Colorado Safety Net Fails as State Ranks Highest in Nation of Adult Mental Illness

State mental health safety net is ‘failing’ Coloradans. Will planned reforms fix or further the problems?

This investigation is part of the ongoing “On Edge” series about Colorado’s mental health by the Colorado News Collaborative, the nonprofit that unites more than 160 communities and news outlets like ours to ensure quality news for all Coloradans.

Following Colorado’s lead on pot is a bad idea

The Inquirer Daily News by Hans von Spakovsky. None of that is true with marijuana, which today is many times stronger that what it was in the 1960s. Numerous medical studies have shown that it is far more likely to cause addiction, has no healthful properties, and in fact is deleterious to health. Long-term use has been shown to impair the immune system and cause short-term memory loss; its toxic properties can result in birth defects, pain, respiratory systems damage, brain damage, and stroke. According to a 2014 government report by the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, the majority of DUI arrests now involve marijuana. Pot use by young people between the ages of 12 to 17, those most vulnerable to the drug’s damaging effects, is now 39 percent higher than the national average. Drug-related suspensions/expulsions from schools increased 32 percent, and the vast majority were for marijuana violations. The use of marijuana by college students in Colorado was 42 percent higher than the national average, and the use by adults was 51 percent higher. And what about the gummy bear crowd? Marijuana-related exposure for children aged 5 and under increased 268 percent. Colorado’s exposure rate was triple the national average, while the number of pets poisoned from ingesting marijuana increased four-fold. And this doesn’t take into account the increase documented in the Rocky Mountain report of marijuana-related emergency room visits and hospitalizations.

Following Colorado’s lead on pot is a bad idea

Marijuana-related traffic fatalities in Colorado have gone up 100 percent since pot was legalized. The majority of DUI arrests now involve marijuana. Pot use by young people between the ages of 12 to 17 is now 39 percent higher than the national average.

Colorado ER Admissions Rise After Marijuana Legalized

Colorado experienced a ‘sharp spike’ in ER visits after legalizing cannabis: doctor

Doctors in Colorado say their Canadian colleagues should expect an increase in emergency room visits after cannabis becomes legal for recreational use on Oct. 17. “Many people have demonstrated that emergency department visits have increased in areas where cannabis policy has been liberalized,” Dr. Andrew Monte, an associate professor of emergency medicine at the University of Colorado Hospital, told CTV News.

The Colorado High Intensity Drug Trafficking Report

The purpose of this report is to document the impact of the legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational use in Colorado. Colorado serves as an experimental lab for the nation to determine the impact of legalizing marijuana.. This is an important opportunity to gather and examine meaningful data and identify trends. Citizens and policymakers nationwide may want to delay any decisions on this important area until there is sufficient and accurate data to make informed decisions. ***See Executive Summary pages 11-15

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Suicide and Marijuana Legalization in Colorado

This first graph clearly shows that as marijuana becomes more available, suicides increase. This second graph shows that marijuana is the leading substance found in the toxicology reports from suicide victims aged 10 – 19.    

Homelessness in Colorado


What We Have Learned from Colorado Marijuana Legalization

Dr. David Murray of Hudson Institute gave the keynote address at a symposium sponsored by Smart Colorado. In it he discusses what we have learned from the data about marijuana legalization outcomes.

Colorado and Marijuana: Dr. David Murray, Marijuana Campaign: Context, Lessons from the Data

On September 30th 2016, educators, doctors, scientists, law officers, and other professionals joined together to discuss the effects of commercialized mariju…


Update on Driving Fatalities in Colorado

There is a massive push over the past several years by law enforcement on impaired driving. They show YTD stats on highways across the state all year long, have a “Click it or Ticket” campaign all year long, and have PSA during holidays, etc. Despite all of their efforts, Colorado is seeing more driving fatalities every year with increasing percentages related to marijuana:

Read more about the negative outcomes of Colorado marijuana legalization on our Colorado Report page and our The Colorado Experiment page.