The Impact

Pennsylvania State Representative Brian Smith is an entrepreneur, and Punxsutawney native. He shares a personal tragedy—his son’s fatal encounter with drugs. The community’s support during this devastating time inspired Smith’s stance against marijuana legalization and commercialization. His advocacy stems from firsthand experience, emphasizing the negative impact of high-potency marijuana on individuals, families, and communities.

Join us in exploring his powerful story and understanding the compelling reasons behind his stance on this critical issue.

One in Six

One in six minors (under 18) that use marijuana will become addicted.

“About 1 in 10 marijuana users will become addicted. For people who begin using younger than 18, that number rises to 1 in 6.”

“When did this addiction start for you?”
Corey: “Oh, that’s an easy one, Momma. It was pot in middle school.”

Karen Bailey, a mother who lost her son to drugs

Marijuana vaping injuries and deaths are not all from illegal sales.

One in six patients who developed lung injuries after vaping marijuana used a product from a legal dispensary.

“The end result of what could happen is not worth any high in the world.”

Ricky D’Ambrosio (21) spent four days in a medically induced coma after vaping THC he bought from a legal dispensary.

USA Today, CDC

One in six drivers involved in fatal crashes in the state of Washington had recently used marijuana.

AAA, 2014

Timothy Junius, 19, ran a stop sign and hit another car. The man and woman inside were injured and taken to the hospital. The woman was seven months pregnant and her baby did not survive.


Marijuana Legalization = Increased Use = Increased Risk

Teen Use

More teens use more marijuana in legalized states. (JAMA Psychiatry)

Teens vaping marijuana has doubled in the last two years. “In just one year’s time — between 2018 and 2019 — the percentage of high school seniors who reported vaping pot within the past month rose from 7.5 percent to 14 percent.” (NBC News, Dec 18, 2019)

“This 6.5% increase is one of the largest single-year jumps seen in the survey’s 45-year history for any substance used in the previous month.”

From 2017 to 2019, there was a significant increase in dabbing and vaporizing as a usual method of marijuana use among high school students.

Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (Healthy Kids Colorado Survey data)


Marijuana potency levels are on the rise, with 99% THC products on the market. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) points out that today’s marijuana has three times the concentration of THC compared to 25 years ago, and when extracted into concentrates it averages more than 50% in THC levels.

“The primary problem with the current available cannabis in dispensaries in Colorado is that the THC content is not like it used to be. Prior to the 1990s it was less than 2%. In the 1990s it grew to 4%, and between 1995 and 2015 there has been a 212% increase in THC content in the marijuana flower. In 2017 the most popular strains found in dispensaries in Colorado had a range of THC content from 17–28% such as found in the popular strain named “Girl Scout Cookie.” Sadly these plants producing high levels of THC are incapable of producing much CBD, the protective component of the plant so these strains have minimal CBD. For example the Girl Scout Cookie strain has only 0.09–0.2% CBD.

The flower or leaves that are generally smoked or vaped are only one formulation. We now have concentrated THC products such as oil, shatter, dab, and edibles that have been able to get the THC concentration upwards of 95%. There is absolutely no research that indicates this level of THC is beneficial for any medical condition. The purpose of these products is to produce a high, and the increased potency makes them potentially more dangerous and more likely to result in addiction.”

Dr. Elizabeth Stuyt

Marijuana Smoke

Marijuana smoke shares many of the same carcinogens of tobacco smoke.

“Marijuana smoke contains carcinogenic combustion products, including about 50% more benzoprene and 75% more benzanthracene (and more phenols, vinyl chlorides, nitrosamines, reactive oxygen species) than cigarette smoke. Because of how it is typically smoked (deeper inhale, held for longer), marijuana smoking leads to four times the deposition of tar compared to cigarette smoking.”

“There are approximately 600 ingredients in cigarettes. When burned, cigarettes create more than 7,000 chemicals. At least 69 of these chemicals are known to cause cancer, and many are toxic.”
A June 2020 study found over 2,500 chemicals in marijuana smoke, with 110 known to be toxic. “Researchers found 3.4 times more mass [tar] from the total particulate matter in a typical cannabis joint than a cigarette.”

There is also research beginning to show a connection between smoking marijuana and cancer. A 2019 JAMA study shows smoking marijuana is associated with the development of testicular germ cell tumor (TGCT).

Example: Ammonia (NH4)

Ammonia is found in tobacco smoke. It’s also a common household cleaner. It’s also found in marijuana smoke.

“Ammonia in mainstream cannabis smoke was 20-fold greater than that found in tobacco smoke.” (Health Canada)


“The share of drivers who, after a fatal crash, tested positive for active THC – the drug’s main psychoactive ingredient – has doubled since [Washington State] legalized marijuana in December 2012.”

“From 2017 to 2019, driving a vehicle after recently using marijuana significantly increased from 9.0% to 32.4% among Colorado high school students.”

Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (Healthy Kids Colorado Survey data)

“[L]egalization of recreational use of marijuana may increase the rate of THC-positive drivers involved in fatal crashes.”

Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

Driving fatalities doubled in Colorado and Washington state.

AAA, Highway Loss Data Institute

There is also research beginning to show a connection between smoking marijuana and cancer. A 2019 JAMA study shows smoking marijuana is associated with the development of testicular germ cell tumor (TGCT).

Market Saturation

It’s easier to find a bag of weed than a Starbucks coffee in legalized states.

In Colorado, there are more pot shops than Starbucks and McDonalds combined.

Denver 2018

Marijuana Shops






Projected Revenues

First-year “revenue” numbers for recreational marijuana are often inflated. “You do not legalize for taxation. It is a myth. You are not going to pave streets. You are not going to be able to pay teachers. The big red herring is the whole thing that the tax revenue will solve a bunch of crises. But it won’t.” – Andrew Freedman, former Colorado pot czar


Projected: $1 billion
Actual: $345 million (34%)


Projected: $9.6 million
Actual: $1.7 million (18%)


Projected: $118 million
Actual: $67 million (57%)