Marijuana Use Does Kill People

March 23, Drug and Alcohol Dependence 114 (2011) 134-139.

An Open Letter to the Washington Legislature

March 14, .  If these bills move towards passage, we urge you to include our provisions in the final bill.  Or if they are defeated but voters legalize marijuana in 2012, we urge you to include these provisions in the regulatory framework that Initiative 1149 calls for the legislature to construct.

Why must children be protected?  Two important reasons:

  1. Marijuana interferes with children’s ability to succeed in school.
  2. The younger children are when they start using marijuana, the more likely they’ll become addicted.  Teens who start using marijuana before age 14 are six times more likely to develop addiction than those who start at age 21.  Today, even though marijuana is illegal, so many adolescents are using it that marijuana is the primary drug used by Washington children entering treatment.

California voters narrowly defeated marijuana legalization last November.  The RAND Corporation estimated that legalization there would reduce the price of marijuana by 80 percent and use would double.

We doubt that you want a similar outcome in Washington—twice the number of children using marijuana, twice the number failing in school, twice the number entering treatment.

Our provisions will go a long way to prevent that from happening.  We urge you to include them in any marijuana legalization legislation in your state.  Thank you for considering our request.

National Families in Action

Bill to Legalize Marijuana for Recreational Use Introduced in Washington State Legislature

March 4, 2011–In late January, fourteen legislators in the Washington State House of Representatives introduced House Bill 1550 to legalize marijuana for recreational use.

In a first for a major U.S. newspaper, the Seattle Times published an editorial that endorsed legalization and called for passage of the bill.

House Bill 1550 would permit marijuana to be sold in state liquor stores, permit citizens to grow marijuana at home for personal use, set an age limit of 21, and charge the State Liquor Board with licensing growers, distributors, and sellers throughout the state.

The bill also would legalize all marijuana drug paraphernalia and permit cities and counties to end legalization in their jurisdictions via a petition initiative process.  Thirty percent of voters would have to sign the petition and a majority would have to pass it in the next general election to prevent legalization from continuing in their city, town, or county.

The editors say the bill is unlikely to pass, and if it does the governor is likely to veto it, but warn that a much looser legalization initiative has already been filed for the 2012 elections.

Sensible Washington files Initiative 1135

A group of legalization proponents called “Sensible Washington” filed Initiative 1135, the Marijuana Reform and Legislation Act, with the Secretary of State in January.

The initiative removes all penalties for adults age 18 or older who “cultivate, possess, transport, sell, or use marijuana.”  No provisions for how to carry out legalization are specified.  Instead, the initiative directs the state legislature to develop rules, regulations, and a taxation system.

Proponents withdrew the initiative temporarily March 3 but plan to re-file it after amending some of its language.  Upon re-filing, the initiative will be given a new number.

An Invitation:  Let’s Talk

We invite you to have a conversation about how to protect kids if voters legalize marijuana.  The subject of the conversation is not about whether to legalize marijuana.  Many support legalization.  Many oppose it, including us.  We don’t want to see a third addictive drug industry emerge that targets children as potential lifetime customers, like the tobacco and alcohol industries do.

But voters may legalize marijuana in some states in 2012.  If they do, we want to know what you think.  What kinds of provisions would prevent a marijuana industry from advertising, marketing, and selling the drug to kids?  Take a look at our provisions on this website here or download them here.

Then tell us what you think.  Add a comment.  Join the conversation.

(Please include your first and last name.  Comments lacking this information will not be published.)

One Impact of Legalizing Marijuana as Medicine

December 16, that must be in any law that legalizes marijuana. If voters in any state take that step two years from now, we want to make absolutely certain that a commercial marijuana industry cannot market or sell the drug to anyone under age 21.


November 9, , Mr. Guither twisted a news release about a new campaign to protect children from any legalized drugs. The release was issued by National Families in Action (NFIA), an organization that has worked for 33 years to help parents keep their kids safe, healthy, and drug-free. Mr. Guither said:

The entire campaign is about the assumption that marijuana will be legalized.

He went on to suggest that two of the campaign advisors agree with him. Mr. Guither’s statements are preposterous and devious. In spinning this story, he is proving why voters don’t trust legalization proponents –he can’t tell the truth.

Our news release said that NFIA is opposed to legalization of marijuana; it also said we understand there’s a chance that voters may disagree with us. With Proposition 19 on this year’s ballot and new propositions in the wings for 2012 in California (again), Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and Nevada, that’s obvious. We don’t say that marijuana will be legalized, we say that it may be legalized.

NFIA’s stand is simple: we stand for children, and legalized marijuana will hurt children. Yet, should voters legalize marijuana in the future, we’ve developed 12 regulatory provisions that legislators can apply to propositions voters pass. The provisions insure that a legal marijuana industry will not market or sell the drug to children. That’s the purpose of our campaign. Mr. Guither dismisses us with this:

Of course, it’s the same old “what about the children” nonsense.

Nonsense? I guess he thinks children are disposable garbage when it comes to drugs; I guess he believes that drugs trump children.

We developed the 12 provisions with some of the country’s most knowledgeable and thoughtful experts about how to protect children from our two legal addictive drugs, alcohol and tobacco. The provisions take advantage of more than 150 years of experience with the tobacco and alcohol industries. Mr. Guither’s spin on the 12 provisions?

Of course, a lot of their claims and demands are nonsense.

Apparently Mr. Guither believes that anyone who uses facts to protect children from drugs is disposable garbage in the face of legalizing drugs.

With voices like Pete Guither spinning for legalization proponents, it’s no wonder California voters didn’t approve Proposition 19. Mr. Guither’s lust for legal marijuana leaves children as less than an afterthought. Parents in California and other states may think otherwise.

Jeannine F. Addams, Member of the Board of Directors, National Families in Action.

How Many Teenagers Become Addicted to Cigarettes

November 5, ,” and click on the image to find the answer to this question.

Campaign Stump Speech

October 29, 2010–Please feel free to download this Campaign “Stump Speech.” Use it to explain why citizens must ask policymakers to include the 12 Provisions from But What about the Children? in any law that legalizes marijuana in order to protect the nation’s children. Click on slide to download.

Why This Campaign?

September 17, to protect children if marijuana is legalized, join the Campaign and let your policymakers know you insist that the Campaign’s provisions must be included in any law that legalizes marijuana.