The “grand experiment” in legalizing recreational commercial marijuana gets a severely negative review from Bob Troyer, the current U.S. Attorney in Colorado and an Obama Administration “holdover.”
In a Denver Post Op-Ed on September 28, Troyer laid out a devastating critique of Colorado since “first use” of commercialized marijuana commenced in January 2014. Nevadans should heed his warnings, as the Centennial State is 3 ½ years further “down the road” of commercialized pot experience. Nevada’s “first use” began in July 2017.
Troyer’s report is sobering. Colorado’s youth use (12-17 year olds) is 85 percent higher than the national average. Marijuana-related traffic fatalities are up by 151 percent. Violent crimes increased 19 percent since legalization.
Colorado has a booming black market exploiting the state’s permissive regulatory system — including Mexican cartel growers who use nerve-agent pesticides that are contaminating the state’s soil, waters and wildlife.
Troyer writes that Colorado’s black market has actually exploded after commercialization. It is now a source-state, a theater of operations for sophisticated international drug trafficking and money laundering organizations from Cuba, China and Mexico. In 2017 alone the regulated industry produced 6.4 metric tons of unaccounted-for marijuana, and over 80,000 black market plants were found on Colorado’s federal lands.
Has marijuana commercialization decreased alcohol use in Colorado? No. The U.S. Attorney recites that Colorado alcohol consumption has steadily climbed since marijuana commercialization. How about the industry’s claim that marijuana will cure opioid addiction? A Lancet study found that heavy marijuana users end up with more pain and are more likely to abuse opioids.
In Colorado, Troyer contends that the marijuana industry “targets” underage adolescents. That is why they sell marijuana-consumption products that avoid detection at schools, in a variety of edible marijuana forms