New Concerns About Pot Addiction

Passage of amendment brings new fears

THORNTON, Colo. - "When I heard the results of the election I did cry," said Alicia Brown, a former marijuana addict who has been clean for 17 years.

"As you can see, I'm getting emotional right now," said Brown. "It breaks my heart," she said.
 
Brown fears the drug that made her feel good, will harm Colorado as a whole.

"I never worked as hard when I was high as I did when I was sober," said Brown,.

At the state's largest drug treatment facility, Arapahoe House, marijuana addiction is the number one reason why adolescents seek treatment.  For adults, it is number two.

"It's difficult for us to say what the future's going to look like," said Arapahoe House Chief Operating Officer Art Schut.
 
Yet counselors say history shows when dealing with alcohol and prescription drug addiction,  workplace productivity slumps and health care costs rise.
 
"Addiction is a public health problem," said Schut.
        
A problem that Alicia Brown's experience tells her may grow worse because of Amendment 64.

"It's opening a whole can of worms here, I mean we really don't know how we're going to deal with all of this," said Brown.

On the other side of the issue: supporters of Amendment 64 cite numerous studies, describing marijuana as non-addictive.  They also say teens will be restricted in access to marijuana as it will be regulated and controlled.

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