The Big Deal: How Marijuana Endangers Young People and What Policymakers Should Do

The Big Deal: How Marijuana Endangers Young People and What Policymakers Should Do

Policy Brief No. 2014-3 * 2014-08-25 09:10:38

By Christian Thurstone, MD

Editor: When Coloradans in 2012 approved Amendment 64, a constitutional provision legalizing marijuana for optional (miscalled “recreational”) use by people 21 and older, they moved the state into uncharted waters for medical and social impacts from this high-potency chemical. The experiment set in motion new and very serious challenges to the protection of public health and safety – specifically that of children and youth. Here are the cold facts, medically documented, about those dangers, along with a six-point damage control agenda for policymakers. It all starts with the oft-invoked but in this case overlooked axiom: Put children first.

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