The impact that so-called medical marijuana and later the legalisation of marijuana in Colorado, USA has had serious consequences, a few are show in snippets below. The items shown are taken from the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Report. The complete report can be found at:
The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact Vol. 3 Preview 2015
Medical Marijuana Registry Identification Cards
December 31, 2009 – 41,039
December 31, 2010 – 116,198
December 31, 2011 – 82,089
December 31, 2012 – 108,526
December 31, 2013 – 110,979
December 31, 2014 – 115,467
505 medical marijuana centers (“dispensaries”)1
322 recreational marijuana stores1
405 Starbucks coffee shops2
227 McDonalds restaurants3
198 licensed medical marijuana centers (“dispensaries”)1
117 pharmacies (as of February 12, 2015
- In one year, from 2013 to 2014 when retail marijuana businesses began operating, there was a 167 percent increase in explosions involving THC extraction labs.
There has been an upward trend of marijuana-related emergency room visits and hospitalizations since medical marijuana was commercialized in 2009.
There has also been a significant increase in both categories in the first six months of 2014 when retail marijuana businesses began operating
It is important to note that, for purposes of the debate on legalizing marijuana in Colorado, there are three distinct timeframes to consider. Those are:
The early medical marijuana era (2000 – 2008),
the medical marijuana commercialization era (2009 – current)
and the recreational marijuana era (2013 – current).
2000 – 2008: In November 2000, Colorado voters passed Amendment 20 which permitted a qualifying patient and/or caregiver of a patient to possess up to 2 ounces of marijuana and grow 6 marijuana plants for medical purposes. During that time there were between 1,000 and 4,800 medical marijuana cardholders and no known dispensaries operating in the state.
2009 – Current: Beginning in 2009 due to a number of events, marijuana became de facto legalized through the commercialization of the medical marijuana industry. By the end of 2012, there were over 100,000 medical marijuana cardholders and 500 licensed dispensaries operating in Colorado. There were also licensed cultivation operations and edible manufacturers.
2013 – Current: In November 2012, Colorado voters passed Constitutional Amendment 64 which legalized marijuana for recreational purposes for anyone over the age of 21. The amendment also allowed for licensed marijuana retail stores, cultivation operations and edible manufacturers.
Youth (ages 12 to 17 years) Past Month Marijuana Use,
2013 o National average for youth was 7.15 percent
o Colorado average for youth was 11.16 percent
Colorado was ranked 3rd in the nation for current marijuana use among youth (56.08 percent higher than the national average)
In 2006, Colorado ranked 14th in the nation for current marijuana use among youth
In just one year when Colorado legalized marijuana (2013), past month marijuana use among those ages 12 to 17 years increased 6.6 percent