The paranoid stoner who seems overly concerned that the government is keeping tabs on his or her movements and behavior is a classic marijuana-user stereotype. But when government organizations like the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment discuss pilot population health surveillance programs that are currently in operation, it's not hard to see why pot-smokers might be a little paranoid -- perhaps justifiably.
In an all-day meeting on Thursday, August 14 -- which was not considered an "open" meeting, so members of the media and marijuana activists were not invited, although Westword was able to attend electronically after we referenced open-meeting rules -- Tista Ghosh and Mike Van Dyke of CDPHE and Jill Bonczynski of Tri-County Health Department discussed various surveillance initiatives, including one pilot surveillance program that would track marijuana use among pregnant women.
According to Ghosh, certain hospitals approached CDPHE with concerns about increases in marijuana use among pregnant women. It is not clear whether the reported increase of marijuana use among pregnant women is the result of increased honesty from patients who are reporting on their substance use, or whether the bump reflects a true increase in marijuana use.
More at the Denver Westword.