Motor Vehicle Accidents in Colorado Increased 10% After Marijuana Legalization
Motor vehicle accidents rose 10 percent in Colorado after the state legalized marijuana, according to a new study.
A marijuana advocacy group is planning to launch an ad campaign in Colorado to counter the state’s marijuana education effort, ABC News reports.
The ads by the Marijuana Policy Project will include posters, billboards, magazine ads and brochures. The ads will urge responsible use of marijuana, and will warn tourists and people using the drug for the first time about the potential for getting ill from accidentally ingesting too much medical-grade marijuana.
The ads were created in part in response to the state’s “Don’t Be a Lab Rat” campaign, which targets 12- to 15-year-olds. The lab rat ads state that the long-term effects of marijuana are not yet fully understood, and warn teens that if they use marijuana they are essentially volunteering as subjects of research about the drug’s effects.
The state-sponsored ads are airing on television, online and in movie theaters. The Colorado Department of Health and Environment put up life-size “Lab Rat Cages” at middle schools and high schools, concert venues, skate parks and other locations that teens frequently visit. A spokesman for the state Health Department, Mark Salley, said of the lab rat campaign, “It’s been effective in starting a conversation about potential risks to youth from marijuana.”
Edible marijuana products have become a popular alternative to smoking marijuana in Colorado this year, since retail sales of the products became legal on January 1. Marijuana is now available in products ranging from candy to soda and granola.
Earlier this year, health officials reported legal marijuana edible products were linked to two deaths and an increase in emergency room visits in Colorado. The amount of marijuana in edible products varies widely. In some cases, products contain levels so high that people experience extreme paranoia and anxiety.