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Marijuana study shows negative impacts of Colorado pot "experiment," director says

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Photos, graphics below.
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.

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."

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Tom Gorman.
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....

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...and here's a chart depicting the rise:

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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.



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113 comments
Filldaddy
Filldaddy

Anybody else notice the decrease in fatalities. As the drug stays in your system longer than other illicit drugs, the fact they popped positive has no relevance as more people now use MJ as opposed to big Pharma's solution to their woes.  The fact remains that fatalities have been dropping and appear to keep trending down.

Anti-Cannabis propaganda FAIL.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

Gorman is a lying parasite.  A brief review of his claims shows that the more damning ones are nothing more than unsupported assertions, but his first table shows that traffic fatalities in Colorado have gone down every year from 2006-2011.  The prohibitionists are desperate to stop legalization, because even as incompetently and chaotically implemented as it has been in Colorado, society is still realizing substantive benefits.  The parasites will continue to pretend that Gorman is some sort of expert, to the detriment of any reasoned public discourse about how cannabis should be regulated, but the People have already spoken -- cannabis "should be regulated in a manner similar to alcohol", only it isn't.

russellvoice
russellvoice

I have been a resident of Yuma County Colorado since October 1998 after permanent injury in 1997 trying to save our 3rd generation family home from the residual effects of Keating 5 & a 10,000% property tax increase, I didn't want to be put on disability but my injury is inoperable & being allergic to opiates & OTC's I've been a prime candidate for MMJ since before Amendment 20 passed & county HHS sent me to a doctor in 1998 who said as soon as I handed him the form ,"if you're here for disability get out now!" I wanted the injury fixed he signed their form go on my face book wall & open the stop for profit prolong and treat & return to prevent and cure medicine to see what I was made to endure needlessly for the fanatical aversion to MMJ in this region the direct result of which put me in the hospital via life flight a year ago March when my guts literally exploded & just the end of March this year I finally found a dispensary in Greeley/Loveland that sent me to their affiliated doctor lo & behold if it wasn't the same one from Yuma that told me get out and I reminded him of that asking why the h3ll with his office in Yuma hadn't I ever been told he has been approving patients all along.... his answer, COUNTY OFFICIALS have refused to allow him, a STATE licensed doctor of medicine to recommend MMJ for patients regardless their condition & like myself virtually housebound & totally dependent on caregivers for transportation that is a 200 mile one way drive to the  dispensary nearest to NCMC where rural residents are sent after being stabilized at the local triage center hospitals that locals have placed ads in the public notice section thanking the ambulance service for saving their lives by NOT transporting them to Yuma Hospital! 


disabled citizen
with roots predating
statehood
further injured by
deliberate
discriminatory
disregard of BOTH
State & Federal
Constitutions

Sincerely  

Russell Voice
Joes,Colorado

Underdog6
Underdog6

Legitimate law enforcement personnel should be embarrassed by this sham of a report.  The insinuation that testing positive for marijuana was the cause of  automobile accidents is reprehensible.   If someone last consumed marijuana two weeks ago, then was involved in an accident, Gorman would have us believe that the marijuana was responsible.   Lets find a reliable measure of impairment and stop the propaganda about "testing positive".

Gorman has enough experience to know that testing positive for past marijuana consumption does not indicate impairment, but tries to suggest otherwise.  Respectable cops should tell him to clean up his nonsense.  


ealmars
ealmars

These results mean very little.  Until we get a test that tests for impaired drivers or shows what a person smoked in the last few hours, having it in your body means nothing. The compounds that impair are not active in the brain after a few hours, just stay in the fat cells for several weeks.  It stays in the system for 3-6 week depending on how often its used, how strong it is and how much fat a person has in their body.  Until we can tell how many of these drivers were impaired when driving it only shows more people are using pot medicinally since these results ALL happen before legalization.   Many medicinal users would test positive always, but never drive under the influence.  The only thing these statistics prove is that people who are allowed by law to use a substance do so and own and drive cars.  This proves nothing related to the dangers (if any) of legalization.  We need better science on impairment vs. storage of the substance.  Its not like alcohol at all in how the body metabolizes it!  No one should drive impaired ...benzos, morphine, cough medicine, antidepressants, cold medicine, even a migraine can make it hard to drive as well as you need to for safety...don't worry about the substance...make good decisions about when you are safe to drive.  Personal responsibility is always the answer.

