The Marijuana Report

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Colorado SAM Chronicles Increasing 
Pushback to State’s Marijuana Legalization
In its latest newsletter, Colorado SAM, the state affiliate of national SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana), reports on citizens’ increasing dissatisfaction with the negative impact of legalization on local communities. In addition, there is substantial pushback to the marijuana industry’s deceptive behavior. The folks who wrote Amendment 64 that legalized the drug in 2012 promised voters many things that have not come to pass. One promise was no marijuana smoking in public.

Now they’re back with a new ballot initiative in Denver to ditch that promise, using the same deceptive “gotcha” tactics they used with Amendment 64. The Campaign for Limited Social Use collected enough signatures this week to place the initiative on the city’s ballot this November. The initiative would allow establishments whose patrons are age 21 or older, namely bars and restaurants, to permit marijuana use.

But restaurants and bars don’t think this is a good idea. Quoting from a Denver news story, Colorado SAM writes that the CEO of the Restaurant Association says, “Local restaurants are concerned about potential liability of allowing marijuana consumption…especially when combined with alcohol. Numerous studies (and even some marijuana advocates) have indicated that combining alcohol and marijuana intensifies the effects of THC and can be dangerous.”

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The Devil Is Always in the Details

Mason Tvert, the man who wrote Amendment 64 legalizing marijuana for recreational use, is also the man behind The Campaign for Limited Social Use. After promising voters in 2012 that if they passed Amendment 64 no pot would be smoked in public, Tvert now says, “People really just don’t seem to recognize that this makes sense, that if marijuana is legal for adults, then private establishments should be able to allow adults to use it.”

The initiative would allow any venue or business with an alcohol license to permit the consumption of marijuana. One of the selling points Tvert emphasizes is that establishments allowing marijuana use must comply with Colorado’s Clean Air Act, leading people to believe there will be no pot smoking anywhere. But there will not only be vaping with clouds of condensation inside, but also pot smoking in outdoor patio areas. That’s because establishments allowing marijuana use are required to have a non-visible barrier of only 25 feet—the width of a city street. Public space starts at 26 feet according to initiative details.

“It is interesting that this is being called a ‘limited use campaign’ when the advocates are pushing for use in many public spaces,” says Restaurant Association CEO Sonia Riggs. “They are working to redefine the word ‘public’ to exempt restaurants, bars, patios, and parking lots from being considered public spaces.”e212087d-a0c3-410b-a115-db1ab6bbd275

20 Flaws in Study
Finding No Health Problems in Adult Males 

Who Were “Chronic” Marijuana Users
as Teens, Young Adults

 By Bertha K. Madras, PhD

In last week’s (August 12, 201) issue of The Marijuana Report, we asked neuroscientist Bertha K. Madras of Harvard Medical School to look briefly at a new study that has caused quite a stir among would-be marijuana cognoscenti, which contradicts major research about the impact of marijuana on physical and mental health. In that issue, we published just the bullet points of her review.

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Washington Marijuana Driving Crashes Increase Dramatically Since Legalization

The state toxicologist of the Washington State Patrol released data this week showing that the percentage of driving cases testing positive for THC through blood tests jumped dramatically in the first four months of 2015 over previous years. Here are the data:

2009—18.2 percent
2010—19.4 percent
2011—20.2 percent
2012—18.6 percent
2013—24.9 percent
2014—28.0 percent
2015—33.0 percent (January through April)

Notes Robert DuPont, MD, president of the Institute for Behavior and Health and the first director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “This is important new data about one of the most worrisome consequences of marijuana legalization: the major role of marijuana in highway safety. The significant up-tick in positives after Washington State legalized recreational marijuana in 2012 is unmistakable. Legalization of marijuana increases marijuana use. Increased use increases problems caused by that use. This is not rocket science.”

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