When history is written about Colorado’s 10-month-old experiment with recreational marijuana, events of the past week should be good for at least a chapter. Dr. Larry Wolk, the state’s chief medical officer and the executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), came out for a ban on most marijuana-infused products in the interests of food safety. Wolk had to have known that his call for a ban on most edibles was not consistent with his boss’s policy, even though he said he did not ask the governor’s office to review it before making the statement at a stakeholder’s meeting. The main reason Wolk might have guessed that his boss, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, would not want to piss off the state’s powerful marijuana industry is that it was widely reported over the summer that it had raised $40,000 for the Democratic governor’s reelection campaign. But Wolk went ahead with his own call for banning most edibles. How rare it is that one of our food safety chiefs is willing to contradict one of their top elected officials. This act of political courage lasted a couple of hours, according to reports on Denver radio that Wolk’s recommendation was being withdrawn. How quick the Marijuana Industry Group moved without leaving any fingerprints. Neither the governor’s office nor his campaign even had to post a comment on the issue. Republican gubernatorial nominee Bob Beauprez also missed the opportunity to put a stake through the Democratic incumbent’s campaign. Hickenlooper actually got more of an industry spanking for his debate comment that voter approval of recreational marijuana was “reckless” than any heartburn from Wolk’s call for banning most edibles. The week ended with nothing changed. Both candidates for governor of Colorado opposed the 2012 voter initiative, but both have promised to allow the law to go forward with first-year tax payments expected to come in at around $47 million. The only evidence of real debate on the issue can be found on a few billboards around the Mile High City. They are designed to warn parents about the possibility that some of that Halloween candy their children collect while trick-or-treating might be marijuana-infused. Colorado’s Amendment 64, which made all forms of marijuana legal under state law for recreational purposes, is just not going to get any serious attention this election year except from those billboards. The politicians have decided it’s in all their interests to “let the experiment run.” State government even plays along with a program for school kids called “Don’t Be a Lab Rat.” The dust-up this week was just part of that experience. Edible marijuana is not allowed to be a campaign issue because to do so would mean putting the real crux of Amendment 64 under the microscope. CDPHE is in the top tier of food safety regulators in the country. Department officials saved lives three years ago with fast action when deadly Listeria was found on cantaloupe grown in the state. But the crafty marijuana industry lawyers who wrote Amendment 64 not only cut Colorado’s food safety agency out of the picture, but they did so with the illusion that it was being replaced with another. Specifically, it says that only the state Department of Revenue, through its Marijuana Enforcement Division, can now regulate the industry. That leaves CDPHE as nothing more than another one of Revenue’s “stakeholders,” a process that probably caused the food safety chief to make his “WTF?” call for a ban on most edibles. But the replacement regulator, Revenue’s Marijuana Enforcement Division, has no power. The crafty language of the 2012 initiative doesn’t protect the public but the 150 mostly new manufacturing establishments that have grown up to feed the experiment. Amendment 64 (the law) says: “Such regulations shall not prohibit the operation of marijuana establishments, either expressly or through regulations that make their operation unreasonably impracticable.” Marijuana edibles have led to deaths, illnesses, and children being delivered to the emergency rooms. To solve the problem, Wolk wanted to limited retail marijuana edibles to lozenges and tinctures. “Considering only the public health perspective, however, edibles pose a definite risk to children, and that’s why we recommended limiting marijuana-infused products to tinctures and lozenges,” he said. But that’s not possible under a law that makes marijuana legal in all its forms and primarily protects the operation of marijuana establishments. Smart Colorado, the organization that works to protect children in the post-Initiative 64 state, is sponsoring the billboards. It will be accused of scare tactics, but, really, who lets their kids trick-or-treat anymore? In Colorado, the next thing likely to be marijuana-infused is organic baby food.