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Colorado Springs Gazette publishes groundbreaking, four-day series
to expose what’s really going on
with marijuana legalization in Colorado

A list and summaries of each story published in this remarkable series follows.
 
Clearing the Haze. Day 1: Regulation
Two important assumptions were made about successful legalization of marijuana in Colorado: regulation would 1) provide a safer way to solve the state’s drug problems and 2) make money for the state via taxes. Day One examines whether these assumptions played out.
 
Analyzing Colorado’s grand experiment looks into whether advocates’ promises—unclogged prisons, funds for education, new revenue for the general fund, and an end to drug cartels—held up. Click here.
 
No tax windfall from medical, retail sales Advocates’ and the state’s estimates of projected tax revenue from marijuana sales have not lived up to the hype. Click here.
 
Regulation still ineffective Advocates promised that regulating marijuana like alcohol would reduce adolescent access, reduce exposure to more dangerous drugs, and take sales out of the hands of criminals. Has it? Click here.
 
Addressing driver impairment difficult The science of testing for marijuana impairment has not caught up with that of alcohol impairment. Experts say this leads to underreporting. Click here.
 
State prevention efforts criticized Nearly four decades of prevention science have established a cardinal rule: prevention messaging should come from prevention specialists, not drug industries. So why did the state bypass its behavioral health agency, whose employees are prevention specialists, to involve the marijuana industry in developing its statewide prevention campaigns? Click here.
 
Clearing the Haze. Day 2: Marijuana and Crime
Amendment 64 proponents asserted that legalizing recreational sales of marijuana would stifle the black market. Did it? Day Two takes a look.
 
Black market is thriving in Colorado More than 40 states have seized highly potent THC pot, concentrates, and infused foods and drinks that were produced in Colorado. Click here.
 
Legalization didn't unclog prisons Data show few people are behind bars for marijuana-related offenses. Legalization will do little to reduce incarceration numbers. Click here.
 
Tough task for law enforcement Marijuana legalization has forced Colorado police officers to violate federal law. A group of sheriffs is suing the state asking for relief. Local officers weigh pot confiscated from users, and if it’s an allowable amount, they have to give it back. Click here.
 
Potency creating problems Legalization allows users one ounce of pot. But Colorado pot shops sell highly concentrated hash oils and wax with THC levels of 80 to 90 percent. The Gazette calculated that one ounce of concentrated THC, infused into foods, is the equivalent of 2,800 serving sizes of marijuana edibles! Click here.
 
Authorities alarmed over increase in hash oil explosions The number of Colorado hash oil explosions nearly tripled, from 12 to 32, in the first year of legal pot. People going to burn centers as a result went from one in 2011 to 10 in the first four months of 2014. Click here.
 
Clearing the Haze. Day 3: Youthful Addiction
Increasing rates of pot use concern parents, because children are more vulnerable to brain damage and addiction, and employers who must protect employees and the public from accidents caused by workers high on pot. 
 
Teen: Colorado voters were duped into legalizing recreational marijuana “Weed is a psychoactive, mind-altering substance. It is addictive. And I don’t care what anyone says, it’s being marketed to kids,” says Kaleb, age 19. He should know. He’s just coming out of the haze from daily pot use throughout his adolescence and is completing treatment for marijuana addiction. Grown-ups would be wise to listen to what he has to say. Click here.
 
Concerns over adolescents' use Much of the latest brain development science conducted around the world shares this bottom line: adolescent substance use is harmful and a bigger deal than researchers previously thought. Click here.
 
Parents, schools say more youths using pot Parents are drug-testing their kids. School officials report there were 5,377 drug violations, most of them for marijuana, in the 2013-2014 school year. Click here.
 
Babies, children at risk High concentrations of THC in mothers’ breast milk worry pediatricians as do  marijuana overdoses in toddlers and young children showing up at hospital emergency departments. A lot of marijuana-infused “edibles” look like kids’ candy, such as gummy bears and lollipops. Innocent children too young to read labels eat them and overdose. THC concentrations are so high the children sometimes stop breathing and must be treated in intensive care. Click here.
 
Drug use a problem for employers So many pre-employment drug tests are positive for THC that one Colorado construction company is recruiting potential employees from out of state. Click here.
 
Clearing the Haze. Day 4: Medical Marijuana
Medical marijuana may derail legitimate efforts to conduct research on parts of the marijuana plant that could produce new, clinically proven medicines.
 
Medical marijuana industry still growing in Colorado Colorado has more medical marijuana dispensaries than recreational pot shops. Registered patients grew 4 percent in 2014, from 111,030 to 115,467 by year’s end. This article explains why. Click here.
 
No approved 'medicine' in marijuana No Colorado medical marijuana product has been approved as safe or effective by the Food and Drug Administration. Patients have no guarantee that the 'medicine' they take is safe, effective, or free of contaminants. Click here.
 
Cost may be biggest hurdle to red card Gazette staffers decided to see how hard it is to obtain a medical marijuana card in Colorado. See what they found out here

To Our Subscribers
 
With this issue we welcome many new subscribers. We hope you find our e-newsletter will keep you up to date on the marijuana story. More than 21,500 readers have clicked through to read the health report from Colorado featured in the February 4th issue of The Marijuana Report. Many of you shared that issue with others and apparently so did they. More than 9,500 readers have clicked through to the Colorado public safety report featured in our February 11th issue. Thank you for being such effective, committed networkers. For those who missed the report in the February 4th issue, click here; in the February 11th, click here.
 
National Families in Action and partners, Project SAM and the Treatment Research Institute, welcome our new readers. We hope you enjoy this weekly e-newsletter to keep up-to-date with all aspects of the marijuana story. Visit our website, The Marijuana Report.Org, and subscribe to the weekly e-newsletter The Marijuana Report to learn more.

National Families in Action is a group of families, scientists, business leaders, physicians, addiction specialists, policymakers, and others committed to protecting children from addictive drugs. We advocate for:
  • Healthy, drug-free kids
  • Nurturing, addiction-free families
  • Scientifically accurate information and education
  • A nation free of Big Marijuana
  • Smart, safe, FDA-approved medicines developed from the cannabis plant (and other plants) 
  • Expanded access to medicines in FDA clinical trials for children with epilepsy
What is our call to action?
  • Ask your leaders to establish FDA expanded access to Epidiolex® for children with epilepsy.
  • To protect children, adolescents, and young adults, ask your leaders not to legalize marijuana.
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