Inspiring Minds - The Facts on Marijuana and Youth Health

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  • My name is Rachel O’Bryan. I am here today because I am the mother of a 12 year old. How many of you are here today because you are the mother of a middle or high school student? I am an attorney. I practiced litigation, antitrust and consumer protection law. I was appointed by the Governor’s office to be on the Criminal Issues WG of the TF; and appointed by the DOR MED, otherwise known as the State Licensing Authority, to the Recordkeeping, Discipline and Enforcement WG and the Interim Production Cap WG.For example, at an early meeting on taxation, one member of the medical marijuana industry group said, marijuana is such an incredible product that the state should subsidize the industry, not tax it. One member of the industry said it was more important for packaging to be biodegradable than child-proof. She also said that when a child gets into her MJ they should be prosecuted, not protected.We were outspent 4 to 1 at the capitol last session.
  • Over and over at the capitol we heard keeping marijuana away from kids is a parenting issue, not a state issue. Well, your job as a parent just got a lot harder and here’s why…And 2x higher than in the 90s. Slade et al., 2012.Recently, a reporter who took a tour of a store said she saw nothing below 20% THC.Colorado has no meaningful transaction limits for concentrates that are not for sale anywhere else in the world.
  • Market share from CSU Colorado Futures Center Report on The Fiscal Impact of Amendment 64 on State Revenues, April 24, 2013. The marijuana industry spent $225,000 for lobbyists last session. Smart Colorado spent $55,000.The Ag Dept. said not in meat, but didn’t ban it from butter
  • The state asked for guidance from the federal government as soon as A64 passed. Unfortunately they did not issued a statement until after the legislative session ended in May.After months of silence, on August 29, 2013, the U.S. Dept. of Justice issued memo on marijuana enforcement priorities:#1 preventing the distribution of marijuana to minorsPreventing the distribution of marijuana to minors covers a variety of conduct, including:Marijuana sold or transferred to minorsMarijuana trafficking that takes place near an area associated with minorsMarijuana infused products marketed in a manner to appeal to minorsMarijuana diverted, directly or indirectly, purposefully or otherwise, to minorsWe believe that the memo contained many cautionary words for Colorado and local lawmakers. SMART is concerned that the fed priorities did not get adequate protection in the first round of laws.Other priorities:#3 preventing the diversion of marijuana from Colorado to other states#5 preventing drugged driving and the exacerbation of other adverse public health consequences of marijuana use
  • Smart Colorado supports a limitation on the types of edibles permitted in the recreational market and will be working on this going forward. We see no need for candy marijuana. In case you haven’t seen what sorts of products contain marijuana, here is a short list: soda, lollipops, gummy bears, tootsie rolls, poptarts, rice krispy treats, cookies, brownies, cheesecake. Despite the provision to prohibit additives that make a product more appealing to minors or more addictive, in Colorado we will add sugar, food flavorings and food colorings to make our MJ VERY attractive. Under federal law, you cannot add flavorings to tobacco (except for menthol), yet with our MJ we add fruit flavorings, colorings and SUGAR. We do not understand how a MJ candy does not inherently market to children and trigger federal enforcement, in the same way that flavored tobacco was found to market to kids.
  • Child proof packaging and serving size laws were areas we focused on in the last session. Yet, even under present law, the items you see above may legally contain 10 servings of THC! But a kid just sees 1 serving!A study was released during the session that showed an increase in MJ poisonings among kids. They were unknowingly eating their parents or grandparents’ MMJ and getting really sick. In addition to being enticing, a typical MMJ brownie might contain 30 servings and the patient knew to just break off a bite, but a child saw a single serving!
  • There are edible product manufacturers in Colorado that buy food products and then spray them with marijuana and then sell them in packaging that mimics the original product, such as Oreos, Fig Newtons, Tootsie Rolls, gummy worm,s Gold fish, etc. We sought to make it illegal for these companies to use anyone else’s products without permission. But when we shopped that amendment, a rash of new lobbyists were hired to fight this. As the law stands, it is still ok to buy costco or chinese made food products and add MJ. This is really troubling to SMART. A child doesn’t see the difference between an Oreo and an unbranded chocolate wafer-cream filled cookie.
