Tag: Colorado marijuana legalization

Teen Marijuana Use Drops in Colorado, Now Lower Than Before Legalization

DENVER, CO — The federal government published survey data Monday that shows the rate of current marijuana use among Colorado teens decreased significantly last year and is now lower than it was prior to the state’s legalization of marijuana for adult use.

The rate of past-month marijuana use by individuals ages 12-17 dropped nearly 20% from 11.13% in 2014-2015 to 9.08% in 2015-2016, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) performed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). It is now lower than it was in 2011-2012 (10.47%) and 2012-2013 (11.16%). Marijuana became legal for adults 21 and older in December 2012, and legal adult marijuana sales began in January 2014.

The rate of past-month marijuana use among 12-17-year-olds also dropped in Washington (from 9.17% in 2014-2015 to 7.93% in 2015-2016), and it is now lower than it was prior to legalization in 2012 (9.45% in 2011-2012 and 9.81% in 2012-2013).

Statement from Brian Vicente, partner at Vicente Sederberg LLC, who was one of the lead drafters of Amendment 64 and co-director of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol:

“Colorado is effectively regulating marijuana for adult use,” said Brian Vicente, who was one of the lead authors of Amendment 64 and co-director of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. “Teen use appears to be dropping now that state and local authorities are overseeing the production and sale of marijuana. There are serious penalties for selling to minors, and regulated cannabis businesses are being vigilant in checking IDs. The days of arresting thousands of adults in order to prevent teens from using marijuana are over.

“These survey results should come as welcome news to anyone who worried teen marijuana use would increase following legalization. As a proponent of Amendment 64 and a parent of two young children, they certainly came as welcome news to me,” Vicente added.

Tags: , , , ,


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Colorado’s Top Doc Debunks Fears of Marijuana Legalization

Contrary to the claims of many marijuana prohibitionists, regulating the adult use of cannabis in Colorado has not been associated with any significant adverse effects on public safety.

So affirmed Colorado’s top doctor, Larry Wolk, Chief Medical Officer for the Colorado Department of Public Health, in an interview Tuesday with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Specifically, Dr. Wolk said that legalization has not negatively impacted teen use or traffic safety. He also expresses skepticism at the suggestion that legalization may stimulate the greater use of other controlled substances.

Here is a sample of his comments:

TEEN USE

CBC: What have you seen since recreational cannabis has been legal in Colorado?
Dr. Larry Wolk: “The short answer is we have not seen much. We have not experienced any significant issue as a result of legalization. … I think the concern was that by legalizing marijuana, we should certainly see an increase in adult use, and maybe that would leak into our youth. [There was also a concern that] youth would somehow gain greater access, and/or feel entitled to go ahead and use in greater numbers. We just haven’t seen that pan out.”

DRUGGED DRIVING

What about drugged driving?
“We have actually seen an overall decrease in DUI’s since legalization. So, the short answer is: There has been no increase since the legalization of marijuana here.”

MARIJUANA AS A SUPPOSED GATEWAY

Do we know if cannabis legalization is leading to higher uses of hard drugs?
“We are not seeing those kinds of increases. … I think we have yet to answer the question of whether or not legalizing marijuana helps reduce the consumption of those harder, more addictive drugs, or acts as a gateway. The jury is still out.”

NORML has recently posted a number of fact-sheets online here summarizing the relevant peer-reviewed science specific to these and other public policy issues, including: cannabis and traffic safety, marijuana regulation and teen use patterns, legalization and crime rates, the relationship between legal cannabis access and opioid abuse, the gateway theory fallacy, and the economics of statewide legalization policies.

Tags: , , ,


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Legal Marijuana in Colorado Has Helped Reduce Opioid Related Deaths, Study Finds

Retail cannabis distribution in Colorado is associated with a reduction in opioid-related mortality, according to data published online ahead of print in The American Journal of Public Health.

A team of investigators from the University of North Texas School of Public Health, the University of Florida, and Emory University compared changed in the prevalence of monthly opioid-related deaths before and after Colorado retailers began selling cannabis to adults.

They reported: “Colorado’s legalization of recreational cannabis sales and use resulted in a 0.7 deaths per month reduction in opioid-related deaths. This reduction represents a reversal of the upward trend in opioid-related deaths in Colorado.”

Authors concluded, “Legalization of cannabis in Colorado was associated with short-term reductions in opioid-related deaths.”

