Vote No on Initiative 71 in Washington DC

Initiative 71 is a bad idea.  If passed, it certainly will lead to the legal sale of marijuana in Washington, DC.   Is this what we would like the Nation’s Capital to be known for, a bastion of marijuana use?  What kind of message about drug use and about life will this send to the youth of Washington DC and the nation?

Adam Eidinger, the co-owner of Capitol Hemp, is the driving force behind Initiative 71.  Mr. Eidinger stands to gain handily from the legalization of marijuana, as his company sells marijuana paraphernalia.  So you have a direct "conflict of interest" by the man promoting the initiative.

We often read that legalizing marijuana will benefit the black community.  Really?  Do most parents encourage their children to use marijuana when they get older?  Does this help them get good grades, improve social relationships, or operate at their best?  What are the long term effects of smoking marijuana?  Since cigarette smoke is not good for you, what about marijuana smoke?  What about driving under the influence of marijuana?  What about the ingestion of marijuana food products by young children?  Have these and many other related issues been studied extensively in states where marijuana is now legal?  No.

Marijuana use leads to brain changes similar to those caused by cocaine, heroin, or alcohol.  It also leads to abnormalities in brain regions involved in memory, attention, decision-making, language and executive functioning skills (hippocampus). Weekly or frequent use doubles a teen’s risk of depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, paranoia & schizophrenia.  According to the American Medical Association "A study just published in the Lancet Psychiatry reported that teenagers who smoke marijuana daily are 60 percent less likely to complete high school. Advocates of legalization say it would not apply to young people but with legalization inevitably comes a message of approval."

DC Attorney General Irv Nathan points out that "The Initiative is improper because its prohibition on denying any benefit based on conduct that it purports to make lawful is incompatible with at least one area of federal law involving District-provided benefits: federal public housing law."

Vote no on Initiative 71.  Let's promote the best future for our youth and our city.