On June 8, 2021, the Colorado legislature passed Colorado House Bill 1317 in an overwhelming bi-partisan passage to protect youth from the harms of marijuana and regulate marijuana concentrates. Gov. Jared Polis officially signed the bill on June 24, 2021 with Johnny’s Ambassadors founder Laura Stack present.
The bill funds a systematic analysis of the scientific research regarding the effects of high-potency THC on brain development. Additionally, the bill adds new restrictions on access to high-potency THC products for individuals 18-20 and requires more controls and documentation from doctors on medical marijuana.
“This marks the dawn of a new epoch in protecting youth from the harms of marijuana,” said Laura Stack, founder of Johnny’s Ambassadors. “I am so thankful my son Johnny’s story was read in closing testimony on the House floor to help the bill pass.”
Johnny’s Ambassadors (www.johnnysambassadors.org) was founded in honor of Johnny Stack, who took his own life in 2019 after becoming psychotic from high concentrate marijuana addiction. As a nonpartisan, nonprofit alliance of parents, healthcare professionals, coalitions and teachers, the organization focuses on reducing youth marijuana use through education, prevention and awareness.
Furthermore, the bill requires coroners to conduct a toxicology screen on all non-natural deaths in youth such as suicide or overdose. The bill also restricts the daily purchase of concentrates such as wax and shatter for ages 18-20. The law establishes a database for dispensaries to monitor and guide purchases and requires advertisements to include warnings regarding the risks of THC concentrates.
“Today’s high-potency marijuana causes higher rates of suicide and mental illness when used recreationally and illegally under 21 years old,” said Stack. “If the bill had been in place when Johnny was entering high school, he might still be alive today.”
On July 10, 2021, Stack’s book, The Dangerous Truths About Today’s Marijuana; Johnny Stack’s Life and Death Story hits bookstores. Stack is a bestselling author, nationally recognized speaker and advocate. With her book, House Bill 1317 and Johnny’s Ambassadors, Stack expects to see an increase in awareness about adolescent marijuana addiction, mental illness and suicide in Colorado.
To ensure awareness efforts continue, Johnny’s Ambassadors annual #StopDabbing nationwide walk on Sunday, September 19 helps raise funds for research and curriculum development. Registration is now open at www.stopdabbingwalk.com.
To pre-order the book and learn more about Johnny’s Ambassadors, visit www.johnnysambassadors.org/book.