Dear Editor,

This June, The New York Times published an article entitled “Psychosis, Addiction, Chronic Vomiting: As Weed Becomes More Potent, Teens Are Getting Sick” It told how “Elysse was 14 when she first started vaping cannabis. It didn’t smell, which made it easy to hide from her parents. “

The article describes how “Although… illegal in the United States for those under 21, it has become more accessible…” and “…adolescents who frequently use high doses of cannabis may also experience psychosis… a lifelong psychiatric disorder, an increased likelihood of developing depression and suicidal ideation, changes in brain anatomy and connectivity and poor memory.”

The article adds “…over the two-year interval from 2017 to 2019, the number of kids who reported vaping marijuana over the last 30 days rose among all grades, nearly tripling among high school seniors…” and “One rigorous study found that the risk of having a psychotic disorder was five times higher among daily high potency cannabis users … than those who had never used it.” 

The article mentions another family – “ …her son did not have any mental health problems and excelled in school. But he eventually started using high potency marijuana products multiple times a day, and this, …, ‘made him completely delusional’… Johnny had obtained his own medical marijuana card when he turned 18 and had begun dealing to younger kids. …(he) died after jumping from a six-story building. He was 19.” 

This fall, against city staff advice, Santa Monica ballot measure HMP will allow the taxation of pot sales in Santa Monica. This is essentially a trial vote on allowing recreational pot sales.

Santa Monica voters have a choice this November – support our children, or support recreational pot-shops. There is no middle ground. (We already have medical marijuana shops – so there is no medical justification for this.)

When Californians legalized pot they just thought they were saving people from long prison sentences for minor infractions, not permitting the industrial sale of high-potency drugs disguised as candy to our children.

Studies have shown that the presence of stores increases the consumption of pot products by children in the neighborhood – even if they are not of legal age.

Pot doesn’t have to cause reeking smoke… our kids will be popping pot-candy without us having a clue. They will be inhaling odorless vapes and we will have no idea.

The amount of tax revenue generated by pot will be a pittance compared with the mental health costs, loss of achievement, and lifetime loss of earnings of our children.

Parent-Teacher-Associations should be concerned about anything affecting the educational achievements of our children. The peddling of drugs that will seriously lower educational outcomes is absolutely of concern to PTAs.

First it was vaping, now it is pot. Again, business and politicians see our children as nothing but cash-machines, whose futures can be sold for peanut tax amounts and a flood of campaign contributions, leaving them wasted, washed up and suffering enduring mental harm.

This is not what Californians voted for. They were fooled. And now our kids’ futures are being thrown away. Parents have no idea what their kids are doing and the peer pressures they are under.

Speak out. Once the pot-stores are open it will be too late. And by our inaction we will have caused our children irreparable harm.

The New York Times article is impeccable reporting from an unimpeachable source. 

Vote no on HMP.

Peter Borresen, Santa Monica