Marijuana industry’s campaign donations are tainted

Authors: Donald Sweeting, Jeff Hunt - October 13, 2017 - Updated: October 13, 2017

Donald Sweeting

It has come to our attention that state legislators are accepting campaign donations from the marijuana industry. As educators and researchers, we hope this is not the case. Marijuana has devastated Colorado by nearly every metric and we are particularly concerned about marijuana’s health impact on youth. Consider the following statistics:

Colorado youth use rate continues to be #1 in the nation (RMHIDTA Report 2017)

The number of Colorado drivers involved in fatal crashes who tested positive for marijuana use jumped 145 percent — from 47 in 2013 to 115 in 2016. (The Denver Post)

One Pueblo hospital is reporting nearly half the babies tested in one month had marijuana in their systems. (CBS4)

Between 2013 and 2016, Douglas County Schools have seen a 149% increase in juveniles caught with marijuana. (Deputy Jay Martin, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office)

“So far, the only thing that the legalization of marijuana has brought to our schools has been marijuana.” (Cherry Creek Schools Superintendent Dr. Harry Bull)

"Selfishness is the No. 1 priority in Congress. So we avoid tough votes at any expense — any expense," says U.S. Rep. Ken Buck at a publication launch event for his book “Drain the Swamp: How Washington Corruption is Worse Than You Think" on Monday, April 10, 2017, at Colorado Christian University's Lakewood campus. (Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman)
Jeff Hunt

The Institute of Medicine, American Society of Addiction Medicine, American Medical Association, American Cancer Society, American Academy of Pediatrics, The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, The American Glaucoma Society and the American Academy of Ophthalmology all agree that smoked marijuana as medicine is unacceptable. (Smart Approaches to Marijuana)

Chronic use of smoked marijuana is associated with increased risk of cancer, lung damage, bacterial pneumonia, and poor pregnancy outcomes. (American College of Physicians)

Persistent cannabis users show neuropsychological decline from childhood to midlife. (National Academy of Sciences)

58% more black youth and 29% more Hispanic youth have been arrested for marijuana possession since legalization. (Colorado Department of Public Safety)

We saw a banner in one of our public schools recently that read, “Our greatest national resource is the minds of our children.” It is clear from the data above that the marijuana industry is a direct threat to the minds, health and well-being of Colorado’s youth.

Colorado Christian University asks that you audit your donations for any money given by the marijuana industry and donate those funds to marijuana youth prevention and recovery organizations.

We are happy to meet with lawmakers to discuss marijuana’s devastating impacts on Colorado. We look forward to the legislature’s leadership on this issue and its work to make Colorado a better state for its citizens and especially its young people.

Donald Sweeting

Donald Sweeting

Donald Sweeting is president of Colorado Christian University

Jeff Hunt

Jeff Hunt

Jeff Hunt is the director of the Centennial Institute. You can follow him on twitter at twitter.com/jeffhunt.