As a guinea pig for adult-use cannabis legalization, Colorado is often a target for prohibitionists trying to magnify what they consider shortcomings of the first state-legal market.
Two key arguments repeated by lawmakers voting against reform efforts include their concerns about how legalization might impact youth as well as the possible increase of impaired drivers on their state roadways.
In Minnesota, where House members discussed an adult-use bill for roughly five hours in May, before it passed via a 72-61 vote, Republican Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen took aim at Colorado in his efforts to deter passage of House File 600. While H.F. 600 did clear the House, it did not make its way through the Senate.
“Since recreational marijuana was legalized [in Colorado], traffic deaths in drivers which tested positive for marijuana increased 135 percent while all other traffic deaths increased 24 percent,” he said. “So, one of the members said, ‘This doesn’t cause death.’ Well, it does with increased traffic death.”
Gruenhagen went on and said, “One other finding is that marijuana use ages 12 and older increased 30% and is 76% higher than the national average, currently ranking third in the nation in Colorado.”
Lawmakers who oppose adult-use legalization in other