From The Oklahoman:
Tuesday, November 14, 2017 | Colorado Springs Gazette Opinion
Last week marked the fifth anniversary of Colorado’s decision to sanction the world’s first anything-goes commercial pot trade.
Five years later, we remain an embarrassing cautionary tale.
Visitors to Colorado remark about a new agricultural smell, the wafting odor of pot as they drive near warehouse grow operations along Denver freeways. Residential neighborhoods throughout Colorado Springs reek of marijuana, as producers fill rental homes with plants.
Five years of retail pot coincide with five years of a homelessness growth rate that ranks among the highest rates in the country. Directors of homeless shelters, and people who live on the streets, tell us homeless substance abusers migrate here for easy access to pot.
Five years of Big Marijuana ushered in a doubling in the number of drivers involved in fatal crashes who tested positive for marijuana, based on research by the pro-legalization Denver Post.
Five years of commercial pot have been five years of more marijuana in schools than teachers and administrators ever feared.
“An investigation by Education News Colorado, Solutions and the I-News Network shows drug violations reported by Colorado’s K-12 schools have increased 45 percent in the past four years, even as the combined number of all other violations has fallen,” explains an expose on escalating pot use in schools by Rocky Mountain PBS in late 2016.
The investigation found an increase in high school drug violations of 71 percent since legalization. School suspensions for drugs increased 45 percent.
The more available a drug is, the more likely young people are to use the drug. Marijuana use among students already is on the rise. Suspensions for drug violations at Colorado’s public schools increased 45% over the past four years, expulsions for drug violations increased 35%, and referrals to police increased 17%. Among the most vulnerable group, ages 12 to 25, it is projected that the number of regular marijuana users will double.
In other words, exactly what the opponents said would happen, has happened.
It wasn’t supposed to happen that way, oh, no, certainly not. Amendment 64 restricted marijuana use to people 21 years of age and older, yet, somehow, some way, school-aged children, most of whom are minors, are demonstrating significantly greater marijuana usage.
Let’s be clear about this: adults wanting greater access to a psychotropic drug didn’t care if marijuana legalization made pot more available to kids. They knew, everyone knew, that the restriction to people over 21 was laughable, and would never work. After all, alcohol is prohibited to people younger than 21, but kids still get it.
Drug use is a horrible problem in our country, and the solution to that problem certainly isn’t making drugs easier to obtain.