Legal Marijuana – The Hidden Risk to Sparta's Families –

SPARTA, NJ  – Adult recreational marijuana use or RMU was approved by New Jersey voters in November. 

How may the presence of legal RMU in New Jersey impact the health of families in Sparta Township?

Local leaders voiced their concern, in part, that legal RMU may increase the frequency of adolescent use and the risk of overdosing by children.  Educational and other efforts to protect children seem to have prevented those concerns from materializing in states with legal RMU.

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However, increased parental use of marijuana after legalization presents considerable risks to families, children in particular.

Legalizing RMU increases adult use and that poses a risk to Sparta’s families

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC says that legal RMU leads to increased adult use. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services  or HHS reported a similar conclusion.

In a 2019 study researchers from New York University quantified the risk, reporting that among adults aged 26 or older, past-month frequent use was 23 percent higher in legal RMU states compared to states where RMU remains illegal.

A recent survey of Sparta adults, the “Sparta RMU Study” produced similar findings, wherein 43 of the 222 respondents, or 19%, said that they would increase RMU after legalization. 

Sparta RMU Study.

Applying the Sparta RMU Survey results to U.S. Census data, and assuming that 65% of Sparta residents over 18 have children, suggests that over 2,200 parents in Sparta would increase marijuana use now that it is legal.

There is relatively consistent and well accepted data showing that increased parental RMU can result in significant damage to the respective families. 

“I know of many children whose moms have

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