Kevin Clowers
Kevin Clowers

All human relationships are about power and control. Control freaks act exactly like junkies. They cannot STAND to give up even a trace of control along with the income stream that accompanies. JUNKIES are relentless.

TxTransplant.
TxTransplant.

"......kids are going to use more dope."


LOL. Old folks will never get it. MJ is the FURTHEST thing from "Dope". 

George Young
George Young

For one thing pot stays in your system without any real effect for weeks. So anyone who has smoked within the last month and gets in a car accident is *OF COURSE* going to test positive for marijuana. DUH! This does NOT mean they were "intoxicated" and driving.

Noah Yetter
Noah Yetter

It's *irrelevant* whether it's accurate or not. Humans have an inalienable right to choose what they put in their own bodies. Some people will fail to exercise that right responsibly, and the rest of us must deal with the consequences. Prohibition is simply not an option.

Brian Delight
Brian Delight

Total accident fatalities have been declining over the years! So data shows a decrease in total accidents! And how is cannabis involvement being measured - by a 30 day blood test?

HippiesBotherMe
HippiesBotherMe

This study does not show that marijuana was the sole cause of these fatalities and 58 is a very LOW number for 2011....I imagine 'texting' would prove to be 10X more deadly....

HippiesBotherMe
HippiesBotherMe

58 fatalities in 2011 who tested positive for cannabis? That number is extremely LOW....This 'study' also doesn't prove that cannabis was the sole cause of the accident, either....Hence the word 'accident'....I would say weed is keeping our roads SAFER as more people are using marijuana as an alternative to prescription pills and I guarantee that those fatality numbers are higher than 58 in 2011.......Their own study PROVES that more widely available access to marijuana is actually DECREASING traffic fatalities....

Abby Hauck
Abby Hauck

This "study" holds no water whatsoever. Note that this takes place BEFORE amendment 64. If you want to see a REAL impact of recent legislation, then look at RECENT LEGISLATION, not old ones. BTW, all this really proved to me is that colorado likes pot. Then again, a trip to Boulder would have been just as sufficient.

Abby Hauck
Abby Hauck

damn, Ian. That was very well stated! Now, to get this post out to the rest of the nation...i'll do my best :)

Tracey Nichols
Tracey Nichols

Oh goody now lets do OXYCONTIN stats shall we???!!!

Tracey Nichols
Tracey Nichols

hahaha it's POST DATED..BEFORE 64 TOOK EFFECT WTH?? Besides.. the population has grown exponentially each yr for yrs.. per capita comparisons PLEASE!!!!!

Juan Macias
Juan Macias

To me this chart is garbage. It just shows people make stupid choices with driving under the influence of any substance. That same shit with gun laws applies here too. Dont blame the drug blame the stupid drivers for using it while driving.

Greg Duran
Greg Duran

It's interesting that during the DUID hearings the States own lab could not come up with any real numbers that showed that there was an increase in traffic death from the driver ONLY using Cannibis. The states own lab has been a mess for years and have screwed up hundreds of tests andhas not been used by cities or some counties for quite a while. We all know the MMED has not be able to enforce or regulate because the wasted the money the state gave them. The funding they get depends on have data the shows that they are needed to keep fighting the evil weed.

Kraig Conkin
Kraig Conkin

Cops are losing a valuable source of funding with the withering of the marijuana laws around the country. They will say and prove whatever they have to in order to keep getting paid. It's gonna get worse before it gets better.

