November 8, 2022

Dear Supporter,

Throughout this year we have given you some basic information on THC products, policies, and protections.  There is much to know about THC. We have discussed many topics, including vaping, edibles, concentrates, and hemp-derived psychoactive products, in our last 10 issues, which are available on our website.  If you have been following this series, you know more than a large number of elected officials and you now have the tools to help educate others.  In this issue, we have a few more facts that will be helpful to the conversation. At the bottom of this email, we have also included other great resources.


Why it Matters:

Knowledge gives you the power to make change.

Today is election day and, as always, there are important decisions to be made. Your voice remains important and will continue to be as the marijuana industry continues to expand commercialization into everyday life that impacts our roads, schools, businesses, and homes. 


What you need to know:

What is a Schedule 1 drug?

Marijuana is considered a Schedule 1 controlled substance according to the DEA’s Drug Schedule. Substances are categorized based on the abuse or dependence potential with the main difference between a schedule l and schedule ll substance being that the latter has an accepted medical use.  Of the remaining levels, abuse and dependence potential is less with the higher schedule number.  Below are some examples of controlled substances.

  • Schedule 1: marijuana, heroin, LSD, ecstasy, peyote, and psilocybin (magic mushrooms)
  • Schedule 2: cocaine, meth, oxycodone, fentanyl, Adderall, Ritalin, and Vicodin
  • Schedule 3: Tylenol with codeine, ketamine, anabolic steroids, and testosterone
  • Schedule 4: Xanax, Soma, Darvocet, Valium, and Ambien
  • Schedule 5: Robitussin AC, Lomotil, Motofen, Lyrica, and Parepectolin

Changing marijuana to a schedule ll substance would push oversight to the FDA allowing pharmaceutical companies to research and sell FDA-approved products in pharmacies.  It is easy to see where the industry would prefer de-scheduling rather than re-scheduling to a lower level.  De-scheduling would avoid some FDA oversight, similar to tobacco and alcohol.


Why 21?

We occasionally hear the argument, why shouldn’t 18-year-olds be able to legally use? They can be drafted, sign contracts, vote and are considered an adult in many situations. 

Our young adults are smart and should be allowed to start making decisions and engaging in actions that will affect their lives, but we still have an obligation to protect them from harm wherever possible.  The age restrictions for marijuana use by 18 to 20-year-olds are based on today's science which shows the later the initiation of use, the less likely they are to suffer the negative consequences of marijuana use. The same is true for similar restrictions on other addictive substances.

The Minimum Legal Drinking Age (MLDA) Act passed in 1984 established 21 as the legal drinking age in the US.  Before the MLDA the legal age varied from state to state. States complied with the law largely because federal funds could be withheld from those states that did not comply.

From the CDC: The MLDA of 21 saves lives and improves health. Following the implementation of the MLDA: 

  • States saw a 16% median decline in motor vehicle crashes. 
  • Drinking during the previous month among persons aged 18-20 years declined from 59% in 1985 to 40% in 1991.
  • Drinking among people aged 21-25 declined from 70% in 1985 to 56% in 1991.
  • There is also evidence that the age 21 MLDA protects drinkers from alcohol and other drug dependence, adverse birth outcomes, and suicide and homicide.

In 2019, the federal minimum age for the sale of tobacco and nicotine products was raised from 18 to 21 to protect young adults from negative health effects and addiction. Unfortunately, this legislation passed in large part due to the explosion in youth nicotine vaping, resulting from the rise of flavored nicotine vapor products.

With today's expanded knowledge of how the brain develops, we know that THC can have detrimental effects on the developing brain for those under the age of 25


Why local control?

The primary Federal law governing alcohol policy is the 21st Amendment to the Constitution, which repealed national prohibition in 1933. The 21st Amendment allows prohibition to be maintained at state and local levels by allowing local control over the sale, distribution, and possession of alcohol. 

Local control of marijuana policy is also important for our communities that do not want to participate in the commercialization of marijuana.

