DENVER (KDVR) — Lawmakers are looking ahead to a long night at the Colorado Capitol on Tuesday as dozens are prepared to testify against a bill looking to curb the number of teens using high-potency marijuana.
The bill has stronger support from members on both sides of the aisle and even the attorney general, but those against fear it will do more harm than good if it becomes law.
Attorney General Phil Weiser, Colorado lawmakers and nurses who work with young people say their addiction to THC concentrates is a major issue. Lawmakers say their new proposal would lessen these events through research and regulations.
“With House bill 1317, Colorado will take its rightful place at the front of public health research through the school of public health,” said House Speaker Alec Garnett. “The second thing that we are going to close are the loopholes of looping individuals being able to go and buy 40 grams of high-potency concentrate from every dispensary they can get to before the close of business.”
Opponents said they were left out of discussions surrounding the bill.
Now they are concerned that requirements of additional mental health screenings to get the products will hurt adults younger than 21.
“This age group that there is concern about, a lot of those folks don’t have a lot of money. So, when you start requiring two doctors’ visits and then a mental health visit, that’s just not feasible,” said Jason Warf, executive director of the Southern Colorado Cannabis Council.
Both sides agree that they want to keep marijuana out of the hands of teens who don’t need it medically, but opponents say linking THC to mental health in this manner is unfair.