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Clearing the Smoke: Real Costs of Legal Pot

Talk of big tax revenue is behind a growing push to legalize pot across the United States with many hoping to cash in on the craze. But there's new concern about unexpected costs. Read Transcript


Reporter: COLORADO

MERCHANTS BEGAN SELLING

MARIJUANA FOR RECREATIONAL

USE ON JANUARY 1st, AND

ALREADY THE VARIETY OF NEW

MERCHANDISE IS

MIND-BLOWING.

THERE ARE A LOT OF

PRODUCTS.

Reporter: FROM PLANT

VARIETIES, EACH WITH ITS OWN

SMELL AND UNIQUE CAR

CHARACTERISTICS, AND THE

FOOD, SWEDISH FISH, AND

SO-CALLED OATMEAL

SANDWICHES, JUST TO NAME A

FEW.

IN MANY WAYS, COLORADO IS

STILL IN THE HONEYMOON PHASE

OF MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION.

PEOPLE ARE CAUGHT UP IN THE

EXCITEMENT OF NEW PRODUCTS

AND NEW GROWTH.

AND THE GOVERNOR IS LOOKING

FORWARD TO MORE THAN $

$90 MILLION FROM MARIJUANA.

BUT MANY SAY, NOT SO FAST.

AFTER WORKING IN TOBACCO

EDUCATION FOR YEARS, BOB

DOYLE NOW SPEAKS OUT AGAINST

MARIJUANA.

WE KNOW WHAT IS COMING.

IF WE DON'T STOP IT, THIS IS

THE BIRTH OF THE NEXT

TOBACCO INDUSTRY.

IT WILL BE LIKE EVERY OTHER

DRUG, WHERE THE SOCIETAL

COSTS ARE MUCH BIGGER THAN

ANY COMMUNITY IS GOING TO

MAKE ON THIS.

Reporter: COSTS LIKE

TREATING MARIJUANA

ADDICTION.

STUDENT USE IS QUICKLY

RISING, THANKS TO THE

LEGALIZATION OF MEDICAL

MARIJUANA.

TWICE AS MANY DENVER EIGHTH

GRADERS USE POT THAN OTHER

EIGHTH GRADERS ACROSS THE

COUNTRY, AND ALMOST

ONE-THIRD OF DENVER HIGH

SCHOOL SENIORS CONSUMED THE

DRUG.

LEGALIZING IT CREATES

MORE PROMOTION, CREATES

GREATER ACCESS TO THE DRUG,

AND ALSO LEGITIMIZES THE

DRUG.

Reporter: ONE OF THE

PRODUCTS DOYLE IS MOST

CONCERNED ABOUT, THIS SLEEK

LOOKING VA VAPORIZER.

IN MANY CASES, IT IS A

CONCEALER.

AND IT POSSESS ANOTHER

DANGER, ATTRACTING YOUNG

PEOPLE BY MARKETING A

WHOLESOME, HEALTHY IMAGE.

JOE WORKS AT A DRUG TESTING

COMPANY, AND FINDS MANY KIDS

ARE SIMPLY NOT CONCERNED

ABOUT POT.

THEY SAY, IT'S GOOD FOR

US.

IT IS MEDICINE.

IT'S HEALTHY.

Reporter: PARENTS, SHE

SAYS, OFTEN CONTRIBUTE TO

THIS FALSE SENSE OF

SECURITY, NOT REALIZING THAT

TODAY'S MARIJUANA IS MUCH

MORE POTENT THAN THE DRUG OF

THEIR DAY.

ONE TIME WE HEARD A DAD

SAY, WELL, THEY'RE JUST

GOING TO, LIKE, SLEEP ALL OF

THE TIME AND HAVE MUNCHIES.

WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL?

WELL, WE'RE SEEING

WITHDRAWAL SIGNS OF ANGER

AND RAGE, AND REAL

WITHDRAWAL WHEN THEY CAN'T

HAVE THEIR PRODUCT.

I THINK THE SCHOOLS ARE VERY

CONCERNED ABOUT STUDENTS

COMING TO SCHOOL UNDER THE

INFLUENCE.

Reporter: CHRIS HARMS

OF THE STATE SCHOOL SAFETY

RESOURCE CENTER HOPES

PARENTS WILL TEACH THEIR

CHILDREN ABOUT THE DANGERS

OF POT.

SHE ALSO HAS A MESSAGE FOR

OTHER STATES THAT ENVY

COLORADO'S SEEMING FINANCIAL

WINDFALL.

PEOPLE MAY SEE THE TAX

MONEY BEING GENERATED, BUT

NOT THINKING ABOUT ALL OF

THE OTHER HIDDEN COSTS OF

MARIJUANA.

WE DON'T KNOW, FOR INSTANCE,

HOW MANY MORE SUBSTANCE

ABUSE TREATMENT FACILITIES

WE'RE GOING TO NEED.

Reporter: LEGALIZATION

SUPPORTERS SAY THEY ALSO

BELIEVE IN EDUCATING KIDS

ABOUT THE DANGERS OF

MARIJUANA.

BUT THEY ARGUE THAT

LEGALIZATION IS THE BEST WAY

TO LIMIT THEIR ACCESS.

CBN NEWS INTERVIEWED MASON

LAST YEAR, BEFORE HE BECAME

A NATIONAL SPOKESMAN FOR THE

MARIJUANA PROJECT.

WE KNOW THAT ALCOHOL

PROHIBITION FAILED AND

CAUSED MORE PROBLEMS THAN IT

SOLVED.

WE'RE IN A SIMILAR SITUATION

WITH MARIJUANA, AND WE NEED

TO DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO

KEEP MARIJUANA AWAY FROM

YOUNG PEOPLE, AND THAT

INCLUDES REGULATING IT AND

CONTROLLING IT AND TAXING

IT.

Reporter: IT WILL BE

YEARS BEFORE THE SMOKE

CLEARS AND WE UNDERSTAND THE

FULL EFFECT OF

LEGALIZATION.

FINANCIAL EXPERTS SAY TAXES

WILL FLUCTUATE AS OTHER

STATES JOIN COLORADO, AND

THE MARKETPLACE EXPERIMENTS

WITH PRICING AND PRODUCTS.

ON THE DOWNSIDE, QUESTIONS

REMAIN ON HOW MUCH ADDICTION

RATES WILL GROW, WHAT IT

WILL MEAN FOR EDUCATION, AND

CREATING A COMPETITIVE

WORKFORCE.

IN THE MEANTIME, AGIRE IS

BEEFING UP HER STAFF IN THE

SPIKE.

I CAN'T TELL YOU HOW MANY

TIMES I'VE HAD THE MOTHER OR

FATHER WHO COME UP TO ME AND

SAY, I HAD THE GOOD STUDENT,

THE GOOD ATHLETE, AND

THEY'VE BEEN SMOKING

MARIJUANA, AND IT'S NO

LONGER.

THEIR MOTIVATION IS GONE.

THEIR ACADEMICS HAVE GONE

DOWN.

THEIR ATHLETICS HAVE GONE

AWAY.

AND IT'S HORRIFYING.

Reporter: REPORTING IN

DENVER, HEATHER CELLS, CBN

NEWS.

EMBED THIS VIDEO


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