I’ve been following the impact of Colorado’s legalization of adult recreational use of marijuana. One sushi restaurant pairs marijuana with entrées. A 25% sales tax was added to the state’s 2.9% tax. Sales exceeded $1 million on the first day; sales exceeded $5 million the first week. We won’t know the full economic impact until Feb. 22 when the January tax receipts are filed.
Legalization is not statewide; it’s legal in Denver but not in Vail. There are limits to who can buy (people 21 and older), how much you can purchase (an ounce per resident; a quarter-ounce for tourists) and where you can smoke (not in public and not on federal property). What happens when you visit Colorado, smoke legally and go home to your state and fail a drug test? Until national policy is adopted, what happens in Colorado may very well get you in trouble in your own state. California has its own initiative. Our attorney general’s analysis said adult recreational use of marijuana could save “hundreds of millions of dollars.”
CV Alliance works to prevent underage drug use, to promote a healthy and long childhood. Like you, we know smoking marijuana is not healthy for children. A New Zealand study found a loss of up to 8 IQ points from smoking marijuana before the brain’s fully developed, around age 26. To help you understand the negative impact of drug use on a teen’s brain, hold your hands up, palms facing you, fingers pointing at each other, with a gap between them. Now, spread them further apart to show the impact of substance use. Even if you stop using drugs, the gap never returns to normal. There goes your ability to feel happy, to make good decisions, to be as smart as you could be.
To remind teens how dumb it is to smoke pot, we are hosting a talk by Tina Givrad, PhD, to let them know they’re shorting their brains by using drugs. Join us on Thursday, Jan. 23, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at CV High in the library, 2900 Community Ave. in La Crescenta.
Everyone is welcome!
Suzy Jacobs is the executive director of Crescenta Valley Alliance. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org