County board resolution opposes marijuana legalization.

January 23, 2018

County board resolution opposes marijuana legalization.


By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief. 

LUDINGTON — The Mason County Board of Commissioners is expected to take a vote on a resolution to oppose the legalization of marijuana during its monthly meeting in February. The commission’s Courts and Public Safety Committee voted 2-1 today to place the resolution on the board’s Feb. 13 meeting. Commissioner Gary Castonia was opposed to the resolution while committee Chairman Steve Hull and Commissioner Lew Squires voted in favor.

“I still think they should legalize it and tax the hell out of it,” Castonia said. “You can get more tax money that way.”

Squires said he saw it differently. “I don’t think things should always be done for the generation of money but should be done for the overall welfare of the citizens,” he said.

The resolution came to the county from the West Michigan Community Mental Health Board of Directors with the note that states: “This resolution does not relate to the use of marijuana approved for medical purposes in compliance with current state law.”

The resolution reads:

“Whereas, proposals to legalize the general use of marijuana are being placed on the ballot in communities across Michigan; and

“Whereas, there is significant evidence demonstrating that non-medical or recreational use of marijuana has a profoundly negative impact on our youth, particularly teenagers; and

“Whereas, (the) Mason County youth report via the Michigan Profile for Healthy Youth (MiPHY) in 2014 (states) that only 39% of students thought marijuana use was risky, 45% of students surveyed reported that it would be easy or very easy to get marijuana, and 12% reported that they have used marijuana in the past 30 days.

“Whereas, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that one in six teens that use marijuana become addicted to its use, and

“Whereas, “Monitoring the Future, 2013” reports that in states where medical marijuana use has been legalized, about one-third of twelfth graders reported access to another person’s medical marijuana supply, and

“Whereas, “Rocky Mountain HIDTA, 2015: reports that there was a 40% increase in drug-related suspensions and expulsions in Colorado from school year 2008-2009 to 2013-2014.

“Whereas, National Highway Traffic Association reports that driving under the influence of marijuana is associated with an increased risk of car crashes, especially fatal crashes; and

“Whereas, Join Together reports that the active ingredient in marijuana, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), has increased significantly from an average of 1% in 1970 to 30% in 2013, making today’s marijuana an alarmingly more potent drug; and

“Whereas, general marijuana use and possession is not permitted by federal law and state law; and

“Whereas, it is not possible to foresee and mitigate all the associated risks and impact to our communities through the legalization of marijuana for general use; and

“Whereas, Mason County recognizes the need to educate all sectors of our community regarding the dangers of non-medical marijuana use; 

“Wherefore, be it resolved, Mason County is opposed to the legalization of marijuana for general use; and

“Be it further resolved, Mason County encourages other communities to oppose the legalization of marijuana for general use including the adoption of similar resolution in opposition to the legalization of non-medical marijuana. 

The board of commissioners meets at 7 p.m. on Feb. 13 at the Mason County Courthouse.

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