Editor:

The good thing about the new marijuana law is that communities can opt out of retail sales and limit drug traffic.

Don't buy the "tax revenues" talking points. According to the Centennial Institute, “for every dollar gained in tax revenue, Coloradans spend approximately $4.50 to mitigate the effects of legalization.”

Far from being an innocuous drug that the marijuana proponents portrays as safe, marijuana has serious health risks that should alarm any community.

Cannabis use is likely to increase the risk of developing schizophrenia and other psychoses, including social anxiety disorder. People who used cannabis are almost three times as likely to use opiates.

Since Colorado legalized weed, fatal crashes whose driver tested positive for marijuana has doubled. There has been an increase in marijuana-related emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and violent crime.

More than a fourth of Colorado’s middle and high school students use pot more than once daily. Chronic use by those under 25 can lead to a permanent loss of up to 8 IQ points.

Instead of making Big Marijuana richer, make your community a refuge for families seeking to shield their loved ones from this drug’s destructive path.

Talk to your local elected officials about opting your community out. The costs of legal pot to families, communities, and lives are not worth it.

Kathy Valente

Illinois Family Institute

Tinley Park

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