After 71 percent of Washington D.C. residents voted in favor of legalizing marijuana for recreational use, leave it to a Republican politician bought by Big Pharma to ruin it. Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) is leading the forefront of GOPers in Congress who are blocking the law’s implementation.
What’s most disturbing about this case is that Congress can rule the laws of Washington D.C., but the nation’s capitol has no representation in Congress. Harris included a provision in the Congressional spending so that city residents are now blocked from implementing the heavily favored marijuana law. The congressman still resorts to scare tactics and baseless information to convince Congress that marijuana is dangerous.
“Relaxing [marijuana] laws clearly leads to more teenage drug use,” said Harris. “It should be intuitively obvious to everyone that if you legalize marijuana for adults, more children will use marijuana because the message that it’s dangerous will be blunted.”
Other than using a poor choice of words, Harris is outright wrong about loosened marijuana laws causing more youth to use. The Journal of Adolescent Health found that legalizing marijuana doesn’t increase use among teens. The JAH compiled data from 1991 to 2011 and sampled over 11 million teenaged students.
“There were no statistically significantly differences in marijuana use before and after policy change for any state pairing,” stated the study. “In the regression analysis, we did not find an overall increased probability of marijuana use related to the policy change.”
So, what vested interest does Harris have? He’s a former physician who still has ties to medical professionals. Most telling, however, is that health professionals and Big Pharma donated over $300,000 to Harris during the 2014 election cycle. Most of the donations came from pain physician groups, which are most threatened by marijuana legalization.