I heard a discussion on the radio, covering issues around ‘Legal, regulated cannabis’ in Colorado & other USA states:
1) there are apparently more cannabis shops in Denver than a certain ‘global fast-food takeaway’ chain
2) it was mentioned that the use rates have increased, but not massively, as many ‘naysayers’ predicted
3) contrary to common belief, the black-market is still running alongside the Legal market. One commentator said, mostly selling to underage (R21) & moving the drug to other states/countries, where it is still illegal
4) many of the ‘legal dispensaries’ sell many ‘edible products’ including; Chocolates & sweets/candy. This has caused a problem, with young children eating them (their parents supply) probably not realising what they contain. There is a push to ensure these products are clearly marked (R21) & are not packaged, to appeal to kids; bright colours, cartoon images etc.
5) there is a focus by Police to avoid using federal laws, to arrest people using the drug, under ‘state laws’ (mixed messages). BUT it is not always that clear to some..
6) they said there has been increased admissions to hospital A&E depts. by people who ‘overdosed’ (due to eating too much ‘chocolate’ etc.) BUT it was mentioned that many people likely avoided going to A&E, under similar circumstances, when it was still illegal.
7) there is a concern about ‘stoned drivers’.. but again, under a regulated regime, it is now being addressed, with ‘roadside mouth swabs’ etc. (similar to alcohol)
8) the claims that; it would ‘massively increase use’, has not come to fruition, because most ‘regular users’ were already using the drug, under prohibition.
9) they said that about; $200million/year is now being collected in taxes, in states like Colorado & Washington etc. This money is being used to educate youth about the drug & treat any negative outcomes.. this has to be a better option, than prohibition
10) BUT; there is a real concern, that the Trump Administration, may ‘turn the clock back’ on legal cannabis regulation in these states ?
** I wish Aotearoa/NZ would look seriously at the ‘Positives’ that have come out of this, as opposed to just looking for all the ‘negatives’ that are still being used here, to maintain the status quo !! 😦