Naples and Marijuana – A Dangerous Combination

The decision to vote no on Amendment 2 is not based solely on the lack of medical safety – but on the unforeseen community and law enforcement impacts – all we have to do is look to see what has occurred in Colorado and Oregon. Let’s not make the same mistake. Collier Count Sheriff Kevin Rambosk

Reg Buxton

Reg Buxton

Despite the Naples City Council’s vote to allow a citywide ban on medical marijuana establishments, Neapolitans need to come together on this issue to ensure there are no
marijuana dispensaries in our city and understand that Amendment 2 is dangerous for our citizens, our town and our way of life.

To rule out any plant or naturally occurring thing for medicinal or healing properties is shortsighted. However, experts agree that illicit drugs have no place in modern medicine and no place in Naples. Turning marijuana into something that anyone can prescribe or dispense is dangerous – despite that marijuana may not be as
immediately dangerous as other street drugs. The risk to Naples isn’t so much that marijuana is a gateway drug, but that it is a gateway lifestyle.

medical marijuanaUsing marijuana leads to risky behaviors associated with a drug and that is the true gateway. Not only would allowing medical marijuana to be sold within the city limits tarnish our image, it would not add value to the culture we know as Naples. It would certainly detract value from the Naples brand and decrease our quality of life. And allowing the use of marijuana legally is what can often lead to taking bigger risks with harder drugs, more dangerous drugs and abusing prescription any medication. Decriminalizing marijuana will only give it traction into that gateway illicit lifestyle.

Sheriff Kevin Rambosk cautions us to not make the same mistakes made in Colorado and Oregon. In fact, in a recent story by guest columnists Daniel Nebert, MD and Andrew Monte, MD in The Oregonian, the doctors drew a stark comparison between bright, hopeful preteens who went on to smoke marijuana and wound up losing sight of those dreams to become ‘laid back’ young adults lacking the goals and enthusiasm they once had. They also wrote about the results Maryland research scientists found in laboratory animal models in 2013. Those results demonstrated chronic marijuana exposure during adolescence irrevocably impairs mental processes of “awareness, perception, reasoning, and judgement” and increases risk of schizophrenia. Worst of all, they pointed to several studies in which rodents showed irreversible brain damage.
A recent Tampa Bay Times op-ed recommended voting no on Amendment 2, calling a well-intentioned attempt to provide relief the wrong way to address a difficult issue and calling for voters to reject it. Numerous studies have proven marijuana contains hundreds of chemicals some which are known to have harmful side effects – not to mention the fact that the most common method of using marijuana is smoking, never a safe delivery system.

The reasons for not allowing Amendment 2 to pass continue: Increased traffic fatalities, more black market cultivation, environmental impact, conflicting state and federal laws, increased potency and increased use of marijuana and children, which is largely credited with the dumbing down of America. Numerous health organizations oppose medical marijuana along with a host of Floridian organizations. Included in that list is the Collier County Medical Society, Drug-Free Collier, First Baptist Church of Naples,
First Presbyterian Church of Naples, the Collier County Sheriff ’s Department and NCH healthcare leaders.

A study in a British medical journal revealed that daily use of marijuana among adolescent girls increases the risk of depression and anxiety causing them to be more likely to have impaired abilities to experience normal emotional responses.

And of course marijuana doesn’t belong in the workplace, where it causes impairment in abilities to function safely and increases workrelated accidents and absences, among other productivity killers.

As publisher of Life in Naples magazine, I believe the idea of allowing the sale of medical marijuana in our city or anywhere else for that matter is deplorable. So remind your neighbors, your friends and family: just say no to Amendment 2.

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