It is very concerning that you are continuing to push the falsehood that youth and teen usage in Colorado is going down. I am a practicing physician in Southern Colorado. Our substance abuse has risen in ALL ages. I am attaching a copy of my long term study data. We are the only level 2 hospital in Southern Colorado. I have tracked all urine drug screens done in our hospital over the last 8 years. Data included in the included powerpoint goes to the end of 2019. Please note that we had a marked increase in positive drug screens since 2013 (one year prior to legalization). The most recent health kids survey shows a rise in teen and youth usage (https://cdphe.colorado.gov/healthy-kids-colorado-survey-data-tables-and-reports ).
Please, it is so very important that you understand the harms that are the end point of increasing the usage of cannabis. Let your politicians/ministers know - I leave, once again, the opportunity for them to come spend a day with me in the emergency department - see the real end point of liberalization of drugs. The saddest part is when these children start cannabis here, they are starting with high potency products, which are clearly addictive and harmful to kids brains. Our community (and I am 100% sure your communities) can not afford the costs of drug treatment programs for everyone becoming addicted.
Please take the time to read my brief powerpoint. Look at the data. There are over 40,000 urine drug screens recorded. There is no downward trend of drug usage in our community - over the last year, you will note a small decrease in the number of those testing positive for opioids and this reflects a community effort to decrease prescription opioids as well as the fact that the urine drug screens used here do not detect fentanyl. You will also note, that the level of those testing positive for opioids did not return to the baseline of 2013 (prior to legalization). Communities simply can not afford to have so many people addicted to drugs. Australia will be no different than the US.
Q: And where, again, has legalization of marijuana helped our drug problem??
A: It hasn't
Please see 2020 provisional drug overdoses from CDPHE.
And please, do not blame COVID, although the 2020 data does show increases in alcohol and cannabis use, drug overdoses, and deaths during the pandemic.
Drug overdoses in Colorado strongly correlate with legalization of marijuana
Drug Deaths in Colorado since marijuana legalization (2014)
Prescription opioids INCREASED 89.9%
Fentanyl INCREASED 694.6%
Meth INCREASED 280.5%
Cocaine INCREASED 160.8%
Heroin INCREASED 15.2%
Dr Karen Randall (FAAEM) (& Dr Ken Finn)
• Chairman of the Board, SCEMA
• VP of Case Management, SCEMA
• Certified in Cannabis Science & Medicine