Here Are A Few Problems Associated With Marijuana Legalization and Use

Marijuana legalization and use are tied to a whole host of problems related to law enforcement, public safety, mental health, and other topics.

Here are a few examples of the harm that marijuana causes.

DANGER ON THE ROAD

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the CDC report that after alcohol, marijuana is the substance most often associated with impaired driving.

In Colorado traffic fatalities where the driver tested positive for marijuana have increased 138% since the state legalized marijuana in 2013.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates that the number of drivers involved in fatal crashes in Washington doubled after the state legalized marijuana.

A 2020 study published in JAMA Network Open found that more than 1 in 8 teen drivers reported recently driving after using marijuana, and teens were more than twice as likely to drive after using marijuana than they were to drink and drive.

FUELING THE BLACK MARKET

Despite heavy regulation, authorities in Colorado seized more than five and a half tons of illicit marijuana intended for the black market in 2020.

This year, the Associated Press and NBC News have reported that organized crime and drug cartels are responsible for growing and distributing illicit market marijuana throughout Oregon and California despite legalization. Some of these criminal organizations are tied to labor trafficking, illegal immigration, theft, and violent crime.

DANGEROUS FOR MOTHERS AND CHILDREN

In 2021 a study published in Addiction found infants were 35% more likely to be born preterm, have a low birth weight, and be small for their gestational age, and were more likely to die within a year of birth if their mother used marijuana heavily during pregnancy.

A 2022 study published in JAMA Pediatrics found children and adolescents face an increased risk of mental disorder if their mothers used marijuana during pregnancy.

ACCIDENTAL EXPOSURE AND SECONDHAND SMOKE

Since its legalization in Colorado, ER visits and poison control calls have increased as a result of children accidentally eating food laced with marijuana.

According to the CDC, secondhand marijuana smoke contains THC and can be harmful to infants, children, and others exposed to it.

WORSENING THE MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS

In a 2022 study published in The Lancet, researchers determined that THC concentrations in marijuana have more than doubled in the U.S. over the past decade, and that using marijuana with high levels of THC was linked to an increased risk of psychosis.

A 2019 study published in The Lancet found using marijuana with THC levels exceeding 10% increased the odds of a person suffering a psychotic episode.

A 2021 report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found self-harm rates rose 46% among men ages 21 to 39 in states where commercial marijuana sales were legalized.

CONCLUSION

All of this underscores what we have said for years: Marijuana may be many things, but “harmless” simply is not one of them.

Articles appearing on this website are written with the aid of Family Council’s researchers and writers.

State Library Catalog Reveals Graphic Sexual Content, Pro-LGBT Books in Children’s Sections

Above: a page from the children’s book GayBCs.

Arkansas’ statewide library catalog shows several books containing graphic sexual content are in children’s and young adult sections of libraries around the state.

According to the Arkansas State Library’s digital catalog, Mockingbird, the book Gender Queer is at libraries such as:

  • The Main Library in Little Rock
  • Terry Library in Little Rock
  • Fletcher Library in Little Rock
  • Bentonville Public Library
  • Crowley Ridge Regional Library
  • Eureka Springs Carnegie Public Library
  • Fort Smith Public Library
  • Calhoun County Library
  • Garland County Library

Gender Queer is a graphic novel that frequently has been challenged in schools and libraries because it contains illustrations that show explicit sexual acts involving minors.

The catalog also lists the book L8r, g8r — another book that contains explicit content — at the following libraries:

  • Bentonville Public Library
  • Bob Herzfeld Memorial Library
  • Grant County Library
  • Mabel Boswell Memorial Library
  • Malvern Hot Springs Central Library
  • CALS Maumelle Library
  • Arkansas River Valley Regional Library
  • Garland County Library
  • Fort Smith Public Library
  • Tri-County Regional Library System
  • Greenbrier Library

The book It’s Perfectly Normal — a children’s book that includes illustrations of nudity, sex, and homosexuality — was found listed in catalogs for libraries in Conway, Little Rock, and North Little Rock.

Several pro-LGBT children’s books also appeared in library catalogs around the state, including:

  • They, She, He easy as ABC published for children ages 3-7 (Cross County Library)
  • Bye Bye, Binary, a board book for babies and preschoolers (Crawford County Library System)
  • The GayBCs, a picture book for preschoolers and young children (Crowley Ridge Regional Library)

Unfortunately, there has been a growing trend of public libraries in Arkansas placing sexually explicit and pro-LGBT children’s books in their catalogs.

Parents have found graphic sexual material and pro-LGBT books in children’s sections at public libraries across Arkansas.

Communities can take steps to remove objectionable material from their local libraries.

Library boards and librarians have leeway to establish selection criteria and make decisions about the kinds of material available on the library’s shelves.

Library patrons generally can use a Material Reconsideration Form to ask libraries to remove inappropriate material.

And voters can call on their elected officials to enact laws protecting children from objectionable material in public libraries.

Articles appearing on this website are written with the aid of Family Council’s researchers and writers.