Tuesday, August 31, 2010

'That, detective, is the right question'

Posted By on Tue, Aug 31, 2010 at 11:56 AM

Forgive me an I, Robot moment ...

But the quote sprang to mind as soon as I read this in Pagosa Springs' Pagosa Daily Post regarding Archuleta County's decision on allowing MMJ centers:

Sheriff Peter Gonzalez
  • Pagosa Daily Post
  • Sheriff Peter Gonzalez

But where, exactly, Sheriff Pete Gonzalez obtained his statistic that the overwhelming majority of the state’s 30,919 registered users are 20-year-olds is not immediately obvious.

Reporter Bill Hudson again:

The Sheriff was the only person to speak out against the licensing ordinance. And I believe he was also the only person to use misleading statistics.

This oft-repeated mantra that most card-holders are 20-somethings is patently, provably false. I've heard it from Colorado Springs City Councilors, El Paso County Commissioners, detractors, law enforcement officers and legal advisers.

The numbers are right here — look it up. Hudson did.

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, there are currently 30,919 registered medical marijuana users in Colorado. And “the average age of all patients is 40.” Over 900 different physicians have signed recommendations for their patients to use the herbal medicine — a medicine that is still classed as a controlled substance by the federal government.

The average age in Colorado, according to the U.S. Census, is 34 years. The average age of medical marijuana users, according to CDPHE is 40 years.

Now, true, the department's numbers are as of Dec. 31, 2009. But it's going to take a lot of 21-year-olds to bring the average down that far. So you of the anti-MMJ groupthink — i.e. people who try "to minimize conflict and reach consensus without critically testing, analyzing, and evaluating ideas" — pull together a cohesive argument, and fight facts with actual, relevant facts. Please.

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