Sean T. McAllister: Summit Prevention Alliance off the mark | SummitDaily.com
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Sean T. McAllister: Summit Prevention Alliance off the mark

Sean T. McAllister
Breckenridge

Sensible Breckenridge appreciates the input of the Summit Prevention Alliance (SPA). Sensible Breckenridge strongly agrees that youth should not have access to marijuana. That’s why the Breckenridge initiative makes it clear that marijuana is illegal for anyone under 21. Moreover, it is already a felony under state law to provide minors with marijuana, and Sensible Breckenridge supports that important law to protect youth. The Breckenridge initiative changes nothing in relation to youth, and any attempt to portray it otherwise is misleading.

As a parent of a 15-year-old high school student, it is clear to me that prohibition has harmed our kids. National studies show that high school students find marijuana easier to get than alcohol. The obvious reason for this difference is that people must show an ID to get alcohol. Drug dealers don’t take IDs. Contrary to the myth that marijuana is a gateway drug, prohibition itself is the gateway because people looking for marijuana on the black market are exposed to other harder drugs from unscrupulous drug dealers.

SPA suggests that marijuana must remain illegal so that children will continue to view it as a very dangerous substance. This propaganda has been so successful that children 12-17 recently told surveyors that smoking marijuana is more dangerous than binge drinking five or more drinks once or twice a week. Binge drinking, aside from potentially leading to social problems such as DUI, domestic violence, sexual assault and other acts of violence, can literally kill young people. Clearly, marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol and should be treated legally as such.

SPA should be walking hand in hand with Sensible Breckenridge to state clearly that our current marijuana laws have not protected youth. Unfortunately, they have resorted to tired rhetoric and defended a failed system. I trust that Breckenridge voters will reject the failed system by supporting marijuana law reform in the fall.


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