One of the nation’s leading marijuana legalization groups says PNC Bank has notified it that it will close the organization’s 22-year-old accounts, a sign of growing concerns in the financial industry that the Trump administration will crack down on the marijuana business in states that have legalized it.
The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) lobbies to eliminate punishments for marijuana use but is not involved in growing or distributing the drug — an important distinction for federally regulated banks and other institutions that do business with such advocacy groups.
Nick Field, the MPP’s chief operating officer, said a PNC Bank representative told him in May that the organization’s accounts would be permanently closed July 7 because an audit of the accounts revealed that the organization received funding from marijuana businesses that handle the plant directly.
“They told me it is too risky. The bank can’t assume the risk,” Field said.
PNC Bank declined to discuss its relationship with the MPP, but a spokeswoman said that “as a federally regulated financial institution, PNC complies with all applicable federal laws and regulations.”
The bank has held the MPP’s accounts since the organization was formed in 1995.
Some advocacy groups say the abrupt closing of the MPP’s accounts is an unpleasant side effect of growing uncertainty about protections for the marijuana industry in states that have legalized it. The industry enjoys loose protection via a combination of legislative amendments and memos from the Justice Department that effectively allow states to operate medical and recreational marijuana businesses without federal interference. But many advocates worry that the Trump administration is changing course to enforce federal laws and dismantle key protections for the expanding industry.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a longtime opponent of marijuana legalization. During a Senate drug hearing in April 2016, Sessions — then a Republican senator from Alabama — said, “We need grown-ups in charge in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized, it ought not to be minimized, that it’s in fact a very real danger.”
When asked during his confirmation hearing in January whether he would enforce federal drug laws as attorney general, Sessions replied, “I won’t commit to never enforcing federal law.”
The Justice Department did not respond to requests for comment.
Last week, Sessions wrote to congressional leaders asking for the ability to prosecute medical-marijuana dispensaries. Sessions implored members of Congress to reconsider a rule enacted in 2014 to prevent the Justice Department from using federal funds to block state laws that legalize medical-marijuana cultivation and use.
Legal marijuana is protected by the “Cole memo”
The sale of recreational marijuana, in contrast, is loosely protected by the 2013 “Cole memo.” The memo, issued by Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole during the Obama administration, instructs state law enforcement agencies not to use their resources to prosecute the authorized sale of marijuana in states where it is legal.
The vice president for regulatory compliance at the American Bankers Association says these protections are not enough reassurance for financial institutions. Banks are subject to federal regulation to prevent fraud, money laundering or breaches of privacy.
“We are a registered 501(c)(3) and (c)(4). We have yearly audits. We are compliant with the IRS,” he said. “It doesn’t get any clearer than that.”
Field said the MPP is still seeking a new bank. John Hudak, an expert on marijuana policy and governance at the Brookings Institution, suspects that the MPP’s difficulty in finding another bank reflects banks’ fears that Sessions intends to roll back protections for the industry and enforce the federal Controlled Substances Act.
“It’s no secret,” Hudak said. “It’s a situation that is creating an increasingly uncertain policy environment.”
Amid the uncertainty, Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) introduced a bill to ensure protections for banks providing “financial services to cannabis-related legitimate businesses.” The Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act, introduced in April, has 44 congressional co-sponsors.
The first provision of the bill would prevent federal regulators from terminating banks’ federal deposit and share insurance “solely because the depository institution provides or has provided financial services to a cannabis-related legitimate business.”
Many marijuana advocacy organizations hope the bill will pass, offering the industry the banking security it seeks.
“It’s one thing to take a position about making marijuana legal,” said Mason Tvert, the MPP’s communications director. “It’s something different to say these businesses should be able to be bank legitimately.”
Marijuana use confessed by driver in Times Square incident
A man in Times Square drove his car for three blocks on the sidewalk killing one young adult and injuring 22 others. The driver was Richard Rojas, a Navy veteran who lived in the Bronx. Rojas confessed to smoking marijuana laced with PCP just prior to the incident.
When he was arrested there was suspicion of either DUI or DWI given his arrest history which is rather extensive. He was arrested just over a week ago for a menacing charge as well as criminal possession of a weapon which consisted of him pulling a holding a knife to the throat of a 45 year old man on May 11.
He was also arrested on 4/23/15 for DWI to which he pleaded guilty to “Operating Motor Vehicle While Impaired by Alcohol.” In 2012 he was arrested for suspicion of battery after he attacked a cab driver, refusing to pay the $44 fare. Rojas was also arrested 8/26/08 for another DWI in Queens.
