By Romain Bonilla
Some men just want to watch the world burn. Arizona lawmaker John Kavanagh goes further than that: he wants to see more teenagers burn.
In 2010, Arizona voters approved Proposition 203, which established a medical marijuana program through which qualified patients could access cannabis-based medicines. Reforming marijuana policy in the state not only provided sick people with an effective remedy, but also led to a decrease in the rates of marijuana use among teenagers, according to a report by the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission.
While teen marijuana use increased from 2008 to 2010, this trend was reversed when Arizona's medical marijuana law came into effect. That year, 29.9 percent of high school students had tried marijuana at least once in their life; in 2012, that rate was reduced to 28.7 percent.
This seems to upset Rep. John Kavanagh, a former cop who wants Arizona to revert to its old marijuana policy. Eager to increase teen drug use and criminalize the sick, John Kavanagh has wasted no time putting his plan into action: on January 3, he filed a bill in the hope of repealing the state's medical marijuana law.
Surprisingly, Kavanagh makes use of the for the children rhetoric to make his point, citing the fact that some of the legally produced marijuana finds itself in the hands of teenagers. Indeed, the study mentioned above notes that, of the students who admitted having tried marijuana, about 11% claim to have received it from a patient or caregiver. To quote Matthew Hendley, writing for the Phoenix New Times :
According to several Valley reporters, a new survey shows that some Arizona teenagers have obtained marijuana from people who can legally possess marijuana.
"No shit," say the rest of us.
To solve this problem, John Kavanagh plans to leave marijuana users with no other choice than to purchase their marijuana from black market profiteers. When it comes to what Arizona teenagers smoke, Kavanagh largely prefers adulterated brick-weed from Mexico over medical-grade, quality-checked, locally produced marijuana. Assuming his goal is to risk young people's safety and enrich the drug cartels, it's a pretty decent plan.
Rep. John Kavanagh's initiative not only promotes policies that have failed at protecting Arizona's youth, but also illustrates his twisted desire to increase teenage marijuana use along with the risks associated with it.
The Arizona Criminal Justice Commission report, released in November 2012, is available here as a free .pdf file.
Guest Post Courtesy Of Romain Bonilla And The Original Article Can Be Seen Here