State lawmakers are pushing the legalization of “super weed.” The 500-plus page bill (SB 7) that was introduced earlier this month in Springfield should greatly alarm parents and grandparents:
• No cap on THC levels. This is the substance that gets users intoxicated. The marijuana of the 1960s and 1970s only contained 1-3 percent THC. Today, the levels are 20 percent or more. The Dutch government walked back their marijuana policy and now considers cannabis with 15 percent THC a hard drug and illegal.
• High potency marijuana use is linked to increases in addiction, psychosis, schizophrenia and violence.
• Home Grows. SB 7 allows adults to grow up to five marijuana plants in their home(s). What good is a community opt-out when neighbors are legally permitted to grow it? Moreover, who wants to live near pot cultivation centers?
• Marijuana surplus. Cultivating excessive amounts of marijuana is not hypothetical. Conservatively, five plants could produce 10 pounds of marijuana per year. That is more than 10,000 joints a year. No one can use that much marijuana. Where will the surplus go?
There are many other reasons to oppose this policy. In short, legalization is just not worth the social costs to our families and communities.
David E. Smith
Illinois Family Institute