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Informing Policy. Advancing Health.

Watch for Marijuana Policy Brief

April 14, 2014

The Colorado Health Institute plans to release a brief later this week analyzing the impact of the state’s public policy decisions surrounding the legalization of retail marijuana.

Colorado - one of two states with legalized marijuana, and the first with licensed and operating retail shops - is in the vanguard of a major public policy shift. Today, more than half of the states are considering some level of change, decriminalizing marijuana or legalizing it for medical or recreational use.

Colorado’s work in this area is being closely watched across the nation. CHI’s research will be a first step in analyzing the success of the state’s regulatory framework.

The CHI team is busy on a number of other fronts as well.

On Monday, Rebecca Alderfer, senior analyst, made a presentation to the Colorado Social Legislation Committee about the findings from our primary care workforce report, released earlier this year. The study found wide variations in workforce capacity across Colorado.

Sara Schmitt, director of community health policy, will give a presentation on the 2013 Colorado Health Report Card results to the Colorado Department of Education Student Health Services’ regional nurses on Wednesday. If you haven’t yet, be sure to look at the Report Card page on our website for downloadable workbooks of this year’s data as well as publications for each of the life stages. 

On Thursday, CHI will host a meeting of its Safety Net Advisory Committee (SNAC). The learning lab, led by Jeff Bontrager, director of research on coverage and access, and Anna Vigran, senior analyst, shares challenges and successes in securing access to health care for vulnerable Coloradans. You can find materials from past meetings here. This month, the group will discuss emergency department use in the state.  

Director of Legislative Services Megan Lane will blog later this week about House Bill 14-1288. The bill would require parents planning to forego a child’s immunization requirements because of personal beliefs to receive education about the risks and benefits of immunization, either through a health care provider or via an online module. The bill passed the House and was assigned to the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee. For an update on health-related legislation, check out Kevin Butcher’s legislative roundup from last week.

Next week, we will release a report based on the 2013 Colorado Health Access Survey. Using regression analysis, the data reveal the factors that contribute to lower rates of health insurance coverage among adult Hispanics compared to non-Hispanics in Colorado.