March 19, 2016

Prohibition Weakens Education

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Montpelier (Mar 16) – Marijuana prohibition could be getting in the way of effective youth drug education. Representative Christopher Pearson spoke before the House Judiciary committee saying the need to end the marijuana prohibition is necessary if we want to educate Vermont youths on the dangers of other harmful drugs.

Pearson discussed what he believed to be damaging impacts of prohibition that stems from the classification and division of substances. Alcohol and Tobacco are legal substances in one category, while marijuana is lumped into a group with heroin and meth. Pearson believes that this classification “prevents us from having a necessary and reality based discussion about potential harm of using marijuana” as well as “diminishes the potency” when educating young people about the dangers of a drug like heroin.

Pearson acknowledged that many young people in Vermont will likely try marijuana at some point. However, the prohibition of marijuana along with it being lumped in with dangerous substances is getting in the way of having proper education surrounding marijuana. These much more serious drugs have many more harmful consequences than marijuana. Pearson mentioned that if kids are using marijuana and know that they’re going to wake up and be fine the next day, they may assume the same for other drugs.

Pearson states that the goal is to have a much needed honest discussion about education surrounding marijuana, “And until we end prohibition, I don’t believe we can do that.”

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