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Vail Daily letter: More regulation needed

I was saddened when I read about the death of Luke Goodman, the 22-year-old who took his own life after eating marijuana candies while visiting Keystone. This tragedy, and similar situations previous, illustrate to me that there needs to be more regulation within the recreational marijuana industry. I am a recreational marijuana user and supporter of legalization, but the brashness of dispensaries and lack of oversight within the industry is leading to death and misuse of the drug. I support legalization mainly because of tax revenue and the decrease in black market drug crime. That being said, I believe changes need to occur within the industry before more bad things happen. Here is what I assess to be a few of the major threats to public safety and health within the marijuana industry.

Dispensaries sell drugs that look and taste like candy. The problems with this are glaringly obvious. It downplays the fact that one is taking a powerful drug and can lead to overuse. A child eating an entire bottle of edible marijuana candies is a real danger and will happen at some point. Another dangerous item are the 100-milligram brownies, of which they say you should only eat a small chunk. Who only eats a small chunk of a real brownie!? Not this guy. Someone who knows what they’re eating but is inexperienced with edibles could easily eat too much. Also someone could find this super powerful weed brownie and unknowingly eat the whole thing … because it’s a delicious brownie.

Concerning as well are powerful THC concentrates which come in a few forms. These concentrates make you very high and are more akin to hard drugs than typical marijuana. I see the overuse of THC concentrates becoming a problem in our valley and state. I don’t think its a problem that will show itself right away, like a crack epidemic, but the long-term effects of abusing these concentrates cannot be good and certainly leads to health issues.

The other major threat is a blase attitude to marijuana as a drug. “It’s not a big deal, man, it’s just weed” is a pretty common thread among users. But marijuana is a powerful drug. Like alcohol or any other drug, it must be used responsibly and in moderation. Let’s not go crazy with this newfound freedom and end up ruining it later. We need to educate the public that now legal marijuana is a part of life and there are dangers associated with it. The deaths caused by marijuana per year are still minuscule compared to alcohol, but let’s make some changes before things get worse and we are left regretting passing the law at all.

Matt Luczkow


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