Conference Looks at Impact of Marijuana Legalization

Government officials and researchers are gathering in Washington state this week to discuss the impact of marijuana legalization, the Associated Press reports.

Participants say it is important to look at how legalization affects issues ranging from school suspension rates to traffic deaths. The conference is being sponsored by the Washington Office on Latin America, along with the Washington state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

“The real purpose … is to be sure we’re doing the best we can to evaluate the impacts,” said John Walsh, with the Washington Office on Latin America. “We want to learn from the pioneers for the pioneers, but be more systematic about what we know and what we still need to learn so the jurisdictions that are coming next can avoid mistakes and do an even better job.”

Officials from states where recreational marijuana is legal—Washington, Colorado, Oregon and Alaska—are attending the conference, as are those from Vermont and California, where votes are expected on legalization in 2016. Participants have come from Uruguay, the only country that has legalized the adult use of marijuana. Mexico, Jamaica and Colombia are also represented.

Washington is conducting a cost-benefit analysis on marijuana, which was required by the state’s legalization law passed in 2012. The state is tracking and analyzing data on marijuana-involved traffic stops, admissions to addiction treatment centers, and marijuana-related calls to the state’s poison center.

Colorado officials are also tracking poison control calls, marijuana-related school suspensions and impaired driving cases, as well as marijuana-related hospital visits.

Dr. Kathy Lofy, Washington state’s top public health official, noted there are challenges in collecting marijuana-related data. She said it is not clear how to identify marijuana-related auto accidents. She noted there is limited data on long-term marijuana use, and there is no consensus on how to survey people about new ways of using the drug, such as eating or vaporizing it.

    User Picture

    Holy Bob

    June 15, 2015 at 1:15 PM

    Since censorship is strong in communist China… Err I mean prohibitionist circles, here’s the link again:

    Prohibitionists need to take Mr. Spock’s advice to Capt.
    Kirk, and crew members, in the Star Trek Episode titled
    “Obsession”, (1967):

    MR SPOCK: “Gentlemen, may we no longer belabor
    the question of whether we should have gone after
    the creature. The matter has been rendered
    academic. The creature is now after us.”

    User Picture

    Holy Bob

    June 14, 2015 at 4:05 AM

    Potheads are unproductive losers. Just look at the stoner state’s (Colorado) economy! Ranked way at
    the bottom! Lazy socialist hippies!

    User Picture

    Holy Bob

    June 12, 2015 at 7:30 AM

    I visited Colorado on a business trip a few weeks ago. The situation is absolutely terrible over there! There are stoned zombies slouching around everywhere! I tripped over a homeless person and nearly impaled myself on a marijuana needle! I also noticed the Coloradoan sky, even during the daytime, was this strange, evil reddish color. I also noticed fissures full of lava here and there, and even spotted the occasional demon! I was scared for my life! I couldn’t wait to get out of there! Once I got home I calmed myself down with a strong glass of whiskey, thanking Jesus I made it out of that place alive!

    Don’t legalize marijuana, think of the chyldren!

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