In 2014 he was, “Other than honorably discharged” from the navy due to his actions.After the crash yesterday he was taken to check for drugs and alcohol in his system and it was reported that PCP, K2 (synthetic marijuana), and marijuana were all found in his system.
Out of the 22 people who were injured, four of those were labeled as “critical” one of those being the deceased’s younger sister. Rojas has been charged with murder, 20 additional counts of attempted murder, along with aggravated vehicular homicide. See CNN article, New York Times Square Driver Charged.
The subject then allegedly drove off before being apprehended outside the Tuscany Casino. She left her child in the car, approached a valet and told him, ‘she ran over some individuals on Las Vegas Boulevard’.” She is accused of killing one person, 32 year old Jessica Valenzuela, and injuring an additional 37 people.
She picked up 71 different charges, most of them being for attempted murder and battery with a deadly weapon. After a toxicology report was performed, it was determined that marijuana was in her system but prosecutors said it was unlikely that she would be charged with driving under the influence.
According to Prosecutor Marc DiGiacomo, “The amount of marijuana and marijuana metabolite does not appear to be enough to affect her mental state at the time of the crime, she intentionally drove into the crowd.” The 3.5 nanogram per milliliter of marijuana in her blood were above the 2-nanogram limit in Nevada and the 23.6 nanograms per milliliter of marijuana metabolites in her system were above the 5-nanogram state limit.
Needless to say it is rather clear that this woman was seriously impaired and she should not have been driving. During an examination after her arrest it was also reported that, “she appeared to be under the influence of a stimulant.”
Driving stoned is never a good idea as these two stories suggest. It does not matter if you think you are able to drive, the drugs can always have a weird effect on your impulse control and decision making.
Neither of the two drivers were injured in the crashes which just reinforces that regardless of whether you are behind the wheel or not you should always be careful when you are out and about. Marijuana should not be used at all, especially now that we are seeing that its use can cause death. Our thoughts go out to the victims and their families.
Marijuana Drivers Deliberately Aim to Kill?
Above are just a couple of examples that have happened recently.
Another eerily similar incident in Oregon is featured in a recent blog on Poppot.org. A man in Salem Oregon smoked pot and then deliberately mowed down a man in his car, killing him. See the Poppot.org article, Legalization Prioritizes Profits Over Human Life.
Here is a story on Momsstrong.org which describes a marijuana impaired driver deliberately trying to run over a squirrel. Instead, he lost control of the car and killed his best friend. Read The Deadly Consequences of Marijuana Use.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the extent of short-term memory impairment and schizophrenia-like symptoms in heavy and systematic cannabis users and the association between the severity of abuse and the longevity of its persistent symptoms after refraining from such use.
“The existence of hallucinations, delusions, and organic brain dysfunction in heavy cannabis users seems to be associated with cannabinoid levels in hair. The continuation of persistent symptoms 3 months after the discontinuation of cannabis abuse, was a remarkable finding.”
“We provide evidence that chronic and heavy cannabis abuse results in long-lasting brain dysfunction in all users and in long-lasting schizophrenia-like psychotic symptoms in more than half of all users. These findings suggest a reevaluation of the current classification of cannabis as a “soft narcotic” which erroneously, therefore, is typically considered harmless.” (Am J Addict 2017;XX:1–8)
Ivanka Trump gets an office in West Wing, Washington Post 3/21/17
“Although Ivanka Trump lacks a formal White House job, the president’s older daughter is moving into her own West Wing office, an administration representative said — a move that increases her profile as an influential, although unofficial, adviser to her father…President Trump has named Ivanka, 35, the mastermind behind his child-care and maternity- leave plans, the first proposals on such issues from a Republican president…”
This may be a good fit for Ivanka Trump to fill the Nancy Reagan chair as the nation’s top drug prevention advocate supporting the millions of drug-besieged Parents currently suffering over 500 drug-related deaths of their loved ones EVERY DAY– and the millions more enslaved to drug-incapacitated family-member addicts.
When Nancy Reagan served as honorary chairman for Parents’ drug prevention organizations throughout the nation with her direct access to the President, that collaborative effort was credited with reducing teen drug use by 50% during the Reagan era saving many lives and preventing many family drug crises.
A specific example is when Parent Drug Prevention leaders told Nancy Reagan about the blood-bath being created on the nation’s highways that resulted from teen drunk driving fatalities that skyrocketed after the drinking age was lowered to 18 from 21. One of our parents at a local meeting lamented at that time, “I’m getting tired of going to teen age funerals.” Nancy immediately responded by bringing to President Reagan’s attention this horrific tragic outcome from the lower drinking age promoted by the alcohol industry assisted by misguided liberal theorists. The President immediately coordinated a bi-partisan initiative with leaders of Congress to enact a federal law mandating returning the drinking age to 21. As a direct result of Nancy Reagan speaking up for us, 21 became law and teen drunk driving fatalities decreased by over 70% saving many lives since then.
