In Colorado, there is no longer debate concerning the legalization of marijuana, but there are two critical things Colorado pot smokers and consumers need to know.

There has long been a discussion about the long-term effects of persistent marijuana use, but not a lot of data has been available to truly determine if  years of pot use was detrimental or not.

According to, a research study followed children from birth to age 38. The research indicates that those who smoked pot four days or more a week for several years experienced more financial hardship and ending up in a lower social class than their parents. These people tended to be in lower-paying and less prestigious jobs than those who did not smoke pot on a regular basis.

The research also shows that regular pot users were more likely to experience financial difficulties, and work-related and relationship problems.

Financial difficulties among pot users should not be surprising considering the fact that in Grand Junction, an ounce of high-quality pot sells for around $130 an ounce, according to Who can really afford it? The fact is, a lot of people can't afford it, which leads to all sorts of problems.

One study showed that regular pot users tended to have problems with cash flow and debt, and anti-social behaviors like stealing money to fund their habit, lying to get a job, and experienced more problems in their relationships.

I realize that not everybody who smokes pot has these problems. I've never been a user, but this new information provides plenty of discouragement from ever starting. Making it in life is challenging enough without intentionally adding potential difficulties.