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Katie Spence

Jun 2, 2021

WHAT THEY DON'T WANT YOU TO KNOW: Hidden truths of cannabis and it's true health impact.

“It’s a miracle drug that can cure diseases.”

“It’s better for you than alcohol and completely safe.”

If you live in Colorado, you have probably heard some variation of these arguments when it comes to marijuana. And since Colorado legalized it for “medical use” in 2000, these arguments are convincing when taken at face value.

Indeed, until recently, I was neither for nor against legalized weed but tended to lean more toward less government control.

Then, I started researching Colorado House Bill 21-1317, and what I found utterly blew my mind. Let me explain. House Bill 21-1317 vs. the pot industry

In May 2021, House Speaker Garnett and Rep. Caraveo introduced HB 1317, requiring the Colorado School of Public Health to review the research on marijuana’s health impact and produce public education campaigns based on the results. It’d also place regulations on marijuana concentrate and medical cannabis.

Importantly, this bill aims to reduce teen dabbing – where youth vaporize concentrated marijuana and inhale the vapors to access higher THC levels – which rose from 4.3 percent of youth using marijuana in 2015 to 20.4 percent in 2019, according to the Colorado Attorney General.

When you consider the above, HB 1317 seems like a non-contentious bill. After all, if marijuana is helpful, why wouldn’t you want more research into its benefits? And curbing teen drug use is universally supported.

However, when the marijuana industry got ahold of an earlier version of HB 1317, it immediately mobilized against the bill. The pushback was so intense, Caraveo changed part of the bill and loosened the restrictions, according to the Colorado Sun.

This raises a critical question: What is the marijuana industry trying to hide by fighting against reviewing scientific research? The answer, as it turns out, is shocking. Marijuana’s impact

In November 2012, Colorado passed legislation legalizing recreational marijuana for anyone 21 or older. Consequently, we now have several years’ worth of data on legalization’s impact.

According to the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area’s latest report, since marijuana’s full legalization in 2013:

Traffic death where drivers tested positive for marijuana increased 135 percent, and all Colorado traffic deaths increased 24 percent.
Marijuana use for ages 18-25 is 50 percent higher than the national average; Colorado ranks 3rd for marijuana use in this age category.
Marijuana use for ages 12-17 is 43 percent higher than the national average; Colorado ranks 7th for marijuana use in this age category.

Frequent marijuana use is associated with increased rates of suicide attempts for youth aged 12 to 25.
27 percent of Colorado high school students used marijuana at least once in the past 30 days, and 47 percent of high school students tried it at least once in their lifetime. Of those students who used it, 54 percent said they dabbed it, concentrating THC levels to 70 percent or higher.
The above information regarding marijuana is concerning. However, it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

In 2017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a report titled, “The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research.” Notably, the report’s purpose was to examine scientific evidence on marijuana’s impact on health (both benefits and harms) and make recommendations based on the results. Some of the results are as follows:

Cannabis and cannabinoids can’t help cancer of any kind and may increase the risk for certain types of cancer and leukemia.

No evidence found that cannabis helps with diseases: epilepsy, dementia, ALS, Parkinson’s, etc.
Almost no evidence that marijuana helps with anxiety or PTSD, and some evidence it exacerbates these issues.

CBD, the nonintoxicating chemical in marijuana, shows promise for some conditions – however, most marijuana sold today contains very little CBD.
Further, as discussed in the book “Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence” by Alex Berenson, a significant number of reports from around the world show a causal link between marijuana use and schizophrenia and depression.

For example, the report, “Cannabis use in adolescence and risk for adult psychosis: longitudinal prospective study,” by authors Louise Arseneault and Mary Cannon, found that people who used cannabis by age 15 were four times as likely to be diagnosed with schizophreniform and other psychotic disorders. Berenson then points out these findings matched an earlier Swedish study that found people who used cannabis by age 18 were six times as likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Moreover, Berenson explains that in the U.K., thanks to independent institutes, it’s common knowledge that marijuana use increases your risk for psychosis and severe psychotic symptoms.

Indeed, thanks to Robin Murray at the Institute of Psychiatry, more than 80 published studies show the link between cannabis use and psychosis. The research is so persuasive that not only did The Independent, a British newspaper that previously endorsed cannabis decriminalization, reverse its view, but also the British government reclassified cannabis back to a Class B drug in 2008 (in the U.K. Drugs are classified into three categories: A, B, and C, with Class A drugs being the most harmful of the controlled drugs, and Class C being the least harmful of the controlled drugs). What you can do?

Marijuana use is not benign; its legalization is harming Colorado. Unfortunately, the above information is not common knowledge, and it is for this reason we need HB 1317.

HB 1317 would establish public health campaigns, spreading awareness about the above information and more. Obviously, that would hurt the multibillion-dollar marijuana industry, and so it’s working overtime to defeat this bill and suppress the information.

Consequently, it is imperative to contact your local legislator and tell him or her to support HB1317. Additionally, you can contact the legislators sponsoring HB 1317 and tell them you support this bill. This bill is bipartisan:

Rep. Alec Garnett: 303-866-2911

Rep. Yadira Caraveo: 303-866-2918

Rep. Tim Geitner: 303-866-2924

Sen. Chris Hansen: 303-866-4861

Sen. Paul Lundeen: 303-866-4835

Sen. Kevin Priola: 303-866-4855

Finally, check out Berenson’s book, “Tell Your Children” for more information and evidence on how marijuana causes psychosis and a host of other issues. This article barely scratches the surface of what he found.

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