Ian Williams
Ian Williams

You mean the report put out by the organization that's financially motivated by the federal asset forfeiture laws? Gee, let me guess...they need more money so they can fight the new phantom menace, writhing below the surface of our shiny, happy state. Sorry, but any organization that's financially motivated to make more arrests is intrinsically biased towards a favorable conclusion. I read the report last week. Same as it ever was. It's not our fault we support personal freedoms while the rest of the country calls incarceration for a personal choice "justice." If Cannabis floods America from Colorado, blame Prohibition, not Freedom.

kokopigs
kokopigs

@RobertChase really? And where is that esteemed "review" that you so blatantly quoted from, or does it all exist only in your own mind?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase

"Granting the DOR regulatory authority over retail sales of cannabis is not bad at all"  -- Robert dilettante Chase


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@russellvoice "COUNTY OFFICIALS have refused to allow him, a STATE licensed doctor of medicine to recommend MMJ for patients regardless their condition "

Utter NONSENSE. The County has NO AUTHORITY over ANY Doctor-Patient relationship.

Try writing for coherence next time.

jetdoc
jetdoc

@Underdog6 This is EXACTLY what happens when A64 was written to PROTECT Dispensary owners profits.  We also end up with UNSCIENTIFIC impairment standards, that actually DON'T truly register ANY amount of impairment!  I sure hope AZ straightens their shit out before blindly following A64.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@ealmars " It stays in the system for 3-6 week depending on how often its used"

And of course, every stoner stopped for DUI claims the last time they got high was 3-6 weeks ago.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@George Young ... ah yes, the trite old myth of the "only smoked once, and it was weeks ago" stoner.

LOL!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Noah Yetter "Humans have an inalienable right to choose what they put in their own bodies."

History, Reality and nearly all extant Societies prove that statement false.

jetdoc
jetdoc

@HippiesBotherMe  It REALLY skyrockets when you add in "Texting, Changing Radio, Smoking a Blunt" all together.  THAT gets dangerous <sarcasm alert>

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Tracey Salman .. typical stoner, always wants to change the subject to something other than marijuana.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@Tracey Salman You make some good points, Tracey. Thanks for weighing in.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@Just Ben Travis Ouch! Thanks for the post, Just Ben.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Ian Williams ... have there been many asset forfeitures in Colorado for personal use of marijuana?

jetdoc
jetdoc

@DonkeyHotay @ealmars It's the ole...

LEO:  How many beers have you had tonight sir?

Alcoholic:  2 Officer.  I had 2 beers with dinner?

ealmars
ealmars

@DonkeyHotay @ealmars so maybe they did smoke 3-6 weeks ago, you don't know and neither do I...without good science we can't say otherwise, we need to get better science, not stop making a drug that helps many and is less harmful than the ones we have available illegal, its as simple as that and until the science is accurate you can't say they are lying, neither can I or the courts.  And not everyone that smokes pot is a stoner...some of us have advanced degrees and are in power up running organizations and the world, pot is just pot, you can smoke it and have it be a minor issue if you use responsibly.

ealmars
ealmars

@DonkeyHotay If you don't know its a fact that pot stays in the system 3-6 weeks after used you do not know enough facts to comment about the subject at all, this is VERY basic science, not myth! 

jetdoc
jetdoc

@DonkeyHotay That's correct for Modern Societies w/in the past 70 yrs.  But societies prior to that used Cannabis medicinally as well as for recreation REGULARLY didn't they?

ealmars
ealmars

@DonkeyHotay Individuals should always have the right to fully chose what goes into their bodies, only governments think otherwise...always in all of history.

ealmars
ealmars

@DonkeyHotay Its a comparative study, discussion of the study at hand requires switching the subject...its not typical stoner as there's no such thing and as this is a comparative study all she is doing is moving the discussion onward like the article.

ealmars
ealmars

@jetdoc @ealmars @DonkeyHotay Very clear on my rights.  So much so that in 2 separate instances over 2 decades have had a sheriff and a state highway patrolman send the dogs back after calling them to search my vehicle as a result of what I said to them because they became clear that I was clear on my rights. Not many people can do that ever...  and for the record in both cased they knew I smoked pot, but they also learned they weren't getting in the car and if they did I don't carry illegally, always in a locked cooler in the locked trunk with no access to the driver and passengers, even if I am carrying my license so it would be fruitless for them to waste time.  Sorry to sound abrupt and to the point, but this discussion is wasting time. This article presents bad science and the bad arguments on this page only serve to reinforce how little we all know....the facts are out there...get them.

