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Pot legalization "not worth it"
says Colorado's new attorney general
Colorado dominated the marijuana news this week. The state’s attorney general warned counterparts that legalization is “not worth it.” Colorado school officials reported the highest level of middle-school pot incidents in a decade. And Colorado citizens and a Holiday Inn filed two more lawsuits against the state for legalizing the drug.
Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman told fellow AGs at a meeting of the National Association of Attorneys General that the $76 million the state collected in legal marijuana taxes and fees in 2014 isn’t “worth it.” Don’t buy the argument that regulation will eliminate crime, she warned. “The criminals are still selling on the black market. We have plenty of cartel activity in Colorado and plenty of illegal action that has not decreased at all,” she said, according to US News. Even some licensed marijuana growers are exceeding allowable limits and selling the drug in a gray market, she added. Despite her misgivings, she says, as state attorney general, she will defend the legalization law in response to lawsuits. Click here to read article.
Colorado school officials report the highest level of middle-school student drug incidents in a decade, blame rise on state’s pot policy. The number of students getting caught with drugs at middle school jumped 24 percent in 2014, the highest level in a decade. Schools do not break down “drugs” by kind, but officials say the increase is almost entirely due to marijuana. PBS 1-News analyzed data from the department of education and found the biggest jumps in middle-school drug violations took place in 2010, the year the state legalized medical marijuana dispensaries, and 2014, the year retail pot shops opened for business.

School officials say they believe greater availability, marijuana infused products like those picture here, and acceptance of marijuana are driving more kids to use it. “I would say that at any given time, any day of the week, there are probably about 10 percent of kids in the high school that are under the influence of something,” says Denver Public Schools John Simmons, director of student services.

The legislature has awarded grants from marijuana taxes to 11 districts to hire more health professionals to address student marijuana use rather than punish them with suspensions or expulsions. Legislators are also drafting a bill to require schools to collect data specifically about marijuana rather than just “drugs.” Click 
here to read article.
Two more lawsuits, these from the state’s own residents, aim to shut down Colorado’s marijuana industry. First, Nebraska and Oklahoma asked the US Supreme Court to strike down marijuana legalization in Colorado because it violates federal law, which holds that marijuana is illegal. That suit is pending. Now, two more lawsuits from Colorado residents ask a federal district court in Denver to do the same thing. The residents’ suits are based on the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, a federal law designed to eliminate “the infiltration of organized crime and racketeering into legitimate organizations operating in interstate commerce,” according to The Denver Post’s marijuana website called The Cannabist. Others used the RICO statutes a few years ago to successfully sue the tobacco industry.
 
The owners of a Pueblo County horse farm are one Colorado litigant. They claim that the Rocky Mountain Organics’ recreational marijuana cultivation facility “interferes with their views and plans to build a home and work space.” The owner of a Holiday Inn in Frisco is the other Colorado litigant. He claims that a pot shop about to open 75 yards from the hotel’s front door will interfere with business. “Many of the hotel’s guests are youth ski teams and families with children. Many parents and coaches will avoid booking with a hotel that is within a short walking distance and direct sight of a recreational marijuana store and grow facility,” says the lawsuit. It continues, “Marijuana businesses make bad neighbors. They drive away legitimate businesses’ customers, emit pungent, foul odors, attract undesirable visitors, increase criminal activity, increase traffic, and reduce property values.” The two litigants are members of Safe Streets, a Washington DC organization that has filed the suits in their behalf.
 
Mason Tvert, who led the Colorado legalization effort and whom the Marijuana Policy Project hired to replicate his success in other states, is pictured here with protesters claiming “Regulation Works.” He told The Cannabist, “These are Just Say No-era drug warriors, and they just need to get over it.” He has organized a nationwide boycott of Holiday Inns.
Click here to read The Cannabist article.
Click here to read Yahoo News article.
Click here to read Pueblo County horse farm owners’ lawsuit.
Click here to read the Frisco Holiday Inn’s lawsuit. 
More than 18,000 readers clicked through to read the health report from Colorado featured in the February 4th issue of The Marijuana Report--and we only have 3,600 subscribers! Many of you shared that issue with others and apparently so did they. More than 7,000 readers clicked through to the Colorado public safety report featured in our February 11th issue. Please, take a bow. And thank you for being such effective 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 E-Highlights 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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