  • The state has so far refused to put an upper limit on marijuana flowers or buds for smoking. The problem with the policy making last year is that it was driven by the medical marijuana industry where patients “dosed” multiple times a day and have developed tolerance to the intoxicating effects of MJ after long term repeated exposure (Witton, 2008).The industry argues that higher potency products limit consumption (and vice versa; that low potency products will increase consumption) but they haven’t proven this empirically.
  • Concentrates are a distilled form of MJ. The state settled on a serving size of 10mg of THC for edible marijuana products, but no serving size was mandated for buds or concentrates. With alcohol there is such a thing as “proofing” that explains the % of alcohol by volume. And we are all familiar with the visual explanation that 1 beer=4 oz. of wine=1 shot of liquor. One source says a MJ “high” can be achieved with just 2.5 mg of THC. What does that look like in a joint? What does that look like in concentrate?A concentrate fueled high can be had with dipping the end of a paper clip or nail in the concentrate and heating it and smoking the vapor. THAT IS HOW SMALL THE AMOUNT IS NEEDED TO GET HIGH.Another problem with understanding how much MJ to consume is that it is a fat soluble drug. It stays in the system longer and how one joint or one toke effects you may depend on several variables including the last time you consumed MJ and how heavy you are. At a minimum, during summer regulatory rule making, SMART Colorado recommended that a warning be placed on MJ products that says “The intoxicating effects of this product will vary for each consumer.” But that suggested warning did NOT make it into final rules.
  • You don’t make a pipe that looks like a hi-lighter if you aren’t trying to secure child customer. I would really like to know why the federal government hasn’t shut this business down!
  • You can even bedazzle your vapor pen!!!Another problem to be aware of is that an e-cig made for tobacco can use a marijuana cartridge and kids can buy tobacco accessories at a younger age.
  • And that is why we see…
  • National Survey on Drug Use and HealthThis slide clearly demonstrates the highest marijuana use age group. It’s 18-20 year olds. This is why many medical marijuana businesses want to stay in business – to serve the under 21 populationThis is also why industry makes their products attractive to kids – soda, candy
  • Notice how marijuana compares to alcohol. This is the result of a 14 year campaign of thinking of marijuana as good for you since the passage of Amendment 20 legalized medical marijuana in 1990.The Denver Office of Drug Strategy has conceded that they don’t have reliable trend data for youth marijuana use over time in Denver. In a few months, the next HKCS will be released with DPS figures and we will have the second point on the graph. The first district wide effort to collect and analyze student surveys only happened in 2011.CDC Survey claims that marijuana use in Colorado by teens has decreased. That is not true. There has been no statistical change in use according to the HCKS from 2005, 2009 and 2011. The changes that MMIG cites in data are statistically insignificant. This is like a “margin of error” in political polling.Dr Chris Urbina, previous Executive Director of the Colo Dept. of Public Health and Environment specifically rejected the CDC Survey as proof of decreased teen use. At the Feb 4th meeting for the working group for Gov’s Task Force he said: “I looked at the confidence intervals in that data and it is not statistically significant. That is not a decline. It is essentially the same… and there is no, essentially no, change” Additionally, it’s noteworthy to mention that “almost all of the indicators for ALL drugs show an insignificant decline, meaning there are other reasons for the ‘no difference’ between 2009 and 2011
  • Here is how Colorado compares to other states based on a national survey…Annual Averages Based on 2011 and 2012 NSDUHsSource: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, National Survey of Drug Use and Health, 2011 and 2012.
  • Annual Averages Based on 2011 and 2012 NSDUHsSource: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, National Survey of Drug Use and Health, 2011 and 2012.
