Marijuana risks largely ignored by Denver Post

(’76 Contributor) As recreational marijuana sales became legal in Colorado during the first two weeks of 2014, I tracked all Denver Post articles published, their tone and content.

Cataloging all news stories (excluding editorials and letters) published in 13 days starting Jan. 1, I found in the nearly 20,000 words contained in 26 articles only 3,000 words (15%) that were devoted to associated risks. Over half of the cautionary risk content was in a single obligatory story answering questions of parents of teenagers.

One of the 26 stories quoted an official that “it will take years to understand the impacts”. No, having just retired from business of over 40 years I know that you can quantify the impact of a strategy right out of the blocks.

To maintain the public trust the Post needs to provide readers more balance. The paper would provide a great public benefit if it regularly reports changes in stats and trends on marijuana related crime, teenage use rates and delinquency, traffic citations/accidents involving marijuana, and emergency room visits for acute reactions involving marijuana — to name just a few.

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