The Denver 2019 Child Well-Being Index overlapped with Marijuana licenses  shows overwhelmingly that marijuana locations disproportionately saturate the “Areas with Multiple Obstacles to Success” as opposed to those “Areas with Fewer Obstacles to Success”.  This outcome potentially repeats in several large and lower-income communities throughout the US, reinforcing the need for local control.

There is little to no state or federal approval process for THC products.  Any type, size and potency is allowed with some restrictions for sales which vary by state.

Edible exposures in children 0-5 years of age increased by 77% from 2016 to 2018 according to the Rocky Mountain Poison & Drug Center.

This THC soda drink is 10 servings in a 6.3 oz bottle.  There is only one serving in a 12 oz can of beer or soda.

A 1 oz bag of regular snack chips is considered 1 serving but would be 10 servings for many THC products.

Targeting our kids?

Outrageous products continue to enter the market with no indication of slowing down.  Go to to see legally purchased products. On the one hand, the marijuana industry hides THC in asthma inhalers, breath fresheners, and colorless/odorless powders that can be added to any food or drink. On the other, it adds sweeteners, flavorings, and colors to make this drug appealing to young palates.

In addition, the price of marijuana has dropped substantially since commercial sales began in 2014. The average price per gram for concentrate is $12, down from $47. This is a relatively easy amount for a middle or high school student to afford.

In Colorado, in 2021 there were only 80 underage sales investigations for the 652 retail stores.  The majority of stores were never checked last year. This lax monitoring significantly increased the percentage of high school students who said they purchased marijuana directly from a store in 2021. The state is currently auditing the Marijuana Enforcement Division policies and procedures that allowed the number of checks to be small.

Minor in Possession (MIP) is a criminal offense that charges those under 21 for possessing alcohol or other illicit substances. Penalties can range from a fine to time in jail and a criminal record that could potentially endanger college opportunities. While this is implemented as a deterrent, it can also unfairly penalize a young person for the predatory and aggressive marketing tactics of the marijuana industry.

What you can do:

Continue to learn and follow this ever-changing industry.

Support organizations that speak out to protect kids and continue to be a voice for our kids. 


Marijuana policy and products are evolving very rapidly.  Many new, radically different, and often kid-friendly products are constantly being introduced and aggressively marketed.  Regulation, education, and policy must keep up with these changes.  Check out for free, licensed, downloadable photos, for your use, of available products in states where THC is commercially sold. Please visit our website for more information and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

Thank you for your care and support in better protecting our kids. 

The One Chance Team



Your state regulatory agency for marijuana - See our Map at as a starting point for state-specific information.  Check your source.  Many organizations that support liberalizing marijuana policies also publish youth prevention documentation that minimizes harm. Be wary.

SAMSHA - Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

CDC - Center for Disease Control and Prevention-Marijuana and Public Health

NIDA - National Institute on Drug Abuse -Marijuana

HHS - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Partnership to End Addiction  -Marijuana Resource Center


Where to get help and report concerns:

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is now: 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

988 is designated as the new three-digit dialing code that will route callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Dialing 988 became available to everyone across the United States starting on July 16, 2022.

Poison Control - Contact Poison Control immediately if you suspect poisoning. Help is available online with webPOISONCONTROL® or by phone at 1-800-222-1222. Both options provide free, expert, and confidential.

Health Resources & Services Administration/Poison Help

FDA-Med Watch - MedWatch is the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) program for reporting serious reactions, product quality problems, therapeutic inequivalence/failure, and product use errors with human medical products, including drugs, biologic products, medical devices, dietary supplements, infant formula, and cosmetics.


One Chance to Grow Up protects kids from today’s marijuana through transparency, education, empowerment and policy.  We don’t take sides on the politics of legalization for adults but instead serve as a reliable resource for parents, media, policymakers, and all those who care about kids. 

Started by concerned parents and supported entirely by charitable contributions, One Chance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit project of the Colorado Nonprofit Development Center.


One Chance to Grow Up
789 Sherman Street Suite 250 | Denver, Colorado 80203

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