Photo: Eric Kayne / Special To The Chronicle
Many Connecticut legislators say they care about children, and that this is a major influence on how they vote in many areas, such as education, health care and gun control.
That is why it seems so wrong that many of these same legislators are supporting a bill that would damage thousands of children.
Even the strongest advocates of legalizing marijuana admit that smoking it causes brain damage in young people. As reported in The New York Times and elsewhere, tests on teenagers of brain functions show losses in the ability to think abstractly and drops in IQ scores of those who are regular smokers of marijuana. These losses are not temporary; they’re permanent.
Advocates say this doesn’t matter; the laws will be set up to keep people under 21 from buying. That’s not an answer, though; it’s just trying to hide from the basic facts. If marijuana is legalized and readily available, everyone knows that its use will spread, and it will be easier for everyone — not just those over 21 — to get. Is there anyone who can deny this?
So the result of legalizing marijuana will be more children who will have their brains damaged than would have occurred without legalization. If you say you care about children, how can you support something that you know will hurt them?
It’s said that Connecticut should legalize marijuana because it will thereby gain tax dollars through sales. This may be true, but if those tax dollars come in a way that will damage thousands of children, are they worth it?
No legislator can seriously say they care about children and at the same time support legalizing marijuana.