PCMS is opposing so-called "marijuana lounges" in our city and county. Consider the following op-ed by a PCMS member:
With recent city discussion regarding the implementation of hospitality lounges for Marijuana use, it is important we understand the expected detrimental effects it will have on public health. Indoor secondhand cannabis smoke exposure was studied by researchers out of the University of California at San Diego. They placed monitors that could detect air pollutants and particles in almost 300 homes of those who smoked cannabis and had a child under the age of 14 living at home. The results were staggering. In those homes where an adult was smoking cannabis with children present, those children were almost two times more likely to have to go to the emergency room for a medical issue such as asthma, coughing and difficulty breathing, among others.
Here in Colorado, research found that after commercialization of medical marijuana, starting in 2009, 14 children less than 12 years of age were seen in the emergency room due to symptoms related to both marijuana exposure and ingestion of edibles. Similar findings were found by Onders et al. published in Clinical Pediatrics in 2015 in children less than 6 years over a 13-year period in states where legalization of marijuana was accepted.
What can we learn? Marijuana use among adults has known reported side effects, but its use is being seen in our children both indirectly and directly. It is our job as adults to ensure we are not affecting the health of our younger generations.
REF: Posis et al. Preventive Medicine Reports. 2019.
REF: Wang, GS. J. Med. Toxicol. 2017.
Keep Colorado Smoke-Free - A message from the Group to Alleviate Smoking Pollution, GASP of Colorado
Some Colorado communities are beginning to have discussions about allowing marijuana smoking or vaping in certain licensed establishments as allowed by House Bill 1230 now that the marijuana enforcement division has enacted the rules for such establishments. While discussions are occurring, GASP is not aware of any ordinance being introduced regarding House Bill 1230 yet.
House Bill 1230 allows communities to set up a licensing system that would allow just about any type of business, including retail food establishments, book stores, bars, restaurants, or retail stores, to obtain a license to open an establishment where people could consume, smoke, or vape marijuana as long as the activity is not visible from outside. The vaping devices can be brought into the establishment so they could contain tobacco or other drugs according to the Centers for Disease Control. Elected officials can implement the law by “opting in” but do not have to take actions otherwise.
GASP is determined to fight these laws so that marijuana smoking or vaping do not occur in our public places and workplaces. To help communities with this issue, GASP has sent out our concerns to every city council and county commission in the state. GASP coordinated an agency letter to councils in Durango, Breckenridge, and Telluride urging them not to adopt House Bill 1230. The letter was signed by the American Lung Association, Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the Colorado Academy of Family Physicians, and the Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation. GASP has notified our supporters and contacts in the communities.
There is no safe exposure to secondhand smoke of any kind. We now know that secondhand marijuana smoke contains three times the amount of ammonia as tobacco smoke, as well as mercury, cadmium, nickel, lead, chromium, hydrogen cyanide, benzene, isoprene and toluene. At least 33 chemicals known to cause cancer are present in both marijuana smoke and tobacco smoke. Recent reports indicate that exposure to marijuana smoke can harm the heart. Children exposed to secondhand smoke have detectable levels of THC in their blood. Particle emissions from dabbing and vaping marijuana can create levels of indoor air pollution similar to extreme air pollution levels that are harmful to the health. Ventilation does not solve the problem and cannot remove many toxic or cancer-causing chemicals emitted by secondhand smoke. For more information about secondhand marijuana smoke or vape smoke and GASP’s concerns visit smokeissmoke.com.
GASP urges its supporters to contact your local city and county officials to urge them not to allow marijuana smoking or vaping in public places and workplaces. Also, keep GASP informed if you hear that your community is considering opting into House Bill 1230.
The Group to Alleviate Smoking Pollution's (GASP's) Position on Marijuana Smoking
The Group to Alleviate Smoking Pollution (GASP of Colorado) is a 501-c-3 statewide nonprofit organization working to eliminate secondhand smoke from the air we breathe at work, in public places, and in multiunit housing. When Colorado voters passed Amendment 64 to legalize recreational marijuana use and possession, they did so with the understanding that such use could not occur in a “manner that endangers others.” GASP’s primary concerns with the public’s exposure to marijuana smoking or vaping are in regards to the chemical and particulate emissions and their public-health impact. Nobody should have to breathe secondhand marijuana smoke or vapors against their will at work, in public, or where they live. In the interest of public health, the exposure to emissions from marijuana smoking or vaping should be prohibited in all public places, workspaces, and in multiunit housing.
Help GASP Keep Our Communities Smoke-Free
Taking on Big Tobacco, Big Marijuana, and Big Vape is not easy and GASP cannot match their deep pockets. But GASP can make a difference with your help. Make a credit card tax-deductible contribution today here.