WATCH: These Teens Highlight the Harms with Marijuana Legalization for Non-Medical Use

Feb 3, 2023 | 0 comments

By: Dan Bartkowiak

Something that’s about to garner another wave of Pennsylvania news coverage is the upcoming push to legalize marijuana for non-medical use (or so-called “recreational”). While the pressures to pass such a problematic proposal are increasing, the body of evidence showing the harms of such a policy also continues to grow.

In just the past year, evidence in states that experiment with marijuana for non-medical use shows increases in traffic accidents and fatalities, ER visits by children ingesting marijuana edibles (up 1,375% in five years) and rates of children’s asthma. We’re also seeing more adult ER and inpatient care, along with greater risks of lung disease, psychosis and addiction with use of today’s dangerously-high potent marijuana.

Now, don’t just take my word for it. Hear from others in the following three short videos to better understand this debate and to have some resources to share.

Addictive: Teens Talk Marijuana Addiction (Truth On Weed)

One thing we know about today’s up-to-99% THC marijuana products is the earlier you start using, the greater the risk for worse outcomes. A new study by Temple University analyzed national datasets and concluded that recreational (non-medical) legalization would increase marijuana use among adolescents and young adults. That would mean more addiction and more problems with Pennsylvania’s next generation.

“We can reasonably expect that, with its legalization, the prevalence of marijuana use among both adults and adolescents will increase in our state.” Dr. Sheryl Ryan, Adolescent Medicine – Penn State Health

“Our Family is Broken” Because of Marijuana

It’s heart-breaking to listen to more testimony from Rep. Judy Amabile, a mother and Colorado Democrat State Representative, whose son is now hopelessly addicted to marijuana. “Everywhere he went, this product was available and in greater and greater concentrations and potencies.”

Her testimony was in favor of passing modest restrictions to Colorado’s medical and non-medical marijuana programs. The bill was watered-down from its original version but passed and took effect in August of last year.

This highlights the realities of an in-your-face culture filled with billboards and social media efforts that work to glamourize the marijuana industry – backed by Big Tobacco – that profits from more people becoming addicted to its products.

“One thing Illinois and other states where weed is legal now cannot deny is that usage is rising very fast, especially among the young. And that the legalization process, wherein outlets have proliferated and can now be found in numerous convenient locations, has stimulated that demand.” Chicago Tribune Editorial Board

Marijuana Misconceptions

Here’s a recent conversation we had with one of the nation’s leading voices on this issue, Dr. Kevin Sabet, President and CEO of Smart Approaches to Marijuana.

To commercialize the sale of marijuana for non-medical use “enriches an industry whose business it is to get you using its product as much and as unhealthily as possible.”

Lies are being spread in Harrisburg that downplay the reality of today’s dangerously-high potent marijuana. That’s why sharing facts and real evidence, like resources found at, with your family, your State Senator and Representative, and other circles of influence is so important.

Dan Bartkowiak is the Director of Communications for Pennsylvania Family Institute.