USA: Colorado – SMART CO – Calling the Crap on Cannabis Creep!

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SMART CO! Update – April 24, 2018

When Colorado voters legalized marijuana, they may not have envisioned the ways the products and its marketing would evolve. Today’s marijuana products come in various forms and their potency is far higher than the weed of past eras. Meanwhile, youth are exposed to unprecedentedly aggressive marketing of these new products.

In a column in the Colorado Politics newsletter, Smart Colorado Executive Director Henny Lasley chronicled how the marijuana industry has continually tried to expand marijuana commercialization through the legislative process since the 2012 passage of Amendment 64, which legalized recreational marijuana in Colorado.

“Marijuana commercialization in Colorado is linked to higher rates of youth use,” Lasley wrote. “Denver and Pueblo, the epicenters of commercialization, have significantly higher rates of youth marijuana consumption than the state as a whole, according to state data.”

Yet the effort by some in the industry to push the boundaries of what’s allowed is unrelenting, as illustrated by two bills that Smart Colorado has opposed this session.

The first proposal, which would created a pilot program for marijuana delivery, was defeated in a Senate Committee hearing last week.  Smart Colorado highlighted how 18-20 year olds are able to buy medical marijuana and then share it with youth. The proponents had refused to consider an amendment to carve out delivery to 18-20 year olds. We thank Senators Fields, Cooke and Gardner for their leadership by voting against the bill.

The second measure that concerns Smart Colorado is House Bill 1258, which is pending in the state Senate.

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HB 1258 would allow recreational marijuana stores to open facilities where customers could use marijuana, including highly potent concentrates, on site. Smart Colorado has raised several concerns about it:

  • In communities that opt in, pot shops could double the number of storefronts by adding these new facilities, vastly increasing commercialization.
  • The bill could lead to more impaired drivers on our roads. The number of Coloradans killed in marijuana-involved car accidents has steadily increased since 2013, reaching 77 in in 2016, the most recent year reported by the state.
  • Amendment 64 states: “[N]othing in this section shall permit consumption that is conducted openly and publicly or in a manner that endangers others.” The laws governing alcohol allow for public consumption in licensed premises — this constitutional language governing marijuana specifically prohibits it.

We urge you to share these concerns with your state senator and tell her or him to vote against HB 1258. This convenient state service allows you to identify your state legislators and find their contact info.  Please email or call your state senator today. Your voice matters!

Educating parents on risks of increasing marijuana potency

The potency of Colorado’s marijuana products have increased hand in hand with commercialization, with unprecedented levels of THC, marijuana’s main mood-altering ingredient.

Smart Colorado’s new education campaign in Colorado Springs, supported by local funders, warns parents that today’s marijuana products are “deceptively different” from the marijuana they may have experienced decades ago.

High-impact billboards on I-25 point to, a new informational source on the risks of high-potency marijuana products to developing brains. The billboards were covered by the local NBC affiliate, KOAA, and we’re promoting the campaign on Smart Colorado’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

We hope this educational resource prompts parents to have productive discussions with their children. If you find it useful, please share it with parents you know.

Please support Smart Colorado’s advocacy for kids

If you believe in Smart Colorado’s mission, please donate today to support our work. As a nonprofit, we depend on the generosity of people like you. Thousands also have liked Smart Colorado on Facebook to get the latest news about our efforts to protect youth.  You can also engage with us on Twitter. And please spread the word to your friends, family and neighbors. Thank you.


About Smart Colorado

Smart Colorado is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting the health, safety, and well-being of Colorado youth as marijuana becomes increasingly available and commercialized. Smart Colorado is a project of the Colorado Nonprofit Development Center. To learn more about Smart Colorado, please visit:



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