In a letter to the editor titled “Legalization of pot harms teens, society” [Dec. 6], there was some misleading information.
It claimed the following: Colorado ranks No. 1 in the country for teen marijuana use, drivers in fatal car crashes testing positive have doubled, somehow the rate of homelessness in Colorado is linked to legalization, and that these are all reasons to keep it illegal.
Tackling the first claim, I’ll note that a poll by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment shows the rate of use among teenagers dropped after legalization. The percentage of high-schoolers using marijuana in Colorado is lower than the national average.
While the federal study contests this, both find themselves within one another’s margin of error, and neither show a significant increase or decrease. Legalization has not caused any problems in teen uptake.
The second claim is accurate, more drivers involved in fatal accidents test positive. But that alone doesn’t say much. The more people are using, of course, the more will test positive. You can test positive for up to 12 weeks.
What’s important is the total amount of fatal accidents, and while it is rising, that’s happening nationwide. Since 2011, the vehicular death toll in the U.S. rose 15.6 percent, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The third claim I shouldn’t even have to address. There’s nothing there to imply causation. Colorado has always had a homelessness problem, and the recent rise is from homeless people moving to Colorado, not more becoming homeless.
There’s no reasonable argument against legalization. All criminalization does is ruin people’s lives by getting them incarcerated for victimless activity.
Furthermore, it leads to a market demand for dangerous underground activity and the use of harmful substances.
Those fighting to keep it illegal are the drug cartels’ best friends.