Legalizing Marijuana Will Intensify Use Among Teens And Increase Drug-Related Crimes

By Diane Palmer, Parent Herald April 19, 04:00 am

Marijuana legalization, even for medical use, will have an adverse effect on teens. Aside from increasing use, legalizing pot will also increase crime and encourage drug dependency, according to study.

Multiple efforts are ongoing to change the state constitution of legalizing medical marijuana in Missouri. However, not everyone is in favor of the change in the constitution.

Even for medical use, legalizing marijuana will cause long-term negative effects, according to anti-marijuana group Keeping Missouri Kids Safe. Members of the group include people from law enforcement, drug prevention organization and civic groups.

Keeping Missouri Kids Safe explains that allowing the use of weed will cause dramatic increase in crime and other problems, according to Kansas City. The legalization of marijuana would lead to a community health crisis as the effects could extend throughout the lives of users.

The number of teenagers using the drug has dramatically increased in states that allow marijuana use. The younger kids use marijuana, the more likely they will get addicted later on.

In addition, teens who use drugs are less likely to earn a high school or college degree. Weed also affects motor abilities, causes memory gaps and triggers violent behavior.

In a 2014 study published by the International Journal of Drug Policy, 10 percent of high school students said they would be more likely to use marijuana if it was legal. In high school seniors alone, legalization would increase the number to 51.2 percent, according to CBS News.

Currently, there are 23 states in the U.S. along with the District of Columbia that have legalized medical marijuana use. Alaska, Washington, Colorado, Oregon and the District of Columbia have also allowed marijuana to be used recreationally.

Unfortunately, drug-related crimes in Denver increased by 12 percent from 2012 to 2014. An increase of 74 percent was also noticed in homicide rates in the city.

Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd explains that pro-marijuana advocates are pushing for the legalization to be passed sooner than later due to the negative stories coming from Colorado and Washington. Zahnd explains that the more people hear about the negative consequences of marijuana legalization, the less likely will the state law pass.

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