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It seems that marijuana legalization has been a litmus test for the modern Democrat political candidate. For a long time, marijuana was an issue to avoid, but now many politicians will share jovial stories about their marijuana history. Take, for example, Vice President Kamala Harris, who said, “I think [marijuana] gives a lot of people joy. And we need more joy in the world.” It is safe to assume when Vice President Harris uses the term “joy,” she means the altered state that accompanies marijuana usage. This temporary emotional state is brought on by the delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) compound that is found in the drug. The potency of marijuana is dictated by the THC levels, which has immensely increased over the past few decades. In 1995, THC levels sat around 4%, but in 2021 THC levels were recorded at 15%. When politicians talk about legalizing marijuana, it is not the “harmless natural plant” it once was believed to be; it has great risks that must be addressed and evaluated.

Last week, Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee attended The United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs hearing called “Examining Cannabis Banking Challenges of Small Businesses and Workers.” The hearing largely focused on the SAFE Banking Act, legislation that would allow banks to provide their services to cannabis-related businesses. Although many states have legalized marijuana, either for medical or recreational purposes, marijuana is still federally illegal due to its Schedule 1 controlled substance status. A drug is considered a Schedule 1 drug if there are currently no accepted medical uses and a high potential for abuse. Even the Obama Administration saw the potential dangers of marijuana and denied requests to reschedule the drug. The SAFE Banking Act is nothing more than a backdoor to federal marijuana legalization; even Democrat senators know that to be true. During the hearing, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) said the quiet part out loud, sharing that she didn’t think SAFE Banking went far enough and that we need to work towards legalizing marijuana on a federal level.

The calls for marijuana legalization are divorced from the reality of marijuana. A new study backed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that 30% of schizophrenia cases in men aged 21 to 30 are linked to cannabis addiction. A whopping 30% of people who use marijuana suffer from marijuana use disorder. Ultimately, opposite of what Vice President Harris believes about marijuana, marijuana is linked to depression, social anxiety, thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts, and suicide. The marijuana industry has been on a long journey to normalize marijuana usage, and largely they have been successful. We must educate not only ourselves but those around us about the real dangers associated with marijuana usage.