Laura Hudson: Marijuana Bill Would Endanger SC Children, Public Safety
“The collateral damage of legalizing marijuana is far-reaching …”
March 29, 2018 by LAURA HUDSON
After 33 years representing crime victims in the S.C. General Assembly, I remain astounded at the short sightedness of many Senators and Representatives; especially as exhibited by the so-called Compassionate Care Act, known as S.212 introduced by Senator Tom Davis of Beaufort.
Of course, the Compassionate Care bill is neither compassionate nor caring for the vast majority of South Carolina citizens, but is a poorly veiled attempt to legalize recreational marijuana.
The collateral damage of legalizing marijuana is far-reaching, as exhibited by the states that have passed such law: decreased productivity among workers, huge spikes in traffic deaths, increase in homeless populations, criminal activity, rise in drug cartels, loan sharking, social service burdens, suicides, job-related accidents, contaminated poisoned products, increase in ER and medical needs, decreased school attendance and younger and younger users. Marijuana is the #1 addiction in teens.
Scandalously, our state has remained at the top nationally in impaired driving fatalities — this past year rating sixth in the nation, regardless of population.
Why anyone would be so callous as to add to our highway statistics the recreational use of many forms of a federally illegal drug — marijuana — is inexcusable.
The twisting of facts to try to foster this scourge on our citizens has surpassed comprehension. Some folks think if you tell a lie loud enough and often enough it becomes some sort of truth.
Proponents of the bill have repeatedly misrepresented the Winthrop Poll results. In a poll conducted by Winthrop and reported by The (Columbia, S.C.) State October 1, 2016, the public resoundingly (77 percent) expressed that medical marijuana should be under the authority of the FDA just as other drugs, with researched dose levels and the ability to be prescribed by physicians, not just recommended as Senator Davis’s bill condones.
Desiring to help those whose medical conditions might be relieved by Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC — a component of marijuana), is a worthy goal but not at the peril of hundreds of other citizens, especially our children.
Having served on the S.C. Child Fatality Advisory Committee for 19 years, I have reviewed thousands of suspicious, unexplained and violent deaths of children aged seventeen and under. Many of the cases reviewed reveal “parenting under the influence” of a myriad of drugs, both legal and illegal: alcohol, marijuana, meth, opioids, heroin, cocaine, over the counter drugs, etc. leading to the deaths of the children in their care.
Many of these deaths are directly linked to marijuana use by a caregiver. In some of these cases a child is born to a “using” caregiver fails to thrive. In others, they are suffocated by a parent so high or so impaired that they roll over on a child or place the child in unsafe sleeping conditions. Some neglect critical medical needs or basic food or allow the child access to marijuana to ingest.
Legalizing marijuana will lull our citizenry into the false belief that marijuana is harmless.