Virginia Legislators Need to Evaluate Public Health Outcomes in Pot Legal States says PopPot
Merrifield, VA– February 4, 2021—[EIN Press Wire]—Virginia’s state legislature is fast-tracking a bill to legalize marijuana. Parents Opposed to Pot (PopPot), a Virginia-based educational nonprofit, calls on the legislature to slow down and consider the fact that this is an addictive drug that can cause severe mental illness.
“The governor claims his top priority is public health, and yet the only legislative committee not to review the pending marijuana commercialization law is the Health committee,” explains Aubree Adams, Assistant Director of PopPot. “Our website, poppot.org, contains dozens of stories of marijuana addiction, psychosis, and death, written by parents, former and current users of marijuana.”
Marijuana is a drug which disrupts many functions of the brain: executive reasoning, space and time awareness, dopamine regulation, and vision. Serious side effects include: paranoia, delusional thinking, tunnel vision, psychosis, schizophrenia, flashbacks, blackouts. These issues sometimes cause suicide.
There are many impacts Virginia families are already experiencing even before cannabis is available from retail stores. First, illicit teen use is influencing behavior, memory, motivation, and academic performance. Second, addiction treatment is hard to find and expensive. Third, families are traumatized by irrational or violent behavior of a parent or teen cannabis user. PopPot warns Virginia that mental health issues (both temporary and long term) will flow from normalizing cannabis use. Many parents don’t realize how toxic today’s marijuana is, because they think it’s similar to the marijuana of yesterday.
Once retail stores open, youth access to marijuana will grow exponentially. The adolescents who use marijuana in states with legal pot are consuming marijuana edibles, “dabbing” and “vaping” high potency THC at alarming rates, according to recent surveys. One 2019 Colorado survey of those who used pot in the last month found 54% of teens admit to driving stoned. A report out of Colorado this week shows a dramatic increase of accidental marijuana exposures to children 5 and under (95 in 2019) proving harm from adult use.
Parents Opposed to Pot is tracking news reports of child deaths around the U.S. since Colorado legalized. At least 250 babies, toddlers, and children have died from child abuse and neglect while in the care of marijuana-impaired adults.
According to the parent advocacy organization, cannabis legalization is failing to live up to every promise made by the industry. In the first few states to roll out recreational marijuana, there is plenty of evidence the policy is failing. The illegal markets grow, government revenues fall short, and the promises for social justice go unmet, as arrests of youth and minority users rise.
Parents Opposed to Pot is a 501c3 educational nonprofit based in northern Virginia which now operates 5 websites which publish news accounts science, government data and personal testimonies about the downside of commercial cannabis. One of the websites, MomsStrong.org was launched by moms who lost their sons to marijuana-related suicide. The newest websites are EveryBrainMatters.org, which seeks to stop the expanding drug culture, and JennifersMessengers.org, which sounds the alarm about marijuana driving dangers. Contact at [email protected], phone 773-322-7523 or visit the website, poppot.org, Facebook @poppotorg.