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Substance Abuse and Addiction Health Center

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World Watches as Colo. Marijuana Law Takes Effect

Schools and Kids continued...

Schools have long taught students about marijuana. The state has a program called “Speak Now Colorado” that encourages parents to talk to their kids. Christine R. Harms, director of the Colorado School Safety Resource Center, believes it’s up to the parents.

“We will really tell parents to consider how very detrimental marijuana is to the adolescent brain and to keep it away from kids,” Harms says.

But Elliott says banning has failed to keep pot out of schools, because drug dealers have no motivation to keep pot out. He said the marijuana industry does.

“A responsible-use campaign is critical to this. Obviously if teen marijuana use goes up, there are going to be a lot of people questioning the wisdom of this (legalization) policy,” he says.

State officials plan to do sting operations at pot stores to discourage sales to minors.

Impaired Driving

Shortly after voters legalized marijuana, state lawmakers adopted a blood-test standard of THC, the psychoactive ingredient of marijuana, to determine who is too high to drive.

It’s unclear whether Amendment 64 has made highways more dangerous. Colorado State Patrol spokesman Jeff Goodwin says the agency has not separated marijuana from other drugs and alcohol in its reporting, though the state patrol will begin doing so in 2014.

Marijuana supporters have criticized the strict standard, noting that heavier users can be less impaired than others while having the same amount of THC in their bloodstream.

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