Cal Jernigan – Senior Pastor
Last week, along with a couple of dozen other pastors, I was invited to a meeting with Doug Ducey, the Governor of Arizona. All I knew about the meeting in advance was that it was to discuss Foster Care and the possibility of legalizing marijuana in the state. I immediately decided to attend because I have a HUGE interest in the Foster Care problem. What was most remarkable, though, was what I discovered about the marijuana initiative.
Prior to this meeting, I was rather ambivalent about the marijuana issue. I am certainly not in any way in favor of the recreational use of marijuana, but I must confess I simply saw it as another social issue that was destined to be voted “in” by our ever increasingly free-wheeling society. As I’ve said before, the mantra of our age seems to be: “Don’t tell me what I can’t do!” Apparently we rather enjoy the idea of living without any constraints. So I imagined this to be just another issue which would just slide by and be approved without much restraint. I mean, after all, doesn’t even the government win if you can raise tax revenues?
After this meeting, I feel compelled to speak out about it.
My first surprise (and there were a number of them) was that our Governor is vehemently opposed to this proposal. Formally labeled as Prop 205, this legislation is being promoted by its backers as something that will be very good for our society. It is claimed that this will help fund our schools. It is claimed this will put money into the government’s coffers though taxation. It is claimed that the passing of this proposition will be a benefit to our police and social service sector. Without hesitation Governor Ducey went on record with us as saying, “No it will not!” None of the above is true.
How can he be so sure? Just to our northeast is a state that has become a test ground for all such claims. As you are probably aware, the state of Colorado is one of two states that have already passed laws legalizing the buying, selling, distribution and use of marijuana. If you want to know what happens when a state passes laws legalizing marijuana, one need look no further. Here’s a short list of what Colorado has discovered actually does happen (as documented by our Governor’s office):
- Marijuana related fatalities jumped 62% (they doubled in Washington, the other legal state).
- There is no limit on marijuana use by drivers.
- Employees cannot be penalized for coming to work with marijuana in their systems.
- Many schools have been given none of the money they were promised.
- Judges cannot consider marijuana use in custody cases.
- Colorado’s underage marijuana use is 74% higher than the national average.
- Marijuana-related hospitalization jumped 38% after legalization in Colorado.
- The homeless population in Colorado has dramatically increased.
- There are now more pot stores in Colorado than there are McDonald’s restaurants and Starbucks stores combined.
As if all of this wasn’t enough, we then started talking about the effect the passing of this prop would have on children. We were shown how this product is being packaged in candy and cookies. Imagine eating a cookie only to discover later that it was laced with THC (the ingredient in marijuana that leads to a high). Oh, and by the way, it takes about two hours to begin to feel the effect when consumed in this manner. How many cookies can you eat in that amount of time? How much candy? How much can a kid?
So… who would think to put THC in candy? Only those who want to sell more of their product and make greater profits! Which leads us to this simple thought. Who is behind the promotion and rhetoric regarding Prop 205 anyway? Who stands to make money from it if it passes? This is not rocket science.
NOT WITH OUR KIDS!!!
NOT ON OUR WATCH!!!
I am unashamedly asking you to vote no on Prop 205. Please don’t let the frustration you feel over the Presidential election keep you away from voting. We need to stop this proposition from passing simply for the sake of our children. (BTW, a “no” vote does not negate the legal use of medical marijuana in our state). Oh yeah. And what about the issue of Foster Care? There are now 19,000 children needing to be placed in homes with adults who will care for them. This number just keeps rising.
What will happen if it becomes even easier for adults and kids alike to get stoned?
Think about it!
“The only thing that the legalization of marijuana has brought to our schools has been marijuana.” Denver school Superintendent, Harry C. Bull, Jr.