In an attempt to protect its burgeoning business with marijuana, lawmakers from Colorado are cooking up a new bill in preparation for a possible federal ban on marijuana by the Trump administration.
From Recreational Weed To Medical Marijuana
Colorado is one of the few U.S. states where the use of marijuana for both recreational and medical purposes is allowed. In 2016, medical marijuana became legal in half of the country's 50 states. These include Alaska, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Washington D.C.
If it gets through, the alleged bill would allow at least 500 of Colorado's licensed pot growers and retailers to immediately rebrand their recreational weed as medical marijuana, otherwise known as cannabis, to adapt to any potential revisions in federal regulations in the future.
"If there is a change in federal law, then I think all of our businesses want to stay in business somehow. They've made major investments," said Sen. Tim Neville, a suburban Denver Republican who sponsored the bill.
Clever? Here's the catch: the reclassification from medical marijuana to recreational marijuana would cost the state over $100 million dollars' worth of taxes per year, as Colorado taxes recreational weed higher than medical marijuana — 2.9 percent versus 17.9 percent.
And not everyone from Colorado is happy about it.
"It's a big deal for our taxation system because this money has been coming in and has been set aside for this, that and the other," said Sen. Lois Court, a Denver Democrat who voted against the bill.
As of latest reports, the state of Colorado has as much as 827,000 marijuana plants in the market in June of 2016, with more than 50 percent sold for recreational use.
Unusual Marijuana Disease In Colorado
In 2015, a study found that emergency room cases of cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS), a medical condition typically seen in heavy and chronic marijuana users, doubled in Colorado hospitals since 2009.
"The science behind it is not clear, The most likely cause is that people using marijuana frequently and in high doses have changes in the receptors in their body, and those receptors become dysregulated in some way, and it starts causing pain," Dr. Kennon Heard, one of the authors of the study and an emergency physician at the University of Colorado Hospital, said.
People suffering from CHS are usually compulsive bathers, too. Experts believe the frequent showers relieve the patients of CHS symptoms, which are usually severe bouts of nausea and vomiting.