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Colorado parents conflicted over marijuana legalization, survey finds

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Colorado parents are conflicted about the state’s new world of legalized, commercialized marijuana, according to the results of a survey released Tuesday.

Nearly half of parents of children ages 10-19 say they support legalizing recreational use of marijuana, nearly three-quarters support medical marijuana and most say that misused prescription drugs, alcohol and tobacco pose greater threats to kids. But parents still say there should be strict regulations around marijuana — including 87 percent supporting a total ban on pot advertising.

“It’s just not seen as that dangerous,” Scott Kotchko, a pollster for New York-based Whitman Insight Strategies, said Tuesday in announcing the results.

“This does not mean that adults in this country or in Colorado think that it is OK to use marijuana in a completely unregulated manner.”

The Partnership at Drugfree.org, a national organization dedicated to combating substance abuse among youth, commissioned the survey and presented the results at a panel discussion at the University of Denver on the possible impacts of marijuana legalization in Colorado.

Overall, the survey found that half of parents across the country and 62 percent of parents in Colorado had used marijuana at least once in their lives. That experience colored parents’ attitudes about marijuana, with parents who had smoked pot more likely to favor marijuana legalization.

But parents also have serious worries about marijuana use by kids, with more than 80 percent saying they think it is a credible concern that pot use could negatively impact future opportunities, hinder brain development and hurt school performance.

Parents also want strict controls on marijuana use and sales. Over 90 percent of parents surveyed said marijuana smoking should be prohibited in the same places where tobacco smoking is, that marijuana should come with warning labels like cigarettes, that it should be illegal to provide marijuana to underage users and that the minimum age for use should be 21.

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, speaking at the panel discussion, said the survey results show the “cognitive dissonance” in Colorado over marijuana legalization in that parents want to allow it but also keep kids from being exposed to it.

“We’re going to have to look at a different way of influencing our young people beside the regulatory system,” Suthers said.

Brian Vicente, one of the proponents of marijuana legalization in Colorado, said rules are already in place or soon will be in place to address almost all the regulation concerns parents raised in the survey.

John Ingold

 

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Comments
  • comment avatar Trudy July 16, 2013

    I guarantee that nearly all these parents that support no advertising for marijuana have no problems taking their kids to COORS field to watch a game or to watch a Broncos game where 60%+ of the commercials sell beer. Hypocrites.

  • comment avatar Sandi July 16, 2013

    Clearly there’s plenty of ignorance about this issue to go around and the politician’s hardly have a monopoly on it. Upon objective scrutiny of how certain substances affect biochemistry it is clear that caffeine is at least, if not considerably more so, as harmful as the purported negative affects of cannabis. If anything cannabis has more positive aspects than a caffeine habit. Caffeine brings with it addiction, withdrawal, sleep disruption, overdose potential (rare but less rare than cannabis), mood imbalances, anxiety and so forth. And yet nobody is discussing tight regulations or controls around caffeine or banning its advertisement, nor do I think they should. And nor does the considerable caffeine lobby nor its regular consumers.

    The War on Drugs is an international tragedy and tragically flawed in its policy. They just arrested the top leader of the Zeta Mexican drug cartel and experts are cautioning that this will not stem the violence. The only way out is to get educated collectively. Free your mind and the rest will follow. No kidding. How many of the parents that oppose cannabis have no valid reason and simultaneously embrace a daily caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, sugar or pharmaceutical habit? Odds are the results would be unanimous.

  • comment avatar Lara July 16, 2013

    Stretching the truth a long ways aren’t you? Caffeine does not alter your mind like Pot does. Done both, been there done that. Potheads can spew a lot of lies out there. Bottom line is this, Parents should take control and advise their kids how it will be in their house. They want to do pot, wait until they are on their own. And if they do it, no financial help for them. We have enough lazy bums out there as it is.

  • comment avatar Paula July 16, 2013

    I so agree. I know from a lot of personal experience, first-hand observation and studies that smoking pot causes detrimental effects to young people’s memory and mental well-being. It shows up in their grades and their personal relationships. Marijuana is harmful. That’s a fact, not an opinion.

    There is plenty of propaganda out there that tries to make it seem harmless. Just because people aren’t part of the tobacco industry doesn’t mean they’re less inclined to lie about their product and spew junk science. There are literally billions of dollars to be made both inside and outside of the cartels.

    Marijuana doesn’t have the obvious life-destroying potential as alcohol and other drugs, but it can really screw up people who are at life’s tipping points, particularly adolescence.

    Too many people, including parents, are just giving up to the propaganda onslaught and start favoring legalization because it seems easier. It’s not. It’s a cop-out. Legalization won’t make the fundamental problems go away.

  • comment avatar Bella July 16, 2013

    The biggest fear I have with my kids is drinking and driving, or riding with someone who has been drinking…. … Alcohol is far more dangerous that pot ….

  • comment avatar Christina July 16, 2013

    Bella–So you’d have no problem with your child getting in the car with someone who has been smoking pot? Y’all are fooling yourselves that it isn’t harmful. Gateway drug, people. Don’t know anyone who did hardcore stuff who didn’t start with pot, first.

  • comment avatar BroomfieldDonian July 16, 2013

    Soo many of you who think MJ is so “safe” must be smoking hemp. Get your money back from your dealer.
    What about the paranoia, time and space distortion, the “big head thing” as on That ’70′s Show?
    Haven’t you ever been so fried that you feel like you’re sinking into the ground? that your mouth isn’t working right, that you can’t breathe if it’s raining hard, that all you want to do is stare at the dust on your laptop, or think PeeWee’s Playhouse is the best show ever? Or that you are so anxious that you need more beer and tequila? or better yet a cigarette to calm down. And how much you enjoy the spiritual experience of this wonder drug, that you would like to try something else, like hashish, or peyote, or shrooms? Maybe dropping acid would be fun. and of course cocaine. Good times, right? Hell, if it wasn’t why is it so popular to alter your mind?
    Been there. Done that. What a waste. :shock:

  • comment avatar Jeanne July 16, 2013

    Yes, kids manage to get alcohol (usually from mommy & daddy’s liquor cabinet) and they will probably still be able to get MJ. But if it’s regulated like alchohol & tobacco AS THE LAW STATES IT SHOULD BE, the chances are greater that it will be more difficult for your favorite kind of party to take place. And if parents paid a little more attention to their kids and what their kids were doing, and taught them the realistic dangers of substance abuse of all kinds, then maybe some of them will turn out to be less damaged than you are.

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