As a citizen of South Portland and an educator, I would like to express my opinion on the upcoming referendum in our city to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

I strongly oppose the referendum for a number of reasons. During my teaching and coaching career, I have witnessed an increase in the use of marijuana, as well as changing attitudes about the drug, which interpret the drug as harmless or benign. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I have seen, firsthand, marijuana alter student personalities and increase student apathy. I have also seen the drug negatively impact motivation and detrimentally affect student performance, both academically and athletically.

I strongly believe that if we legalize marijuana in South Portland, we would be doing a great disservice to the young people in our community.

John Wolfgram

English teacher and football coach, Cheverus High School

South Portland resident