There’s a pretty large and undeniably important debate raging in Colorado right now in the wake of the state’s recent marijuana legislative overhauls. While it’s becoming more than apparent that weed in general is not taking a toll on public health and nor has it led to social disorder on an anarchic scale as some had insisted it would, there’s one remaining grey area that folk seem to want to clear up more than any other:
The problem here is the way in which there are still tons of people who are viewing marijuana edibles as something of a safe, easy and fun way of trying weed for the first time if they aren’t smokers. Popping a candy or two seems so much more agreeable than hitting a bong, so plenty of first timers are hitting the weed edible stores and munching away on their purchases.
Unfortunately, critics across Colorado are already linking weed edibles with a handful of deaths including one murder and a recent tragic suicide. After gorging on weed munchies far above and beyond recommended daily maximums, Oklahoma tourist Luke Goodman last month shot himself dead while on holiday in in Keystone in March. The incident saw weed edibles once again thrust into the spotlight for all the wrong reasons, but while his family was and is adamant that the pot edibles were to blame, they also acknowledged the fact that he ignored the warnings on the pack and went 500% beyond recommended safe use limits.
Unsurprisingly, critics are once again up in arms, stating that the only safe approach is to blame the manufacturers and sellers. Their argument is that if the goods weren’t on sale, these things couldn’t happen. Sadly though, this kind of logic and stance is wholly flawed as when it comes to ignoring warnings and consuming things to excess, there’s a lot out there that can harm and kill you. From alcohol to OTC painkillers and plenty more besides, if you ignore the warnings and ingest way more than you are told is a good idea, the lines become very blurred when it comes to blame.
“There’s a learning curve for consumers of edibles,” said Art Way, state director of the pro-legalization Drug Policy Alliance for Colorado.
“We cannot escape the issue of personal responsibility,”
“That said, the industry should do all that is reasonable in the formative years of marijuana legalization to combat concerns around edibles.”
As far as advocates are concerned, the fact that there have been so few incidents in Colorado, where millions of edible weed products have been sold over the past year, essentially proves that sensible use really isn’t of any concern at all. As such, there’s no argument for clamping down on the sale or manufacture of edibles because when they’re used as instructed, they don’t appear to be doing any harm.
“As we continue down this road, we really need to keep an open mind,” said the director of Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division, Lewis Koski.
“We have to consider various incidents that occur and work on putting them into perspective, as in: ‘What things do we, as the regulators, have control over to make things more efficient?’ “
There are those that have suggested that indications of THC content on weed edible packaging cannot always be taken as gospel, so it’s advisable to always err on the side of caution. But in any and all cases, it’s a debate that’s likely to continue raging for some time as there’s little chance of the public reaching a consensus when even the state’s primary regulators seem unsure about which direction to take next.