Pot Legalization: Who Will Protect the Kids?



Over in Colorado, the ballot measure to severely decriminalize adult use of marijuana, Amendment 64, is polling above 50 percent, and has a chance of passing. Opponents are trotting out the "protect our kids" message.

According to Governor Hickenlooper, "Amendment 64 has the potential to increase the number of children using drugs and would detract from efforts to make Colorado the healthiest state in the nation. It sends the wrong message to kids that drugs are OK.”

Problem is, Hickenlooper runs a brewery.

Amendment 64 graph, based on CDC reports.
  • Amendment 64
  • Amendment 64 graph, based on CDC reports.

As Boulder Weekly opinion writer Paul Danish notes "alcohol causes 300 to 400 overdose fatalities a year, more than 40,000 cases of cirrhosis of the liver, more than 20,000 fatal traffic accidents, and millions of violent crimes, including most of the domestic violence in the U.S. "

Colorado also saw teen use of pot drop amid a historic escalation of medical marijuana in the state.

"A survey by the Centers for Disease Control found that between 2009 and 2011, the period of high growth for the medical marijuana industry, teenage pot use in Colorado declined, while teenage pot use nationally increased."

"If kids need protecting from anyone, it’s from the marijuana prohibitionists. Marijuana prohibition has resulted in millions of young Americans, both teenagers and young adults, being burdened with criminal records — which can adversely affect educational and employment opportunities, among other things — for conduct no more serious than drinking beer in Governor Hick’s brewpub. "