The road is rockier than many believe. Indeed, given the preponderance of fervent testimony from developers, it may come as a surprise that silent opposition to legalization erupted openly this month. The event was the passage of the state`s H1317 law, which enforces restrictions on the state`s medical marijuana industry. The bill, which passed with strong bipartisan majorities in both houses of the state legislature, was recently signed into law. Among people seeking treatment for substance use, the rate of use among people who report marijuana as their primary substance has increased from 222 per 100,000 Colorado residents in 2012 to 182 in 2019 since legalization. In the years since legalization, the impact on public health and safety has increased year after year. The impact on families, pediatricians, educators, emergency rooms, the workplace, law enforcement, and the overall quality of life in a once prosperous state has been surprisingly negative. The state of Colorado has been proposed by many policymakers as a test for the wisdom of drug legalization. Colorado has allowed the sale of «medical» marijuana since 2009 and has allowed direct marketing («recreational use») since 2014, as allowed by the Obama administration. This author does not need to go to Colorado to feel the negative effects of illegal drugs. In my city of Pavia, I can name many exceptionally intelligent and athletic high school students who have gone crazy because of drugs (mainly marijuana, because it`s cheaper than shabu) and who, of course, have completely destroyed their future.
Given the mentality of the Filipinos of Palusot and Palos, I fully agree with President DU30`s style when he uses an iron fist to deal with the drug threat in our country. Congress` proposal to legalize cannabis for medical purposes is only being used by illegal drug syndicates as a means to further devastate the population. Although adult use continues to increase, legalization appears to have had little impact on teen marijuana use. According to Healthy Kids Colorado`s latest survey in 2019, a sample of more than 46,500 high school students from across the state, 20.6 percent reported using marijuana in the past 30 days, up from 19.7 percent in 2013 and more than 24 percent in 2009. While the problem of teen suicide is complex, there is now extensive research linking early and excessive marijuana use to an increased risk of self-harm among users. Whatever impact legalization has had on this risk, it certainly hasn`t helped, and the risk of harm is compounded in the presence of a commercial marijuana industry. For example, traffic risks have increased, according to the Rocky Mountain HIDTA. The number of deaths on Colorado roads has increased by 24% overall since legalization (all before pandemic-related lockdowns), while the number of deaths in which drivers tested positive for marijuana increased by 135%. Currently, the percentage of all marijuana-related deaths in Colorado has increased from 15% in 2014 to 25% in 2019. For the entire population aged twelve and older, marijuana use in Colorado has risen sharply since legalization, rising 30 percent to third place in the country, 76 percent above the national average.
Among college-aged teens (20-25), last month`s use is 50% higher than average, while last month`s use is 43% higher for 12- to 17-year-olds. Colorado also leads the country for the highest percentage of adults who need medication but don`t get it. The Colorado Criminal Justice Division this week released its biennial report on the impact of marijuana legalization in Colorado, an in-depth study designed to determine how recreational marijuana legalization has impacted crime rates, traffic safety, and recreational marijuana use rates. hospitalizations and other substance-related problems. As expected, the total number of marijuana arrests in Colorado has declined since legalization, although the arrest rate of blacks has remained disproportionately high compared to whites. Adult use of marijuana products has increased since legalization, but youth use has not changed much. Over the past 10 years, Colorado has seen an increase in hospitalizations related to marijuana, emergency rooms, poison calls, drunk driving, and fatal crashes where drivers tested positive for cannabinoids. However, we now have enough data collected in 2020 to see the real impact of this experiment in drug policy. And they are not comforting. Not only have the promised benefits, both financial and for public safety, not materialized, but the parameters have deteriorated in several areas of daily life. It`s important to remember that legalization advocates believed their policy prescriptions would do more than just avoid a debacle.
Instead, they argued that legalizing marijuana would improve important parameters. These measures included preventing youth access and mitigating alleged injustices (such as racial differences in arrests, although the latest data shows that more blacks and Hispanics are arrested today than before legalization). In addition, it should put an end to the corruption that became widespread after legalization. Proponents of legalization insisted that one of the main goals was to create a regulated market that would drive out the criminal element and end the violence that fuels the black market. The fact is that exactly the opposite has happened, with a thriving black market still dominating commerce, as has happened everywhere states have legalized marijuana, from California to Illinois. It`s not just teens` exposure to marijuana that`s worrisome. There is a growing amount of medical literature showing the risks of marijuana use during pregnancy. More importantly, recent research has shown that commercial legalization is associated with increased marijuana use by the perinatal mother, putting offspring at developmental risk. «As a result, it is difficult to draw conclusions about the potential impact of marijuana legalization and commercialization on public safety, public health, or adolescent outcomes, and this may still be the case due to the lack of historical data,» the report says. Proponents of drug legalization have repeatedly urged the country, especially states considering following Colorado`s model, to view the state as a real-world «experiment» that demonstrates the pros or cons of legalized drugs. But aside from the initial excitement of claiming «the sky hasn`t fallen» as a result of unfettered access to marijuana, there have been few media reports citing actual data about how Colorado is doing. Not only is marijuana found in breast milk for long periods of time, but there are clear and growing signs of adverse developmental disorders in children exposed in the womb.
Young women in Colorado seduced by «recreational» marijuana products are putting themselves and their future children at risk because some of the side effects, including birth defects, begin before a woman even knows she is pregnant.