Marijuana study shows negative impacts of Colorado pot "experiment," director says
Last year, the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area released a study about the dangers of home marijuana grows shortly before the vote on Amendment 64. Now, as talks about implementing A64 continue, the RMHIDTA is weighing in with a new analysis of weed in Colorado -- one that blames the substance for increased traffic fatalities and more. But director Tom Gorman's goal isn't just to inform locals about the data detailed below. He hopes people in the rest of the country consider it before going the legalization route, too.
Photos, graphics below.
When it comes to the greater availability of marijuana, Gorman says, "we have two experimental laboratories, Colorado and Washington. So it's a great way to look at the information and look at the results so far. And if the results are bad, then we probably don't want to do it in California or Oregon or other places."
Gorman readily concedes that he opposes marijuana legalization. However, he maintains that the information contained in the new document, "The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact" -- described as a preliminary report, because it generally deals with a period of time before Amendment 64 took effect -- is untainted by any bias that might exist within the RMHIDTA. That's because it was culled from other sources, most of them related to government and law enforcement.
Proponents of marijuana reform have been critical of such assertions in the past because, in their view, police agencies and the like aren't neutral when it comes to marijuana. But Gorman believes "the data speaks for itself. People can look at it and make up their own minds."
When asked to name the key findings of the study, on view in its entirety here, Gorman points to statistics showing a rise in traffic fatalities as a result of drugged driving. Here's a graphic showing figures related to positive drug tests in traffic fatalities during recent years through 2011....
To Gorman, these are not simply numbers. "They're lives we're losing," he says. "Families are devastated by it."
Other areas of concern?
Continue for more about the new Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area study, including more graphics and the complete report.