Ben Cort, an anti-cannabis campaigner has warned New Zealand against legalizing recreational cannabis after seeing the effects of the drug in his home state of Colorado:
Marijuana was legalised for recreational use in Colorado in 2012, meaning anyone 21 years or older can use, carry and grow the drug there. . .
“I spent five years at the University of Colorado hospital when we legalised and we went from seeing paranoia associated with it every now and again to multiple times in a day.”
He said legalisation brings with it forms of the drug that have much higher THC levels.
“People don’t understand that we’re not talking about a joint.
“People are smoking vapourisers that come in the form of functional pens that you can write and then hit… it’s not weed, it’s a concentrate. An 80 percent THC concentrate.” . . .
Legalisation has led to the commercialisation of THC which is far, far stronger than the cannabis of old.
It is an addictive substance. The stronger and more accessible the product is, the greater the problems associated with it.
He said legalisation hasn’t stopped people from using the drug dangerously.
“The driving under the influence, the working under the influence – it has changed my home.” . . .
We already have a problem with people driving under the influence of legal and illegal drugs and with people unable to work safely because they are drug impaired.
”You need to understand that we are not talking about the plant, the drug that people consumed in years past. It has fundamentally changed and that genie can’t go back in the bottle.”
“We have changed from a plant with two-to-three percent THC in it, to something that is 90-plus percent THC, put into sodas, water, gummy bears, tea, coffee, it is not the same drug.” . . .
New Zealand can learn the lesson from Colorado.
Suzy Ferguson interviewed Cort here.