Legalization of Recreational Marijuana on the Ballot

Five states had marijuana legalization on their ballots on Tuesday, November 8, 2022. North Dakota, South Dakota, and Arkansas voters determined that commercialization was not in the best interest of kids and their communities.  

Cities and counties also considered whether to opt into their states’ commercialization. Colorado Springs, the second largest city in Colorado, rejected recreational commercial sales, putting health and safety ahead of marijuana profits and tax revenues.  

Several California communities limited mass commercialization including Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, El Segundo, and Sausalito averaging 70%+ margins on their vote.

Missouri and Maryland, whose voters approved recreational marijuana, must now turn their focus to limiting harms to kids when implementing a regulatory framework for marijuana commercialization.

In our 10 years of advocating for kids since marijuana was first legalized in Colorado, we’ve learned that it’s critical to stand up to well-funded and aggressive industry lobbying. 

If our elected officials don’t hear from concerned parents and citizens, critical safeguards won’t be enacted.

One Chance to Grow Up recommends that legislators and regulators in states that legalize marijuana adopt:

  • Limits on potency and prohibitions on kid-friendly products like candies
  • Marijuana Free Zones around schools and other places kids gather 
  • Strict limits on marketing and advertising that could influence kids
  • Clear warnings and disclosures on labels and at stores, including THC potency information
  • Child-resistant packaging
  • Education and prevention funding for youth and pregnant and breastfeeding women
  • Data collection to monitor and respond to impacts on kids

Legal marijuana today has little to do with the plant some adults may remember. The focus now is the manufacture and sale of highly concentrated THC, the high-inducing ingredient in marijuana linked to negative effects, including harm to growing brains.

These radically new products appeal to kids, who can easily conceal them at home and school. The sweet-flavored edibles entice young palates — just like flavored tobacco.  

In Colorado, it is challenging to buy any marijuana these days with potency as low as what folks experienced in earlier decades. Nearly 93% of products sold in Colorado are considered highly concentrated, with a bud potency four times higher than the average THC content of the early 1990s, and marijuana concentrates approaching 90% THC. 

Such highly potent products are “associated with higher rates of psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, psychosis, and generalized anxiety” according to a report from Colorado’s health department.

What you can do:

We encourage you to share this information with your friends, neighbors, colleagues, and elected officials and encourage them to sign up to receive updates about the rapidly changing marijuana landscape. This includes the explosion of THC products derived from the hemp plant that are available nationally– even in states that have not legalized marijuana. 

Kids only have one chance to grow up! We continue to sound the alarm and call on all elected officials to take strong steps to protect the future of our nation’s kids before irreparable damage is done. 

Concerned adults like you will help determine the future of today’s kids. Together we can make sure their potential is protected.

November 9, 2022

Source: One Chance to Grow Up




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