Friday, February 12, 2021

legalization of Marijuana

-----Original Message-----
From: Delegate Buddy Fowler <>
Sent: Wed, Feb 10, 2021 12:14 pm
Subject: 2021 General Assembly Week 3 Update

February 10, 2021
2021 General Assembly reaches "Crossover"

Public Safety takes a hit
Statistics are clear on this point. Keeping criminals behind bars, especially violent criminals reduces crime in our streets.  Criminal punishment is a deterrent and someone with a history of theft knows that the third time they break this fundamental, natural law they're going to jail. Democrats want to repeal this law. They appear to think that criminals aren't responsible for their actions.  But every human being -- with the exception of the very young or those who are not mentally competent -- has a choice in their actions.
Life is about choices. People can choose to follow the law and respect their neighbors, or they can choose to break the law, and violate fundamental norms of society.  I believe that people should be held accountable for their actions. Unfortunately, the Democratic majority disagrees.
Case in point, Democrats have already passed the "One Free iPhone" bill that lets criminals take up to $1,000 one-time with no consequence. Worse, they're rolling back sentences for robbery -- a crime of violence.  While some insist on passing firearm laws that only penalize law abiding citizens, House Democrats actually passed a bill that for using a gun in a robbery will now have a lighter sentence.
Using a knife in a robbery will now have a lighter sentence. Beating a victim in the course of a robbery will now have a lighter sentence. These bills represent a fundamental difference between Republicans and Democrats. Republicans side with police and victims, while Democrats side with criminals. There's a reason Democrats are known for being soft on crime -- because they are. These policies will have make Virginia a more dangerous play to live.

Why I voted against the legalization of Marijuana

This issue has been gaining momentum for years. I believe that adults should have the freedom to live their lives as they see fit. However, the consequences of the legalization of marijuana is so great that I believed I had the responsibility to speak out and to vote NO! Here are my reasons. Please let me know what you think.

First here is what has happened in Colorado after legalization.

Colorado legalized marijuana in 2013
1.   Hospitalizations per 100,000 linked to marijuana exposure are as follows:
  •   2001-2009: 803 – over an 8 year period
  •   2014-2015: 2,696 over a one year period

2.   Emergency Room Visits per 100,000 visits linked to marijuana 
  • 2010-2013:  739 – over a 3 year period
  • 1/2014 – 9/2015:  913 – 1.75 years

3.   Poison Control Calls Involving Marijuana exposure (Colorado)
  • 2012: 110
  • 2014: 232
The largest group to increase was in the 8 and younger category: 16 in 2012, increasing by 4 times in 2017 (64)

4.   Driver Impairment - Marijuana 
  • Denver: Doubled after legalization
  • Aurora:        Doubled after legalization
5.   Fatalities involving marijuana:
  • Colorado: 2013 – 47 and increased ever year with 133 in 2017
  • Drugged driving killing someone went from 1 every 6.5 days to one every 2.5 days
  • Washington State: Doubled after legalization
6.   Impacts on Youth.
  • 30 days use in Colorado runs 12% higher compared to U.S. average

Let's look at some studies as to how marijuana impacts mental health.
  • A 2002 study published in the British Medical Journal, found people who used marijuana at age 15 were 4 times more likely to develop schizophrenia or related syndromes
  • A 2017 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report concluded marijuana use is strongly associated with the development of psychosis and schizophrenia and that there is strong evidence linking marijuana consumption to worsening symptoms of bipolar disorder and a heightened risk of suicide, depression, and social anxiety disorders. 
  • The Suicide rate in Colorado in 2012 involving marijuana was 11.8%, and in 2016 the rate was 22%.
  • A 2012 article by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the Scientific Journal (which is a peer reviewed multidisciplinary scientific journal) reported marijuana reduces IQ among those who start smoking before age 18.

  • 2019: From the National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Colorado teen use increased for five years straight and is 50% above the national average.

Finally, the Proponents argue that legalization will create Tax Revenue

  • Here is the reality: For every dollar Colorado brings in in revenue, it spends $4.50 to mitigate the costs of legalization.

I am saddened to see Virginia heading down this path. That's my take on this issue. What's yours?

Delegate Buddy Fowler's 2021 General Assembly Constituent "online" Survey

The General Assembly kicked off on Wednesday, and we are working and passing legislation that will ultimately impact you and your family. We are considering legislation impacting your taxes, public education, health care, casinos and gaming, law enforcement and public safety, transportation and roads, and higher education. These issues are important and I would like to know what you think as your input is vital to my decision making process! I am happy to report that the first week of the survey enjoyed a good response.

Last year we set a record to participation and I hope we can exceed that response this year. The "online" survey is quick and easy and you can participate by clicking on this 2021 Constituent Survey Link. I will compile the survey results and publish those results at the end of the Session.

Thanks, and I hope to hear from you soon.



Contacting Delegate Fowler at the VA General Assembly
Thank you for granting me the privilege of representing your interests in the Virginia House of Delegates. I take this responsibility very seriously and for this reason it is vitally important that you make me aware of issues that you believe are important. Now that we are in the General Assembly, you can contact me at my Capitol office by phone at 804.698.1055, or you can also contact me by Email. If I am not available, my legislative assistants, Dale Alderman and Janice Igou are available to assist you. Please do not hesitate to contact my office, if you have any questions or concerns involving state government.

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