Three days earlier than he took his personal life, 19-year-old Johnny Stack despatched a textual content to his mother. “I would like you to know you had been proper. You instructed me marijuana would harm my mind. It’s ruined my thoughts and my life, and I’m sorry. I really like you.” Johnny’s five-year battle with habit started as a Colorado high-school freshman when an 18-year-old gave him weed. Two years later, he smoked his first “dab,” concentrated marijuana containing 80% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). At eighteen, he acquired a medical marijuana card, permitting him to buy as much as 40 grams of high-potency THC per day.
Johnny went out and in of a number of faculties and psychological establishments because the psychological results of high-potency THC habit declared warfare on his mind. Then it was over.
Home Invoice 21-1317 would stop tragedies like Johnny’s by treating the marijuana business with the seriousness it deserves. Governor Jared Polis ought to signal it into legislation.
In a hyperpolarized political panorama, HB21-1317 was sponsored and cosponsored by an unlikely alliance of Democrats and Republicans: Speaker of the Home Alec Garnett (D-Denver), Senate Minority Whip Paul Lundeen (R-Monument), Home Assistant Minority chief Tim Geitner (R-Falcon), and 52 different representatives and senators.
The invoice handed the Home with solely 9 “no” votes, and the Senate unanimously. The broad consensus in help of 1317 is a testomony to its knowledge.
Once we hear “marijuana,” we’d affiliate it with the “hippy weed” of the Sixties. However what children are smoking at the moment isn’t that. Again then, marijuana not often contained greater than 5% THC, one of many main chemical compounds in marijuana, and the one most chargeable for its psychological and addictive results. At present’s marijuana accommodates as much as 90% THC.
HB 21-1317’s objective is two-fold.
First, it holds the marijuana business to the identical normal that we maintain different potent medicines. With the opioid disaster, we noticed what occurs when a medical business goes unchecked. We are able to’t make the identical mistake with high-potency THC.
To this present day, we all know neither what clinic gave Johnny his med card nor its rationale for giving it to him. Johnny was an honor pupil accepted into Colorado State College on a scholarship. He had no historical past of the psychological or bodily sickness that warrants a med card. The low normal for receiving a med card in Colorado at the moment is grossly incompatible with the excessive efficiency of at the moment’s marijuana. Present legislation permits one doctor to prescribe a med card, with no in-person evaluation, and medical doctors could make a prognosis with out reviewing medical data or investigating to see if marijuana would exacerbate the prevailing concern.
With some exceptions, 1317 would require “two physicians from separate medical practices [to] have identified the affected person as having a debilitating or disabling medical circumstances after an in-person session” for an 18 to 20-year-old to obtain a med card.
It is going to require shops to inform clients the felony penalties for unlawful resale.
It is going to additionally decrease the the quantity of THC focus that 18 to 20-year-olds should purchase to 2 grams per day. The significance of decreasing the day by day restrict goes past defending patrons themselves from massive portions of addictive THC. It additionally limits a purchaser’s skill to promote the substance to others with no medical want for high-potency marijuana, as a result of the client could have much less to share.
The invoice’s second objective is analysis and training.
It “requires the coroner in every case of a suicide, overdose loss of life, or unintended loss of life to order a toxicology display. The coroner shall report the outcomes of the toxicology display to the Colorado violent loss of life reporting system.” It additionally requires that one of many two diagnosing medical doctors for 18 to 20-year-olds have defined the consequences of high-potency THC, and it requires the Colorado Division of Public Well being and Surroundings to “conduct a scientific overview” into the consequences of high-potency marijuana.
Johnny Stack ought to have graduated school subsequent 12 months. As a substitute, he and lots of like him discovered themselves staring down a mountain marketed as a molehill.
Home Invoice 21-1317 will shine a brilliant mild on the darker corners of the medical marijuana business. Colorado wants it.
The Gazette Editorial Board
The Gazette Editorial Board