- Since the enactment of Colorado Amendment 64, adults aged 21 or older can grow up to six cannabis plants (with no more than half being mature flowering plants), privately in a locked space, legally possess all cannabis from the plants they grow (as long as it stays where it was grown), legally possess up to one ounce of cannabis while traveling, and give as a gift up to one ounce to other citizens 21 years of age or older.
- Consumption is permitted in a manner similar to alcohol, with equivalent offenses proscribed for driving.Consumption in public remains illegal.
- Amendment 64 also provides for licensing of cultivation facilities, product manufacturing facilities, testing facilities, and retail stores.
- Visitors and tourists in Colorado can use and purchase marijuana, but can not take it out of the state, and it is prohibited at Denver International Airport. (wikipedia)
(KUSA-TV, 9News NBC) DENVER – State regulators are revisiting the rules surrounding serving sizes for edible marijuana products in the wake of two high-profile death cases involving the use of pot-infused cookies and candies.
A state-appointed task force met Wednesday in Aurora to “discuss and consider reasonable amounts of active THC in retail marijuana products in proportion to product serving size.”
In March a 19-year-old student died after jumping from a hotel balcony. According to friends, he ate an entire cookie containing 65mg of THC, the active drug in marijuana.
The state considers 10mg of THC a serving of the drug but has no requirement that edible products be packaged in single-serving portions.
Recreational marijuana can contain a max of 100mg (10 servings) per item, but it is legal for 100mg to be packed into a small piece of candy.
That potency is available for the kind of edible marijuana candy police say a Denver man consumed before fatally shooting his wife.
The Colorado Department of Revenue, which oversees legal marijuana sales and manufacturing, says in the meeting announcement that the discussion is “in advance of a formal rule-making process,” indicating that it intends to revise these rules.
A Department spokeswoman declined to comment on specifics of any new rules it intends to pursue, saying the regulators want to have the discussion with the task force first.
Options could include requiring edible products to be easily separable into 10mg pieces, like a perforated chocolate bar, or perhaps individually wrapped in servings no larger than 10mg.
Some makers of edible marijuana products are already developing 5-10mg products, hoping to create a market for single-dose edibles.
Marijuana advocates were cautiously optimistic about the issue being brought up for formal discussion.
“Coloradans are used to eating a whole cookie. They’re used to eating a whole brownie,” said Christian Sederberg, a lawyer who worked on Amendment 64 and a member of the task force that met on Wednesday. “We need to make it easy for the consumer to understand what the product is that they’re taking to ensure their safety.”
Sederberg says he’d rather see more stringent regulations on edibles adopted with cooperation from the industry now than wait for more bad headlines that could prompt a crackdown that ends the sale of edibles altogether.
While edibles are specifically protected in the language of Amendment 64, the state is given virtually unlimited power to regulate them.
The task force meeting took place at Children’s Hospital in Aurora and includes members who work in edibles manufacturing, the healthcare sector, and law enforcement.
Reprinted here for educational purposes only. May not be reproduced on other websites without permission from KUSA-TV, 9News NBC, Denver. Visit the website at 9News .com.)
1. What is THC?
2. How much THC does the state of Colorado consider a serving (the amount one persons should ingest at one time)?
3. How many “servings” can legally be put in one single piece of pot candy?
4. Why does Colorado’s Department of Revenue intend to revise the rules on the sale of marijuana?
5. a) What possible rule changes might the Department have considered during the meeting yesterday?
b) What words/phrases would you use to describe the effectiveness of this Department?
6. For what reason does attorney Christian Sederberg, who worked on the amendment to legalize recreational marijuana, say he wants to see stricter regulations on “edibles”?
7. List at least 3 potential problems with legalizing the sale of recreational edible marijuana in candy and cookie form.
8. Do you think the positives outweigh the negatives of legalizing edible marijuana? Explain your answer.
Very little research has looked specifically into the health risks of eating THC, said Wayne Hall, an addiction researcher at the University of Queensland who has been studying cannabis for about two decades.
However, many of the adverse effects of marijuana use do not seem to be specific to smoking.
“The clearest risk [of a habit of ingesting THC] would probably be developing dependence on the drug, meaning that people would find it hard to stop if they chose to do so,” Hall said.
