Lawmakers Look To Colorado For Lessons On Marijuana

Dec 7, 2017

The state commission set up to study the possibility of legalizing recreational marijuana met again Wednesday. The panel heard from representatives from states which have already implemented recreational marijuana.

The panel heard from Andrew Freedman, who helped steer Colorado through the regulatory and public health hurdles, in his position as director of marijuana coordination. Colorado legalized the recreational sale and use of the substance in 2014.

Freedman said the state has directed the millions in revenue to things like school construction, training for police on detecting people under the influence of the drug and a public education campaign on driving while high.

“And I would recommend a well-funded driving while high public education campaign cause there is good evidence out there that people don’t think there are risks while driving while high,” Freedman said.

Freedman said since legalization in Colorado there’s been an increase in the rate of people involved in fatal car accidents who have also tested positive for the drug, though it does not mean they were high at the time of the accident.

“It’s still an upward trend that I find we should be looking into and there should be better data,” Freedman said.

Rhode Island lawmakers are working to hammer out recommendations, as Massachusetts and Maine plan to roll out recreational marijuana.