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article imageOp-Ed: Legalization of marijuana biggest yawn in Colorado since Y2K

By Robert Weller     Feb 1, 2014 in Health
Denver - Neither Denver nor Colorado has been ablaze with police cruiser lights since marijuana was legalized on Jan. 1. News wise it could be compared with Y2K.
Highway patrols on roads leading out of the state, and its airports, have not reported confiscating the legal weed being sold here. It's supposed to stay in the state.
The only thing clear is that millions were made.
The best story of the month, turned out to be a hoax. Big tobacco had not bought into the marijuana revolution and would not market the MarlboroM.
More tourists are coming into the state. One airline even offered a flight deal that was clearly aimed at these travelers without saying it in so many words.
The bad news is the cost of flights to Denver has risen, according to www.marijuana.com.
Numerous publications, including the New York Times, have sought to portray the legalization of recreational pot as a threat to children.
“Snacks laced with marijuana raise some concerns,” headlined one story.
“One survey has found a small but growing number of children seeking treatment after accidentally consuming marijuana. Fourteen such children visited the emergency department of Children’s Hospital Colorado in the Denver area from October 2009 through December 2011, researchers reported last year in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.
The news report did mention that 48 kids were treated during the same period for overdosing on Tylenol. No details were given on alcohol overdoses, which the CDC reports is causing “more than 4,300 annual deaths among underage youth.”
There were no reports of grave illness, or death from marijuana. The Times’ comment section was full of replies from around the nation ridiculing the story, some pointing out that consumption of household cleaners by kids was more dangerous. No talk of children getting a hold of their parents’ guns and the often-terrible outcomes.
None of this appears to be slowing the inevitable tide of legalization not only making it available but also helping businesses operate.
President Obama’s Administration not only has told the feds to lay off, unless kids or drug cartels are involved, but wants drug sentences reduced. They have filled the nation’s prisons at great cost.
Obama wants banks to be able to deal with marijuana dealers. Many operate on a cash-only basis, though businesses sprung up even before recreational weed was legal to help medicinal dispensaries take their customers' money with plastic.
Rarely a day passes that a new claim is not made for the effectiveness of marijuana derivatives as treatments.
Many of these come from CBD, which comes from hemp and does not get users high. The latest farm bill legalized hemp.
That raises the question: Which came first the threat from marijuana as a drug, or the threat of hemp as an alternative source of dozens of products. Companies selling synthetic substitutes benefited from the decision to outlaw marijuana because hemp and marijuana were seen as identical.
Now people are learning THC is the ingredient that is psychoactive, and treatments are being developed that do not include it.
More and more states are moving towards legalization, mostly of medicinal. Even Florida will hold a vote on it. Already 21 states allow some medicinal marijuana, plus the District of Columbia. Massachusetts licensed 20 dispensaries to start growing and selling marijuana for medical use Friday.
There will be great confusion in the marketplace. Some products, made from hemp, are already available online. However, they can be expensive, especially since it can take the same kind of searching around shown in “The Dallas Buyers Club” to find what is right for anyone person, if any treatment is.
Scientific American's editors urged Saturday that marijuana and other illegal drugs be tested for their possible therapeutic properties.
"Discovery of new psychiatric medication, whether for the treatment of depression, autism or schizophrenia, is at a virtual standstill. As just one example, the antidepressants on the market today are no more effective at reversing the mood disorder than those that first became available in the 1950s.
"New thinking is desperately needed to aid the estimated 14 million American adults who suffer from severe mental illness."
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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