Gazette kicks off a four-day perspective series, "Clearing the Haze,"
that examines health, social, regulatory and financial issues associated
with the world's boldest experiment with legal marijuana.
important assumptions about successful legalization of marijuana in
Colorado were made. Regulation would provide a safer solution to the
state’s drug problems and by regulating the sale of marijuana the state
could make money otherwise locked up in the black market. Sunday’s
stories suggest the net gain from taxes and fees related to marijuana
sales will not be known for a while, as costs are not known or tracked
well, and there are many other unknowns about pot’s effects on public
health and safety.
of Amendment 64 said legalizing recreational sales and use of marijuana
would stifle the black market in Colorado. That is not the case; crime
statistics indicate we have more to learn about the long-term effects of
legal pot on public safety and other concerns.
Data indicate there is new black market trafficking across the
country as a result of legalized pot sales in Colorado. Other safety
concerns surrounding concentrates and their manufacture are consequences
of legalization that were never anticipated.
1.4 percent of inmates in the state corrections system were imprisoned
for offenses involving only marijuana-related crimes.”
- Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2004
Day 3: Youthful Addiction Tuesday, March, 24 2015
our children was a priority as the public headed to the polls to vote
on Amendment 64. The most recent research on adolescent brain
development and related addiction studies indicates this is more
important than ever thought before. Adolescent exposure to marijuana is
most troubling because young users are more vulnerable to addiction
throughout their lives. Post-legalization trends in Colorado raise
concerns because regulation has fallen short of the promises made by the
state. The increasing rate of pot use also is a concern of employers.
2009, Children's Hospital Colorado reported two marijuana ingestions
among children younger than 12. In the first six months of 2014, there
- Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area
Day 4: Medical Marijuana Wednesday, March, 25 2015
marijuana sales in Colorado exploded after October 2009 as the result
of a federal memorandum stating that resources likely would not be used
to prosecute people involved in the business, which remains illegal
under federal law. Gazette research confirmed the medical marijuana
market continues to grow as the result of porous regulation and a
favorable price differential versus retail marijuana sales. The issue is
big and complex and may derail legitimate efforts to conduct research
on parts of the marijuana plant that could produce new, clinically