  • According to the HKCS 2011, 9% of Colorado Youth reported trying marijuana before 13.According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration,In 2012, among recent initiates aged 12 or older who initiated marijuana use prior to the age of 21, the mean age at first use was 16.3 years and 55 percent of marijuana users are between 12 and 18 years old *Annual Averages Based on 2011 and 2012 NSDUHsSource: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, National Survey of Drug Use and Health, 2011 and 2012.
  • Why does Colorado show at the extreme high end on all these maps? Smart believes it is because of our history being a MMJ state. This table lays it out as clear as a bell. When MMJ laws are passed, more MJ is available in the communities. And we know that kids get their marijuana from people they know.Another interesting fact: If you were to overlay the rate for DPS past 30 day use it falls off the chart! At 19%. HKCS, DPS 2011-2012
  • Based on an open records request I did last summer of the CO MED and CDPHE…For that bottom bullet point, that is 4% of all surveyed students, not just 4% of those who had used marijuana.
  • Now lets look at Denver. Across the board the numbers are worse. However, DPS lumps total stats of middle and high schoolers together. So these don’t exactly track. 12% of DPS students tried marijuana between the ages of 13 and 14. A quarter of DPS high school students have ridden in car with someone who has smoked marijuana. Have you pulled up to a stop light and smelled marijuana coming from the car in the next lane? Anecdotally we are hearing that the new designated driver for students is just the one who is stoned and not drunk.
  • Denver’s youth marijuana use (blue) compared to Colorado (red) and the national average (green) in the last 30 days from a 2011-2012 survey.Shocking numbers that are higher than anywhere else in the country. This shows incredible diversion to minors under the medical marijuana system.In 2011 Denver’s 8th graders were reporting a past 30 day usage rate of 18%, almost 3 times the national average of 6.5%. Our kids in Colorado are using mj much earlier
  • Once again, Denver surpasses everyone in marijuana use in every age groupNote: 61% of Denver’s senior high school students report having used marijuana
  • This headline was the lead story Denver Post Nov 11. School related suspensions and expulsions shot up right around the same time there was an explosion of marijuana dispensaries.It’s widely known and accepted that marijuana accounts for the vast majority of drug related incidents at the schools. This information is from both statistics at the Colorado Dept of Education and those working in the schools (teachers, counselors) High schools are now becoming sensitive to these statistics for fear of tarnishing the schools reputation and loosing funding. It is reported from counselors and teachers in the school that some principals are not addressing the issues like they use to. Drug use increases costs for our schools, with drop out rates, poor academic performance*Talk to high school counselors and teachers who see it everyday. According to a drug counselor at one of our local DPS schools, edibles are becoming an alarming problem. Go to high schools at lunchtime, or before and after school to see kids getting high and vaporizing both in their car and with E-Cigarettes
  • And Denver doesn’t enforce the law against open and public consumption. Chief White said it will be DPD’s lowest priority.25,000 attended the 420 events last year and 75,000 are predicted for this year.What our kids are seeing has a big effect on them. What adults are doing, kids will repeat.
  • The DCC formed a special issues A64 committee of the whole chaired by Charlie Brown (who chaired the MMJ committee years ago). At the first meeting, council members were reminded that 66% of voters in Denver passed A64 with a low of 52% and a high of 68% by district and 41%-88% by precinct. One city councilman said “the social negatives of marijuana have not materialized.” I don’t know what Denver he lives in, but it isn’t mine! At a Denver city council meeting months later, the same belief was expressed: that the marijuana industry is a tale of American entrepreneurial spirit that should be encouraged.It is interesting that medical and retail will be sold side by side. We do not know how that can comply with the rule than no false or misleading health claims can be made. How do the stores differentiate a wellness product from a recreational product that should be consumed in limited quantities?Denver Retail Marijuana:Only medical marijuana businesses in “good standing” may open retail business until 2016Retail and medical marijuana may be sold side by side if ALL customers restricted to 21 years old or olderNo cap on size of businessNo production limitsNo limit on the number of licenses one person may ownAmendment 64 encompassed a lot Decriminalization of pot; letting adults use small amounts of marijuana in privacy of their own homeRegulate it - get rid of the black marketThe sale and Mass commercialization of marijuana – which many people probably didn’t think of all the ramifications
  • Public hearings were NOT required before MMC opened, so no community comment was ever sought and no good neighborhood agreements executed. Liquor stores now have a harder time getting a license than a MJ store because they have to meet the needs and desires of the neighborhood.
