REPORT: MARIJUANA COMMERCIALIZATION FAILING IN COLORADO
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 15, 2015
Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (RMHIDTA) report shows significant increases in traffic fatalities, child poison control exposures, hospitalizations, youth use, amongst other alarming data, detailing how Colorado’s experiment with retail marijuana regulation is a public health and safety failure.
DENVER, CO – The Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (RMHIDTA) has released its updated report, “The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado The Impact, Volume 3,” which outlines the most alarming data to date, demonstrating how Colorado marijuana legalization policies have harmed public safety and health.
Highlights from the report show serious changes since 2014, when retail marijuana businesses began operating in Colorado, including:
- Traffic deaths: A 32 percent increase in marijuana-related traffic deaths in just one year from 2013
- Driving under the influence: Toxicology reports with positive marijuana results of active THC for primarily driving under the influence have increased 45 percent
- Marijuana use by children: Colorado youth usage (ages 12 to 17) ranks 56 percent higher than the national average
- ER visits:A 29 percent increase in the number of marijuana-related emergency room visits
- Hospitalizations: A 38 percent increase in the number of marijuana-related hospitalizations
- Poison control:Marijuana-only related exposures increased 72 percent in only one year
- More marijuana trafficking:The yearly average interdiction seizures of Colorado marijuana increased another 34 percent
“This report serves as a wake-up call for all Coloradans,” said Bob Doyle, chair of Colorado SAM. “It is time to stop yielding to Big Marijuana special interests and put health and safety ahead of marijuana commercialization.”
“For too long, the marijuana industry has been telling Americans that ‘everything’s fine’ in Colorado. This data-driven report tells a very different story,” said Kevin Sabet, President of SAM and an assistant professor at the University of Florida.
Jo McGuire, co-chair of Colorado SAM added, “We are prepared to engage Colorado community members in conversations that will send strong messages to our state leaders that these outcomes are unacceptable and legalization clearly does not work.”
In August 2015, poll results showed that popularity for marijuana legalization amongst Coloradans is losing support over concerns of traffic problems, youth usage, child exposures and the proliferation of edible products.
About SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana)
SAM is a nonpartisan alliance of lawmakers, scientists and other concerned citizens who want to move beyond simplistic discussions of “incarceration versus legalization” when discussing marijuana use and instead focus on practical changes in marijuana policy that neither demonizes users nor legalizes the drug. SAM supports a treatment, health-first marijuana policy.