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As a provider who works in rural health care and as a parent raising my children in North Dakota I’m concerned about Measure 3. I believe in facts. So I researched what’s happened in Colorado. I found valuable information from many reputable sources.

As a parent, I was shocked that the adolescent (12-17) use of marijuana in Colorado is now 85 percent higher than the national average since marijuana became legalized. Based on this statistic alone, legalizing recreational marijuana is not in the best interest for the kids in North Dakota.

As a rural health care provider, the statistic that marijuana-related traffic deaths increased 151 percent is alarming. Another fact: The yearly rate of emergency room visits related to legalized marijuana increased 52 percent. Another fact: The yearly rate of marijuana-related hospitalizations has increased 148 percent. These facts would stretch our already limited ER and hospital bed capacity and staff to the breaking point.

One of the most common arguments I hear is to legalize recreational marijuana because it will reduce opioid abuse, dependence and death. This is completely false. Opioid/opiate deaths in Colorado have increased 33 percent since legalization of marijuana. It’s a fact. Another myth is that marijuana is not addicting. This too is false.

I encourage everyone to do their own quality research. Once you learn the facts from a state that has legalized recreational use, you will see why voting no on Measure 3 is the only logical choice for North Dakota.

Paula Moch, Braddock

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