I encourage the Wheat Ridge City Council to not allow the establishment of marijuana accessory consumption rooms as provided for in the recently passed House Bill 1258. And, I would further …
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I encourage the Wheat Ridge City Council to not allow the establishment of marijuana accessory consumption rooms as provided for in the recently passed House Bill 1258.
And, I would further recommend that the Council move toward a marijuana free Wheat Ridge. After all, the goal of Wheat Ridge is to establish a family friendly, healthy community. Witness the new development at 38th and Wadsworth and on the west side of I-70 along with many other projects around town.
All businesses are members of society and what they do greatly impacts the society. There are two main principles that all businesses owe the community in which they operate:
First, do not do things which make society worse. Second, try to make society better.
So how is the marijuana business doing? A short list –
1. Colorado remains above the national average in 12-17-year-olds using marijuana.
2. Hospitalizations related to marijuana have increased over 70 percent since leagalization.
3. Colorado crime rate grew 11 times faster than in the nations 30 largest cities.
4. Last year Governor Hickenlooper requested an additional $16 million for new housing for the homeless.
5. In Colorado the percentage of all traffic deaths where the driver tested positive for marijuana is now twice what it was in 2010. Who said marijuana never killed anyone?
6. Other costs include cognitive impairment and dropping out of school, psychosis, schizophrenia, suicide attempts and suicides, petty crime, addiction to marijuana and other drugs and then there are illegal neighborhood grow houses.
7. Recently in a Denver Post article it was stated that employers were beginning to lower their employment requirements concerning marijuana as they have been having trouble finding enough qualified workers. Is that what we want – lower standards? Are we not striving for excellence?
8. All the above items represent a cost to society. And one more cost that all of us are paying is higher car insurance premiums according to one agent I have spoken with.
With all the above destructive items, there must be a pony in here somewhere, if you know what I mean. You say that pony is the tax revenue? It will not begin to cover all the costs to society. Not even close. Check out the stats on Alcohol – and everyone says that marijuana is no worse than alcohol.
What we have here is a business that has foisted so many costs on us coming from so many sectors – and they are all costs of destruction to our community. How is this industry fulfilling the basic business principles of not doing things which make society worse and trying to make society better? I believe it is failing.
John Butler is a Wheat Ridge resident. He presented a version of this speech before the Wheat Ridge City Council on May 14.
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