MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) – Across the state of Michigan Thursday afternoon, law enforcement, elected officials, prosecutors and more spoke out against Ballot Proposal 1, which would allow for the legalization of recreational marijuana.
Those opposed to legalizing marijuana, in conjunction with Healthy and Productive Michigan held press conferences in 8 districts of Michigan to describe what they believe would be the negative effects of legalized marijuana.
“We think it’s reckless, and we think that the amounts that are being promoted and the limits on any types of regulation are really the dangers,” said Marquette County Prosecuting Attorney Matt Wiese.
Prosecutors and sheriffs from almost every Upper Peninsula county oppose the legalization of recreational marijuana, and believe that if it were to pass, it could be danger to those on the roads.
“We know from Colorado that traffic fatalities have increased by 100% since they passed recreational marijuana,” said Wiese. “So is that all because of marijuana? No, but is there a cause and effect? Absolutely.”
A study done April of 2017 by the American Journal of Public Health found that traffic fatalities have risen in Colorado and Washington at the same rate as control states where marijuana was still illegal, and that number was closer to 30%.
Another area of concern is how marijuana may potentially be advertised, with the worry being children will be targeted.
“Drug use amongst teens in the states that have legalized marijuana is the highest in the country,” said Iron County Sheriff Mark Valesano.
Supporters point out that of the top five states with the highest teen drug use, Alaska is the only one with legalized recreational marijuana.
Some are even afraid of the impact this could have the Michigan workforce.
“There will be more people coming to work high,” said Valesano. There isn’t a good way to test for it as far as traffic safety too, there’s not a good road side test. There will be more absenteeism, there’ll be more workplace accidents.”
The National Academy of Sciences published a review on the effects of marijuana use in the workplace and did not find enough evidence to support a statistical link between marijuana use and workplace accidents.
Proposal 1 will be on the ballot in the state of Michigan on the November 6 general election. For more information on the proposal click here. More information on the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol can be found here. For more information on Healthy and Productive Michigan visit their website.
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