ealmars
ealmars

@jetdoc @ealmars @DonkeyHotay well, if that is true then DonkeyHotay needs some education on how to create real change....calling people names and calling facts myths in a public forum is not a smart way to support anything.  I've been trying to get MMJ advocacy organizations to look more credible for years and calling smart people who use a legal drug stoners will not help the cause ever.  Change is incremental always...you can't jump from illegal to open freedom on a substance or any other thing...it just doesn't happen in the real world...we have made this progress and need to continue to open it up from there, not pretend to be against all the people trying to really understand this.  If that is DonkeyHotay's motivation, he needs a new set of tactics plain and simple.  I'm a professional at change, have changed many laws myself over years of activism and turned the culture of large organizations totally around, I know how to change things at ever level  I've been fighting this battle a long time and presenting facts as myth in a public forums and calling people genuinely trying to learn the truth stoners will never help any cause, I know this also for a fact.  So if as you suggest the motives are in the right place and he has this knowledge it needs to be shared and presented in a smart fashion not the way it is being done here...it is harming the cause perhaps irreparably and that just plan looks like a hater hating and does no good for anyone.  I'm confronting behaviors and lies that show no good motivation at all, if that is different perhaps Donkey can act that way in the future.

jetdoc
jetdoc

@ealmars @DonkeyHotay That's why IF you ever get pulled over by a Cop, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER ADMIT to smoking marijuana even in the past 6 MONTHS!  Make THEM do their jobs and figure it out of I'm impaired on THC that I smoked even 2 weeks ago.  By telling them that, you've just got them champing at the bit, to PISS TEST you!  They can't WAIT to get back to Headquarters to test you!

jetdoc
jetdoc

@ealmars @DonkeyHotay I'm sorry ealmars...  I've been frequenting Westword, as well as Phoenix New Times for quite a while and others that are all affiliated with those entities.  I actually hate to inform you of this, but you're barking up the WRONG tree on this one.  DonkeyHotay, has probably FORGOTTEN more about Cannabis than MOST on here know. He just has a sense of calling someone out for overstating the obvious, or the STUPID comments that some people make regarding Cannabis and it's effects upon people.  Not trying to be a "SmartAss", I'm just trying to tell you that you're WRONG in your assessments of DonkeyHotay.  He's ALL for legalization.  It's just that he wants Legalization for EVERYONE!  He doesn't want ANYONE going to jail for this anymore, as do I.  He believes and after reading it closely, so do I that A64 still allows people to go to JAIL for it's use. He wants FULL LEGALIZATION, not this incremental that still gives the State all this power to not only TAX you for the medicine, TAX you for possessing an MMJ card, then RETAIN the right to throw you in JAIL if you so happen to USE it!  That's not fair and that's what he's AGAINST!

ealmars
ealmars

@DonkeyHotay someone who smokes is only unable to drive for 2-6 hours afterward.  So they can smoke everyday several times and still not ever drive illegally or impaired if they are responsible.  The point is EVEN if they did use it 3 weeks ago or 6 weeks ago, it will still flag positive.  If they used it 4 hours ago they are probably fine to drive, but based on this study they will be shown to be impaired for 3-6 weeks anyway.  This study shows nothing except we need better science and people exercised their legal right to use pot medicinally.  That's all this study shows.  We need better science for testing impaired drivers.  Period.

ealmars
ealmars

@DonkeyHotay you bait people because you have no real facts to back your point and when I present the truth you call me a liar?...lame and boring at best.  Get the facts then post...you show your ignorance and bias with every word and are yet to credibly dispute a single fact.  I won't present my case to you, but most people who use pot are far from being stoners.  How many advanced degrees do you have?  Obviously you skipped stats class.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@ealmars = another one of those LYING Stoners who claims he only gets high once every 3-6 weeks and doesn't drive a car in the meantime.


ealmars
ealmars

@DonkeyHotay @ealmars try looking it up...there is this thing called the internet and you can use it for more than complaining and calling people names on discussion boards.  People have lost property for personal use, its difficult to show as each case is different, but start doing some research...maybe the library...or Google, you have no idea what you are talking about that much is obvious from every word you type.  You could benefit from doing some research outside of badly done and reported studies like this one.  There is much good science on the topic, but little or none to be found on Westword unfortunately.

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