To The Daily Sun,

I oppose HB-481, an irresponsible bill that threatens N.H. youth and public health by legalizing and commercializing marijuana. It is imperative that lawmakers understand the facts before considering the impact this bill will have. Many states have tried to legalize marijuana and realized the consequences after. The Oregon Research Institute performed a study which indicates that following legalization of recreational marijuana, the frequency of use during the following year increased 26 percent among teenagers who had tried marijuana by 8th grade. N.H. can’t afford this increase in youth use.

Legalization of marijuana is causing increased problems for teenagers everywhere. According to a 2018 study by The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, teenage marijuana use is at its highest level in 30 years. And while this increase in use is concerning, even more troublesome is the findings by Harvard Medical School, which concludes, “Smokers who began using marijuana before age 17 had cognitive deficits not detected in those who began smoking later in life.” N.H. has seen a significant growth in substance misuse for the past 10 years. Any laws that might increase drug use could be catastrophic, especially for teens.

The 2018 Monitoring the Future Survey concluded that “One in four U.S. high school seniors would try marijuana or use it more often if it was legal.” N.H. can’t allow teens to have more access to marijuana. By doing so, we are increasing the chance of teens using it and increasing the possibility of misusing it.

New Hampshire substance use disorder professionals have been overwhelmed with the increase in overdoses and overdose deaths. Most people who overdose did not start their use of substances with opiates. Most started using marijuana or alcohol and then progressed to opiates.

By voting NO to House Bill 481, lawmakers are voting YES to a healthier life for teens.

Suzanne L. Thistle, MA, MLADC

Bristol

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(9) comments

JWV

Vote Yes for legal pot for adults!

alanzdba921

Pray tell how you'd EVER discern a "cognitive defect" in this area?? Don't you read the letters? People here care more about abortions and Mexicans than pot. The social and financial impact of pot being ILLEGAL impacts hundreds of thousands of people whereas no one has EVER overdosed from pot.

Alan Moon

Just decriminalize it so smokers don't have a criminal record. This makes sense because NH is surrounded on all sides by legal weed. There is no way to keep it out. Just keep the state out of the marijuana business, or they will commercialize it for the tax money.

Spellchecker67

So what if it gets taxed?! More money for the state you live in.

JWV

I'll be the first geezer at the door! With Alcohol, tobacco, and legal opioids killing tens of thousands yearly, I have to laugh out loud at people who fight Pot for adults in the privacy of their homes. It will be commercialized and revenue will be welcome.

Spellchecker67

Oh please, this is your drug of worry?!

Johnna Davis

Exactly. It's been over 40 years. I know no one who has died from smoking pot. In fact I know MANY who live very successful lives and many more who have benefited from the pain relief by smoking pot. My best friend died from Melanoma, smoking pot was the ONLY thing that gave her relief from her pain in her final days. Lets get over this stigma.

Spellchecker67

Agreed and sorry about your friend.

JWV

Exactly

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