When you’re listening to the arguments for or against the use of marijuana for medical or recreational purposes, it can be very difficult to know who to believe. Both sides seem to have valid arguments. It would take a lot of study to be able to tell the truth from the lies, if you even knew where to start.
A new report will help set things straight. This report comes from the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) office in Denver. A HIDTA is a law-enforcement agency established in an area of particularly high drug trafficking. It coordinates efforts between police, sheriff’s departments, Drug Enforcement Administration and other agencies so they can work together to take drugs off the street. There are currently 28 of these regions in the US.
The HIDTA in Denver has access to the medical, police, DEA, school, city, county and state information and can pool them to create a report like this when it is warranted. At this moment, there are several states with pending legislation on the marijuana issue. In some of these states, many voters are asking to hold off on such a vote until the impact on marijuana is known. This report compiles so much information from so many sources that it will help those in states where marijuana votes are pending – those residents will now be able to see the impact that the drug might have on their own state.
The entire report can be found here: http://bit.ly/1lSgXFo.
The following are highlights from the report:
1. Traffic fatalities involving marijuana: Between 2006 and 2012, the number of fatal accidents involving a person who had used marijuana increased from less than 7% of all such accidents to more than 16.5%. The marijuana-intoxicated person killed could have been a driver, motorcyclist, bicyclist or pedestrian.
2. In 2009, there were 223 people found to be Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID) – in this case, marijuana, confirmed by blood test. In 2013, the number increased to 1,670. In fact, in Larimer County, nearly 95% of all DUID cases were attributed to marijuana.
3. Among youth aged 12 to 17 years, the rate of last-month marijuana use was 10.47% in 2012. The national average was 7.55%.
4. As marijuana use has gone up, there are more suspensions and expulsions from schools due to problems with marijuana. It could be coming to school stoned, having drugs at school or even selling to other students on school property that resulted in these penalties. In this graph, you’ll see the increase in drug expulsions compared to expulsions for alcohol, which remain flat. While all drugs are included in this graph, school officials report that most of the expulsions since the 2008-2009 school year have been due to marijuana.
5. Among Colorado college students, 26.81% are current users of marijuana. This is 42% above the national average and 20% higher than the Colorado rate in 2006-2008, when the use of medical marijuana was legal but the industry had not yet seen explosive growth.
6. Emergency room admissions for problems related to marijuana climbed from 8,198 in 2011 to 12,888 in 2013. Most likely, it’s both the higher number of people using the drug as well as the increasing potency being sold in Colorado that are responsible for this increase.
7. The following graph shows hospitalizations due to the drug.
The top ten states for current use of marijuana are all medical marijuana states. Conversely, the bottom ten states for use statistics are all states that do not permit the medical use of marijuana.
If you have an interest in this subject, much will be revealed by reading the rest of the report. You’ll have a whole new understanding of this problem, how it could affect your state and your family in the future or right now and whether or not action should be taken. The full report can be found at: http://bit.ly/1lSgXFo.