In Nancy Reagan’s keynote address at the D.C. National Federation of Parents annual conference in 1986, she counseled us not to give up out of frustration at the slow rate of progress in preventing drug-related tragedies. She told us the “Starfish Story” about the retiree at a beach community who walked the beach every morning at sunrise and observed the great number of starfish that had been stranded on the beach as the tide went down. He knew they would die as the sun rose and dried them, so he tossed them back in the water as he walked along. A friend watching him commented that with all the starfish along the beach his efforts would not make any difference. To which he responded as he tossed another starfish back into the water, “It makes a difference to this one.”
Today, over three decades later, Parents are increasingly suffering from failing national drug prevention policies. But we keep trying, hoping to save at least “this one” once in a while. But under the overwhelming influence of addictive substances massive profits, government officials at all levels are failing to initiate effective policies to stem this nationwide public health crisis of drug-related deaths and disabilities. See our recent article citing this crisis at link: Lawmakers Corrupted by Drug Money Ignore Marijuana Harms. It includes many other links to valid studies and reports.
As a young mother with children who could become as endangered by the nation’s failing drug policies as millions of our children are, Ivanka Trump may be perfectly positioned to understand and be motivated as Nancy Reagan was, to provide the high-level leadership needed to “make a difference to all families” in this nation’s war on drugs.
We Parents should welcome Ivanka Trump’s new White House position. Especially if her influence as a Nancy Reagan type drug prevention spokesman should result in serious new effective drug prevention policies that will prove their benefit by recording major reductions in drug-related death rates in confirmation of President Donald Trump’s legacy of success similar to that of our beloved Nancy and President Ronald Reagan.
DeForest Rathbone is a Board Member, Parents Affected By Addiction (PABA). DeForest Rathbone is a leader in the parent’s movement which has been active since Nancy Reagan’s campaign which was credited with a 50% drop in youth drug use during the Reagan era. He can be reached in Leonardtown, MD, 301-994-2733, DZR@prodigy.net.
The Girl Scouts of California are taking on the marijuana industry. In a typical outrageous fashion the marijuana dispensaries are treading on other brands by knocking off their brand names for their marijuana products. See this drug ad that is trading on the Girl Scout Cookie brand.
Phillip Drum, PharmD who lost his sister to a marijuana impaired driver says, “They need to be told this is completely unacceptable behavior – the POT industry does not care that they break laws. How wrong is this that they claim MEDICAL purposes and then hide under the name of the Girl Scouts – despicable.”
How long are sensible Californians willing to look the other way while this scandalous industry continues to gain power and go rogue over our federal drug laws?!
Magnolia, a California pot dispensary has already removed the ‘Girl Scout’ labeled products off their shelves in response to a cease and desist letter sent to them by the Girl Scouts of America. One cannabis media publication reports that many such trademark infringements are common in the industry, and that others may soon come under scrutiny. The article mentions the illicit use of brand identities of Gorilla Glue, Star Trek, and Star Wars, even children’s cereals. And, it is well known that popular candies, cookies and pizza, all childhood favorites, are also infused with this powerful hallucinogen.
The California Girl Scouts and their lawyers will likely be successful in putting a stop to the California marijuana dealers capitalizing on their good name. We hope other states will follow suit. Let’s just hope the Girl Scout Troop Leaders also teach the young girls they mentor about the dangers of drug use and how to “just say no” to drug use.
George Michael and Carrie Fisher’s Deaths Have Marijuana in Common
Two recent untimely marijuana related celebrity deaths are a wake-up call about drug use. Both Carrie Fisher and George Michael were addicted to drugs, and both appear to have a problem with marijuana, in particular. Current scientific research is showing that marijuana is hazardous to the heart, and both of these famous people died of cardiac arrest.
The Carrie Fisher story began when her actress mother encouraged her to smoke pot at age 13. Carrie was an avid smoker for 6 years before moving on to cocaine and LSD. She ended up with full blown mental illness. Carrie suffered from bi-polar disorder, which is characterized by wild swings from mania to depression. The actress suspected her father was bi-polar as well. She may have inherited his predisposition for the disorder. Yet heavy marijuana use, and use at young ages, increases the likelihood of triggering the disorder.
It is believed that Carrie Fisher was clean from drugs long before she died. However, having used marijuana, followed by lots of cocaine, would have done considerable damage to anyone’s heart.
