Opinion

FEEDBACK | Let’s help our struggling neighbors — and keep kids off of pot

Author: Colorado Politics - July 12, 2018 - Updated: July 12, 2018

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‘Caring for Denver’ is a vote for mental health

As your readers may know, Denver will be voting in November on a proposal to raise Denver’s sales tax approximately 25 cents per $100. The money raised will go toward funding for detox programs, suicide prevention services, community preventative measures, and other services. If passed in November, the $45 million generated by Caring for Denver would create the sustainable funding that Denver has needed for years to address this mounting crisis of homelessness and substance abuse. 

Addressing mental health and substance abuse has to be a priority for our city, and we need more policy solutions being introduced. Denver has struggled with the rising cost of helping those with mental health and substance abuse issues since the closing of the Arapahoe House in 2017, and additional funding could help ensure that everyone can get the care they need.

These health conditions have been stigmatized for far too long. Mental health issues are particularly prevalent among young people. In fact, according to the National Association on Mental Illness, three quarters of people living with mental health issues develop their condition by age 24. As a young person myself, I hope we don’t miss this opportunity to help our neighbors struggling with these issues. 

Too many preventative services are simply not available in Denver to people who can’t afford them. Access to this care can help prevent health crises and emergency room visits because people will have support in combating their illnesses, making it less likely they find themselves in an emergency situation.

For too long, Denver has ignored its mental health and substance abuse crisis. Now is the time to start ensuring every Denver resident has the help they need to get healthy. I urge Denver voters to support the Caring for Denver initiative and help our neighbors begin their path to stability.

Brandon Turner
Denver

 

Pot purveyors soft-pedal their products

In recent coverage of the state rulemaking committee’s consideration of products that deliver marijuana via suppositories, nasal sprays and sexual lubricants, Colorado Politics wrote that industry representatives say the products “aren’t intended for getting the marijuana buzz” but rather are intended for those who are “medically fragile.”

Yet all of the products displayed at the meeting were purchased in recreational, not medical, marijuana dispensaries. The article also downplayed the potency of these products, yet they contain significant amounts of THC, the main psychoactive component in marijuana. The THC concentrate in the inhaler displayed was 63.868 percent; the suppository contained 28.81 mg THC; the sexual lubricant contained 75 mg of THC, and the sublingual oral spray delivered 98.3 mg of THC. 

The manner in which the industry downplays the ingredients and intended use of these products is precisely the problem. Smart Colorado, which works to protect kids from marijuana, is concerned about the confusion these create for parents and teens and the health and safety risks these products pose in the rapid evolution of marijuana commercialization.

Henny Lasley
Co-founder and executive director
Smart Colorado
Denver

 


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Colorado Politics

Colorado Politics

Colorado Politics, formerly The Colorado Statesman, is the state's premier political news publication, renowned for its award-winning journalism. The publication is also the oldest political news outlet in the state, in continuous publication since 1898. Colorado Politics covers the stories behind the stories in Colorado's state Capitol and across the Centennial State, focusing on politics, public policy and elections with in-depth reporting on the people behind the campaigns — from grassroots supporters to campaign managers and the candidates and issues themselves.