Health

This Is How Pot Trashes Respect: It Makes Users Careless

Sky-high piles of garbage were left behind by Denver revelers after their April 20 'cannabis celebration'

Pot smokers in Colorado last week spent so much time getting high that they apparently “forgot” about other people — and left a completely trashed park in their wake, as officials from the city of Denver made clear.

Several thousand marijuana enthusiasts gathered at Denver’s Civic Center park on April 20 to celebrate cannabis smoking. The area, by the next day, was in a “disrespectful state,” said Denver Mayor Michael Hancock.

It’s clear this is what smoking pot does to people’s level of respect for themselves, for others — and for their surroundings.

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“Our parks and public spaces are held in the public trust … When you leave one of our parks trashed, you violate that trust,” Hancock, a Democrat, said on Monday.

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When Colorado’s legalization of pot came up for a vote in 2012, Hancock opposed the measure, but since then has embraced legalization.

Related: First ‘Cannabis Gym’ to Open, Promises ‘Runner’s High’

“The 4/20 event has evolved over the last decade from an informal protest of marijuana prohibition to an organized festival that exalts in its legalization,” The Denver Post reported.

But beyond the trash left by revelers, “officers cited or arrested 48 event-goers, most of them for public marijuana consumption — a common occurrence in past events,” The Denver Post noted.

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Fence-hopping, pot smoking, and delayed trash cleanup allegedly occurred from the April 20 “weed day” festivities.

For their part, organizers of the event said they left the park in a cleaner state than when they arrived. Mayor Hancock ordered a city review of the situation.

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“No matter how it gets into your system, it affects almost every organ in your body, and your nervous system and immune system, too,” according to WebMD, an online source of health information.

Related: Cannabis Church in Denver to Offer ‘Sacred Flower’ Sacrament

Marijuana contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a chemical compound responsible for the “high” feeling that pot smokers get from the drug.

“The amount of THC in marijuana has gone up in recent years,” noted WebMD. “Most leaves used to contain between 1 percent and 4 percent THC. Now most have closer to 7 percent. Experts worry this might make it easier to become dependent on or addicted to marijuana — and it also strengthens many of the drug’s mind-altering effects.”

“Nearly 10 percent of people who use it become dependent on it,” an article on the site also added.

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Roughly one in eight adults smokes pot, according to a 2016 Gallup poll. For adults under the age of 30, almost one in five adults smokes it.

“If you’re a man, heavy use could lower your testosterone levels, and your sperm count and quality,” WebMD cautioned.

Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have broad laws legalizing marijuana in some form or another. Alaska, California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada and the District of Columbia all have legalized marijuana for recreational use.

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