Workshop Alerts Coloradans to the Impact of Marijuana Legalization in Their State

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In the three years since marijuana’s recreational sale was legalized in Colorado, some alarming trends have emerged. A Drug Education and Prevention Workshop and Open House on April 7 at the Church of Scientology of Denver demonstrated ways that parents, educators and community groups can take action to reverse the tide of abuse it has inspired.

A Foundation for a Drug-Free World representative addresses the dangers of edible marijuana at a drug education workshop and open house on April 7, 2015, at the Church of Scientology of Denver.

Our materials educate youth and adults on the immediate and latent effects of harmful drugs.

The Church of Scientology of Denver hosted a drug education workshop and open house on April 7 to examine the dangerous impact of the 2012 legalization of marijuana in the state of Colorado and supply tools designed to help combat the abusive spike that has followed in its wake.

The Western Slope Colorado representative of the Foundation for a Drug-Free World laid out the serious risks involved in consuming cannabis edibles. The representative cited examples from recent news, such as the CBS Denver story published on March 13, 2015, where a Denver man pleaded not guilty to killing wife after eating marijuana-infused candy. When the man allegedly shot his wife to death, she was on the phone to 911 seeking help, claiming that her husband had become paranoid and was hallucinating after eating marijuana candy bought at a legal cannabis emporium.

Reported by CBS Denver on April 18, 2014, was the story about a college student who leaped to his death from a hotel balcony after having consumed more than the recommended "dose" of marijuana-laced cookies.

“Our materials educate youth and adults on the immediate and latent effects of harmful drugs,” explained the Foundation rep. She stressed that unlike the “Just Say No” campaign of the 1980s, the Truth About Drugs materials reveal precisely what these drugs are and what they do. Those who study the booklets and watch the videos are then able to make an informed decision not to take drugs no matter the tide of peer pressure and misinformation encountered.

The event’s keynote speaker was a veteran police officer who has dedicated himself to battling the drug problem since 1979. His hard-hitting overview of the report "The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact" included the following:

  • Colorado now ranks third internationally for youth and adult marijuana use.
  • Legalization has increased emergency room and hospital-related visits that involve marijuana—including severe burn cases from extraction-lab explosions.
  • It has also created new black-market opportunities for drug trafficking through the parcel post system, as well as trafficking across state lines by car and bus.

The speaker also reiterated what the Foundation for a Drug-Free World rep had covered—namely, the damage wrought by the explosion of the marijuana-laced edibles industry. The potency level in the products far surpasses that in a marijuana “joint” due to the extraction process involved. And because edible cannabis products are unregulated, they put children and adults at far greater risk.

This officer was very clear: The most effective way to combat the drug scourge is through education.

The Truth About Drugs program is effective. The booklets and videos are so realistic, with personal stories from former addicts on what it is really like under the thrall of these substances, that they capture the attention of young people and help them realize the serious consequences of consuming these substances.

The Church of Scientology of Denver is located at 2340 Blake Street in Denver and its facilities are open seven days a week. An Ideal Scientology Organization, the Church is configured to service Scientologists in their ascent to spiritual freedom and serve as a home for the entire community—a meeting ground of cooperative effort to uplift citizens of all denominations.

The Foundation for a Drug-Free World is a secular nonprofit corporation formed in 2006 to serve as a primary distributor of The Truth About Drugs educational materials and to develop new strategies to meet the ever-changing challenge that defines drug abuse. The largest non-governmental drug education program in the world, through a worldwide network of volunteers it has distributed 50 million drug prevention booklets, organized tens of thousands of drug awareness events provided materials to educators, law enforcement programs, parents, and community leaders in some 180 countries and seen to the airing of The Truth About Drugs public service announcements and documentary on more than 500 television stations.

Inspired by the words of L. Ron Hubbard, Founder of the Scientology religion, that “a being is only as valuable as he can serve others,” Scientologists wholeheartedly support programs like the Truth About Drugs. Participation and collaboration are invited and welcomed from all who seek to improve conditions for themselves and others.

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Luis Gonzalez
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