Guest Opinion: Keep marijuana dispensaries away from Mill City for adolescents' health – Statesman Journal

Dr. Leon O. Harrington

As a child and adolescent psychiatrist practicing in the Mid-Willamette Valley and Mill City for the last 43 years, I encourage Mill City voters to continue the ban on marijuana dispensaries and processing within city limits. 

Passed by voters in 2016, the ban would be overturned by Petition 2021-1 on the Nov. 2 ballot.

Why advocate to put kids first and forego possible tax dollars to city coffers? 

Because marijuana hurts our kids. Medical research shows: the harmful effects from marijuana usage in those under the age of 20 and, that proximity to dispensaries increases usage in early teens.

There are many valid reasons why marijuana, which contains THC and at least 140 other cannabinoids, is still illegal under federal law within the Controlled Substance Act. Addiction, co-occurring substance abuse, suicidal thoughts and attempts, new-onset psychoses and paranoia, permanent IQ decreases of about eight points, increased impulsivity, educational underperformance and increased rates of motor vehicle accidents are a few of the long-term consequences that are well documented in minors using marijuana.

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