Colorado AG Weiser Picks Marijuana Over Kids

Posted on March 3, 2024 View all news

Just like Big Tobacco did for generations, now Big Marijuana is targeting children.

Today’s children have unprecedented access to super-potent cannabis products that are getting them higher and putting them at greater risk for mental and physical harm than ever before.

Extremely powerful THC concentrates are sold everywhere in attractive packages and preloaded into battery-powered disposable vape pens that can easily be hidden in a kid’s pocket or backpack.

Marijuana use is not nearly as obvious as it was in yesteryear. There are usually no clouds of smoke, no foul, unmistakable smell, or rolled-up joints. And kids enjoy the sugary flavors added to vapes, oils, and edibles that mask the nasty taste. 

Children can hit the vapes discreetly – even at school – and then just toss them in the trash.

Marketing and Products Aimed at Kids

It’s obvious this march to change marijuana policies is driven by profit and greed rather than responsible business practices. Marijuana merchants tend to resist regulations to keep their dangerous and addictive products out of the hands of young people.

Using strategies straight out of the Big Tobacco playbook, the cannabis industry targets minors to groom future generations of customers.

Since it is entirely illegal to market or sell marijuana products to anyone underage, and because there is so much overwhelming evidence about how harmful the drug is to adolescents and teenagers, you would logically assume that every possible measure is being taken to keep marijuana away from children.

You could further assume that elected officials would be extremely vigilant about protecting the youngest and most vulnerable citizens.

Unfortunately, that is not always true.

Betraying Colorado Children

Phil Weiser, the Colorado Attorney General, along with other legislators from around the country, are pushing to lessen restrictions for cannabis and to expand access to industrialized marijuana

AG Weiser recently added his name to a letter requesting that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration reclassify marijuana, downgrading it from a Schedule I controlled substance to a Schedule III.

The reasoning behind the letter is suspect at best, claiming “a state-regulated industry better protects consumers than the illicit marijuana market.”

But there are significant flaws with that argument.

First of all, marijuana legalization led to an expansion of the illegal marijuana market that is thriving. The existence of legal marijuana opened alternate avenues for drug cartels. 

Second, genuinely, marijuana contributes to the ongoing and worsening opioid epidemic. Every year since states started promoting marijuana, a new and tragic overdose record is set. Last year, drugs took the lives of approximately 110,000 people.

Third, legalizing marijuana does not make it any safer. It makes it easier to get.

Fourth, this easy increase in availability has led to skyrocketing rates of underage exposure, both intentional and accidental.

For example, nationally, adolescents abusing marijuana have jumped 245% since 2000.

If you do not think that legalization contributes to underage use, consider this – right now, marijuana use among young adults between the ages of 19 and 30 is at an ALL-TIME HIGH, with past year use in 2022 at 44%, in 2017, it was at 35%.

This same age group would have been older children and younger teenagers when recreational cannabis first became available.

Motivated by Money

Rather than protecting from the evils of the black market, the real motive behind the push to reschedule marijuana is, unsurprisingly, primarily financial.

Rescheduling would allow cannabis companies to do business at federally insured and regulated banks, including taking out loans to raise capital.

That translates to an even faster expansion of industrialized marijuana.

So far, legal marijuana has hurt society as a whole, and young people, in particular, are harmed the most. Unchecked expanded access will continue to lead to even worse.

Magnified Harms

Digging deeper, it seems concerning that the Colorado Attorney General would sign such a letter. It is even more alarming that Governor Jared Polis signed a similar letter a month prior.

Their support for rescheduling is so confusing because, according to the Colorado State’s official website, young people who regularly use marijuana are more likely to have memory problems, learning difficulties, and lower reading and math scores. Notably, according to the website, these adverse effects can persist for weeks after the last time they use marijuana.

Of most concern, the website mentions that young people who use marijuana are at greater risk of both suicidal thoughts and attempts.

This is especially relevant because, according to the latest data from the  Violent Death Reporting System from the Colorado Department of Health and Environment, for the year 2021:

  • 42% of Colorado teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 who take their own lives have THC in their system.
  • Among Hispanic teens in that age group, the number jumps to 58%.
  • For African-American teens, it spikes to an alarming 67%.

*To find this data, click this link, select Circumstances, Toxicolgo, and Injury Location, 2020-2021, including races, and then select age: 15-19. Then select Race: Black/African American, alone. To see the Hispanic data, select Hispanic Origin.

Marijuana lowers inhibitions and emotional control while at the same time increasing the likelihood of anger or violent outbursts. No matter what else these young people had going on in their lives, marijuana was definitely a contributing factor to their impulsive and desperate acts of self-harm.

Taking everything into account – the spiking rates of underage use, the harm to mental and physical health, the learning difficulties, and finally, the risk of suicide, Governor Polis and the Attorney General’s support for the drug behind it all is a slap in the face to all Colorado families and a damning indictment of the power of the Big Cannabis industry.


Every Brain Matters is a trusted educational resource for individuals and families wanting to stay safe from the harms of industrialized marijuana use and the expanding drug crisis. 

We reject the false narrative that marijuana is a harmless expression of personal freedom. Based on scientific evidence and personal stories, our position is that marijuana is a dangerous and addictive drug, and like all drugs of abuse, it can destroy lives

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