SPA: Vote ‘no’ on pot initiative |

SPA: Vote ‘no’ on pot initiative

Summit Prevention Alliance
Board of directors and staff

The Summit Prevention Alliance (SPA) board of directors and staff strongly encourage voters in Breckenridge to reject the marijuana initiative proposed by Sensible Breckenridge.

SPA was founded in 1985 by Summit County Government as the Summit County Alcohol and Drug Task Force. Since then, we have worked tirelessly with community organizations, parents, and children to reduce the prevalence of alcohol and drug use by the youth of Summit County.

We have learned much in the last 25 years of marijuana research, including the following:

• The common myth is that marijuana is safe. The fact is, marijuana puts kids at risk. It is harmful to young bodies and minds that are still developing. Marijuana affects the brain and can impair mental health, leading to increased depression and anxiety. Some health risks associated with smoking marijuana are similar to those posed by tobacco.

• Kids who use marijuana regularly show a decrease in academic achievement. Even short-term marijuana use has been shown to cause problems with memory, learning, cognitive development, and problem solving.

• Recent research shows that kids who use marijuana weekly are more likely to get in trouble with the law, struggle in school, have delinquent friends, engage in sex, or find themselves in risky and dangerous situations.

We have worked hard to change the social norms of Summit County in a very difficult resort environment that profits from promoting the “party culture.” This initiative will harm those efforts, and we are extremely concerned about the impact it will have on Summit County youth and their families.

Sensible Colorado’s contention that marijuana is safer than alcohol is only valid if you believe that either substance is healthy for you and your children. Given the amount of resources Breckenridge invests to deal with alcohol-related fights, sexual assaults, and DUIs, it is important to recognize the damaging impact alcohol abuse has on our community. Promoting marijuana as an alternative to alcohol defies logic. It is not supported by research and conveys an extremely confusing message to our youth. This is an extremely discouraging message to send to families who may be considering a move to Breckenridge, and it contradicts positive efforts to attract new families and improve the quality of life for local residents.

Our mission is to promote healthy behaviors and lifestyles in Summit County. We do not believe this initiative would contribute to Breckenridge’s health or lifestyle in a positive manner.

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