Pubdate: Thu, 10 Apr 2014
Source: Ledger-Enquirer (Columbus, GA)
Copyright: 2014 Ledger-Enquirer
Author: Ivan Moreno, Associated Pres


DENVER - Two hot-button marijuana measures dealing with the potency
and appearance of edibles will be considered by Colorado lawmakers in
the final weeks of the legislative session.

Legislators heard testimony Thursday on both bills but votes were not
expected until next week.

One bill would set possession limits for concentrated forms of
marijuana such as hash oil.

Currently, Colorado adults can possess up to an ounce of marijuana
without regard to whether it's leafy flowers or concentrated oils.
However, in its concentrated form, an ounce of pot has far more
servings than the same amount in plant form.

The situation has raised concerns about people illegally smuggling the
drug out of state in concentrated form as well as consumers possibly
ingesting more marijuana than they intended.

"The idea is simply that we make it so that you can't go in and buy
the equivalent of 10 ounces of loose marijuana, you can go in and buy
whatever the equivalent of an ounce is," said Christian Sedergerg, a
marijuana attorney who worked on the voter-approved amendment that
legalized the drug.

The bill directs the state Department of Revenue to determine how much
concentrated pot is equal to an ounce of leafy pot.

Democratic Rep. Jonathan Singer, a sponsor of the bill, said lawmakers
want to keep the drug away from criminals and children.

Another bill would broaden a ban on certain types of edibles to
include products that mimic other foods or candies.

Republican Rep. Frank McNulty, one of the bill sponsors, said there is
concern about possible accidental ingestion by children who can't tell
the diffeence.

To illustrate his point, McNulty showed lawmakers a tray with gummy
bears, cookies and other sweets. Some contained marijuana.

"If you can't tell the difference, how is a 3-year-old?" he

Some marijuana activists fear the bill could ban any type of edible

Dr. Michael DiStefano, medical director of the emergency department at
Children's Hospital, testified in support of both bills. He told
lawmakers the hospital's emergency department has treated seven
children so far this year who became ill ingesting marijuana edibles.
Last year, the hospital treated a total of eight children for the problem.

Marijuana overdoses are not lethal, but DiStefano said doctors are
worried about complications to children with a low body mass who
ingest pot with high concentration levels.

He said the children who were hospitalized acted erratically, had an
altered mental status and severe depression. 
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