Front Page Article
The Moral Implications of Recreational Marijuana by Joyce Geiler
A pro-marijuana website touts the beneficial effects of legalizing marijuana including more tax revenues for government, more jobs created in agriculture, sales and retail jobs, increased funding in medical marijuana research, easier access to medical marijuana, proper regulation of marijuana production, and defunding criminal organizations. The website states “More and more parts of the world are accepting the recreational and medical uses of marijuana.” Read More Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? There is, of course, another side to the story.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse speaks to the negative side. Several studies have linked heavy marijuana use to lower income, greater welfare dependence, unemployment, criminal behavior, and lower life satisfaction. Significant differences were found in educational attainment: Fewer of those who engaged in heavy cannabis use completed college, and more had yearly household incomes of less than $30,000. When asked how marijuana affected their cognitive abilities, career achievements, social lives, and physical and mental health, the majority of those who used heavily reported that marijuana had negative effects in all these areas of their lives.
Research has shown that marijuana’s negative effects on attention, memory, and learning can last for days or weeks after the acute effects of the drug wear off, depending on the person’s history with the drug. Consequently, someone who smokes marijuana daily may be functioning at a reduced intellectual level most or all of the time. Studies have also suggested specific links between marijuana use and adverse consequences in the workplace, such as increased risk for injury or accidents. One study among postal workers found that employees who tested positive for marijuana on a pre-employment urine drug test had 55 percent more industrial accidents, 85 percent more injuries, and 75 percent greater absenteeism compared with those who tested negative for marijuana use. Reference here: Read More
Human research has shown that some babies born to women who used marijuana during their pregnancies display altered responses to visual stimuli, increased trembling, and a high-pitched cry, which could indicate problems with neurological development. In school, marijuana-exposed children are more likely to show gaps in problem-solving skills, memory, and the ability to remain attentive. More research is needed, however, to disentangle marijuana-specific effects from those of other environmental factors that could be associated with a mother's marijuana use, such as an impoverished home environment or the mother's use of other drugs. Reference here: Read More
Effects on Drivers
While many suggest that marijuana use impairs brain function, increases psychiatric disorders and is involved in fatal car crashes, studies to support or disprove these claims are inconclusive since it is difficult to separate out the concurrent effects of alcohol which is often used simultaneously with marijuana. However, a new study suggests that, even when sober, some heavy marijuana users are dangerous drivers. The bad driving appears to be isolated to those who started using pot before age 16, researchers reported this January 2020 in Drug and Alcohol Dependence. The theory is that early marijuana use changes the brain, leaving people more impulsive and more apt to make rash decisions. During a simulated driving test, cannabis users were more likely than non-users to speed, hit a pedestrian, cross the center line, miss stop signs and cruise through red lights. The cannabis users were also more likely to score high in impulse behavior. Read about the study here: Read More
CBS Chicago reports that drivers under the influence of marijuana are up to twice as likely to crash, according to a AAA report. In a 30-day period, more than 14 million American drivers got behind the wheel within an hour of lighting up according to the new AAA report. Pot affects reaction time and judgment, and the report claims those 14 million drivers were twice as likely to crash.
But the question remains: How will police test for marijuana impairment while driving? When it comes to marijuana DUIs, there is no breathalyzer, no one-leg stand, no magic bullet. A blood test is used, and five nanograms of THC in the blood stream is considered illegal in Illinois. Legalization doesn’t change that it is illegal to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
“It’s always going to be problematic until law enforcement and employers are willing to adopt a test that measures impairment versus presence because once they use it, it stays in their system for up to 28 days,” said attorney Larry Mishkin with Hoban Law Group. The legalization law in Illinois created a DUI task force through Illinois State Police, the goal of which is to find better roadside testing methods.
The Illinois Sheriffs’ Association expressed their extreme disappointment and concern regarding the passage of the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (HB 1438). Currently, no validated roadside tests are available for use by law enforcement in Illinois. The current process for proving level of impairment would be to perform a blood test.
Illinois State Police had this to say about enforcement: “If a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe the person was under the influence of alcohol, other drug or drugs, intoxicating compound or compounds, or any combination thereof, the law enforcement officer shall request a chemical test or tests which shall be administered at the direction of the arresting officer. When a person submits to a blood test at the request of a law enforcement officer, only certain qualified persons may draw the blood” so it is not as simple as a police-administered breathalyzer test for alcohol. Article here: Read More
The Unexpected Side Effects of Legalizing Weed was reported in June 2015, by Newsweek. The report followed a small town in Colorado that chose to allow growing and sales of cannabis for the hoped-for economic benefits. Critical matters beyond fees and licensing criteria were overlooked, including agricultural issues such as pesticide use and the impact of outdoor growing facilities on other crops. As in Illinois, agriculture is a dominant economic driver in most of Colorado's small towns. Some farmers expressed alarm over the potential of marijuana growing operations in close proximity to established crops. For instance, peach growers were worried about the potential spread of pests, molds and fungi from cannabis to their established orchards. The agricultural implications of the cannabis industry, it seems, were not a consideration at the time it became a legal crop.
