U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., believes Big Tobacco is marketing to kids with flavors like cake batter, whipped cream and gummy bears.
He recently introduced a bill to crack down on flavored tobacco in e-cigarettes. As a mother and grandmother, I applaud his efforts.
There’s another industry targeting kids right under our adult noses – Big Marijuana.
Marijuana-infused sweets like gummy bears, jolly ranchers, cookies and lollipops attract young people. They have names like Twigz, Dab-A-Honey, Keef Kat and Twixed.
One Colorado pot dispensary advertises 20 percent off everything with student identification. Others use colorful cartoon characters like Fred Flintstone and Cookie Monster. Vape pens look like Hello Kitty and alien robots.
Tobacco addiction is bad. Marijuana addiction is worse. Research confirms that regular use of marijuana has a neurotoxic effect on teenage brains, including permanent brain damage.
Teens already are using because they think marijuana is harmless “medicine.”
Why would Illinois lawmakers even consider legalizing it for recreational use? The answer? To bail themselves out of years of overspending at the expense of our kids.
With elections coming up, find out where your candidates stand on legalization.
Note to readers: Kathy Valente is director of operations for the Illinois Family Institute.