Colorado marijuana use much higher than predicted, study finds

(From a report filed July 15 by Join Together) Marijuana use in Colorado has been much higher than expected, according to a new study by the state. While only about 9 percent of state residents use the drug, they are likely to use 121.4 metric tons of marijuana annually, The Washington Times reports.

The Department of Revenue’s Marijuana Enforcement Division, along with the state’s Marijuana Policy Group, found the estimates are 31 percent higher than a recent state assessment. The new study found about 21.8 percent of people using marijuana do so almost daily, and account for almost 70 percent of total marijuana demand. Nationwide, about 17 percent of adults use marijuana almost daily.

New prescription abuse campaign
targets health care professionals
The Partnership for Drug Free Kids this week introduced “Search and Rescue”, a new campaign targeting healthcare professionals. This education effort, supported by a multi-year grant from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), recognizes the key role healthcare professionals play in prescribing responsibly, communicating the risks of misuse and abuse and identifying and helping patients who may already be misusing or abusing medication. Read more. 

New federal policy calls for treatment over
punishment for those who use illicit drugs
The Office of National Drug Control Policy has released its new, science-based blueprint for drug policy reform, one that promotes prevention and treatment over incarceration.

"Our prisons and jails are already overcrowded with people who desperately need compassionate, evidence-based treatment for the disease of addiction--not a jail cell," Acting ONDCP Director Michael Botticelli states in a blog post announcing the strategy.
As legal marijuana sales begin
Let’s keep pot out of the hands of our kids, lieutenant governor says

With legal recreational marijuana shops opening their doors for the first time in Washington state this week, Lt. Governor Brad Owen is reminding citizens that consuming pot is still very illegal (and potentially quite harmful) for the under 21 set. Initiative 502, the measure passed by voters, made marijuana use legal for adults only.
A number of resources have been developed for parents, guardians and other responsible adults to both talk to underage youth about marijuana use and to help them make good decisions.

  • The Washington Healthy Youth Coalition (formerly RUaD) web site, StartTalkingNow.Org, has developed an Underage Marijuana Use Prevention Tool Kit.  The toolkit is aimed at educating middle and high-school aged youth and their parents about the health and safety risks for young people, and about Washington's marijuana law.

  • Washington's Department of Health is the lead state agency in charge of developing a statewide education campaign about the health and safety risks of underage marijuana use.  The first campaign ran through the month of June and included a series of radio ads and online advertising.

  • Seattle Children's Hospital, in association with DSHS's Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery, has published a prevention guide for parents:  Now that Marijuana is legal for Adults in WashingtonPrinted copies of the guide available for free. Ordering instructions are on the DSHS web site.

  • The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute (ADAI) at the University of Washington has developed science-based resources and help for marijuana use, including underage marijuana use, and published everything on a dedicated web site called Learn About MarijuanaWA.Org

  • The Washington Traffic Safety Commission has initiated its "Drive High, Get a DUI" campaign.

  • The Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs is encouraging the Department of Health's radio and internet ad messaging to be expanded to ethnic media outlets.  CAPAA has printed 2,000 copies each of a Marijuana: Know the Facts card in the following languages: ChineseKoreanLao, and Vietnamese.  A Cambodian version is also available, but is being revised to address translation quality concerns. The agency is distributing the cards through their network of partners.

  • Finally, the state Liquor Control Board which is charged with developing and regulating the retail marijuana market, rule making and licensing.  Resources and legal information around the use of legal marijuana for recreational use is available on its web site, Implementing I-502. The Washington Association for Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention (WASAVP) has posted an extensive list of this information as well as part of its Marijuana Policy Toolkit.

For the record, Lt. Governor Owen continues to be opposed to the recreational and medicinal use of marijuana for both adults and especially for youth. 

Too easy for kids?

A loophole in Washington's medical marijuana law makes access to pot easy and plentiful. Even when obtained legally 18-year-olds are skirting the law and sharing with kids, according to a report by KPLU's Jennifer Wing. And Seattle Public Schools are feeling the heat from kids getting high.

Mentioned in the Media

New York Times
Candy's Dandy but Pot's Scary
A column by T.M. Luhrmann expounds on the dangers of marijuana as laws regarding its use are relaxing.
Tacoma News Tribune
Meth pours into Central California as liquid
The latest strategy by drug traffickers is to disguise meth as a liquid and smuggle it into the U.S. in tequila bottles and plastice detergent containers to be converted into crystals which is the most highly sought form of the drug.
Tacoma News Tribune
Feds seek prison for rural Washington pot growers
Case illustrates discrepancies in how law enforcement officials are handling marijuana cases as Washington, the Associated Press reports

Read more here:
Seattle Times
Teens need to know pot’s impact on their health
A piece by Seattle Times staff columnist Jerry Large reminds readers of reports showing the marijuana use can harm young minds and calls for the need for more information.


Partner Reports


Office of National Drug Control Policy