Marijuana Policies Related to Child Abuse and Neglect in the State of Colorado

At a Glance:

Location: Colorado

Date: 2016

Vital Condition: Basic Needs for Health and Safety, Belonging and Civic Muscle

Determinants of Health: adverse childhood experiences, substance use, belonging and civic muscle, substance use

Affected Population: Children and Youth

Research Methods: Primary research, Qualitative research

Community Types: urban, suburban, rural

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The Pediatric Injury Prevention Education and Research Program at the Colorado School of Public Health, in collaboration with Children’s Hospital Colorado and the Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect, conducted an HIA to inform Colorado Department of Human Services consideration of new policies on how marijuana use should be handled in child abuse and welfare decision-making. The legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado has raised public health questions, particularly with regard to children’s welfare. Policies to deal with marijuana use and child abuse and neglect reporting are of special interest. This HIA generated recommendations on policies and procedures that the state should adopt to maximize child health.

Under the same grant, the Colorado School of Public Health, again in collaboration with Children’s Hospital Colorado, will develop a model and pilot procedures to standardize the use of HIAs as part of the community benefit activities that are required for hospitals to acquire and maintain nonprofit status. Nonprofit hospitals are required to conduct community needs assessments and develop implementation plans to improve health in the communities they serve.

This Health Impact Assessment Report first appeared in The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health. The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health was originally developed by the Health Impact Project, formerly a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. The creation of this resource was supported by a grant from the Health Impact Project. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Pew Charitable Trusts, or the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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