Letters to the Editor

Letter: Marijuana availability and increased use directly harms our children


How shameful. Governor Jay Inslee is reported to have said, “Money is now going into schools instead of marijuana dealers on the sidewalk, and frankly that is not an unhealthy thing.” What a disgrace. Using schools and the well-being and education of our children to defend recreational marijuana and its taxation in our state.

Adolescent marijuana use has significantly increased in our state post-legalization, as has been documented in numerous studies. Ask any teenager and they will tell you that marijuana use is rampant in our local high schools, which is obviously not surprising given its widespread availability and the perception of its safety. While we can debate the effects on adults, marijuana use clearly has a detrimental impact on a teenager.

An adolescent brain demonstrates significant neuroplasticity, meaning modifications and other dramatic changes continue to occur based on their experiences and overall health. Marijuana use has a deleterious effect on this neuroplasticity and the adolescent’s appropriate growth and progression to adulthood.

We should be ashamed of our governor for defending taxation of recreational marijuana in our state by using it as a solution to longstanding underfunding of public education, when marijuana availability and increased use directly harms our children.

Dr. Aaron Richardson, pediatrician, Pasco