Dear Arizona Voters and City Council of Casa Grande:
Several social agencies and religious organizations in Casa Grande are expressing their concern about the possible passage of Proposition 207 in Arizona on Nov. 3, which would legalize the recreational use of marijuana.
Of foremost import, the wording of the proposed legislation takes care to couch its terms in language to minimize the concern about the impact on the young, but it is this very group that is in fact most at risk for abuse, exploitation and the foundation of unhealthy habits such as starting marijuana use at an early age.
This present danger to our youth is evidenced in the increased marketing to children we find in the current marijuana trade. We see this not only in states that have decriminalized recreational use (despite legal restrictions of sales to young people) but also in states like ours that have legalized medical use.
Delivery platforms such as vaping, candy, cookies, soda and marijuana oil are particularly dangerous to a population that is already being targeted on the basis of their susceptibility. Especially egregious is the attempt to capitalize on the long-term economic advantages to the cannabis industry of establishing a young customer base.
The deeper ramifications of the legalization of recreational use of marijuana (impaired driving, decreased productivity and the often disregarded but very real danger of addiction) and the deficiencies of the current proposed legislation (including the targeted use of generated tax revenue as opposed to supplementing the state’s General Fund) are profound.
Limited possibility for legislative change to the proposed legislation should also elicit concern. Changes to inevitable unforeseen difficulties with 207 (as with any new legislation) would be difficult to implement.
Proposition 207 is just not good legislation and is not good for our children. Our hope and our prayer is that the voters of Arizona reject Proposition 207, but if they do not, we would beseech the City Council of Casa Grande and the Legislature and government of Arizona to do what they can to ensure that our children are safeguarded from any adverse consequences.
Faith Alliance of Casa Grande Board of Directors
(Formerly the Emergency Assistance Ministry)