Their data is consistent with prior studies finding that cannabis access is associated with reductions in prescription drug spending, opioid-related hospitalizations, and opioid-related fatalities.

An abstract of the study, “Recreational cannabis legalization and opioid-related deaths in Colorado, 2000-2015,” appears online here.

Tags: , ,


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Colorado County’s Marijuana Tax Program Will Provide $420,000 in College Scholarships This Fall

More than 200 graduating high school students in Colorado’s Pueblo County will head off to college in a few weeks thanks to legal marijuana. The 210 students will receive scholarships worth $2,000 each for a total of $420,000 — a very appropriate aggregate figure, given that the scholarships are being funded by excise taxes on state-legal marijuana grown in the county.

Happy local officials described the pot-fueled Pueblo County Scholarship Fund as “the country’s first cannabis-funded college scholarship.” It was created after voters in the sun-filled county, which is building a reputation as a center of the outdoor and greenhouse-grown pot trade,approved an excise tax on commercial cannabis cultivation in 2015.

Colorado pot taxes have already provided funding for the state’s public school system and homeless population, and the Pueblo County scholarships are demonstrating once again the economic and fiscal benefits accruing to states that have legalized marijuana.

And for Pueblo County high school students, there’s more to come. The pot cultivation excise tax was 2% last year, but will increase by 1% annually until it tops out at 5%. With rising commercial cultivation and a rising tax rate, the scholarship fund appears set to expand, allowing even more students in the county, where nearly 20% live below the poverty line and where more than 40% of residents are Hispanic, to take advantage of educational opportunities.

But they’ll have to stay near home. The scholarships only pay for tuition and fees at Pueblo Community College or Colorado State University-Pueblo. That latter school is also benefiting from marijuana in other ways: Thanks to $900,000 from the state’s marijuana tax fund and $270,000 in county pot excise taxes to be used for “community enhancement,” CSU-Pueblo last year opened the Institute of Cannabis Research to study topics such as the impact of legalization on local economies, industrial hemp cultivation, and the efficacy of cannabidiol.

Pueblo County Commissioner Sal Pace gave the credit to weed. He told the Cannabist in June the county’s abundant sunshine was its greatest natural resource, and taxes on sun-grown weed made both the institute and the scholarships possible.

“There are vast opportunities in cannabis — from growing to research — and we want to make sure all Coloradans benefit, not just a select few,” he said. “For years, our community has discussed creating local scholarships that could provide opportunity and help break cycles of poverty. The Pueblo County Scholarship Fund will change lives, families and benefit generations to come.”

Smoking weed may not help your academic career, but the taxes on growing it are helping some Colorado kids have an academic career. That’s one economic impact of legalization you don’t need an institute to figure out for you.


This content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license from StopTheDrugWar.org and was first published here.

Tags: , , ,


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

In Colorado, a Dog Alert Is Not Sufficient for Traffic Search, Appellate Court Rules

DENVER, CO — An alert from a dog trained to detect the odor of marijuana is not sufficient justification for a warrantless traffic vehicle search, the Colorado Court of Appeals has ruled.

Because the adult use of marijuana is legal under state law, the three-judge panel determined:

“A dog sniff could result in an alert with respect to something for which … a person has a legitimate expectation of privacy.”

The ruling reverses a lower court decision.

A 2015 Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling similarly determined that the smell of cannabis emanating from a vehicle is insufficient to trigger a warrantless vehicle search.

By contrast, a 2016 Arizona Supreme Court ruling determined that police may search a vehicle or a home based solely on the odor of cannabis.

Full text of the decision, Colorado v. McKnight is online.

Tags: , , , , , , ,


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Colorado’s Tax Revenue From Legal Marijuana Is Over Half-Billion Dollars

Revenues from Colorado’s legal cannabis industry have surpassed over a half-billion dollars since retail sales began on January 1, 2014.

According to an analysis by VS Strategies, cannabis-related taxes and fees have yielded $506,143,635 in new state revenue over the past three and one-half years. Local tax revenue was excluded from the analysis.

Much of the revenue raised has gone to fund school construction projects, school-drop out and substance abuse prevention programs, and grant funding.

The half-billion dollar total far exceeds initial projections. Tax revenue from legal cannabis sales in Oregon and Washington have also exceeded regulators’ initial expectations.

In Nevada, where retail sales to adult became legal on July 1, retailers reported over 40,000 transactions in just the first weekend.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Colorado Has Earned Over $500 Million in Marijuana Revenue Since Legalization

DENVER, CO — Since legal, regulated marijuana sales to adults began in 2014, Colorado has received more than half a billion dollars in marijuana-related revenue, including taxes and fees, according to an analysis of state data released Wednesday by Denver-based VS Strategies.

