What's the Rush, RI?

Advocating for Evidence Based Marijuana Policy

Tag Archives: Colorado

Marijuana: New industry wrestles with pesticides, safety


New industry wrestles with pesticides, safety 

By Kristen Wyatt The Associated Press (in The Providence Journal, July 21, 2015, page A10)

New industry wrestles with pesticides, safety on Page A10 of Tuesday, July 21, 2015 issue of The Providence Journal

Why rush on pot, Rhode Island?

Michael C. Cerullo: Why rush on pot, Rhode Island?
The Providence Journal, May 6, 2014


What happened to pot stigma?

What happened to pot stigma? 

By William J. Bennett and Seth Leibsohn  The Providence Journal, June 17, 2015


Post-Legalization Denver CO MJ Adolescent Use Increases Significantly

WTR-RI Research and Analysis Team Note:

Data drawn from 2014 Colorado Healthy Kids and 2014 Monitoring the Future studies show substantial increases in post-legalization Denver Area last month youth use of marijuana when compared to national averages.  The table attached below shows differences in 8th grade use versus national average of approximately 350%; the ratios for 9th, 10th and 12th grades are approximately 40, 50 and 42 percent respectively.

Denver vs Nat’l Avg. Youth Use 2014 Table

No Apparent Substitution Effect in Colorado Opioid Deaths

WTR-RI Research and Analysis Team Note: Proponents of Marijuana Legalization of Marijuana Use suggest it will lead to a substitution effect and that persons struggling with Heroin and Prescription Opioids will switch to MJ.  According to a Colorado Public Radio (CPR) report this has not been the case.  Below are links to the CPR report’s transcript and to a SAMSHA chart showing trends in Colorado’s college age MJ use.

Chart: Colorado among states with growing heroin, prescription drug abuse problem


Past Month College Age 2014 Samsa-PDF

Clearing the Haze | A perspective series by The Gazette

Clearing the Haze | A perspective series by The Gazette

Day 1: Regulation 
Sunday, March, 22 2015

Two important assumptions about successful legalization of marijuana in Colorado were made. Regulation would provide a safer solution to the state’s drug problems and by regulating the sale of marijuana the state could make money otherwise locked up in the black market. Sunday’s stories suggest the net gain from taxes and fees related to marijuana sales will not be known for a while, as costs are not known or tracked well, and there are many other unknowns about pot’s effects on public health and safety.

Day 2: Marijuana and Crime
Monday, March, 23 2015

Proponents of Amendment 64 said legalizing recreational sales and use of marijuana would stifle the black market in Colorado. That is not the case; crime statistics indicate we have more to learn about the long-term effects of legal pot on public safety and other concerns. Data indicate there is new black market trafficking across the country as a result of legalized pot sales in Colorado. Other safety concerns surrounding concentrates and their manufacture are consequences of legalization that were never anticipated.

“Only 1.4 percent of inmates in the state corrections system were imprisoned for offenses involving only marijuana-related crimes.”

– Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2004

Day 3: Youthful Addiction 
Tuesday, March, 24 2015

Protecting our children was a priority as the public headed to the polls to vote on Amendment 64. The most recent research on adolescent brain development and related addiction studies indicates this is more important than ever thought before. Adolescent exposure to marijuana is most troubling because young users are more vulnerable to addiction throughout their lives. Post-legalization trends in Colorado raise concerns because regulation has fallen short of the promises made by the state. The increasing rate of pot use also is a concern of employers.

“In 2009, Children’s Hospital Colorado reported two marijuana ingestions among children younger than 12. In the first six months of 2014, there were 12.”

– Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area

Day 4: Medical Marijuana 
Wednesday, March, 25 2015

Medical marijuana sales in Colorado exploded after October 2009 as the result of a federal memorandum stating that resources likely would not be used to prosecute people involved in the business, which remains illegal under federal law. Gazette research confirmed the medical marijuana market continues to grow as the result of porous regulation and a favorable price differential versus retail marijuana sales. The issue is big and complex and may derail legitimate efforts to conduct research on parts of the marijuana plant that could produce new, clinically proven medicines.

After 5 Months of Sales, Colorado Sees the Downside of a Legal High

After 5 Months of Sales, Colorado Sees the Downside of a Legal High

Opinion in The New York Times MAY 31, 2014

Denver Police Department sees nearly 1,000% increase in marijuana seizures since 2011.

Denver Police Department sees nearly 1,000% increase in marijuana seizures since 2011


Medical Marijuana Laws, Traffic Fatalities, and Alcohol Consumption

October, 2012

D. Mark Anderson
Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics Montana State University
Benjamin Hansen
Department of Economics University of Oregon
Daniel I. Rees
Department of Economics University of Colorado Denver

WTR-RI Research and Analysis Team Note:
The introductory summary of this extensive 25 page paper is quoted as follows:

To date, 17 states have passed medical marijuana laws, yet very little is known about their effects. The current study examines the relationship between the legalization of medical marijuana and traffic fatalities, the leading cause of death among Americans ages 5 through 34. The first full year after coming into effect, legalization is associated with an 8 to 11 percent decrease in traffic fatalities. The impact of legalization on traffic fatalities involving alcohol is larger and estimated with more precision than its impact on traffic fatalities that do not involve alcohol. Legalization is also associated with sharp decreases in the price of marijuana and alcohol consumption, a pattern of results consistent with the hypothesis that marijuana and alcohol are substitutes. Because alternative mechanisms cannot be ruled out, the negative relationship between legalization and alcohol-related traffic fatalities does not necessarily imply that driving under the influence of marijuana is safer than driving under the influence of alcohol.

The complete paper and 9 page bibliography can be seen at:

Marijuana use involved in more fatal accidents since commercialization of medical marijuana

Marijuana use involved in more fatal accidents since commercialization of medical marijuana

Source:  (As reported in ScienceDaily, May 15, 2014)  University of Colorado Denver. (2014, May 15). Marijuana use involved in more fatal accidents since commercialization of medical marijuana. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140515173507.htm

ScienceDaily Summary:

The proportion of marijuana-positive drivers involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes in Colorado has increased dramatically since the commercialization of medical marijuana in the middle of 2009, according to a study. The study raises important concerns about the increase in the proportion of drivers in a fatal motor vehicle crash who were marijuana-positive since the commercialization of medical marijuana in Colorado, particularly in comparison to the 34 non-medical marijuana states.

Journal Reference:

Stacy Salomonsen-Sautel, Sung-Joon Min, Joseph T. Sakai, Christian Thurstone, Christian Hopfer. Trends in fatal motor vehicle crashes before and after marijuana commercialization in ColoradoDrug and Alcohol Dependence, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.04.008

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