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November 18, 2020

As the nation opens a new chapter politically, we don’t yet know how the story will end when it comes to America’s kids and marijuana. 

The fate of the next generations hang in the balance, depending on political developments at the state and federal level. 

So today we step forward as One Chance to Grow Up, a national initiative to give voice to the kids whose health and futures are at stake.   

One Chance to Grow Up is an initiative developed by Smart Colorado that focuses on protecting kids across the nation from the dangers of today’s marijuana. Started by concerned parents in Colorado,  the first state to approve recreational marijuana, we’ll remain a 501(c)(3) nonprofit supported by charitable contributions. 

While we’ll remain very active in Colorado, we’re taking the lessons we learned there to the rest of the nation. 


Marijuana Ballot Measures Pass

Voter approval of commercial marijuana sales in five states starts the process of creating the laws and regulations to implement those ballot measures in South Dakota, Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and Mississippi. 

Based on Colorado’s experience as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana sales, this state-level implementation process is where key protections for kids are put in place -- or where kids are left exposed to the risks of today’s radically different marijuana products.

We work hard to support adding safeguards for kids in communities  that have given the green light to marijuana sales. So we’ll be offering our support to elected officials and children’s advocates in these five states.

Meanwhile, control of the U.S. Senate hangs in balance, awaiting the outcome of two runoff elections on Jan. 5 for both seats in Georgia.


National Focus

U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, has been a consistently strong voice for protections for kids.  While the well-financed marijuana industry aggressively lobbies for legislation that would attract billions of dollars in new investments to their companies, Sen. Crapo has prioritized the safety of kids, raising concerns about the rising potency of today’s marijuana products and marketing to young people. 

But the Republican senator’s unique position of influence depends on whether his party maintains control of a Senate majority. We don’t get involved in those partisan battles but we recognize that federal legislation hinges on these political contests.

Either way, we’ll be working hard to serve as a voice for kids on this issue in the U.S. Capitol. 

President-elect Joe Biden says he supports decriminalization of marijuana but has not supported broad legalization so we’ll be monitoring the messages from the White House.

The distinction is important: Decriminalization could mean removing penalties and expunging criminal records for marijuana use.  But that’s a far cry from mass commercialization of marijuana products typically allowed by full-fledged legalization.

Amidst this uncertainty in Washington, we will highlight the need to put protections for kids first in any of these policy debates.


We can’t do it without you!

That’s the unique role One Chance to Grow Up will play -- serving as the voice for kids in these debates across the nation. We’ll take the lessons we’ve learned working on this issue, starting with the crash course we received as volunteer parents engaging on policy immediately after Colorado legalized recreational marijuana.

We’ll ask for your help in spreading the word, reaching out to your elected officials, and of course supporting this important cause with your charitable contributions.  Quite simply, we can’t do it without you.

Please forward this email and share our message within your networks, wherever you live.  If marijuana isn’t a pressing problem for kids where you live today--unfortunately, it may be soon. 

It’s concerned adults like you who will help determine the future for today’s kids. Together we can make sure their potential is protected.  Thank you.


One Chance to Grow Up is an initiative developed by Smart Colorado that focuses on protecting kids across the nation from the dangers of today’s marijuana. 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, we’re a 501(c)(3) nonprofit supported by charitable contributions.

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One Chance to Grow Up
P.O. Box 803, Englewood, CO 80151