Since 2014, Colorado has imposed a 15% excise tax on wholesale transfers of marijuana for adult use and a special 10% sales tax on retail sales of recreational marijuana, in addition to the 2.9% state sales tax.  Starting July 1, 2017, marijuana became exempt from the 2.9% sales tax, and the special sales tax was increased from 10 to 15%.  Colorado’s marijuana sales totaled over $1 billion last year alone.

The state also receives application and licensing fees from marijuana related businesses.

The report details the sources of the revenue and provides a snapshot of how it the revenue being distributed across the state:

  • • $117.9 million has been used to fund school construction projects, and an additional $5.7 million has been distributed to the Public School Fund.
  • $5.8 million was allocated for school drop-out prevention programs and bullying prevention and education, plus more than $4.5 million for grants to increase the presence of school health professionals.
  • More than $16 million was allocated for substance abuse prevention and treatment, and $10.4 million was used for mental and behavioral health services.

“Legalizing, regulating, and taxing marijuana for adult use has generated hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue for Colorado,” says Mason Tvert, who helped direct Colorado’s 2012 voter initiative that legalized marijuana in the state. “Marijuana tax money has been used to improve a wide range of programs and services. It is funding everything from school construction to substance abuse treatment to fighting homelessness. While it might not fix every school or help every person who needs it, it is having a significant and positive impact on our community.”

“We hope lawmakers will continue to distribute these funds responsibly and not lose sight of what voters intended when they opted to regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol.”

In addition to the half-billion dollars raised at the state level, local governments in Colorado are generating significant annual revenue by levying standard local sales taxes on cannabis products, enacting special cannabis-specific taxes, and collecting local application and licensing fees.

Local communities also receive a portion of the cannabis tax revenue collected by the state government.  The report highlights how a few communities have utilized the added revenue generated by marijuana sales:

  • In June 2017, Pueblo County used $420,000 in local cannabis tax revenue to provide college scholarships to 210 local students.
  • The Aurora City Council allocated $1.5 million in cannabis tax revenue to fight homelessness. Funds are also being used to improve roads and help pay for a new recreation center.
  • The City of Edgewater has used cannabis tax revenue — which accounted for 20 percent of its budget in 2016 — to repave all of its
    streets, fix miles of sidewalks, and help fund the construction of a new city complex.

The full report can be viewed here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Study: Marijuana Use Stable In Colorado Post-Legalization

DENVER, CO — The percentage of Coloradoans who report using cannabis has remained relatively unchanged following the regulation of the adult use market, according to data published online ahead of print in the journal Preventive Medicine.

Researchers at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reviewed statewide marijuana use data from January 1, 2014.

They reported:

“[M]arijuana use, both among adults and among youth, does not appear to be increasing to date. No change was observed in past 30-day marijuana use among adults between 2014 (13.6 percent) and 2015 (13.4 percent). Similarly, there was no statistically significant change in 30-day or lifetime marijuana use among high school students between 2013 (lifetime: 36.9 percent, 30-day: 19.7 percent) and 2015 (lifetime: 38.0 percent, 30-day: 21.2 percent).”

The findings are similar to those from the state of Washington and elsewhere reporting that changes in statewide marijuana laws are not associated with an increase in cannabis use by young people.

Researchers also reported that Coloradoans were most likely to consume cannabis by smoking it (83 percent) as opposed to consuming edibles or vaporizing it – a finding that is consistent with national trends.

Full text of the study, “Lessons learned after three years of legalized, recreational marijuana: The Colorado experience,” appears in Preventive Medicine.

Tags: , , ,


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

NORML Forms Multi-State Workplace Drug Testing Coalition

DENVER, CO — The fact that 190 million Americans now live in states where marijuana has been legalized to some degree is raising a number of questions and issues about how to integrate the American workforce and marijuana consumers rights in regards to drug testing.

With medical marijuana is legal in 29 states and recreational marijuana for adult use in 8 states and Washington DC, millions of responsible and otherwise law-abiding adults remain at risk of being excluded from the workforce due to a positive drug test — even where the use does not effect an individuals job performance or has taken place days or weeks prior to the test.

NORML believes that this practice is discriminatory and defies common sense. As a result, a growing coalition of NORML Chapters in California, Oregon, Colorado and Washington have come together to advocate for necessary legislative and workplace reforms to protect responsible marijuana consumers.

