Pubdate: Sun, 30 Mar 2014
Source: Denver Post (CO)
Copyright: 2014 The Denver Post Corp
Author: Robert Sharpe
Page: 2D


"Are recreational pot's low tax numbers worrisome?," March 23
Perspective articles.

Regarding efforts to ramp up anti-marijuana education campaigns in
Colorado, a little perspective is in order. Like any drug, marijuana
can be harmful if abused. However, the biggest drug threat facing
youth is prescription drug abuse. According to the U.S. Centers for
Disease Control, drug overdose death rates have never been higher.
Most are caused by prescription drugs. The problem is so bad that drug
overdose deaths have surpassed motor-vehicle crashes as a cause of
death from unintentional injury. Marijuana has never been shown to
cause an overdose death.

Alcohol poisoning kills more people each year than all illegal drugs
combined. Gov. John Hickenlooper is actively promoting craft beer in
the governor's mansion while simultaneously calling for an
anti-marijuana campaign [for young people]. By all means, educate
youth about the dangers of marijuana. Just make sure it's part of
broader reality-based drug education and not a revived culture war.
The medicine cabinet at home and the craft beer flowing in the
governor's mansion both pose greater threats to Colorado youth than
newly legal marijuana.

Robert Sharpe

Arlington, Va. The writer is a policy analyst for Common Sense for
Drug Policy in Washington, D.C.
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