A few weeks ago, the editorial board at The Denver Post penned a piece lamenting the recently confirmed uptick in marijuana use in Colorado.
“There’s no way to put a positive spin on the latest news on marijuana use in Colorado since the passage of Amendment 64,” the editorial reads. “Usage has gone up, and what had been mostly anecdotal evidence just got a serious confirming boost from the federal government’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health.”
The study in question showed that roughly one in 12 Coloradans over the age of 12 said they had used marijuana in the last month — or about 530,000 people, ranking Colorado second in the U.S. for regular cannabis users to Rhode Island. The report documents 2012-2013, more than half of which was a time when it was legal for adults 21 and older to use and possess marijuana in Colorado. The report doesn’t include 2014, when the recreational sales began.
But legalization activist Steve Fox, who co-drafted the pot-legalizing Amendment 64 in Colorado, disagrees with The Post editorial board. Fox wrote a recent letter to the editor where he questioned the editorial’s reasoning.
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“The more important question is why the editorial board considers an increase in marijuana use ‘disturbing,'” Fox wrote. “This survey only showed a statistically significant increase in consumption by adults. Is this disturbing for moral reasons or is it based on societal costs? Did the survey cite any specific negative public health outcomes from increased adult use? (Answer: No.)”
Later on in Fox’s letter he writes that we should be encouraging people to use cannabis instead of alcohol.
“If we truly care about public health, we should be focusing our resources on reducing harmful alcohol use. In fact, we should actually be encouraging a shift from alcohol use to marijuana use. If that seems jarring to you, ask yourself: Why do I prefer people use alcohol over marijuana? The answer, even if it’s just in your own head, would be good to know.”
What do you think? Should we as a society be encouraging people to use marijuana instead of alcohol? Let us know in the comments.
Click through to the next page to read Fox’s entire letter to The Post’s editorial board.