Pubdate: Mon, 24 Oct 2016
Source: USA Today (US)
Copyright: 2016 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc


As voters in five states consider ballot measures next month to
legalize marijuana for recreational use, supporters and opponents can
pluck a statistic to back just about anything they want to argue about
the issue. But amid a gaggle of dueling studies, the truth is that the
state experiments in legalizing recreational use are still too new to
yield definitive results about the harms and benefits to society.

In Colorado and Washington state, the first to legalize, retail stores
did not open until 2014. As the Colorado Department of Public Safety
asserted in its first post-legalization report this year: It is too
early to draw any conclusions about the potential effects of marijuana
legalization or commercialization on public safety, public health or
youth outcomes.

This argues for some caution when voters head to the polls Nov. 8 in
Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada to consider
recreational use measures. Passage would double the number of states
that have legalized use by all adults who are at least 21. (Four more
states - Arkansas, Florida, Montana and North Dakota - will vote on
allowing medicinal use, which 26 states already allow.)
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