Because THC takes much longer to reach the brain when the chemical is absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract, as opposed to through the lungs, edibles may also lead to dose-control difficulties. Users may take more than they intend to as they wait to feel an effect. Inexperienced users are more likely to feel the acute negative effects of marijuana intoxication, including anxiety and panic, and Hall said widespread use of edibles might cause an increase in unpleasant experiences with THC.
Some of marijuana use’s possible adverse effects, such as its reported potential to lower IQ scores and its association with the diagnosis of schizophrenia, may be especially likely to impact adolescent users, said Hall. People under 21 would be prohibited from recreationally using marijuana in both Colorado and Washington under the new laws, but some have argued that the laws will nevertheless increase teen use. (from livescience)
From an April 17 NBC 9News story on deaths linked to edible marijuana:
A recent spousal murder case is the second death this year linked to edible marijuana, sparking questions and concern about what role, if any, the drug played.
Last month, a 19-year-old student fell to his death from a hotel balcony after eating six servings of a pot cookie. “There’s just not enough information right now to say, absolutely, pot was to blame,” 9NEWS psychologist Max Wachtel said.
In the case of the murder, there are other factors to consider besides pot. Police say suspected shooter Richard Kirk was also on medication for back pain in that case, so pot may not have been the only thing in his blood.
Sources told 9NEWS Kris Kirk was on the phone with 911 for approximately 12 minutes before her husband Richard allegedly shot her in the head while she was still on the line. Court documents revealed that Kirk could be heard in the background of the call “talking about some marijuana ‘candy’ that he had got from a store.”
“There’s certainly an extreme likelihood that [marijuana] contributed,” Wachtel said. “What we know about the case at this point is that he probably ingested an edible, had way too much pot in his system.”
That can cause problems, says Wachtel, who points to a study that looked at the brain on THC, the psychoactive drug in pot. It found that part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex, gets more active when exposed to the drug. This area is believed to bring in sights and sounds from the world around you, so more activity could mean more sensations.
However, THC also caused another part of the brain called the striatum to slow down. Scientists think that brain region helps you deal with all those sensations coming in, so less activity could mean a tougher time making sense of the world. In extreme cases, it can cause a type of psychosis similar to schizophrenia, says Wachtel.
“Little things become huge,” Wachtel said. “So a touch on the skin or a little sound that you hear off in the corner becomes a monster or becomes somebody telling you to kill somebody else.”
ER doctors say that’s rare to see with pot. Usually people come in very sedated.
Regardless, marijuana supporters concede it’s easy to overdo it with edibles. People think, “‘Oh, I smoke cannabis, I’m fine,'” said Genifer Murray who runs a marijuana testing company called CannLabs. “Absolutely not, you should always start with 10 milligrams.”
10 milligrams is the state’s definition of a dose of edible THC.
Karma Kandy, the edible product police say murder suspect Richard Kirk bought, is sold with more than 100 milligrams in as single piece of candy.
There are similar facts in the case of the 19-year-old who jumped from the hotel. Police say he ate one cookie that was 6.5 doses.
A smaller bite didn’t produce a high right away, so he ate the whole thing, according to statements in the police report from those who were with him.
It takes longer to get high eating pot than smoking it and the effects can last for hours.
“15 to 20 years from now I think we will look back and be shocked that edibles were legal,” Wachtel said. “I think they are not going to withstand public scrutiny. I think that bad stuff is going to continue to happen.”
“I think that’s ridiculous,” countered Murray. “A lot of people don’t smoke, so you always want to give them another option.”
Murray suggests that people who use edibles, especially for the first time, find products that are already divided into 10 milligrams servings of THC, so they don’t have to break off pieces of a cookie or brownie.
All sides seem to agree more scientific study of marijuana’s effects in different forms could be useful.
There’s no rule against having a single piece of candy that contains the maximum 100 milligrams of THC for an edible item sold as recreational pot.
Colorado has no limit at all on THC content for medical marijuana edibles.
The THC content listed on edibles isn’t always trustworthy, either.
Mandatory THC potency testing won’t be required until May under state rules. In the meantime, untested products are required to come with a disclosure to the buyer saying they have not been tested.
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