Colorado's pot czar says changes could be coming with the swearing-in of the next president

Posted at 1:00 PM, Dec 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-11 15:00:09-05

DENVER -- Big changes could be in store for Colorado’s marijuana industry after President-elect Donald Trump takes the oath of office next month. That’s because many of the people he has named as potential members of his cabinet have said they do not support the legalization of marijuana.

“The entire marijuana industry rests on two memos written by the Department of Justice that could frankly be overturned with a stroke of a pen,” the state’s Director of Marijuana Coordination, Andrew Freedman, told Marshall Zelinger on this week’s Politics Unplugged“It wouldn’t even need to go to Congress in any way.”

“It will be detrimental if we go to that uncertain place without a memo being overturned or without a statement from the federal government on raiding pot shops,” Freedman continued. “But it is a world of uncertainty and people who have entered that know that, it is built on trust that this won’t happen.” 

Freedman recently released a report looking at how things have changed in Colorado since the drug’s legalization.  One of the things he looked at is how often people go the hospital and report having used the drug.

“People are -- when they come in to the hospital -- more often coding for marijuana.  Which means somewhere in their conversation with their doctor they are mentioning marijuana – it’s either the cause of them showing up or the doctor asking them if they use marijuana,” Freedman said. “We are careful with this data because now that it’s legal people may might more often admit to marijuana use than they did before. So we’re watching it, but it’s a concerning trend.”

Freedman says many of these cases involve tourists visiting Colorado and trying edibles.

“They seem to be over-consuming-- having two or three doses because they didn’t think the first dose didn’t work and they didn’t wait two hours. Then maybe they have three doses and they have alcohol and then they have a rough night.”

Edibles also appear to be behind a jump in calls to the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center about marijuana.

“Again, I think a lot of this is education about edibles because a lot of what we’re hearing is this people are taking too many edibles or kids are accidently consuming edibles and calling poison control,” Freedman told Zelinger.


Politics Unplugged airs Sundays at 4 p.m. on Denver7.


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