  • Under state charter governing local authority, local governments may adopt regulations that are MORE restrictive so long as they do not conflict with state laws and rules. For example, Denver chose to limit hours of operation to 8 am until 7 pm, whereas the state rules following liquor store hours 8 am to 10 pm.
  • Saying Yes:Aspen,Black Hawk,Boulder,Breckenridge,Carbondale,Central City,Crested Butte,Eagle,Edgewater,Empire, Fraser,Frisco,Georgetown,Glendale,Glenwood Springs,Idaho Springs,Louisville,Nederland,Northglenn,Salida,Silverthorne,Steamboat Springs,Telluride,Vail,Wheat RidgeSaying No: AlamosaBrighton,Broomfield,Buena Vista,Castle Pines,Castle Rock,Estes Park,Cherry Hills Village,Colorado Springs,Douglas County,Englewood,Fort Morgan,Grand Junction,Grand Lake,Greeley,Greenwood Village,Gunnison,Limon,Lone Tree,Longmont,Loveland,Monument,Parker,Thornton,WestminsterWaiting to See: Arvada – Moratorium until 3/31/14,Aurora – Moratorium until 5/5/14,Avon – Moratorium until 9/30/14,Canon City – Moratorium until 4/1/14,Centennial – Moratorium until 9/30/14,Dillon – Moratorium until 10/1/14,Durango – Moratorium until 6/30/14,Florence – Moratorium until 3/31/14,Ft. Collins – Moratorium until 10/1/14,Golden – Moratorium until 7/1/14,Lafayette – Moratorium until 4/1/14,Lakewood – Moratorium until 2/1/15,Littleton – Moratorium until 10/1/14,Jefferson County – Moratorium until 2/1/15,Ouray – Moratorium until 12/31/14,Palisade – Moratorium until 1/15/15,Paonia – Moratorium until12/31/14
  • This applies up to age 25.
  • Early and regular marijuana use produced significant cognitive and intellectual decline by age 38. Research shows a permanent change. If they start using as an adult the impairment is temporary lasting weeks. Potency is associated with a increase of panic, anxiety and psychosis (paranoia).
  • Recent science is debunking the myth that marijuana is not addictive. Marijuana addition really exists. A withdrawal syndrome has been identified, and users continue using despite negative consequences.Another study finds addiction increases with potency. Sadly, there are no studies of the potency sold in our stores.Between 2008 and 2011, youth (17 and under) seeking treatment admissions for marijuana addiction went from 33.4% to 40.4%Drug/Alcohol Coordinated Data System, Co Dept. of Human Services
  • I have a DPS MS, at the beginning of the school year, I ran into his health teacher who said he had no plan for how to address legalized MJ in the classroom. So, I have been feeding him documents.If my talk today motivates you to do one thing, I hope it is reaching out to your child’s school, principal, or health teacher and ask what they have done to address legal marijuana. And, if they have done nothing, tell them that is unacceptable and leaving children open to influences of the industry.Lumping MJ in the same bucket as Meth and heroin will make kids zone out.
  • Kids have been told marijuana can’t be harmful; it’s just an herb. Well you wouldn’t go out an pick poison mushrooms and eat them, would you?Marijuana legalization has become a civil rights issue. It is hard to say you disagree with A64 without looking like you favor locking up young people and users. But, it is much more complex than that, and revolves around the distinction between decriminalization as opposed to commercialization and without promoting a new industry.Celebrities think it is cool to support and they get enormous backlash if they say anything negative about it; Lady Gaga admitted to being “addicted” and was hounded online. Someone who says they don’t drink or smoke would never face that sort of negative reaction.