NORML’s Workplace Drug Testing Coalition’s efforts will focus on these four areas:

  1. Reform workplace drug testing policies
  2. Expand employment opportunities for marijuana consumers
  3. Clarify the difference between detection technology and performance testing
  4. Highlight off-duty state law legal protections for employees

“Even though marijuana is legal and readily available in several states, consumers are being unfairly forced to choose between their job and consuming off the clock as a result of out-of-date employment practices,” said Kevin Mahmalji, National Outreach Coordinator for NORML. “That is why many NORML chapters active in legal states are now shifting their attention to protecting honest, hardworking marijuana consumers from these sort of antiquated, discriminatory workplace drug-testing practices, in particular the use of random suspicionless urine testing.”

Employer testing of applicants or employees for trace metabolites (inert waste-products) of past use of a legal substance makes no sense in the 21st century. This activity is particularly discriminatory in the case of marijuana where such metabolites may be detectable for weeks or even months after the consumer has ceased use.

With the 2017 Legislative Session underway, this issue is finally getting the attention it deserves. Legislation has already been introduced in Oregon and Washington , and is gaining traction in those states.

“Random suspicionless drug testing of applicants or employees for past marijuana use is not just unfair and discriminatory, it’s bad for business,” said attorney Judd Golden of Boulder, Colorado, a long-time NORML activist and Coalition spokesperson. The modern workforce includes countless qualified people like Brandon Coats of Colorado, a paraplegic medical marijuana patient who never was impaired on the job and had an unblemished work record. Brandon was fired from a Fortune 500 company after a random drug test, and lost his case in the Colorado Supreme Court in 2015. The Court unfortunately found Colorado’s lawful off-duty activities law that protects employees for legal activities on their own time didn’t apply to marijuana use.”

California NORML is also expecting legislation to be introduced this session to address this issue. Ellen Komp, deputy director of California NORML said, “One of the most frequently asked questions we have been getting since Prop. 64 passed legalizing adult marijuana use in California last November is, ‘Am I now protected against drug testing on my job?’ Sadly in our state, not even medical marijuana patients are protected against job discrimination, and it’s a priority of Cal NORML to change that. We are hoping to get a bill introduced at the state level and are working with legislators, unions, and other reform groups to make that happen.”

NORML Chapters across the country are advocating on behalf of the rights of responsible marijuana consumers against discrimination in the workplace. “Our coalition was formed with the intention of not only educating legislators, but also with businesses in mind. It is important they know testing for marijuana is not mandatory, and that employers have testing options,” said Jordan Person, executive director for Denver NORML. The Denver chapter is currently working with companies that offer performance impairment testing of workers suspected of on-the-job impairment or use rather than unreliable bodily fluid testing to help provide options for employers.

For decades drug testing companies and others have pushed their agenda through a campaign of misinformation. Until now there has never been an organized effort to challenge the profit- driven ideology of those who seek to benefit from intrusive drug screening. Mounting evidence continues to prove there is no logical reason why adult marijuana consumers should be treated with any less respect, restricted more severely, and denied the same privileges we extend to responsible adults who enjoy a casual cocktail after a long day at the office.

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) has been America’s Marijuana Consumer Lobby for nearly 50 years. The Washington DC-based nonprofit leads local, state and federal lobbying efforts to represent the interests of marijuana consumers.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Marijuana Use Rates Have Not Changed in Colorado Post-Legalization

Thousands of signatures for the Colorado Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which later become known as Amendment 64, outside of the state capitol in February, 2012.

DENVER, CO — The percentage of Colorado adults and teens who report using cannabis regularly has remained virtually unchanged in the years following its legalization, according to a new report released by the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment.

The report, entitled ‘Monitoring Health Concerns related to Marijuana in Colorado: 2016,’ concludes:

“For adults and adolescents, past-month marijuana use has not changed since legalization either in terms of the number of people using or the frequency of use among users. Based on the most comprehensive data available, past month marijuana use among Colorado adolescents is nearly identical to the national average.”

Prior data provided by the agency shows that teens’ marijuana use rates have fallen since 2009.

The paper also acknowledges, “Daily or near-daily marijuana use among adults is much lower than daily or near-daily alcohol or tobacco use,” and reports that incidences of unintentional exposure to cannabis products by young children “appear to be decreasing.”

The full text of the report is available online.

Tags: , , ,


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.