Latest report on the impact of marijuana legalization/commercialization in Colorado

The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) has drafted a very comprehensive report showing the impact of the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado.

Colorado SAM

(Smart Approaches to Marijuana)


April 10, 2015- In This Issue:
New Report Highlights Failed Policy Approach

Colorado SAM Supporters,
Yesterday, the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA)  put out its latest report on the impact of marijuana legalization/commercialization in Colorado.


As you can see, Colorado’s failed marijuana commercialization policy is negatively impacting schools, our healthcare system, youth and adults, and community safety. This is the third report from Rocky Mountain HIDTA.  The new report and copies of the previous two can be found here.


While the state continues to only put out revenue figures, the costs continue to grow. What this new report and growing data continue to show is voters in Colorado were deceived and marijuana commercialization is a failed policy approach.


Please encourage others to join our coalition to educate people about the problems of marijuana commercialization/legalization, the need to end our failed policies, and focus on a public health, science, and safety based approach.  You can send them this e-mail or encourage them to go to our web site


The latest report highlights include:

  • Impaired driving related to marijuana is increasing
  • Colorado marijuana use rates exceed the national average in every age category, including almost a third of 18-25 year olds using
  • School drug related expulsions/suspensions are up dramatically since commercialization began under the guise of medicine in 2009-10
  • Marijuana related ER visits are continuing to go up
  • Marijuana related hospital discharges (at least an overnight stay) are up
  • More marijuana calls to poison control and youth poisonings
  • Illegal diversion of marijuana continues to grow
  • Section Cynthia’s notes: (SJIPC Coordinator)
    1:  Impaired Driving 71% DUIDs involved marijuana;  41% involved only mj; and yes, more DUIDs
    2:  Youth Marijuana Use CO ranked 3rd in nation for youth use; 6.6% increase from 2013 to 2014WA is 4th (page 11)
    3:  Adult Marijuana Use College Age (18-25 years old) up 8.4%
    4:  Emergency Room and Hospital Related Admissions Page 23.  Jan-Jun 2014 data shows 1,105 emergency room visits with possible marijuana exposures.  The full year of 2013 was 873.  2014 is when the retail stores began operating.  Page 26 shows similar data for hospitalization rates related to possible marijuana exposure.
    5:  Marijuana Related Exposure 70% increase when the marijuana retail businesses began operating. Note the age range graph on page 31, and the graph showing a 400% increase in the number of THC infused edible exposures.
    6:  Treatment Current data not yet available.  References Volume 2 report.
    7:  Diversion of Colorado Marijuana Colorado marijuana interdiction seizures increased 592%, from yearly seizures of 52, to 360 in 2014. (pages 35/36).  An excellent map on page 38 showing states to which Colorado marijuana was destined in 2014. Lots of pot going elsewhere.
    8:  Diversion by Parcel 2033% increase from 2010 to 2014 for the number of parcels with CO marijuana destined for other states.  55% increase from 2013 to 2014 when the retail stores opened. Page 39
    9:  THC Extraction Labs From 0 in 2010 to 2012 to 32 in 2014.  Page 41  Same for injuries
    10:  Related Data Increase in unlawful public display/consumption of marijuana.$52.5 million in tax revenue from marijuana taxes in 2014.

    Alcohol consumption will be decreased is debunked (page 46)

    Edible units sold in 2014: 1.9 million for medical edible, and 2.8 million of recreational edible products.   (page 49)

    See for links to the previous years’ reports Remember this is a draft.  If interested, you will see that the 2013 report is 166 pages long and volume 1 is 66 pages.
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