DENVER, Colo. (CBS4) – A new study on drug trafficking shows 3.5 tons of pot from Colorado has shown up in 37 states since the state legalized medical marijuana.
Much of the pot is turning up in Kansas, Missouri and Illinois.
“The facts and figures, they don’t lie,” said Tom Gorman, Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program Director.
Gorman is urging everyone to read the program’s public report before they consider legalizing pot in their state. The study, done by a group of law enforcement agencies and backed by the feds, says there are now more deadly car crashes involving pot.
“Marijuana-impaired drivers went up 114 percent, and that’s exactly the direction we don’t want to go,” Gorman said.
The report not only says adult and teen use of marijuana have gone up, but so have the number of children showing up in emergency rooms. The Children’s Hospital pediatrician Dr. George Sam Wang says since 2009 the hospital has seen a spike in children under the age of five being treated in the emergency room because of edibles.
“They come in very sleepy and potentially can go into a coma or have difficulty breathing,” Wang said.
Conspire, a company that does drug testing in El Paso County schools, says they’re seeing teenagers getting higher than ever with alarming levels of THC, marijuana’s active ingredient, in their bodies.
“A typical kid, between 50 and 100 nanograms — now were seeing these up in the over 500, 700, 800, climbing,” Jo McGuire with Conspire said.
It indicates daily use.
Gorman says he hopes the rest of the country will watch closely what’s happening in Colorado and Washington.
“You give us about four years, then make a decision whether you want to do this in your state, but you’ll be doing it based on fact and figures and not the spin,” Gorman said.
Gorman believes in four years there may be a movement to turn the marijuana choice around to make it illegal again.