Unkept promises of public-health education on marijuana

No attention has been given to public-health education about marijuana.

A growing gap exists between how the early marijuana-legalization laws are rolling out in Washington state and what ought to be concurrent education campaigns to give marijuana consumers science-based information to make wise choices.

Initiative 502 earmarked new excise-tax revenues to the state Department of Health to pay for “medically and scientifically accurate information about the health and safety risks posed by marijuana use.”

The initiative also called for a marijuana public-health hotline. To be available statewide, the hotline is intended to provide treatment referrals, brief counseling and educational information about marijuana.

On the road to a more just marijuana policy in the United States, we’re leaping ahead in some respects yet falling seriously behind in others. By turning away from an ineffective marijuana-prohibition policy, clearly enforced with egregious racial inequities, we’re making progress.

Roger Roffman, a co-sponsor of I-502,...

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