To the Editor:
Does outgoing Mayor Rahm Emanuel really want to add mass addiction to his meager legacy?
Why would Emanuel use his political capital to push for legal marijuana and casino gambling as new revenue sources? If that isn’t enough, he and his spendthrift colleagues are pressing to increase gasoline taxes by 20-30 cents per gallon. Where will it end?
Instead of cutting government waste, these politicians foolishly think that enslaving citizens is the panacea.
They must consider the overwhelming evidence from Colorado and Washington: health ramifications; mental health issues; marijuana-related deaths and suicides; impaired-driving fatalities; effects on children and schools; effects on the workplace; and marijuana’s drain on law enforcement and the medical community.
A city-owned Chicago casino and more drugged drivers on the roads will hurt families and the local economy.
Moreover, if legislators want revenue from gambling, they must create lots of losers. The public schools have done a poor job educating students. Now they want to take advantage of these under-educated citizens in casinos where the odds are stacked against them.
These ill-considered policies would add to homelessness, increased crime, suicide, unemployment, domestic abuse, and drug abuse while creating broken families and new addictions. The enormous costs to society will far outweigh any projected financial benefits.
David E. Smith
Executive Director of the Illinois Family Institute