Marijuana: Task force addiction expert warns about parties, cartoon ads, thirdhand smoke

Christian Thurstone thumb.jpg
Christian Thurstone
In order to address the many questions of marijuana legalization, Governor John Hickenlooper assembled a 24-member task force charged with developing policy recommendations. The addiction expert is Dr. Christian Thurstone, who says his goal is to limit the harm A64 could cause youth. We caught up with him yesterday to get an overview of his main concerns, including worries about targeted ads, parents letting kids smoke pot and third-hand smoke impacts.

Thurstone is a certified addiction psychiatrist, a medical director focused on adolescents with Denver Health's Substance Abuse Treatment Education and Prevention Program, and an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado Denver. As we've noted in the past, he has spent a lot of time focused on youth smoking and how addictions and abuse at a young age can, he says, cause a lot of long-term damage.

As the governor's announcement of the task force noted, Thurstone was chosen because he is "a person with expertise in the treatment of marijuana addiction."

Task Force and the media.jpeg
Sam Levin
The task force met for the first time Monday, attracting a lot of cameras.

Thurstone was personally opposed to the passage of 64, which makes small amounts of recreational marijuana legal for adults 21 and over. Supporters of the measure argue that it allows officials to regulate marijuana and thus limit underage illegal smoking, but for months opponents have been expressing concerns about how legal pot could increase access for teens, who are believed to be more negatively impacted when they do smoke.

Despite his opposition to 64, Thurstone tells us he is pleased to have a seat at the table on the Task Force on the Implementation of Amendment 64, which had its first meeting Monday.

That group, which will meet several times over the next month or so, does not exist to debate the merits of 64 or legalization in general, but rather is tasked with developing recommendations on various frameworks for implementation as the legislative cycle begins next year.

"I was personally sad for kids about the passing of 64," Thurstone says. "But I think that if my service on that task force helps one kid's life, then it'll be worth it to me. I'm not a big fan of full legalization of marijuana, I didn't support it. At the same [time]...if I can contribute to one kid not destroying his or life getting addicted to marijuana, then I will have accomplished my goal."

Thurstone, who spoke out several times at the first meeting, rattles off a long list of ways that 64 could potentially cause harm to youth, and depending on which sub-groups he is part of on the task force, he'll likely have opportunities to raise a number of these questions with others in the group, which includes medical marijuana industry reps, elected officials, government officials and business leaders.

"I've been trying to get the word out there that...marijuana use during adolescence can have very profound impacts that are biological as well as social," he says. "It's not a joke. It's not harmless."

Teens are more likely to become addicted and more likely to face serious consequences as a result, he says.

His concern is that legalization leads to commercialization, which could encourage teens to smoke pot.

"I think it would be really helpful to have restrictions on advertising and marketing," he says. "Do we really want marijuana advertising during morning cartoons?"

And he's not just worried about pot ads during cartoon shows for kids -- he's worried about ads that might actually feature cartoons. "Cartoon advertising has been effective" at getting the attention of children, he says.

He notes that there are regulations on tobacco advertising around targeting youth that he think could serve as some kind of model for marijuana ads in Colorado.

"Anything that can reduce the commercialization of it...would be beneficial from the standpoint of kids," he says.

Neutral labels would help too, he says, noting that it would be problematic if marijuana had the kind of colorful branding that other products have. "We want to avoid cartoons," he says.

Continue for more of our interview with Christian Thurstone.


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147 comments
Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

You want to know what kind of a reefer madness doctor Thurstone is? The following is from a lecture program at Iowa State University:

"In 2010, he completed five years of mentored research training through the National Institute on Drug Abuse/American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry K12 Research Program in Substance Abuse. He is the medical director of an adolescent substance treatment program and an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado. His federally funded research focuses on developing better treatments for adolescents with substance abuse and on the impact that medical marijuana legalization has on youth.

"Dr. Thurstone is a team physician for the Denver Broncos and in June 2012, the United States Congress awarded him another title: U.S. Army Major. He is honored to provide mental health care as part of the 807th Medical Command. In October 2012, Dr. Thurstone was one of 9 people nationwide named an Advocate in Action by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. This award recognizes his research and advocacy of evidence-based prevention that further the president’s National Drug Control Strategy."

So, in other words, he's a White House Reefer Madness plant (think Drunkle Joe Biden) with links to Pat Bowlen and the military (the one that insists the people it breaks were broken before they were in the military, and the one which will punish vets who want VA benefits and use cannabis as medicine.)

Charlie Whiskey
Charlie Whiskey

Isn't marijuana less addictive than the caffeine that kids are drinking (along with the heaps of high fructose corn syrup) in sodas that they can buy in their schools?

CloudGang
CloudGang

I am a marijuana expert with 21 years of constant blazing. My spouse is a dr n I work on a drilling rig in the western slope. I am a fully functioning adult with a family plus my spouse puffs with me.  We grow chronic and slang to our pals.  Always been like this. Most of yous got this shit all fucked up. Fuck the feds and the sheeple. Who doubts me?

