Position Statement by the Sunnyside Ministerial Association
To: The Sunnyside City Council
We, The Sunnyside Ministerial Association, are asking the Sunnyside City Council to ban retail sales of marijuana within city limits.
We are asking this for the following reasons:
Sunnyside Schools are reporting a 70% increase in marijuana related offenses.
Studies have shown that youth use of marijuana is detrimental to their health and well being. Specifically brain development and IQ.
Studies have shown that youth use of marijuana has an addiction rate of 1 out of every 6 youth who use it.
In the past year, approximately 180 local youth have been referred to Merit for substance abuse. The primary drug of choice for nearly all was marijuana. 20 youth required inpatient treatment stays of 30 days or more and all treatment costs were paid by taxpayers.
Marijuana is being “normalized” at an alarming rate in our culture. Youth are being led to believe that marijuana use at their age is safe when it clearly is not and increasingly youth are getting marijuana from home or from adult users.
Sunnyside is a very young community, nearly 40% of our population is 18 or younger and we are concerned about the message it sends to our youth by allowing a retail store.
In Matthew 18:6 Jesus states, “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”
We believe that allowing a retail marijuana store will cause further harm to our youth and ask that the Sunnyside City Council place a ban on retail marijuana stores to prevent this.
Thank you for your consideration,
Tim Pettey, Pastor, First Baptist Church
Dave Hanson, Executive Director, Sunrise Outreach
Regner Capener, Pastor, River Worship Center
Pat Beeman, Pastor, United Methodist Church
Jelmer Groenewold, Pastor, Sunnyside Christian Reformed Church
David Stewart, Associate Pastor, Sunnyside Christian Reformed Church
Larry Mays, Pastor, Sunnyside 7th Day Adventist Church
Bob North, Pastor, Neighborhood Church
Bob Widmann, Pastor, Cornerstone Church
Cameron Garcia, Pastor, Oasis Community Church
Dan Hotchkiss, Pastor, First Christian Church