Opposes Legalized Marijuana for Recreational Use


By Sheila Polk, Yavapai County Attorney

County Attorney Polk opposes any effort to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Medical marijuana has been legally available in Arizona since 2010. Now, the medical marijuana dispensaries are pushing for laws to allow them to sell their marijuana for recreational use.   A large, emerging body of research shows that marijuana is not the benign substance the large corporations pushing for legalization would have us believe. A recent study published in JAMA Psychiatry linked long-term, heavy use to psychological and physical health concerns, lower educational attainment, unemployment, and increases in motor vehicle crashes. A massive study published last year in the Lancet found a connection between high-potency THC—the chemical in the marijuana plant that causes the high — and an increased incidence of psychosis.

Colorado legalized marijuana for recreational use in 2012 with disastrous results. Fatalities involving stoned drivers have risen significantly. Poison control centers have seen rapid increases in the number of calls about children exposed to pot. Youth and young adult use is skyrocketing and the black market is thriving, hiding in plain sight through the legal market.

County Attorney Polk believes that medicine is never for recreational use. The legalization of marijuana for recreational use is a failed experiment that is difficult to reverse once a state moves in that direction. Polk is fighting hard against the powerful marijuana industry to keep recreational marijuana use out of Arizona.