  • A real problem in our state is that school districts are allowed to opt out of surveys. We cannot get accurate state-wide statistic if regions can forego collecting data.There is also a culture of silence. We got a call from the BBC this weekend asking about edibles. It is hard to get parents to talk about their kids’ problems.
  • A 64 expressly stated to regulate MJ like alcohol. Yet, one license per owner in alcohol has not been adapted in MJ. So, it is legal to own more than one store.BIG MJ will be a reality in CO. During my work on the production caps, there is a fine line between having enough production to meet demand and over producing so that pot is diverted to remaining black markets: kids and out of state. We must tie supply to demand. It is imperative that CO do a better job to prevent diversion. A RMHIDTA report found that CO MMJ was intercepted on its way to 37 states! Over the holidays, my nephew who lives in VA admitted that his high school buddy, who deals MJ at his school gets it from Colorado. A64 has the broadest definition of marijuana to include almost pure THC oil. SMART is scheduling meetings with lawmakers to revise these bills in ways to further protect public health and safety for our kids.
  • Uruguay is also more restrictive:The government controls the distribution channelMonthly limit of 40 grams of flower, approx. 1.5 oz.No concentrates or edibles soldSales limited to residentsNo advertising
  • To wrap up, I want to appeal to you all to get involved at this stage, don’t wait. This is a matter of first impression. We are creating an industry from scratch. The eyes of the entire country are on us. The laws are not yet in perfect form. We don’t even know all the issues and problems that will arise from widespread access and use. More will be debated and passed at the next session of the CO General Assembly between Jan. and May.

Transcript

  • 1. Marijuana and Colorado Youth Inspiring Minds February 3, 2014
  • 2.  A volunteer-run, non-profit organization dedicated to minimizing the negative consequences of legalized marijuana in Colorado, particularly for our youth.  Formed March 1, 2013, after Amendment 64 passed, in response to observation that marijuana policy was being dominated and driven by for- profit marijuana industry. We were concerned that the health, safety and well-being of Colorado youth were not being considered.  Concerned how increased marijuana commercialization will impact our communities, the state and our adolescents. About Us
  • 3. Today’s Marijuana in Colorado  It is not like a marijuana joint of your youth  Extremely potent, THC levels 4 times higher than in 1980s, up to 35%  Smoking is only half of the story  Brownies are so yesterday  Marijuana infused edibles include candies, cereals and sodas etc.  Marijuana concentrate is available  highly potent, 75-90% THC  I oz of concentrate = approx. 2800 servings of marijuana  Vaporized in electronic cigarettes, “dabbed”
  • 4. Marijuana Edibles  Huge, multi-million dollar industry that is growing, estimated 38% of the market  Very few regulations and no limitations on types that can be sold  Made to be “palatable” and “discreet”  Creates confusion with regular food and accidental ingestions  Marketed to be attractive to adolescents  Almost any food can become a marijuana edible (candy, soda, chips etc…)  Infused, sprayed or baked into food
  • 5. A Candy Case in a Store
  • 6. Infused with Sugar and Fruit Flavors
  • 7. The industry infuses childhood favorites
  • 8. Kids breakfast cereal sprayed with marijuana concentrate
  • 9. Even toddler’s food, goldfish, can become a marijuana edible