Matt Leising
Matt Leising

When someone gets addicted I think this guys advice would be great and I agree we need to be careful how we protect kids from use but just as careful as we are against booze. Also, aren't pharmaceuticals what kids are really getting addicted to now-a-days?

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

Frankly, Dr. Reefer Madness can polish my knob. I grow for myself. His petty persecution habits can only affect distribution. If that becomes difficult because of him, I'll help make sure my buddies get what they need, and he cannot do anything about it if I only release one ounce at a time and don't take $ in remuneration.

Stephen At Half Aspen
Stephen At Half Aspen

Hmmm, addictions experts who seemingly make their money on treating addictions giving advice on how to write policy. Hmmmm.

Serendipity Gonzales
Serendipity Gonzales

Wow well you'd think it'd be better than the nothing regulating it now, come on....geeez

Corey Donahue
Corey Donahue

Thurstone, who spoke out several times at the first meeting, rattles off a long list of ways that 64 could potentially cause harm to youth, and depending on which sub-groups he is part of on the task force, he'll likely have opportunities to raise a number of these questions with others in the group, which includes medical marijuana industry reps, elected officials, government officials and business leaders. Really? It took a whole month and a half to get your constitutional rights discussed in a closed door sub-group? You sheep are so fucked. Good job Sam! Printing another press release, did he agree to all the questions you asked first or did he just send you a print out? Please, tell us the news, newsman dig down get the facts or just print dribble. HEY SAM, HOW ABOUT CORA REQUESTING AND GETTING THE THE DISTURBING PHONE CALL BETWEEN NIXONLOOPER AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT REGARDING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A64.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 *** Teen Marijuana Use Continues to Rise ***

According to the latest annual Monitoring the Future survey. Some, including the Associated Press, are noting that the popularity of pot on high school campuses correlates with the increasing legality of cannabis across America.

The survey found that nearly 1 in 4 (23 percent) of U.S. high school seniors have toked in the last month. More than a third (36 percent) say they've smoked in the last year.

http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/2012/12/marijuana_1_in_4_teen_seniors_smoke_michigan_survey.php

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

In other news -- An officer who fatally shot a dog in Commerce City will be charged with a felony, the district attorney's office has announced.

Commerce City Police Officer Robert Price was filmed last month shooting 3-year-old Chloe, a mixed breed dog.

Police asked the district attorney's office to conduct an investigation into the incident.According to a news release from the office, investigators found evidence to charge Price with aggravated cruelty to animals.

http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_22232708/officer-charged-commerce-city-dog-shooting

tutonehcc
tutonehcc topcommenter

I could use some 3rd hand smoke right about now, the Pot Tarts are running out and the funnies aren't that funny when all I got is these darn Cheetos.

donkeyhotay
donkeyhotay

Third hand smoke??  lol that is what i would be worried about.  What a waste of time

CloudGang
CloudGang

I live in Lamar Colorado, near Kansas and Oklahoma.

The Lamar police department will continue to enforce its city ordinances prohibiting use,sale,manufacturing or anything related to marijuana.http://www.lamarledger.com/lamar-police-sheriff/ci_22179850/lpd-stance-amendment-64

City council voted "nope on dope" in our county of prowers last week. Yet we have access to it as easy as walmart:D

Also lpd busted a man yesterday on a greyhound bus with 12 pounds of bud. I wonder if he bought it from me?

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

I'm guessing part of the discussion between Hickenlooper and the feds was along the lines of "be sure to get Thurstone on your 'task force.'"

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

@KathleenChippi  <----- Wishes there were more women like her. Dating would be far more pleasant than w/ the line of drunk attorneys I've suffered through since basically setting a 'standard' for myself . Are there more like you and WHERE are they hiding ?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Charlie Whiskey ... the People of Colorado have declared, via A64, that marijuana is so harmful and dangerous that it must be Government Regulated, that no adult over 21 years old should be allowed to possess more than 1 (one) pathetic ounce, and that no one under 21 years old should be allowed ANY legal access to it -- not even a single gram -- under full penalty of law.

The People have SPOKEN !!


Philo99
Philo99

@CloudGang Apparently 21 years of blazing has stunted your intellectual growth as evidenced by your used the the terms "chronic" and "slang".


Full marijuana legalization would come to fruition much quicker if most stoners would just keep their mouth shut.

Robert_Michaels
Robert_Michaels

@CloudGang

Lamar isn't on the western slope.

How stoned are you?

Matt_in_Boulder
Matt_in_Boulder

@Matt Leising 

"Also, aren't pharmaceuticals what kids are really getting addicted to now-a-days?"

 Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!  Pharmadiction isn't as politically sexy as cannabis "addiction" so it gets no attention.  If we (via our political whores) were serious about addiction and drugged driving we would be focused on pharmaceuticals first and foremost.  All this hype about "stoned driving" and nobody even mentions the fact that narcotics like Vicodin come with "warnings" like this: 

"Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness
until you are sure you can perform such activities safely."

