Though Colorado legalized marijuana for recreational use, its neighboring states did not – but that hasn’t stopped law enforcement in these states from finding copious amounts of Colorado’s newest tax-producing product within their state lines. The number of arrests for possession have been increasing in the past year in Nebraska, Kansas, and New Mexico, according to the Los Angeles Times, and the sheriffs of the rural counties that border Colorado have been hit hard – and they’re not happy about it.
Black Market Shift
One of the goals of legalizing marijuana was to eliminate the black market for the drug. Unfortunately, because it is still illegal in neighboring states, it has created a ready source for marijuana trade in these underground markets. It’s a problem for the small law enforcement agencies tasked with maintaining the law in these large rural counties. Often, there are few deputies and too much ground to cover, making it open season for marijuana traffickers who travel in and out of Colorado via the back roads with their wares.
Increased Drugged Driving
The problem of people driving into Colorado in order to get high and driving out while still under the influence is a growing problem as well. So too is the problem of residents of neighboring states driving under the influence of marijuana. In some places, the number of drugged driving arrests has exceeded drunk driving arrests for the first time.
Increased Marijuana Abuse and Addiction
There hasn’t been time to document exactly how marijuana legalization in Colorado has impacted neighboring states. Since we know that arrests for use have increased, it’s likely that use has increased as well. Studies suggest that an average of 9 percent of people who use the drug will develop a dependence upon it, so it’s likely that this increase in use has translated into an increase in rates of marijuana abuse and addiction – and an increase in all the problems related to drug abuse and addiction.
Increased Need for Treatment
Alcohol, marijuana, and prescription drugs: what do they all have in common? They are all legal, they are all highly addictive, and addictions to these substances are all treatable at an evidence-based addiction treatment program.
If your family member is struggling with finding balance with marijuana use, we can help. Contact us at Alta Mira at the phone number above and learn more about our innovative program and how it can help your loved one to get back on track today.