Legalized Marijuana


| 2/16/2015 10:06:00 AM


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This is a subject that draws divisive comments from critics and proponents alike. This topic is not intended to take either side but instead to point out some of the down sides of legalizing marijuana. When marijuana was legalized in our state of Colorado it was pointed out to us voters how much revenue it would generate but little was said of the possible problems it could cause. Our Governor called it “the great social experiment” and it has lived up to his statement both good and bad. This blog is directed toward the unforeseen hazards that legalization of marijuana creates. In Colorado we have already seen the enormous revenue it brings in and the down side is just surfacing. While the debate continues over whether it should be legal or not this article is not written to take either side but simply to report on what this writer has observed subsequent to legalization.

We live near the small town of Ft. Garland, Colorado, with a population of roughly 433 persons. Since marijuana has become legal in Colorado we have had two marijuana stores open for business and a third one seeking rezoning to be able to both grow and sell from one of our historic buildings. That will be three stores for about 433 residents not including rural customers. There is a community school on the main highway going through the area and there is a marijuana store situated on both sides of the school within legal set back distances. The third store plans to open up next to a historical fort that attracts tourists and visitors from all over our state and around the world.

We have noticed more vagrants in the area and talking to a resident of the town recently I was told that he is now regularly shooing vagrants out of his yard. I have heard on the Denver news channels that the increase in homeless and vagrants in that area is also significantly on the increase which is straining their ability to provide social services to those in need. This influx of people which seem drawn to legal marijuana puts a serious drain on not only social services but emergency services as well.

The path to legalization started with legalization of ‘medical’ marijuana and then to full legalization. This writer understands that medically it does have benefits for some diseases or illnesses. When it went to full legalization it seems that keeping up with regulating it is an ongoing struggle for our state. The marijuana industry is growing so fast that regulators seem to struggle to keep up. In one aspect or another it is in our news every day. Today the news channel was reporting that recreational marijuana is being sold with mold that causes respiratory issues and it needs to be more carefully tested like medical marijuana is tested. With all the shops opening that is going to present a regulatory challenge and it seems that regulation is falling further and further behind.



One area that is particularly challenging is consumable marijuana products which look remarkably like normal candy, cookies etc. The new industry and state agencies have been struggling for months on how it can be marketed so people can tell the difference between the two. The industry doesn’t want the increased burden of special labels and the state wants to stop children and adults from consuming more THC (hash oil) than is allowable and ending up in the emergency room. It is being put into multiple food products with no definitive label warnings or identification to tell consumers of the potential risks involved or how much THC they are eating. Extracting THC from marijuana has also resulted in several residential house fires by do it yourself people. The consumables have been showing up in our schools also.

TillieM
5/28/2018 9:26:44 AM

I will avoid the THC debate for now, except to point out that "vagrants" are homeless people/unemployed people/perhaps unemployable people. Whether they are drawn to Colorado because of marijuana has yet to be soundly established; the simple fact is, homelessness in increasing everywhere. It is more an indicator of our economy than marijuana deregulation. Regarding the debate: I wish writers and even legislators would acknowledge the very real benefits of marijuana. I am one of many who benefits from the cannabadiol (CBD) in the marijuana plant. There is no "high" connected to it--only healing and for me, finally, restful sleep. I buy CBD because it is the only effective remedy I have found for my problem. I would rather see the industry selling only CBD than to see the whole industry shut down. Let's not throw the proverbial "baby out with the bath water."


TillieM
5/28/2018 9:25:28 AM

I will avoid the THC debate for now, except to point out that "vagrants" are homeless people/unemployed people/perhaps unemployable people. Whether they are drawn to Colorado because of marijuana has yet to be soundly established; the simple fact is, homelessness in increasing everywhere. It is more an indicator of our economy than marijuana deregulation. Regarding the debate: I wish writers and even legislators would acknowledge the very real benefits of marijuana. I am one of many who benefits from the cannabadiol (CBD) in the marijuana plant. There is no "high" connected to it--only healing and for me, finally, restful sleep. I buy CBD because it is the only effective remedy I have found for my problem. I would rather see the industry selling only CBD than to see the whole industry shut down. Let's not throw the proverbial "baby out with the bath water."


CAROLM
2/17/2015 3:03:30 PM

Excellent article....and much food for thought by those who wish to think!!




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