COLORADO, USA — Gov. Jared Polis on Thursday added his signature to the 2021 legislative session’s signature bill on marijuana, a bipartisan effort to study the effects of high-potency THC products on the developing brain and keep those products of the hands of teenagers.
At the bill signing ceremony at Boettcher Mansion, Polis praised the research and data-gathering components of House Bill 1317 from Rep. Yadira Caraveo, D-Thornton, House Speaker Alec Garnett, D-Denver, and Sens. Chris Hansen, D-Denver, and Paul Lundeen, R-Monument. Hansen noted those elements "put Colorado in leadership position," particularly because the federal government has not taken on the responsibility with marijuana still classified, as a Schedule IV drug.
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The research component of the bill will:
- send the Colorado School of Public Health $1 million per year for three years to conduct an analysis of existing research on the impact of high-potency THC marijuana and concentrates on physical and mental health, find gaps in that research and conduct studies to fill those gaps. The legislation also creates a scientific review council to review the findings in that analysis and make recommendations to lawmakers;
- direct the state Department of Public Health and Environment to compile a report on hospital and emergency room discharge data reflecting patients who display “conditions or diagnosis that reflect marijuana use;”
- direct coroners to order a toxicology screen to test for THC in non-natural deaths of those under 25 years old starting next year. The results of those screens would be required to be reported to CDPHE’s Colorado Violent Death Reporting System and the agency would be required to compile a report on those screens.