CONTACT Oh, look! More docs reject marijuana legalization - Dr. Christian Thurstone

The proclamation is clear and direct. It states:

For Colorado’s public health and safety, we are opposed to legalizing marijuana for recreational use.

In other words, Colorado, vote no on Amendment 64 when you see it on the November ballot. As if raising kids to thrive personally and professionally isn’t already tough enough, here comes a proposal to make that profoundly important job — some of the most important work of our lives whether or not we have children of our own — much, much more difficult.

Don’t take only my word. Take a long look at the names on this proclamation. They include medical experts — professionals who understand smoking and eating marijuana is not “medicine,” and that legalizing marijuana for recreational use will disproportionately harm children and adolescents — people whose interests are sorely missing from the highly politically charged public debates about this issue. Those medical groups include:

  • The Colorado Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Society
  • The Colorado chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
  • The Center for Family Care
  • The Rocky Mountain chapter of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine

Then there are all of the Boys & Girls Clubs; the Girl Scouts of Colorado; the people who work with legions of endangered children at Urban Peak Shelter for Homeless and Runaway Youth, Prevent Child Abuse Colorado, Colorado Alliance for Drug-Endangered Children

The list goes on — but it could use your name or support, too.

These aren’t people speaking out against the dangers of marijuana use because they’re in on some larger government conspiracy to protect their jobs and their financial interests. If anything, when they reject marijuana for recreational use, they’re speaking outside of their economic interests.

For example, referrals to the youth substance-abuse-treatment clinic where I work have tripled since the rise of medical marijuana dispensaries started in Colorado in 2009. Legalize marijuana, Colorado, and they’ll triple again.




About Chris Thurstone

Dr. Christian Thurstone is one of only a few dozen physicians in the United States who are board-certified in general, child and adolescent and addictions psychiatry. He is Director of Behavioral Health Services at Denver Health and a professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado, where he conducts research on youth substance use and addiction and serves as director of medical training for the university’s addiction psychiatry fellowship program. You can read more about him here.

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