Category Archives: Colorado

Legalization invites black market, lawlessness into state

Black market growers of marijuana destroyed my Colorado retreat

Whenever you listen to or read dialog from the pro-marijuana crowd, they say that legalizing marijuana will make the black market go away.  This statement is a blatant lie.  Rather, legalizing marijuana invites criminal organizations into your state and allows them to grow pot illegally under the guise of running a legal operation. 

I am the owner of a summer home in rural Colorado with beautiful mountain views.  In the midst of this beauty, a Chinese group purchased a ten-acre parcel with a house near my home.  Within a year, they had cleared a section of the indigenous vegetation, which is so important to the survival of the local wildlife, and illegally grew thousands of marijuana plants. Continue reading Legalization invites black market, lawlessness into state

Colorado has a drugged driving problem; here’s the data

By Ed Wood, for DUID Victims Voices   Lukas Myers knows this.  The photo shows him being extracted from a car when he was 12 years old after a crash caused by a marijuana-impaired driver.  Most bones in both of Lukas’s legs were broken as well as both wrists.  

For some, stories like this are convincing.  

Others need data.

 So here is a summary of relevant data from 10 sources.

  1. Percent of drivers who admit driving after marijuana use:
    • 18.6% of past-30 day adult marijuana users[1]
    • 54.4%% of past-30 day high school student marijuana users[2]
  2. Toxicology tests of those arrested for DUI[3]:
Drug category Number
Cannabinoids Positive screens 4,205
  THC positive 4,069
Alcohol   3,956
Benzodiazepines   1,774
Methamphetamine and similar   1,090
Cocaine      838
Opioids/opiates      699
Sleeping Zs      115
Barbituates        51

Note: CBI  data from Jul 2019 to Jun 2020 when all DUI blood samples were tested for both alcohol and a full drug panel. 

  1. DUI charges– percent caused by alcohol, THC and polydrug use – 3 year trend [4]
  2016 2018 Percentage change
Alcohol 78.8% 75.3% -4.4%
THC   5.4%   6.4% +18.5%
Polydrug 12.7% 14.5% +14.2%
  1. Traffic deaths per Billion Vehicle Miles Traveled (BVMT):
    • Increased from 9.91 in the five years before marijuana commercialization to 11.26 in the five years after marijuana commercialization[5].
    • Increase of 1.46 deaths/BVMT per year adjusted after marijuana commercialization, compared with a synthetic control[6].
    • Increase of 1.9 deaths/BVMT per year adjusted after marijuana commercialization, compared with states with stable legalization policies[7].
    • Increase of 1.7 deaths/BVMT per year non-adjusted after marijuana commercialization compared with states without legal recreational or medical marijuana[8].

Note: the above reports measured the effect of marijuana commercialization in 2014, not marijuana legalization in 2012.

  1. Traffic fatalities implicating THC:

There were 632 traffic fatalities in 2018.  87% of the drivers in those fatal crashes were tested for drugs.  83 tested positive for THC including 36 at or above 5 ng/ml[9].

  1. Vehicular homicide convictions by drug group in 2016[10]:
Drugs detected Number
Alcohol only 10
THC only 2
Single other drug only 1
Alcohol + THC 2
Alcohol + other drug 1
Alcohol + THC + other drug 2

So what is Colorado doing about the problem?

    Deny the problem exists

In 2020 the Department of Motor Vehicles revised the Driver Handbook to say, “…it is unclear whether cannabis use increases the risk of car crashes.”

    Encourage marijuana use

During the COVID pandemic shutdown, marijuana dealers were classified as an “essential business” by the Governor, permitting them to sell their product while non-essential businesses were required to close.

Home delivery of marijuana was authorized, ostensibly to reduce drugged driving.

At the December 14, 2020 meeting of the Retail Marijuana Public Health Advisory Committee, the Colorado Department of Public Health an Environment announced that henceforth, “marijuana users” were to be referred to as “cannabis consumers” since the former label is pejorative.  You just can’t make this stuff up.

    Subsidize the marijuana industry

Governor Polis announced a $584,399 tax credit to Canadian marijuana company SLANG Worldwide to expand operations in Colorado.

On a side note that may not be completely unrelated, Governor Polis is rated A+ by NORML, the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws.

[1]https://marijuanahealthinfo.colorado.gov/health-data/behavioral-risk-factor-surveillance-system-brfss-data

[2]https://marijuanahealthinfo.colorado.gov/health-data/healthy-kids-colorado-survey-hkcs-data

[3] https://us17.campaign-archive.com/?u=8c19b56d089ffb41f61475b71&id=7e46389639

[4] Rosenthal A, Reed J. Driving Under the Influence of Drugs and Alcohol.  Colorado Department of Public Safety, Division of Criminal Justice, Office of Research and Statistics, Nov 2020

[5] Federal Highway Administration, https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/pubstats/

[6] Santaella-Tenorio J, Wheeler-Martin K, DiMaggio CJ et al. Association of Recreational Cannabis Laws in Colorado and Washington State With Changes in Traffic Fatalities, 2005-2017. JAMA Intern Med. Published Online June 22 (2020)

[7] Aydelotte JD, Mardock AL, Mancheski CA et al. Fatal crashes in the 5 years after recreational marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington. Accident Analysis and Prevention 132 (2019) 105284

[8] Kamer RS, Warshafsky S, Kamaer GC. Change in Traffic Fatality Rates in the First 4 States to Legalize Recreational Marijuana. JAMA Intern Med. Published Online June 22 (2020)

[9] Gorman T. The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact. Vol 6 Sept 2019. Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area

[10] Bui B, Reed J. Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Drugs. A Report Pursuant to HB 17-1315. July 2018. Colorado Division of Criminal Justice

Will Jesse Bullard’s death waken the public to dangers of legal pot?

Toddler’s death highlights how marijuana use becomes abuse

Jesse James Bullard’s sweet smile lit the world of all those with whom he came in contact, but he lost his life abruptly on January 22.   His father, Isaac, smoked a marijuana “dab” that morning, backed his car out and ran over the baby boy.  Jesse was was about a month shy of his second birthday.  But this was Colorado, and health officials don’t find parents’ marijuana habits unusual.

Popular magazines and newspapers publish articles which promote marijuana for moms and dads.  Newspapers – with some notable exceptions — are reluctant to report about the true dangers of marijuana. Continue reading Will Jesse Bullard’s death waken the public to dangers of legal pot?

New Report: Colorado Youth at Risk from Marijuana Exposure

 A new state-funded report out of Colorado found that the state continues to hold the top ranking when it comes to past month use of marijuana.  The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment issued a press release announcing the report.

Also, in Colorado, more young children are being exposed to highly potent pot products. Use of edibles and vaping/dabbing is way up among high school students, and emergency department visits have increased.  Continue reading New Report: Colorado Youth at Risk from Marijuana Exposure