Many anti-marijuana advocates say that legalization will lead to teenagers using cannabis in record numbers. But one politician from New Mexico says that argument is full of baloney.
Jerry Ortiz y Pino is a state senator in New Mexico who has introduced multiple bills to legalize marijuana in the state. Unfortunately, his efforts have ended in failure as politicians on both sides of the aisle have expressed opposition. But Ortiz y Pino is still fighting, and he's particularly criticizing the argument that teenagers will use more marijuana if legalized.
“Legalizing marijuana wouldn’t make it more available. It’s already available. Any high school kid worth their salt can find marijuana within a half-hour,” Ortiz y Pino said.
Of course, we've noted this to be true many times. Statistics show that marijuana use among teens in legalized states is either the same or even lower than it was prior to marijuana legalization. Again, that shouldn't be surprising since dispensaries are barred from selling to people under 18, and they certainly want to protect themselves from serving anyone underage.
Ortiz y Pino is working on a new bill that would put a ballot initiative in place next November for New Mexico voters to decide whether or not to legalize marijuana. He needs two-thirds of the New Mexico House and Senate to approve his bill to get the initiative on the ballot.