To The Daily Sun,
People were dying from drug overdoses at a rate of about one per week. Marijuana was one of the open doors where some began their addiction to destruction. Desperate, the community, a small town in Clay County, Kentucky, banded together to face the problem of drug and alcohol addiction, and cried, "enough!" A transformation occurred, to such a degree, that the city changed their name from Manchester to the "City of Hope"!
Intrigued, my wife and I travelled to Manchester, Kentucky to see for ourselves. We spent approximately 2-1/2 hours with the person who led the effort. We wanted to ascertain whether their community has still retained the transformative aspects we saw exhibited in the documentary, "An Appalachian Dawn." Numerous, lasting outcomes were found. Approximately 3,000 arrests (including the mayor and other officials) were made, drug dealers left the area, corruption reduced, recovery centers were opened, drug use in school has substantially reduced, and many other positive changes are still evident in their community. They acknowledged that there still remains some level of addiction, primarily due to the low cost and easy access to prescription drugs.
While their story is being told, there is considerable movement in our state and the country to legalize marijuana. Surrounding communities have, or are, legalizing marijuana (cannabis). This movement is occurring in spite of numerous, peer reviewed scientific studies which conclude how dangerous this drug is to the health of our citizens. These studies are far too many to list here. I strongly encourage you to review a paper entitled, “The Dangers and Consequences of Marijuana Abuse,” U.S. Department of Justice; Drug Enforcement Administration; Demand Reduction Section; May 2014, which lists and presents a compilation of numerous scientific studies. This document can be found on the internet.
Alex Berenson, in an article in Hinsdale College’s “Imprimis,” and author of “Tell Your, Children: The Truth about Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence,” states the following: “Almost everything you think you know about the health effects of cannabis, almost everything advocates and the media have told you for a generation is wrong.” He goes on: “a mountain of peer-reviewed research in top medical journals shows that marijuana can cause or worsen severe mental illness, especially psychosis, the medical term for a break from reality. Teenagers who smoke marijuana regularly are about three times as likely to develop schizophrenia, the most devastating psychotic disorder.”
Our youth and young adults are particularly vulnerable to marijuana. Several studies indicate that marijuana, a mind-altering drug, can actually lower IQ by eight points and impair mental function later into adulthood. Young brains are still developing until 25 years of age.
On Tuesday, Feb. 5, at 1 p.m., a hearing on HB-481, Marijuana Commercialization, will be heard by the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee. The N.H. Marijuana Legalization Study Commission has just recently announced that they are not supportive of this bill legalizing cannabis. I applaud their stance and courage. Show them your support. Write letters to your representatives in both houses of the Legislature, as well as to the governor’s office. Tell them that legalizing marijuana is not okay. That it is very harmful, even dangerous. Your voices are important.