Pubdate: Sat, 30 Apr 2016
Source: Denver Post (CO)
Copyright: 2016 The Denver Post Corp
Authors: John Ingold and Ricardo Baca


Job Could Be One of Highest-Paid in State Government

State health officials want to hire someone to keep an eye on 
marijuana legalization - at potentially one of the highest salaries 
in state government.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is 
advertising a position for a "marijuana health effects and research 
manager." The job will involve monitoring the health consequences of 
legalization; gathering data from hospitals, emergency rooms and 
poison control centers; and helping to lead an advisory committee 
that produces a report on legalization's outcomes.

The position also could oversee research grants on the health impacts 
of recreational marijuana sales. The legislature has designated 
nearly $350,000 for the grants in the budget currently awaiting Gov. 
John Hickenlooper's signature.

The position had been staffed by an epidemiologist, someone who has 
expertise in analyzing health patterns. But Health Department 
officials this time around wanted to put a doctor in the position. 
The job qualifications require both a medical degree and a master's 
degree in public health or equivalent experience.

"It's just a better fit," said Mike Van Dyke, the department's chief 
of environmental epidemiology, occupational health and toxicology. 
"It allows us to really have those physician-to-physician 
conversations, which are important."

That change, though, could boost the position's annual salary over 
$200,000 per year. CDPHE lists the job's salary range as $137,172 per 
year to $215,124 per year. Van Dyke said the lower end is the minimum 
rate for physicians who work in Colorado government.

The upper end would make the job the fourth-highest-paying job in 
state government, excluding the salaries of university employees. 
Only the state commissioner of education, the executive director of 
CDPHE and a physician in the Department of Corrections made more last 
year, according to salary information provided to The Denver Post 
through a records request.

Van Dyke said CDPHE likely will hire someone on the lower end of the range.

In the 2013-14 fiscal year, more than 1,700 people working in state 
government made more than $100,000 per year, The Gazette reported.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom