Is legal marijuana’s effect on society’s health worth the boost in revenue?
Fred Carstensen’s article analyzing the revenue prospects of legalized recreational marijuana on the future of Connecticut’s economic recovery, to be fair, should also analyze the socioeconomic costs involved with its passage to present an accurate picture of the overall fiscal impact on the economy.
Clearly, the professor’s article does not advocate for or against its passage, but I am sure that the proponents of the bill to legalize it will use the information as a means to justify its adoption. The truth is, however, it is widely known and is generally accepted consensus in the medical and scientific community that short-term and long-term use of marijuana is harmful to human health. Chronic health conditions arising from long-term exposure to marijuana lead to increased health costs, decreased aptitude and IQ scores in teens in adolescents leads to reduced job productivity.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse released a research report in July 2020 explored the latest research on marijuana, including the scope of marijuana use in the U.S., its health consequences, its effects on everyday activities, and available treatments. The report referenced 113 different studies conducted in the U.S. and abroad and while there are some therapeutic benefits associated with its use, marijuana comes with a number of health risks.
With the known health risks in mind, the questions then become “What impacts will these have upon our economy in terms of direct expenditures for health and health care?” and, “What impact will lower cognitive function and intellectual disabilities have [presumably] on school and job performance?”
Eager for the cash grab and satisfied with the short-term effects on increased revenues, legislators will be quick to ignore the health and the science and the unrealized future economic burdens because everyone else appears to be cashing-in.
Sad, how people on the one hand will argue so loudly to save the planet, but can barely utter a word when it comes to the health of its inhabitants.
George Boath lives in Statford.
CTViewpoints welcomes rebuttal or opposing views to this and all its commentaries. Read our guidelines and submit your commentary here.