Kenneth Finn and Bob Doyle: Pot policy harmful
Steamboat Springs — In response to your recent editorial, “Pot experiment seems to be working,” we are concerned that the general public is unaware of the numerous and growing problems since marijuana commercialization began in Colorado five years ago under the guise of medicine.
One point in particular, is that with any “experiment,” one should care about the outcome, which does not appear to be the case here. We need to be concerned not just by a reckless industry but the growing science around the serious harms caused by marijuana. As we have learned with tobacco and alcohol, the industry will make money, and the costs will fall on our families, schools, employers and health care system.
In Colorado, we mass produce marijuana-infused children’s products like gummy bears, cupcakes and soda as well as marijuana that can be five to 15 times more potent than the marijuana of the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s. What has happened since we began the mass commercialization of marijuana in 2009-10 under the guise of medicine and expanded the market in 2012?
More marijuana poisonings of children and adults, more impaired drivers testing positive for marijuana, more auto fatalities involving marijuana-positive drivers, more illegal diversion of marijuana to other states, more drug-related school suspensions and Colorado marijuana use rates that exceed the national average in every age category, beginning with youth.
All of this on top of a growing body of science detailing marijuana’s negative impact on brain development, mental health and, most recently, links to stroke.
All of the costs of marijuana commercialization are not being tracked while our state, and your paper, only report revenue. Perhaps you understand why the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2015 released their position in opposition to marijuana legalization.
Colorado’s failed marijuana policies are harming many while the industry gets rich. It’s not an experiment — it’s the same thing we have seen from other commercialized drugs.
Kenneth Finn, MD
Member, Governor’s Task Force on Amendment 64
Member, Colorado Medical Marijuana Scientific Advisory Council
Chair, Colorado SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana) Coalition
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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — After almost four years of providing service to the community as a standalone, full-service emergency department, Steamboat Emergency Center will end its operations April 30.