Legalizing recreational marijuana would send the wrong message to state youths, and possibly harm the next generation, according to the Trumbull Board of Education. The board submitted written testimony to the General Assembly’s General Law Committee opposing HB-7371, An Act Concerning the Retail Sale of Cannabis. The bill, one of several marijuana legalization bills introduced this session, is sponsored by Rep. Steven Stafstrom (D-129th) of Bridgeport.
“As members of the Trumbull Board of Education and advocates for our students, we unanimously oppose HB 7371,” the members wrote. “Our school district has a concentrated effort in place to teach our students to make healthy choices every day.”
Though the bill would keep it illegal for those under 21 to use marijuana, the board said legalization and retail sale of marijuana would send a harmful message to youths.
“We cannot stress strongly enough the negative impact it will have on our students, their education and their development,” the members wrote.
Board members told the committee that marijuana use could affect the physical structure of the brain, though the exact effect, the possible health implications, and whether it is reversible is unknown. Early and continuous use of marijuana is also correlated with low educational achievenment, dropping out of school, and lower income, the members wrote.
“The more a student uses, the worse the outcomes,” they wrote. “Youth in more vulnerable situations (e.g. those already experiencing behavior and mental health problems) are more likely to experience a negative academic outcome due to marijuana use. For the sake of all Connecticut students, we ask you to please vote NO on HB 7371.”