The pot lobby

Two weeks after the marijuana lobby descended on Congress, Senators Cory Gardner and Elizabeth Warren announced legislation that would prevent Federal officials from enforcing the nation’s drug laws.  Senator Cory Gardner has abandoned his integrity and common sense to support the emerging marijuana industry instead of his constituents. The bill he and Senator Elizabeth Warren are sponsoring is based upon two false statements Gardner has given to his constituents:

  1. Marijuana legalization is a states’ rights issue; even though in Gonzales vs. Raich 545 US 1(2005), SCOTUS ruled that Congress may criminalize that which Colorado has chosen to legalize.
  2. States are the laboratories of experimentation for the nation; even though what Colorado has done does not qualify as an experiment. An experiment requires that input variables be controlled and outcomes be measured.  Colorado does neither.

Gardner has been misled by Colorado Governor Hickenlooper’s public statements and those he and Attorney General Coffman falsely claimed August 24, 2017 that:

  1. Colorado Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID) rates are declining.
  2. Colorado has an effective 5 ng/ml THC limit to protect the public from marijuana-impaired driving.

The truth:

  1. DUID rates are increasing. Hickenlooper and Coffman relied upon two short-term data points from the Colorado State Patrol to support their statement.  Two data points do not make a trend.  Long term trends are up, as are deaths linked to THC-positive drivers. The state has been reluctant to study relevant facts.  April 26ththe Colorado Legislative Council refused a request by 36 legislators to establish an interim committee to study new DUID data emerging from the Division of Criminal Justice and to consider appropriate legislation.
  2. Forensic laboratories report that most stoned drivers test below 5 ng/ml THC. Therefore, Colorado’s 5 ng/ml limit prevents prosecution of most stoned drivers.

We are witnessing the effect that an emerging Big Marijuana industry has on elected officials.  The public is beginning to pay the price of those effects, and unfortunately, some effects will be permanent or long-lasting.

As the price of marijuana legalization becomes unbearable to a wider group of voters, perhaps those voters will insist on wiser and more honest politicians.


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