Tag Archives: colorado

“Smart Approaches to Marijuana” – Kennedy on Pot

“Critics of legalized recreational pot predict other states will turn away after witnessing the unintended consequences of Colorado’s retail market, which they predict will include increased school truancy, addiction hospitalizations and high way fatalities.

“Leading the way is Smart Approaches to Marijuana, a national group founded by former Rep. Patrick Kennedy, a Rhode Island Democrat and member of the New England political dynasty, and Kevin Sabet, a former adviser to President Obama’s drug czar.”  Valerie Richardson

Crowds grow like weeds for first legal sales of marijuana in Colorado

Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times, January 6, 2014, p. 14

1_1_2014_rethinking-pot-the-first-248201_s640x406DENVER — Colorado lit up the nation’s first legal adult marijuana market shortly after dawn Wednesday, and Brandon Harris was not about to miss it.

Mr. Harris and his friend Tyler Williams, both 24, drove 20 hours from Blanchester, Ohio, for the big opening. They arrived at the 3-D Cannabis Center at 2:50 a.m., which was good enough for 11th and 12th places on the store’s sign-in sheet.

Was it worth it? “Definitely,” said Mr. Harris, who lined up outside with about 100 other customers as snow began to fall shortly before the 8 a.m. opening.

“It’s such a big day in history,” he said. “The fact that we don’t have to be criminals and can just smoke, and not be looked down on, or have to mess with the local police.”

In a legal and cultural experiment being closely — at times nervously — watched by states across the country, about 30 Colorado medical marijuana shops began selling recreational marijuana over the counter Wednesday, a little more than a year after voters approved Amendment 64, which allows retail pot sales to those 21 and older.

Washington voters passed a similar measure in November 2012, but retail marijuana stores aren’t expected to open in that state until June.

“For the first time in history, adults are able to purchase marijuana legally in a controlled environment as opposed to in the underground market,” Mason Tvert, who ran the Amendment 64 campaign, said at a press conference inside the 3-D Cannabis Center. Continue reading

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Mary Jane

“Marijuana is far from safe, despite the widespread effort to make it seem benign.  Pot damages the heart and lungs, increases the incidence of anxiety, depression and schizophrenia, and it can trigger acute psychotic episodes.”  Dr. Mitchell S. Rosenthal

“Now marijuana is becoming more widely regarded as a harmless amusement.  That’s not funny, it’s tragic.” Ibid

Mitchell S. Rosenthal, The Wall Street Journal, January 10, 2014, p. A 13

BN-BA960_rosent_BR_20140109173427Pot is always good for a giggle, and that makes it hard to take marijuana seriously. The news and entertainment media couldn’t resist puns on “Rocky Mountain high” when Colorado started the year with legal sales of marijuana for recreational purposes. TV stations across the country featured chuckling coverage of long lines outside Denver’s new state-licensed pot shops.

Legalizing marijuana isn’t just amusing. It’s increasingly popular with legislators and the public. And why not? No matter how high stoners get, they’re nowhere near as scary as out-of-control boozers, right? Stoners don’t brawl in bars. They’re not into domestic violence.

A Gallup poll last year found 58% of Americans favoring legalization (although other surveys report more slender majorities). Decriminalization of pot possession is widespread: 20 states sanction marijuana use for medical or quasi-medical reasons, and, following Colorado’s and Washington’s lead, proponents of legalization are targeting Alaska and Oregon for ballot initiatives in the near future, and six other states after that.

Yet marijuana is far from safe, despite the widespread effort to make it seem benign. Pot damages the heart and lungs, increases the incidence of anxiety, depression and schizophrenia, and it can trigger acute psychotic episodes. Many adults appear to be able to use marijuana with relatively little harm, but the same cannot be said of adolescents, who are about twice as likely as adults to become addicted to marijuana. The new Colorado law limits pot sales to people 21 or older, but making marijuana available for recreational use normalizes it in society. The drug will be made more easily available to those under 21, and how long until the age limit is dropped to 18? Continue reading

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