On Tuesday, March 10, Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy announced the formation of a political action committee (PAC) to oppose the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes.
Seth Leibsohn, the group’s chair, stated: “Marijuana is a mind-altering, dangerous substance that harms the brain, especially the teen brain, and causes any number of problems in both child development and adult behavior. Legalizing this drug would clearly harm our youth and society, standing as an obstacle to their success in school and in life and the future of Arizona and our country.”
The group plans to raise funds to raise awareness about marijuana’s harms and to oppose any ballot initiatives to legalize the drug.
Sally Schindel, the group’s treasurer, knows firsthand the devastating effects of marijuana. She lost her beloved son when he took his own life, leaving a note stating, “Marijuana killed my soul + ruined my brain.” “I am committed to helping Andy help others,” says Schindel. “Together, Andy and I will do everything we can to save the lives of others by vigorously fighting the greed and irresponsibility of the legalization movement.”
Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk is also a member of the group. A longstanding opponent of legalization, Polk is a statewide expert on the harms that marijuana inflicts on youth. “Marijuana is especially harmful to the developing adolescent brain and its use sets youth up for a lifetime of battling addiction. Kids who regularly use pot are 3 times less likely to graduate from high school. The single most effective measure to protect our kids from marijuana’s destruction is to keep it illegal.”
Merilee Fowler, the executive director of MATFORCE, an award-winning substance abuse coalition, leads the statewide initiative called Marijuana Harmless? Think Again! “I joined Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy because I passionately care about our state’s children and their futures. 32,000 of our high school students indicate they would likely try marijuana if it becomes legal. We have to stop this legalization train before we harm an entire generation of our youth.”
The committee’s website is www.ArizonansForResponsibleDrugPolicy.org. Anyone wishing to donate to this effort should contact Sally Schindel at: SSchindel@ArizonansForResponsibleDrugPolicy.org.