We oppose marijuana legalization because…

We care about HEALTH

  • Legalization sends the wrong message that marijuana is safe.
  • Nearly 10% of the people who try marijuana will become addicted to it.
  • Regular marijuana use in adolescence nearly doubles the risk of being diagnosed with schizophrenia or reporting psychotic symptoms in adulthood. 
  • The rate of emergency department visits involving marijuana has increased 52% since 2004

We care about the ECONOMY

  • The cost of treating Vermonters for marijuana use disorders cost more than $2 million.
  • Federal or state taxes levied on marijuana will not pay for the increased costs – highway accidents, mental health treatments, family social services, and lost wages – that would result from more users.
  • Marijuana legalization will usher in corporate interests. Big Tobacco will become Big Marijuana.

We care about EDUCATION 

  • Increasing levels of marijuana use have been consistently associated with lower grade point averages and poor school performance.
  • Marijuana use contributed to college students skipping more class, lower grades, dropping out of college and being unemployed after college.
  • Regular marijuana use that begins in adolescence and continues throughout young adulthood produces intellectual impairment.


1 From first drug use to drug dependence; developmental periods of risk for dependence upon cannabis, cocaine, and alcohol, by Wagner, F.A. & Anthony, J.C.; Neuropsychopharmacology 26, 479–‐ 488 (2002).

2 Hall, W. (2014), What has research over the past two decades revealed about the adverse health effects of recreational cannabis use?. Addiction. doi: 10.1111/add.12703

3 2011 Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, Drug Abuse Warning Network

4 http://healthvermont.gov/adap/drugs/marijuana.aspx

5 Lancet, Global Burden of Disease and Injury & Economic Costs Attributable to Alcohol Use, 2009.

6 John R. Knight, M.D., Founder and Director, Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research, Boston Children’s Hospital,  Exploring the Link: Drugs & Mental Health CADCA TV webcast, , August 2013

7   Lynskey, Michael, and Wayne Hall. 2000. “The effects of adolescent cannabis use on educational attainment: a review.” Addiction 95, no. 11: 1621-1630.

8 Journal of Studies on Alcohol & Drugs, University of Maryland School of Public Health Study, March 2013.

9Macleod, J. et al, Psychological and social sequelae of cannabis and other illicit drug use by young people: A systematic review of longitudinal, general population studies. Lancet 363(9421):1579-1588, 2004.

10   National Academy of Sciences, Dunedin Study, 2012.

11   Vermont Substance Abuse Treatment Information System. www.healthvermont.gov/adap/clearinghouse/documents/AdolescentsbySAandFY.pdf

12 American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC). “New study shows cannabis effects on driving skills.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 March 2013. .

13Couper, Fiona J. and Logan, Barry K, NHTSA Drugs and Human Performance Fact Sheet: Cannabis / Marijuana; National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, March 2004 (http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/research/job185drugs/cannabis.htm)

We care about YOUTH and YOUNG ADULTS

  • Young people equate “legal” with “safe”, which will lead to increased marijuana use.
  • Marijuana use in adolescents and young adults – up to age 25- alters the development of the brain.
  • Adolescents have a 1 in 6 chance of becoming addicted, even youth who use it just once.
  • Persistent marijuana use during adolescence can cause a long-term 8-point drop in IQ, and harm attention span and memory.
  • More teens in Vermont enter treatment for marijuana dependence than for all other illicit drugs combined.

We care about HIGHWAY SAFETY

  • Marijuana smokers had a 10-fold increase in car crash injury.
  • Marijuana is the most prevalent illegal drug detected in impaired drivers, fatally injured drivers, and motor vehicle crash victims.
  • There is currently no reliable means to test at roadside for impairment caused by marijuana use.


  •  Employee marijuana is linked with increased absences, tardiness, accidents, workers’ comp claims, and job turnover.
  • The effects of marijuana on the human brain are widespread and affect the ability to do college work or hold down a highly technical job.