Only on 2: Systemic Impacts of Legalizing Marijuana
A group of Nevada lawmakers working to set up regulations for medical marijuana and eventually usher in recreational pot had a chance to learn from those who've already done it this past weekend. They traveled to Denver, Colorado to see what works and what doesn't and how the pot industry has impacted life. And there have been impacts.
"We definitely see more people here and some of them are for marijuana intoxication and overdosing," said University of Colorado Hospital Toxicologist Dr. Andrew Monte. "But I'd have to say it's about the same as we get when any new drug is introduced. I mean when you have a new blood pressure medication you see people in for adverse effects. We only see like 1 or 2 a week from marijuana and when we see about 2,000 patients a week overall, that's a pretty small percentage."
The impacts on fire and police were much greater than anyone anticipated. Officials say hash oil extractions caused a lot of explosions.
"We had like 30 hash oil extraction explosions in the first six months of 2014. So we had to act quickly and change the law so there were just no home hash oil extractions allowed at all in Denver," said Ashley Kilroy, the Executive Director of the Marijuana Policy for the City of Denver.
Officials do say that current statistics show that crime is down in pretty much every category except burglaries, which have skyrocketed.
And while the City of Denver doesn't keep track of the number of homeless there who specifically access pot legally, The Salvation Army there says they have doubled their staff to keep up with the demand in shelters.
So there are benefits....and there are trade-offs.