Legalization of marijuana means that marijuana businesses can promote their products and package them in attractive ways to increase market share. According to David Evans, a special adviser to the Drug Free America Foundation, based on experience elsewhere, after legalization the number of marijuana users will double or triple.
Marijuana use negatively impacts problem solving, concentration, motivation and memory. Evans says that teens who use marijuana are more likely to engage in delinquent and dangerous behavior, experience increased risk of schizophrenia and depression, are more likely to have suicidal thoughts and more likely to engage in unsafe sex. He also explains that high school seniors are more likely to drive under the influence of marijuana than after having several drinks.
Evans reports that the costs associated with the legalization of marijuana, such as the increased health and mental wellness issues, and the decrease in productivity, will outweigh any tax benefit that is anticipated from this change.
David Evans is the Executive Director of the Drug Free Schools Coalition of New York.