Reader’s Voice: Deficits tied to legalizing marijuana use

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August 6, 2018
Dear editor;
U.S. senator Dick Durbin recently introduced a bill to crack down on flavored tobacco in e-cigarettes. He believes big tobacco is marketing to kids with flavors such as cake batter, whipped cream, and gummy bears. As a mother and grandmother, I applaud his efforts.
But, there’s another industry targeting kids right under our adult noses: Big marijuana.
Marijuana-infused sweets such as gummy bears, jolly ranchers, cotton candy, cookies, and lollipops are attractive to young persons. Candy and cookies have names such as Twigz, Goober, Dab-A-Honey, Keef Kat, Buddahfinger, Double Pupp Oeo, and Twixed.
One Colorado pot dispensary advertises 20% off everything with Student I.D.. Others use colorful cartoon characters such as Fred Flintstone and Cookie Monster. Vape pens are made to look like Hello Kitty and little alien robots.
Tobacco addiction is bad, but marijuana addiction is worse. Research confirms that regular use of marijuana has a neurotoxic effect on teenage brains, including permanent brain damage.
Teens are already using because they think marijuana is harmless, it’s medicine.
The million-dollar question is: Why would Illinois lawmakers even consider legalizing it for recreational use? The answer is: To bail themselves out of years of overspending at the expense of our kids.
Kathy Valente
Director of Operations
Illinois Family Institute
Tinley Park

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