Pubdate: Thu, 28 Jul 2016
Source: Reno News & Review (NV)
Column: Upfront
Copyright: 2016, Chico Community Publishing, Inc.
Author: Dennis Myers


In a letter to the Reno Gazette-Journal, Genoa prohibitionist Jim 
Hartman wrote, "Teen and adolescent marijuana use is now 74 percent 
higher in Colorado than the national average. Teen and adolescent 
alcohol use has also gone up since legalization. In fact, alcohol 
sales across the board have increased since marijuana legalization."

According to the latest annual "Healthy Kids" study released last 
month by the Colorado Department of Health, marijuana has stayed at 
the same level since legalization. The last pre-legalization year in 
Colorado, teen pot smoking was at 22 percent. It dropped after 
legalization to 19.7 percent, and is now at 21.2 percent. This 
reflects the number who said they had used marijuana in the past month.

Two federal surveys in 2014 also found a decline in teen marijuana 
use after legalization in Colorado and Washington. Those were the 
2014 Monitoring the Future study conducted jointly by the University 
of Michigan and the National Institutes on Drug Abuse, and the 
National Survey on Drug Use and Health conducted by the U.S. 
Department of Health and Human Services.

As for alcohol, it appears that it has always been the drug of choice 
for Colorado teens. In 2012-the year of marijuana 
legalization-Colorado officials were pleased that teen alcohol use in 
the Healthy Kids survey had dropped from 75 percent in 2005 to 65 
percent in 2011. It is now down to 30 percent in the new Healthy Kids 
survey. Incidentally, 65 percent is also the number of Colorado teens 
who have never tried marijuana in the new survey.

The new Healthy Kids survey-which covers 2015-says Colorado figures 
are in line with national statistics.

There is one study, released last month, that shows marijuana use by 
the Colorado young rising-but it was released by an advocate 
prohibitionist program called Smart Approaches to Marijuana, whose 
slogan is "Preventing Another Big Tobacco," and its release of the 
survey was accompanied by language that does not normally accompany 
serious research ("In Colorado especially, Big Marijuana has been 
allowed to run wild"). The reason for its existence is to oppose 
marijuana. But even its numbers, stripped of the prohibitionist spin, 
show that Colorado post-legalization teen marijuana use has never 
reached pre-legalization levels.

The Question 2 ballot measure in Nevada provides for regulation of 
marijuana in part by permitting use only by adults.

Fact checker BACKS Reid

When U.S. Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada was misrepresenting Mitt Romney's 
taxes in 2012, he was called on it by Politifact, the fact-checking 
site. He denounced the site.

What goes around, and all that-Politifact last week mostly upheld one 
of Reid's attacks on the Koch brothers. Reid said, "Koch Industries 
churns out more climate-changing greenhouse gases than oil giants 
Chevron, Shell and Valero."

Politifact's Riley Snyder found: "Reid's claim accurately calls on 
facts established in a well-respected study of corporate pollution. 
Koch Industries does produce more greenhouse gas emissions than the 
oil companies listed by Reid. But it's a somewhat misleading, 
apples-to-oranges comparison, because there are more Koch facilities 
that cover more industries compared to the oil companies. The 
statement is accurate but needs additional information. That meets 
our definition of Mostly True."

Politifact, established by the St. Augustine Times in 2007, won the 
Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for its work on the 2008 campaign. Politifact 
has recently been growing like other corporate entities. To see how 
Reid has done on Politifact over the years, go to
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom