The topic is heating up day by day at the moment. Here’s the latest broadside

Troyer writes in his op-ed..

Voters remember what happened when industry-captive politicians put their heads in the sand when tobacco, opioids, and vaping tore through town.

To be clear, I am a Democrat. I understand the Democrats’ initial support for marijuana.

But almost 10 years into the commercialization of cannabis, we are no longer talking about the same marijuana. The majority of the products now sold by the industry are solvent-extracted, processed concentrates of the chemical in the marijuana plant that gets you high (THC). When commercialization started, its products typically contained less than 10% THC. Concentrates now average about 70% THC, and many concentrates have THC levels up to 99%.

These concentrates are not plant material rolled in a joint. They are produced by soaking marijuana buds in chloroform, butane, and propane. Those chemicals extract and concentrate the THC from the plant into what’s called “wax” or “shatter.” With a crack pipe and a butane torch, users vaporize and inhale that THC-rich shatter. Or, as a change of pace, at a Colorado dispensary a user can just buy a 70% THC anal or vaginal suppository and insert that. These concentrates are what cause harm, and right now there are zero limits on their potency. Zero.

So what? Well, studies published in the internationally renowned medical journal The Lancet Psychiatry conclude that using products with 15% THC or higher triples the risk of psychosis, and daily use of such products quintuples that risk. In fact, 56 scientific studies have confirmed high potency THC’s connection to psychosis. In addition, a study published in The Journal of American Medicine in 2020 concluded that high potency THC “was associated with significant increases” in addiction and mental health disorders (like depression and anxiety). High potency THC is addictive. In 2017 The Journal of Psychiatric Research published a study concluding that THC addiction is “significantly associated with suicide” (especially for teens and veterans). This is the science that drove a Washington state legislator and public health professional to conclude THC concentrates have created “one of the largest emerging health crises of our time.”

Data from Colorado’s own public health agency confirms the science. Colorado public health data starkly reveals that as THC-concentrate use has risen so have Colorado’s addiction, psychosis, depression, anxiety, and hospitalization numbers. We Democrats must act on this science and data or we are no better than climate-deniers. We should choose to respond to concentrate potency as the state of Washington health department recommends: “Have science serve it’s purpose: guide informed policy debates to advance health and well-being.”

Read his full op-ed

Bob Troyer: Marijuana potency must be capped for a safe and healthy Colorado