  • 10. Increased visits to ER due to marijuana  Children’s Hospital saw new category of patients (children) being rushed to ER due to unintentional marijuana ingestion  2005-2009 there were 0 cases of admissions from accidental marijuana ingestions  After 2009, and rise of dispensaries, 14 reported emergencies at Children’s Hospital*  ER visits throughout Colorado for marijuana related incidents involving youth  2005-2008 there were 741 cases per year, on average  2009-2011 increased to 800 cases per year** *Wang, Rocky Mountain Poison Control and Drug, 2013 **Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact, Rocky Mountain HIDTA Aug. 2013
  • 11. High Potency Products  THC content continues to rise in Colorado  Netherlands saw first hand negative impact of increasing THC levels. Levels above 15% correlated to:  Unacceptable youth health risks from links to schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders  Higher addiction rates in both youth and adult population  Increased accidents from marijuana use  Increased crime  Increased public nuisance complaints  Negative pot tourism
  • 12. Concentrates  Not legally sold to consumers anywhere else in the world  1 oz. equivalent to 2,800 servings (at 10mg/serving)  1 oz. fits in a pants pocket  1 oz. enough to provide marijuana to every student at East High School  Tourist can buy 700 servings at once – more than they can consume in state
  • 13. Wax Dabbing
  • 14. Made to Be Hidden
  • 15. Made to be Hidden
  • 16. E-Cigarettes or Vaporizers
  • 17. Marijuana The Next Big Tobacco  Similarities between Big Tobacco, decades ago, and today’s budding marijuana industry  Health claims on their product, despite associated risks  Encouraging use at a young age to secure future customers  Making their product attractive to kids  Safety claims contrary to science  Influencing public policy through political pressure, lobbying and funding political candidates  Both industries now using the E-cigarettes
  • 18. Big Tobacco Eyeing Big Marijuana  “Those who think that the big alcohol, tobacco and pharmaceutical companies aren’t watching states like Colorado very closely are fooling themselves.” Quote of a Colorado marijuana infused product manufacturer in The Westword, Ganjapreneurs in Colorado, Jan. 2, 2014.  “The use of marijuana ... has important implications for the tobacco industry in terms of an alternative product line. [We] have the land to grow it, the machines to roll it and package it, the distribution to market it.” From a report commissioned by cigarette manufacturer Brown and Williamson (now merged with R.J. Reynolds) in the 1970s.  Altria, the parent company of Phillip Morris, recently bought the web domain names: AltriaCannabis.com and AltriaMarijuana.com
  • 19. Marijuana Use HighestAmong 18-20
  • 20.  More high school students have smoked a joint (22%) than a cigarette (16%) in the last 30 days*  57% of high school students say it is easy or sort of easy to get marijuana*  More students see greater risk of harm from regular alcohol use than from regular marijuana use  42% of high school students perceive no or slight risk from regular marijuana use*  More students drove or rode with a driver after smoking marijuana than after drinking alcohol*  More high school students used marijuana on school grounds than alcohol* *Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, 2011-2012 Youth Marijuana Use In Colorado
  • 21. Marijuana Use in the Past Month among Youths Aged 12 to 17
  • 22. Marijuana Use in the Past Year among Youths Aged 12 to 17,
  • 23. First Use of Marijuana among Youths Aged 12 to 17
  • 24. Medical Marijuana States Have Higher Youth Rates
  • 25. Medical Marijuana – Pathway to Kids?  4,528 medical marijuana card holders between 18-20*  Many DPS high school students know someone with a medical marijuana card:**  51% of 12th graders  45% of 11th graders  41% of 10th graders  36% of 9th graders  In the last Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, 4% of surveyed DPS 11th and 12th graders had gotten marijuana from a marijuana card holder in the previous month *Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Medical Marijuana Registry, 8/13/13 ** Healthy Kids Colorado Survey 2011-2012, Denver Public Schools
