By: Diane Benjamin
Last night I attended a meeting discussing the effects legalizing marijuana has had on Colorado. It isn’t a pretty picture.
First, before anybody says it’s no different from alcohol: 1 beer doesn’t impair the user. One joint does. THC also stays in the blood stream for 2-3 days, alcohol doesn’t.
WAY too much data was presented based on this document: https://www.rmhidta.org/html/FINAL%202017%20Legalization%20of%20Marijuana%20in%20Colorado%20The%20Impact.pdf
Some of the big points:
- Employers can’t find employees who can pass drug tests
- Colorado still can’t balance its budget
- Impaired vehicle accidents are up – fatalities doubled from 2013-2016
- Use by those underage increased 12% – Colorado is now the #1 state for youths using, 55% higher than the national average
- College age users are 62% higher than the national average
- Adult use increased 71%
- Hospitalizations related to marijuana have doubled
- Babies born to mothers who use have smaller brains and heads
- 62% of all school expulsions or suspension were marijuana related
- THC levels continue to rise, some forms are 80%+. In the 70’s the levels were less than 5%
- Attempts to legislate THC levels were thwarted by the industry with payoffs
- Adults can have 5 plants each which produces a gray market that is never taxed
- Colorado quit tracking workplace injuries because of impairment
- Colorado has a total of 1004 Retail and Medical Dispensaries. They have 208 McDonald’s locations and 392 Starbucks
- Alcohol consumption has increased not decreased since legalization
- Imprisonment of minorities has not decreased, retail shops locate in their neighborhoods
- Cartel crime hasn’t decreased
- Homelessness has increased, 20-30% report moving to Colorado only to smoke weed
- THC is being extracted using butane, similar to meth labs – explosions are happening (Dabbing)
- “Dabbing” has led users to kill others or kill themselves
This is the short list!
Easy to read charts begin on PDF page 138. Case examples of investigations begin on PDF page 108.
At least 3 County Board members, one State rep, and one police officer attended.
County Board member Mark Johnson gave me this quote:
66 percent of local jurisdictions in Colorado have banned medical and recreational marijuana businesses.