As momentum picks up for the legalization of recreational pot in our state, proponents point to Colorado's booming economy. One detail often left out is how many product recalls have plagued our neighbors up north.
"In 2015, Colorado's on pace to sell $500,000,000 of retail marijuana," said JP Holyoak, chairman of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol. "That's half a billion dollars that's staying in their local economy, rather than going to criminals and cartels."
Included in their 2016 ballot measure in Arizona will be mandatory testing of cannabis on store shelves.
"Wouldn't we rather have something that's tested and we know it's a safe product and isn't laced with any other materials?" Holyoak said.
"They're using regulation to make sure the consumers are receiving a safe product," Holyoak said. "We don't have that in Arizona today. We don't have that on the streets today."
Here in Arizona, dispensaries aren't required to test their product, only to disclose on the label what they claim is in the pot.
"Ultimately, the consumer doesn't really know and they're playing Russian roulette," said author and sober coach Gordie Bufton, He said it is common for manufacturers to use pesticides to protect their crops, but he is concerned about their effects.
"It's a catch-22," Bufton said. "Do you treat the pot, but with what you're treating it, you don't know how it's going to affect you when individuals smoke it?"
Gordie said whether or not recreational pot becomes legal in Arizona, users should think about why they're lighting up.
"Whether they get it from alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, or prescription drugs, at the end of the day, they want to feel different, and we should want to be content in our body," Bufton said.
For more information on why some groups are opposed to the legalization of recreational marijuana, visit: drugfreekidsaz.org.
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