  • 26. Youth Marijuana Use in Denver  1 in 10 DPS seniors are using marijuana on a daily or near daily basis*  32% of DPS seniors have used marijuana in the last month*  14% of DPS students tried marijuana before they were 13*  10% of DPS high school students have used marijuana at school*  10% of DPS high school students have driven after using marijuana* *Healthy Kids Colorado Survey 2011-2012
  • 27. Denver’s youth marijuana use higher than national average
  • 28. Denver Ranks Above the Rest Healthy Kids Colorado Survey 2011
  • 29. “Pot Problems in Schools Increase with Legalization” Denver Post lead story 11/11/13
  • 30. Marijuana Exposure Linked to Increased Use  Examples of Increased Exposure  Billboard near Broncos stadium calling Marijuana “A Safer Choice”  Denver doesn’t prohibit marijuana use in front yards  4/20 pot rally in Civic Center Park draws thousands and gets media coverage  Denver County Fair adds a “Pot Pavilion” where pot plant, pot edibles, homemade bongs will be judged, and a speedy joint-rolling contest will be held  Denver Post adds marijuana-dedicated section called “The Cannabist”  As perception of harm goes down, use goes up*  Studies show there is a direct correlation*  69% of DPS seniors perceive no or slight risk of harm from occasional marijuana use**  61% of DPS seniors have ever used marijuana** *Denver Office of Drug Strategy, Proceedings of Denver Epidemiology Work Group 3/1/13 ** Healthy Kids Colorado Survey 2011-2012
  • 31. Commercialization of Marijuana in Denver  619 eligible medical marijuana facilities  217 shops (more than Starbucks or McDonalds)  365 cultivation facilities  37 marijuana infused products manufacturers  319 Retail Marijuana applications in Denver  123 retail shops, 27 licenses issued as of 1/10/14  168 cultivation facilities  25 marijuana infused products manufacturers  3 testing facilities Potential to have 340 marijuana stores before 2016! As of 1/10/14 Denver Excise and Licensing
  • 32. Denver Retail Marijuana  A public hearing is required before the issuance of any retail store license  Basis for denying a license:  Past violations of the Colorado marijuana code  Effect on competition of granting second or additional licenses  Previous operation in a manner adversely affecting public health, welfare or safety of the immediate neighborhood  Issuance of the license will adversely impact the health, welfare or public safety of the neighborhood  Public hearing process is a farce:  Only evidence of past criminal activity is admitted  Public consumption across the street not relevant  Neighborhood needs and desires not admitted  Studies about harm to children not admitted  State and city audits showing lax regulation not admitted
  • 33. Commercialized Marijuana and the Rest of Colorado  Amendment 64 gives municipalities the right to prohibit Marijuana Cultivation, Marijuana Product Manufacturing and Marijuana Testing Facilities and Retail Marijuana Stores  Time, place, manner and number of licenses is under local control
  • 34. Municipal Regulation as of 1/10/14  85 prohibit retail marijuana  27 permit retail marijuana  33 have moratoria in place Colorado Municipal League reports more than half (53.1%) of municipal actions have prohibited retail marijuana. https://www.cml.org/uploadedFiles/CML_Site_Map/_Global/MMJ/e lection_mmj_recreational.pdf
  • 35. Impacts of Early Marijuana Use  Marijuana affects adolescents differently than adults due to brain development which continues until mid 20’s  Studies show marijuana can permanently change and damage teen brains*  Affects the hippocampus, critical for learning and memory, and the prefrontal cortex, governs complex decision making and analysis  Affects processing, impulsivity and memory *Meier, M.H., et al. Persistent Cannabis Users Show Neuropsychological Decline From Childhood to Midlife, 2012.