 I guess the only way to be sure you can drive high on Vicodin safely is to pop some pills and go for a cruise.  If nobody dies you are free to keep poppin' and drivin'.

tutonehcc
tutonehcc topcommenter

@Oi'Ram Arejan It's like you're smoking, I get some second hand, and the guy down the block gets some off me which is third hand and everyone get's high!

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay Liars, damned liars and statistics. Someone pulled one out of their butt a couple weeks ago showing teen use down in Colorado.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@tutonehcc I'm pretty sure the Reefer Madness doctor would have you trying to collect it off your clothes to get high. Imagine that!

tutonehcc
tutonehcc topcommenter

@CloudGang Better chance of making it through via the USPS, especially during the holidaze with all the volume, shouldn't have any problems at all domestically getting your gifts to the awaiting elf's 

CloudGang
CloudGang

@Philo99 @CloudGang your assumptions show how close minded you are. My slang i use is what i do. If i fallowed suite i would have voted for a64 but did not. I choose not to call it marijuana simply cuz i don't like it . The point im making is I'm a fully functional  adult who pays taxes child support and the rest of the bullshit. I did not go on to other drugs,ever. I did not kill for bud nor rape your lying bitch. I'm a man that knows what's coming. The bitch ass governor got rich thru alcohol, why can't i with CHRONIC?  STUPID SHEEPLE PUNKS ARE AS STUPID SHEEPLE PUNKS DO

Matt_in_Boulder
Matt_in_Boulder

@Robert_Michaels  

You may not be familiar with how drilling rig workers work, but it is not uncommon for them to work multiple weeks straight (7 days a week) followed by a few weeks off.  So yes, you can live in the Eastern Plains and work on the Western Slope.  Regardless of how stoned you are.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@tutonehcc 

* 1000s of Stupid Stoners Busted for Shipping Weed via USPS *

There are 1,614 USPS inspectors at mail centers across the country looking for suspicious packages. 

Every day, they comb through the thousands of pieces of mail. Many inspectors employ the help of canine teams to locate packages containing drugs, though parcels are often packed with mustard, peanut butter, axel grease or coffee beans to cover up the drugs' odor.

There is "an attraction to shipping through the mail because they think they can be anonymous," said Rendina.

But arrests are happening everyday. In 2009, 1,278 people were busted for using the mail to transport drugs.

Inspectors offer a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of individuals shipping illegal substances through the U.S. Mail. Rendina says the reward money comes from asset forfeiture.

While marijuana mailings have increased, shipments of other drugs have declined. Between fiscal years 2008 and 2009, there were fewer seizures of cocaine, heroin, opium, and methamphetamine.

Stupid Stoners are as Stupid Stoners do !!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@tutonehcc 

*** Marijuana Shipment Arrests Skyrocket ***

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service, whose seizures of marijuana parcels have increased by more than 400 percent since 2007, says increased seizures almost always indicate a much larger crop being shipped.

There was an 84 percent increase in the amount of marijuana seized from 2007 to 2008 and a 180 percent increase between years 2008 and 2009. Inspectors uncovered 8,453 lbs. in 2007, 15,521 lbs. in 2008, and 43,403 lbs. of marijuana in 2009.

Now, inspectors are working to determine which mailboxes are attractive targets for traffickers.They have become more efficient in what's known as ZIP Code targeting, said Peter R. Rendina, a postal inspector and national spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Through the course of investigations, inspectors identified which mail centers see the most drugs. Inspectors from other geographical locations are sent to assist those mail centers until problem becomes more manageable.

KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi topcommenter

Matt in Boulder--did you get me high in Tulum last week? 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Matt_in_Boulder @Robert_Michaels 

How stoned do you have to be to reside in the hideous hellhole that is Lamar when you spend most of your time working on the beautiful Western Slope?

CloudGang
CloudGang

@DonkeyHotay @CloudGang There will be no easy transport now. Especially near these boarders. im not too serious on my other posts but i do know we are fucked. still gonna charge 4 geez

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@CloudGang ... sure, if fools think that it's worth a $1500 / lb bump just to save a three hour drive from Denver to Lamar.

Then again, according to the dipshit Tommy Tutone, they could just mail that shit direct ... no worries.

But if USPS is your game, why not score it from any commercial grower in California or Oregon @ ~ $1500 / lb?

CloudGang
CloudGang

@DonkeyHotay @CloudGang I understand. my rate is officially in like my county vote, i mean after all this regulating of hemp grade bud wont i be able to name my price?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@CloudGang ... going rate is ~$2500 from dozens of Denver dispensaries -- hot back-door action.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@tutonehcc ... you could sell Cocaine and Heroin your whole life and not get caught ... 

Go for it, sucker.

CloudGang
CloudGang

@tutonehcc @CloudGang @DonkeyHotay Of course you can, I just dont understand the risk that comes with shipping it. i got pounds bro if you want em 4 gees a piece ill even deliver.

tutonehcc
tutonehcc topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay keeping the worry up keeps the profit up, Donkey is good for business!

donkeyhotay
donkeyhotay

@DonkeyHotay @tutonehcc please shut up donkey...  millions of drugs are shipped via usps... no one doubts you can goolge up a few instances of people getting caught

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