I watched the latest ’60 minutes’ last evening.. one item was the issues around Legal cannabis in Pueblo County, Colorado. They mentioned that 5 more USA states are set to vote on ballots (on USA election day) to further regulate recreational/personal use. They included the following issues:
1) whilst cannabis is still illegal at the federal level, it is now legal for medicinal use in about half the states & for recreational use in 4 states currently. They showed footage from Colorado.
2) there are 90 facilities in Pueblo county. This covers 36 acres, with 31,600 plants (in a licensed database).
3) This reportedly produces 10,000KGs/year
4) it provides about 1300 jobs in 60 associated businesses
BUT it wasn’t all positive:
5) many in ‘authority’ say it is time to review, the current situation & maybe ‘learn from mistakes’
6) a doctor in a medical centre, reported that 27 babies in the last year, tested positive for THC. He said that “Mothers are smoking, whilst pregnant & passing it on to baby in breast milk” (paraphrased). The mothers believing that because ‘it is legal, it’s fairly harmless’
7) the concern being, the drug is likely having developmental effects on the developing brains
8) the doctor stated that “No level of THC is safe for babies” & went on to say that it could have developmental harm, to anyone up to about age 25
9) a Police chief stated that the ‘illegal black market’ is also still thriving, with many arrested for ‘commercial home grows’. He said that much of this was being shipped to other states (where the drug is still illegal) & even to ‘organised crime groups’ overseas. He said in the last year they had been 36 major busts, for such operations.
10) whilst there was not a massive increase in ‘stoned drivers’, the roadside tests were not as easy, as with Alcohol. They can conduct mouth swab tests. The research into this continues.
11) there is a lack of definitive data on driving under the influence & the numbers of accidents attributed directly to cannabis
12) they mentioned the issues around ‘overdoses’ from people over-indulging in cannabis ‘edibles’ (sweets, cookies etc.) & that there were new strict limits on THC levels in these products
Then these issues:
13) they did say that $millions were raised annually in taxes
14) a local politician said that they were not considering a return to the ‘old system’ (prohibition) in Colorado, BUT a review was needed.
15) he said other states considering, similar law reform to ‘urge caution’ & learn from the issues/matters in Colorado
16) he said it is not time, to ‘turn the clock back’
17) the reporter said that recent polls indicate that; California, Massachusetts & Maine would likely move to reform, BUT Nevada was uncertain ?
** meanwhile in Aotearoa/NZ, Police are gearing up for the annual growing season & the usual; Arrest, prosecute & punishment.. goes on & on & on 😦