial State has seen marijuana-related traffic deaths rise.

It has seen marijuana-related hospitalizations rise.

More newborns are testing positive for pot.

You can argue that the criminalization of marijuana has put too many Americans behind bars, that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol and so on.

But have we really taken time to understand that legalizing marijuana means more use of mind-altering drug?

What health effects will come from widespread legalization and increased used of marijuana?

We encourage all to read a good piece by pharmacist Robert L. Mabee, R.Ph., JD., MBA. You can find it online at: www.drugtopics.com/viewpoints/pharmacist-makes-case-against-legalizing-marijuana. Or, just go to www.drugtopics.com and search his name.

Here’s what Dr. Mabee says:

“The state would collect its sales tax, and marijuana users would be happy. However, as with alcohol, the use of marijuana will create costs in excess of the sales tax revenue. It has been predicted that costs associated with treatment, injuries, loss of work, and damage to property are likely to run millions more than the income gained through taxation. As a nation, we have just spent millions of dollars in the crusade to stop people from smoking cigarettes. Yet with pot smoking, all the problems associated with indirect smoke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and lung cancer will continue and increase.”

We are open to discussion, as always.

And sure, legalizing pot will create more revenue for state government. (Is that what this is about?)

But we are not convinced that legalizing marijuana in Pennsylvania will have a long-term, positive impact.

Indeed, we believe it will have the opposite effect.