The state of Colorado and the Internet in general were in an uproar yesterday when the Colorado Department of Health and Safety called for a ban of almost all marijuana edibles just ten months after the state made the groundbreaking decision to legalize all forms of recreational marijuana. The recommendation was made to a group of legislators working on a Colorado House bill that will place technical and specific restrictions on the sale of edibles in the state.
The official recommendation reads, “Prohibit the production of retail edible marijuana products other than a simple lozenge/hard candy or tinctures that are plainly labeled using universal symbol(s) and that users can add to their products at home. Hard candy/lozenges would be manufactured in single 10 mg doses/lozenges and tinctures would be produced and labeled with dosing instructions, such as two drops equals 10 mg.”
So pretty much, it wants you to kiss your brownies, cookies, chocolate, gummy bears, pizza, beer—shit, everything good that has weed in it—goodbye and embrace sucking down mild weed lozenges on those days when you just want to lay on the couch, order pizza, and watch all three Lord of the Rings. (As a reference point, 10 mg of THC is about the amount in a medium-sized joint.)
After witnessing the backlash and outrage of voters, politicians, and marijuana industry representatives, the Health Department ‘took back’ their statement, saying a ban was never their intent.
The Health Department’s Executive Director and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Larry Wolk said in a statement that the recommendation “is just that, a recommendation. Our recommendation does not represent the view of the governor’s office, nor was it reviewed by the governor. It was put together only in consideration of the public health challenges of underage marijuana ingestion.”
This overreaction of the Health Department may actually work in favor of pro-marijuana advocates—now even Colo. Rep. Jonathan Singer (D), who spearheaded the bill that would place restrictions on the sale of edibles, is distancing himself from the recommendation. Singer told HuffPost Live that “the state Department of Public Health took it one step too far,” and that such a ban on edibles would be “unconstitutional.”
In that respect Singer is right, since Colorado voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2012 legalizing marijuana in all forms—not just the ones that don’t scare Maureen Dowd.
“Colorado voters chose to end marijuana prohibition because they wanted to see marijuana controlled,” Mason Tvert, communications director of the Marijuana Policy Project, told The Huffington Post. “Banning edible products is the quickest way to lose all control over them. These products will continue to be in high demand, but banning them will ensure they are not properly labeled, packaged, or subject to health and safety standards. The goal should be to develop effective regulations and educate consumers, not remove all regulations and keep consumers in the dark.”
Hopefully once we make it through Halloween without the devil’s candy turning all Colorado children into stoned zombies, all this edible-reefer madness will die down.