TOP 10 REASONS TO OPT OUT
OPT OUT OF RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA DELIVERY
Recreational marijuana delivery in Boulder is no benign proposition. It would increase the visibility and availability of high potency marijuana for Boulder's youth.
OPT OUT OF MARIJUANA LOUNGES
Public marijuana consumption is out of synch with Boulder's values of health, wellness, fitness, and clean indoor air. Our youth are watching. Let's be true to what makes this city a great place to live, work and grow up.
1) The high potency of today's marijuana has changed everything.
Since Colorado legalized marijuana, THC potency (the psychoactive chemical in cannabis that creates a high) has increased astronomically – from about 4% to up to 99% in concentrated products available in dispensaries now. These are hard drugs. High-THC edibles, vaping, and dabbing can do significant, long-term damage to developing brains. These harms include increases in addiction, cannabis-induced psychosis, anxiety, depression, and suicidality in adolescents. This is settled science. Many Boulder families are seeking help for young people with these issues right now. We need to limit, not expand, their availability in our community. See the data >>
2) Boulder has one of the highest per capita concentrations of marijuana businesses anywhere.
Boulder already has a large marijuana industry that includes retailers, growers, manufacturers, and marketers. But serious problems have emerged and we are asking Boulder City Council to resist the industry's push to expand. Recreational delivery and social consumption are unnecessary, and the risks far outweigh the benefits.
3) Recreational delivery and social clubs create insurmountable enforcement and health issues.
Boulder city staff including the Boulder Police Department, the Boulder County District Attorney, Boulder County Public Health, and the Boulder County Healthy Futures Coalition unanimously recommend opting out of recreational marijuana delivery and social consumption. Opting in may benefit marijuana businesses, but it would be bad policy for our city overall. Read more >> .
4) We voted to legalize marijuana, not glamorize it.
Recreational marijuana delivery and social clubs would further normalize and even glamorize marijuana for youth in our community, who are already hurting. Expansion would send a "do-as-we-do" message that education campaigns can't overcome. We should support families by placing reasonable limitations on marijuana commerce.
5) Boulder young people have significantly increased their use of high-THC marijuana.
In Boulder, youth use of marijuana concentrates – the most dangerous kind of marijuana for those with developing brains – increased significantly in the last two years, as measured by the Colorado Healthy Kids Survey. This situation deserves a serious response, the very least of which should be opting out of further marijuana commercialization. Read more >>
6) It's hypocritical to expand marijuana in Boulder while promoting health, especially mental health.
Expanding commercial marijuana flies in the face of heroic efforts by many to deal with a mental health crisis in our community. How can we expand access to high-THC marijuana – which can severely impact mental health – while also trying to deal with the fall out of mental illness, like homelessness, depression, anxiety, and suicide?
7) The industry needs to close two significant loopholes that enable easy youth access.
Marijuana industry people know that Boulder youth have easy access to high-THC drugs sold in dispensaries because of two significant loopholes. Right now, the burden falls completely to the criminal justice system. Good public policy would be to address these problems first. Until then, we should not expand into recreational delivery and social consumption. Read more>>
8) Claims of social justice benefits are insulting.
As the industry pushes for recreational delivery and social consumption, it is touting an insulting lie about "increasing social justice.” Boulder, don’t be fooled. People of color and those from communities disproportionately harmed by the War on Drugs are an overwhelming minority in the marijuana world, except for arrest rates, which have risen dramatically for young blacks and Latinos in Colorado. Marijuana business owners in Boulder and around the state are overwhelmingly white men.
9) Social marijuana consumption will increase driver impairment and related traffic fatalities.
Allowing marijuana lounges in Boulder will result in more people driving stoned. The statistics on marijuana-related driver impairment in Colorado are grim and getting worse. Since recreational marijuana was legalized in 2013, traffic deaths where drivers tested positive for marijuana increased 135% while all Colorado traffic deaths increased 24%. Since recreational marijuana was legalized, traffic deaths involving drivers who tested positive for marijuana more than doubled from 55 in 2013 to 127 people killed in 2019. Social consumption will make these impacts even worse.
10) Boulder worked hard to pass the Clean Indoor Air Act; we shouldn't go back.
It took decades of effort for Colorado to achieve its statewide smoke-free restaurant law that took effect in 2007. The smokefree law has protected a generation of employees, but risks being swept away if Boulder opts in to social consumption. Secondhand marijuana smoke contains hazardous fine particulates and hundreds of chemicals. Like the tobacco industry before it, the marijuana industry says it can provide ventilation to protect employees. No ventilation system has proven able to remove the safety hazards of second-hand marijuana smoke. No employee should have to choose between their health and a paycheck.
Bottom Line: Boulder should join the majority of Colorado municipalities and opt out.
The state of Colorado allows communities to opt in or out of recreational marijuana delivery or social consumption. Numerous factors, including social costs, have resulted in an overwhelming majority of Colorado cities and counties opting out of marijuana commercialization altogether. The fact is, marijuana is already widely available in Boulder through many medical and recreational dispensaries. The downside risks of recreational delivery and social clubs far outweigh the benefits. Other than money, expansion provides no positive impacts for our community. What Colorado has seen since legalization – according to the data, our District Attorney, educators, social workers, and medical community – is more youth addiction, more opiate drug abuse, more crime, less social justice, more emergency room visits, and more illicit markets. We should not expand with recreational delivery and social consumption.