Legalization of recreational marijuana is wrong

Published 11:16 am Thursday, January 21, 2021

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To the Editor:

Virginia is now poised to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. For many years decisions have been made, which in my opinion have removed my beloved Commonwealth of Virginia, and my country, further and further from being “under God.” While I support the use of medical marijuana, I vehemently oppose legalization of “recreational” marijuana.
When reviewing information from JLARC, the Report to the Virginia General Assembly and Governor of Virginia Impact on the Commonwealth of Legalizing the Sale and Personal Use of Marijuana, and other reports, it is quite clear that it is extremely complicated decision, requiring Virginia to:

  • Create a statewide market;
    • Issue licenses for many types of major business operations;
    • Enter an arena where the FULL health impacts are not known but it is known that marijuana presents several health and safety risks;
    • Expend millions of tax dollars in up-front investment;
    • Create a massive PERMANENT state bureaucracy funded initially with tax dollars and then continuing with the CONFLICTING goals of maximizing revenue while reducing or minimizing recreational marijuana use, deterring its use by the underage, and offering treatment; and,
    • Produce yet another regressive tax policy since taxes on marijuana products (just as those on alcohol, tobacco and the lottery), are generally more likely to be consumed by individuals in lower-income brackets.
    It is my hope and prayer that thousands of Virginia Christians and others agree that they do not wish their tax dollars to facilitate marijuana use in this manner and will act to immediately let their representatives to the General Assembly know where they stand. My fellow Virginians, surely we are better than this.

Jane Maddrey