The True Cost of Marijuana: A Colorado Town That Went All-In

11/11/20
 
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from EPOCH Times,
10/30/20:

It’s a common story across America: A city loses its main employer, usually a manufacturing company with well-paying, blue-collar jobs (that often go to China). The city’s economy crumbles, and those who can move out, do.

Decades later, and looking peeling-paint tired, the city hasn’t managed to recover, but drugs have found a permanent home.

In Pueblo, Colorado, the manufacturer was a steel plant beleaguered by a market crash in the 1980s and worker strikes in the 1990s. And one drug was given a red-carpet welcome.

A marijuana dispensary in Pueblo West, Colo., on Sept. 29, 2020. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

For years, Pueblo has been looking for industries to revive its economy, and when recreational marijuana was legalized for retail sale in Colorado in 2014, many saw it as the answer. More people would be employed and the tax money would go to schools and infrastructure.

Two emergency room doctors in Pueblo see a different side of the equation and say the deleterious effects of cannabis legalization far outstrip any benefits.

Every shift in the ER brings in a patient with cannabinoid hyperemesis. In layman’s terms, that means someone is screaming and vomiting uncontrollably. The sound is wretched and apocalyptic. It’s caused by chronic cannabis use, usually high-potency products, and it stops when the person stops using cannabis.

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the main psychoactive ingredient in today’s marijuana products, is now being extracted to reach a potency of more than 80 percent. In the 1990s, the average potency of a joint was around 4 percent THC.

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