On January 4, 2014, Colorado opens Marijuana Dispensaries for sale of recreational marijuana. “In 2012, Colorado voters approved the sale of recreational marijuana, as did voters in Washington state. But Colorado is the first to have the pot shops up and running under regulations recently established by state and local governments. Colorado voters’ approval in effect amended the state’s constitution to allow for the retail sale of recreational pot. The state already allowed medical marijuana. In November, Portland, Maine, followed Washington and Colorado’s lead and legalized recreational use of the drug, while the Michigan cities of Lansing, Jackson and Ferndale resoundingly voted to let people older than 21 possess an ounce of marijuana on private property.” Reported by CNN News. The sales of legalized and state regulated marijuana are expected to bring in over $65 million in tax revenues to the state of Colorado. The long lines of people waiting to purchase 1/8th an ounce of high-quality marijuana shows no signs of slowing down. Governor Markell approved the sale “Medical Marijuana” for specific medical conditions like, PTSD, Hepatitis, Cancer, ALS, Alzheimer’s disease ect., but the dispensaries have not yet opened. Sickle Cell Disease Anemia which is a debilitating blood disorder which causes painful crisis due to the body’s inability to carry oxygen and nutrients to the body was not listed as an approved medical condition. “Approved for treatment of debilitating medical conditions in Delaware, defined as cancer, HIV/AIDS, decompensated cirrhosis, ALS, Alzheimer’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder; or a medical condition that produces wasting syndrome, severe debilitating pain that has not responded to other treatments for more than three months or for which other treatments produced serious side effects, severe nausea, seizures, or severe and persistent muscle spasms.” ProCon.org-Medical Marijuana Smoking Cigarette- containing Tobacco or Marijuana-containing Cannabis both contain cancer causing agents (carcinogens) and other matter that increase an inflammatory response in the body. “It’s not just a benign recreational drug that we don’t have to worry about,” said Dr. Paula Riggs, head of the Division of Substance Dependence at the University of Colorado-Denver medical campus. Others say, legalizing marijuana may lead to greater illegal use by youth, and possibly more traffic accidents and addiction problems. Clearly, more research studies need to explore these potential public health risks (short-term & long-term) and benefits from recreational and/or medical use. Whether or not Delaware and other states will decriminalize the use of marijuana is yet to be seen.

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