With cannabis still illegal under federal law, there is a lack of information about what pests attack cannabis and what pesticides can be used safely on the plants, which has resulted in confusion and, in some cases, dangerous growing practices. Plants at several growing facilities in the Denver area had to be quarantined because of the misuse of "pesticides." The pesticides, it turns out, were improvised concoctions of chemicals, including some unidentifiable mixtures. Cannabis growers have been left to improvise since no commercial pesticides are labeled for legal use on cannabis plants.
Law-enforcement issues, such as marijuana-intoxicated driving and the illegal movement of vast amounts of cannabis product into other states, are among unforeseen challenges. Other symptoms of Colorado's pot culture include increased use among teens, resulting in educational problems in middle schools and high schools, a spike in "edibles"-related emergency room visits, consumption by children and pets resulting in illness and death and regulatory confusion surrounding public consumption and enforcement.
Towns where cannabis replaces traditional means of income, imperil themselves by staking the future on a substance that is still illegal in most states. The cost of increased law enforcement, drugged-driving incidents, fatal crashes, loss of productivity and a huge spike in gang-related crime bring into question the cost-benefit of those dollars. Denver's homeless population has exploded since the legalization of recreational marijuana. And there are indications that finite tourist dollars are going more to pot and less to Colorado's iconic natural wonders. Bottom line for Colorado is that its “Cannabis-Industrial Complex” may not be able to sustain a complex economy traditionally built on natural resources, agriculture, innovation and family-friendly tourism. Article here: Read More
Colorado Christian University’s Centennial Institute scoured 2017 data and calculated that Coloradans spend $4.57 for every $1 in tax revenue legal marijuana generates. Long term health consequences were not figured in but, like tobacco, commercial marijuana is likely to have health consequences that cannot be determined for decades. Read More
Current Compliance reports that in states with medical marijuana laws, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims rose 9.9% post legalization. While statistical evidence is not yet available, data suggests that workers’ compensation claims increase in states post-medical marijuana legalization.
While typically courts have been in favor of employers’ rights, 2017 saw multiple courts across the country rule in favor of employees who had taken employers to court over marijuana use in the workplace. As this becomes more common, what will litigation cost small businesses over the next 5 years? Almost 25% of cases that go to court for judgement cost the defendant (in this case, the employer), an average of $500,000. Read More
Involvement of Banking
The marijuana industry and its promoters are pushing a bill granting increased investment into the industry. The banking industry is now ramping up lobbying on Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho. who recently announced his committee, the Senate Banking Committee, will take up legislation supported by the pot industry, disingenuously named the “SAFE Banking Act.”
The legislation, which would create an exception to U.S. banking law to allow lenders to make loans to marijuana firms even though it remains against federal law, is part of an aggressive effort to commercialize today’s new super-potent pot. This would give pot shops and their corporate parent companies access to more investment capital despite the fact, or rather because of the fact, that marijuana is being used increasingly by young people in the form of flavored pot vapes and marijuana vape oils account for more than 80% of the cases of recent mysterious lung illnesses. Read More
Time for Marijuana?
What is the Coalition of Apostolic Alliances?
Gatekeepers for Illinois
Reclaiming and Releasing Historical Moves of God
Restoring Ancient Pathways
Unlocking the Region for Kingdom Advancement
Ekklesia Awakening in Illinois
Praying Over Illinois Rivers
The Progressive Income Tax in U.S. History
Graduated, Progressive, Variable Tax Structure
Honoring Those who Helped in the Flood
Illinois Treasurer and Comptroller
Jesse White, Secretary of State
Kwame Raoul, Illinois Attorney General
Education: Home Schools
Education: Private Schools
August, 2016 .
Education: Magnet Schools
Education: Public Schools
Schools, Part 2
Criminal Justice Reform
Graduated Income Tax Revisited
Farm Subsidies: Economic Engineering
Ekklesia: Millionaires in Illinois
Ekklesia: District Map Making in Illinois
Ekklesia: Property Taxes in Illinois
Ekklesia: Broken Pension System in Illinois
Ekklesia: Fracking Revisited
Ekklesia: Media Bias
Ekklesia: Illinois Farmers
Ekklesia: A Prayer Strategy for Illinois Schools
Ekklesia: Feeding the Poor
Ekklesia: The Seven Mountains of culture and the Five-Fold Ministry of the Church
Ekklesia: Turn Around Agenda for Illinois
Christian Entertainment in Illinois
Tribute to Pastor Steve Barr
Christian Charities in Illinois
Christian Colleges in Illinois
Illinois Prayer under the Direction of Stan and Delbra Pratt
Franklin Graham and the Samaritan's Purse
October , 2015.
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