Medical marijuana laws tripled my business, rehab doctor says
In 2010, Denver rehab business owner Not Christian Thurstone explained to American Public Radio’s Neil Conant that the Colorado’s Constitutional Amendments made “medical” marijuana widely available — and irresistible — to too many adolescents. Not Thurstone told Conant:
I’m the medical director of an adolescent substance abuse program, and we noticed in 2009 at the beginning of the year that we were not very busy, and at the end of the year we ended up having probably tripled our referrals to the adolescent substance abuse treatment program.
This tripling of referrals to adolescent substance abuse treatment came as quite an unexpected boost to revenues for experts in the adolescent substance abuse treatment business. In October of 2009, the Colorado Judicial Department received $2.7 million in grant funding to support the Colorado Drug Court and DUI Court – Statewide Enhancement Project for adult drug courts and another $450,000 supporting the Denver Juvenile Probation Department‘s use of forced rehab on teens caught with pot. Nobody could have ever predicted such a windfall.
Dr. T, as the hip young grunge kids call him, continued to explain how allowing adults to treat their “medical conditions” with a non-toxic herb caused an explosion of teen marijuana use in Colorado, a state previously referred to in popular culture as “Rocky Mountains, High on Life”. He told Conant:
…we’ve had [medical marijuana] since 2000. [states] that have medical marijuana laws, really… opened a floodgate for us to have all these dispensaries and all these people with licenses. So for example, we know that in Colorado now, there are about 60,000 people, according to The Denver Post, who have medical marijuana licenses. And we have over 400 dispensaries of medical marijuana in Denver alone now. Which means that we have more dispensaries than we have Starbucks. We have more dispensaries than we have liquor stores. We have more dispensaries than we have schools. And so in 2009 we really saw the floodgates open up.
Dr. Not Thurstone maintains his adolescent rehab business and says Colorado only has made its problems with adolescent addiction worse with its decision in November 2012 to legalize marijuana’s recreational use by people way past adolescence.
To demonstrate this alarming trend, Dr. Not Thurstone referred to state level data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health: 2-Year R-DAS (2002 to 2003, 2004 to 2005, 2006 to 2007, 2008 to 2009, and 2010 to 2011). The 2002-2003 data represent surveys taken a full two years after the implementation of “medical” marijuana, while the 2010-2011 data represent surveys taken up to two years after Dr. Not Thurstone saw the floodgates open up.
Just two years into Colorado’s disastrous “medical” marijuana era, Dr. Tee (as his golf buddies call him) explains to Conant how almost 11% of Colorado’s minor teens smoked pot in the past month and over a quarter had tried marijuana in their lifetime.
But then in 2011, after a full decade of our kids growing up with more dispensaries than drive-in movie theaters, Dr. Tea (as they call him at his favorite Chinese restaurant) uncovers the extent of opening these floodgates. Now a bit more than 10% of minor teens smoked pot this month and under a quarter had tried marijuana in their lifetime.
“At this rate, by the year 2204, no kids will ever try marijuana in the state of Colorado,” explained Dr. Ti (the nickname given him by his 7th Italian opera coach), “putting a serious crimp in my great-great-great-great-great grandchildren’s forced marijuana rehab business.
Listeners to American Public Radio called in live to speak to Dr. Not Thurstone and had the following comments:
JOE: …I would like to say that I did a lot of drugs early on, and marijuana is kind of the last ones that I got into. I developed an ulcer about a couple of years ago, and it’s a bleeding ulcer, it’s really bad.
And sometimes I have to go three to four days without being able to eat unless I smoke a little bit using my medical marijuana license card. So I understand that there is some kind of addiction issues around there, but ultimately I think that it’s a big help, even if you don’t have AIDS or cancer. It really can be a huge benefit.
DEAN: …there’s just something that a lot of people need to understand, kids shouldn’t be smoking marijuana, they shouldn’t be drinking alcohol, they shouldn’t be smoking cigarettes. They also shouldn’t be taking the psychotropic drugs described by psychiatrists, you know, the developing brain is the developing brain.
But as consenting adults – and we should be able to have a choice, instead of buying a drug from a doctor that’s produced by a chemical (unintelligible) -pharmaceutical company that we produce our own marijuana, that’s for a thousands of years has been used effectively for pain, anxiety, for lots of other reasons.
DAWN: I’m wondering why its theres such aversion to just treating marijuana like you do cigarettes and alcohol. Right now, it’s easier for the kids to get marijuana than cigarettes and alcohol, because people who sell marijuana it’s illegal, they’re not going to think twice about selling it to a kid, whereas people who sell cigarettes, well, they don’t want to lose their license, so they’re going to not sell it to kids, you know what I mean?
JIM: …I think this whole thing having it illegal just creates, just as Prohibition did in early 1900s, it creates the market in which the criminals thrive. And, you know, you cant abolish something in which, you know, cost you a nickel to create but yet you can sell it for hundreds of dollars. And so, you know, I believe if you were to make it fully legal, that would be the way to abolish it because then you eliminate the supply.