  • 36. Scientific Studies Early Marijuana Use  Heavy youth marijuana users reduced their IQ levels as much as 8 points*  comparable to IQ reductions from early childhood lead exposure  cognitive declines affect chronic adult users as well, but are more dramatic for teens  Association with long-term psychological effects such as psychosis and schizophrenia  Even moderate cannabis use (weekly) increases risk for major depression**  Adolescents who use daily are 2.5 times more likely to develop anxiety disorders***  Teens who use daily had more difficulty performing memory tasks and had abnormal brain structure similar to schizophrenics.**** *Madeline H. Meier et al 2012 **Fairman, B. J., & Anthony, J. C. 2012. Fergusson, D. M., Horwood, L. J., & Swain-Campbell, N. 2002 *** Hall &Degenhardt 2012 ****Smith, Cobia, et al., Schizophrenia Bulletin 2013
  • 37. Marijuana Addiction  1 in 6 adolescents who use casually become addicted vs. 1 in 9 adults*  Withdrawal symptoms include:  Irritability, anger, aggression  Anxiety  Restlessness  Weight loss  Disturbed sleep, nightmares and strange dreams** *Hall &Degenhardt, Adverse Health Effects of Non-medical Cannabis Use, 2009 **Budney et al, Health Consequence of Marijuana Use, 2004 **Bostwick 2012
  • 38. No Education Getting to Kids  Every district, school and health class does their own thing (if anything)  No standard information provided based on factual research and data  Marijuana education is lumped in with all “other drugs”  Materials don’t include the latest research on marijuana’s affect on the developing brain  Prevention and behavioral surveys have lost funding recently
  • 39. Desperate Need to Counter Marijuana Messages Sold to Our Kids  Marijuana is a benign, all-natural wellness product; an herb that is not harmful.  It is a cure-all that helps with ADHD, concentration, sleep issues, headaches, anxiety, depression, OCD, me nstrual cramps  Marijuana use is an acceptable recreational activity  There is an increase in advertising reaching kids on-line, in magazines and newspapers; even pot recipes in Denver Post  Marijuana is glorified and politicized
  • 40. Hurdles to Data Collection  No one wants to get kids in trouble/ jeopardize college or future  Police, educators, school administrators, and parents - no one reporting usage  Schools/Districts fighting for limited public dollars don’t want appearance of “drug problem”
  • 41. Colorado Implements Most Permissive Marijuana Laws in the World  No meaningful limitations to commercialization  production limits, caps on businesses, limit on number of licenses issued  No limitations on THC strength, potency  over 15% THC in the Netherlands is considered a hard drug like heroin and cocaine  No limitations on types of edibles  Advertising and promotions restrictions not clear  TV advertising permitted on primetime programs
  • 42. Washington State is More Restrictive  Tries to limit commercialization by basing retail store count on population.  Seattle only allowed 21 recreational marijuana shops, compared to Denver, soon to be over 300 shops  Caps on overall marijuana production  Prohibition on sale of marijuana concentrate to consumers  Much higher taxes (25% at wholesale; 25% at distribution; 25% at retail)  No home grows allowed  Limits and restrictions on edibles
  • 43. The Netherlands is More Restrictive  Never legalized commercial marijuana production  Decriminalized small amounts of marijuana use  Marijuana over 15% THC levels is treated as a hard drug (i.e. heroin, cocaine)  Limits on number of coffee shops that can sell marijuana  Local right to ban marijuana tourism (non-resident purchases)  Marijuana concentrates not for sale
  • 44. SMART Colorado 2014 Legislative Initiatives Aim to Protect Colorado Kids  Penalties, fines and suspensions that discourage marijuana establishments from selling to minors  Potency Limits  Public awareness, education and science curriculum  Targeted at middle and high school students and the general public  Based on the latest science  Restrictions on edibles and marijuana concentrates  Proper funding and structural support for data collection
  • 45. Smart Advocates For:  Marijuana legalization should not mean uncontrolled and unmonitored mass marijuana commercialization (as happened with medical)  Amendment 64 should not be implemented in a way that compromises the health and safety of Colorado youth  Cities and counties should opt out of, or strictly limit, marijuana commercialization in their communities in order to limit youth exposure, access and use  Everyday citizens and leaders from healthcare, education and business should have a voice in the policy making process
  • 46. Smart Advocates For: Public Education Campaign  Informing youth and general public on true impacts of marijuana on the brain  Using best practices from tobacco awareness campaigns that dramatically lowered youth use  Utilizing positive engagement practices and principles  Social media and youth to youth outreach should play a significant role
  • 47. Summary  Visit us at www.smartcolorado.orgto donate and for more information  Sign up to received updates about timely policy decisions that impact Colorado youth  Learn how early marijuana use impacts the still developing adolescent brain  Consider contacting your city council representative; attend public hearings; testifying to voice your concerns  Encourage your elected officials to protect our kids and communities by limiting marijuana commercialization and implementing policies that reduce youth marijuana consumption