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The Consequences of Legalized Marijuana

pot field

Thin Dotted line for Colorado Drug Rehab

Attitudes are Changing when the Consequences of Legalized Marijuana are Investigated

As of February, 2015, the data on the effects of legalized marijuana is beginning to have the impact that many of us who have seen the effects of marijuana over the years, expected. Colorado's Attorney, Cynthia Coffman, whose staff are charged to defend the laws of the Colorado legislature, has come out against what Colorado has done.

In Ms. Coffman's words : "It's Not Worth It"! What she was referring to was the $76 million made from the taxes on marijuana in Colorado. She was speaking to the attorneys general in neighboring states to Colorado, who are dealing with their on problems which have come from the legalization of marijuana in Colorado.

One of her disputes was the idea and the logic behind the campaign to legalize marijuana, is that is the black-market trade and associated criminality that surrounds the sale of illicit marijuana would be eliminated by the legalization and regulated sales.

Ms. Coffman say's: "Don't Buy that Argument" “The criminals are still selling on the black market. ... We have plenty of cartel activity in Colorado [and] plenty of illegal activity that has not decreased at all.” She reported that some of the legal growers of marijuana are selling in what she referred to as the "grey-market" after they have met their limits on the sale of legalized marijuana. The law requires that the growers can only grow as much as they can document the need and then they are given an allotment. Once they exceed that allotment, they are not legally allowed to sell their products, but they are still doing so in the underground.


 Another area where Ms. Coffman's office is busy is in defending the law suits from other states that are claiming their states, such as Oklahoma and Kansas, are having increased cost in the regulation of those that are coming across the borders after they have forgotten that marijuana is only legal in Colorado and Washington. All the states in between and surrounding these states will arrest anyone bring their "legal" marijuana into their territories. Nebraska and Oklahoma brought law suits to the Supreme Court asking that the Colorado legislation be overturned or deemed unconstitutional.

However, there are many that are still pushing for some type of legalization of marijuana in other states. In fact, the conservative Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., has a bill to reschedule marijuana that would allow people from this state of Virginian to benefit from the state's 1979 medical marijuana law. His bill, which didn't get much "air-time", would reduce the categorization of marijuana from a scheduled I controlled substance to something that any doctor in the US could prescribe, depending on his own state's restrictions.

Mr. Griffith defends his proposed law saying that it is conservative because it tells the U. S. government to step out of the way and allow the people of the country to be treated. He also believes that if his bill is passed into law, that Medicaid and Medicare would fund prescription for medicinal marijuana. Interestingly, this idea of legalization of marijuana is becoming part of the Republican Platform, so it appears. Senator McCain from Arizona is also now states "Maybe we should legalize marijuana". Quite a departure from his earlier stance, but this is nothing new for conservative legislators and senators to flip flop on the winds of change in the voting ranks. (Interestingly, in 1979 the Virgina legislature voted to have medicinal marijuana legal for cancer and glaucoma patients, but the Federal Laws would have arrested any doctors prescribing this marijuana, so it never got off the ground.)

There is no attention being given to what Ms. Coffman in Colorado is saying are the pitfalls of promoting marijuana. The conference of Attorneys General was a forum on many of the changes in our society as related to marijuana. Oklahoma's Attorney General Scott Pruitt didn't check into the conference and Nebraska's attorney general said that it was his predecessor that wrote this law suit in conjunction with Pruitt. So no one wanted to be on the news saying that they were against the legalization of marijuana.

Who isn't being heard? I think the obvious voices that are not being recognized by the news media are those from the alcohol and drug treatment and prevention communities. That would include Drug Rehab Colorado. We have seen what the addiction to marijuana and other drugs can do to individuals, families and communities and, for the most part, we, as a group, are against its legalization. Most of us recognize that if the money that is procured from the taxes on legalized marijuana could be used to support effective treatment, then, perhaps, we could get behind this bill, but we have seen those promises vanish in the dark on many previous and similar types of government involvement in increasing the sale of drugs.

It appears as though we are the minority. Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia all passed laws that will make it legal to possess small amounts of marijuana, but none of these are currently looking at the establishment of pot stores.

This is the latest on the conversation around Colorado's legalization and the impact that it had at the AG's conference in Washington D. C. It is also a change in attitudes for Colorado's Attorney General to be speaking out against the law. Ms. Coffin is a Republican and, as stated earlier, it appears as though legalization of marijuana is gaining traction in her party nationally.

Feel free to add your comments to the form on this page. This site isn't structured as a blog, but your input is important.

We would be very interested in hearing from both those who have found that the legalization of marijuana has been detrimental to their happiness and productivity and to those that support an unfettered sale of marijuana.