From the Washington Post article about her death, we read: “I have a chemical imbalance that, in its most extreme state, will lead me to a mental hospital,” Fisher said to Sawyer. “I used to think I was a drug addict, pure and simple — just someone who could not stop taking drugs willfully. And I was that. But it turns out that I am severely manic depressive.”
Marijuana and Bipolar Disorder
According to Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana does cause chemical imbalances, it overrides our naturally created feel good chemicals and suppress the body’s ability to produce them. A Psychiatry Journal study, Cannabis-Induced Bipolar Disorder with Psychotic Features, says clinicians agree that cannabis use can cause acute adverse mental effects that mimic psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Lori Robinson, founder of MomsStrong.org, wants America to Wake Up to the Looming Health Crisis. Robinson and her husband, lost their oldest son to “marijuana withdrawal suicide.” She works in the health field and is concerned that doctors are not making the connection between mental health problems and drug use. Neither are our parents and teenagers aware that marijuana use can lead to serious problems with brain health. However, a press conference warned about the risk more than 10 years ago. Unfortunately, the Press did not adequately report it.
George Michael struggled for years to overcome his addiction to marijuana. Just a year before his death, he went to one of the finest rehab centers in Europe. All to no avail.
What we know from press reports about pop singer George Michael is that he was smoking up to 25 joints daily before he checked himself into rehab. He had several brushes with the law while under the influence. At one point he was forbidden to drive a car for 5 years. And yet, he declared that marijuana was not “getting in the way of my life in any way.” This is what is called ‘denial’ which is a common trait among drug users.
News reports of George Michael’s death say that in the end, he was struggling with addiction to heroin, and crack cocaine. Once again, the gateway theory that marijuana addiction leads to other drugs is confirmed in his tragic case.
It would be easy to write off these few bipolar celebrities as aberrations, but there is another singer, this one Irish, whose 30 year marijuana habit was widely reported. In this blog on a treatment center website it mentions at least one doctor gave her a bipolar diagnosis.
Marijuana and Heart Attacks
Check out the DrugAbuse.gov website, see the article on Marijuana. Here is the reference to heart attack, which both George Michael and Carrie Fisher died from:
“Increased heart rate. Marijuana raises heart rate for up to 3 hours after smoking. This effect may increase the chance of heart attack. Older people and those with heart problems may be at higher risk.”
Another celebrity, Whitney Houston died at age 48 of heart disease and drowning and was found to have both marijuana and cocaine in her system when she died.
These talented individuals suffered needlessly while they were alive and their talent was lost to the world too soon.
It makes you wonder. Why aren’t we learning from these high profile cautionary tales? Why is marijuana use rising and why are legal strictures loosening? We bemoan the loss of these celebrities but we need to look deeper as to why they have departed so young.
Since Massachusetts allows huge home grows, it probably won’t be long before police will be investigating such murders. Obviously voters didn’t understand Question 4. The marijuana advocates in Massachusetts are laughing right now.
While electronic cigarette enthusiasts and marijuana addicts continue to blow their clouds, new research conducted on electronic cigarettes has pointed towards the additional dangers. After conducting a federally funded study on the dangers of vaping, Harvard scientists are now calling for “urgent action.” The researchers found harmful chemicals that destroy the lungs; these chemicals are commonly found in vaporizer liquids, also known as “juice”.
Recently, a 14-year-old girl wound up in the hospital suffering from mild burns to the legs and arms while trying to enjoy a ride on the Hogwarts Express at Universal Studios. The man sitting next to her on the ride brought his vape to the amusement park. The vaporizer in his pocket exploded, causing burn injuries both to the man and teen girl. This was not an isolated incident. The U.S. Fire Administration deems electronic cigarettes as “flaming rockets” due to their ability to blow up as compared to other battery-powered devices. Despite this warning, the FFA is still allowing these devices on airplanes.
Dangers of Dabbing
The dangers of ‘dabbing’ are also quite alarming. Dabbing is smoking highly concentrated marijuana oil produced by using butane as a solvent. The ‘dabs’ are then smoked through a vape pen or bong. Vaporizers are often used to conceal the use of marijuana in school, at work, and any public place because the scent is not detectable. The dabbing trend has led to more marijuana addicts and home explosions because of the process of making the concentrate using highly flammable butane. What is disturbing is that marijuana users continue to ‘dab’ for the quick and fast effects of ‘dabbing’, the THC content can be up to 70 to 85 percent. Michigan State Police are facing the challenges of controlling the dangers of ‘dabbing’ as stated by Lt. David Kaiser, “We always have explosions. We always have severe burns. It’s something that can wreck your body and your life forever,”. (Jackman, 2015). According to Jackman, a link between psychosis and dabbing was also found.
Vaporizers Not Safer Than Tobacco
Vaporizers are widely known to be a “tobacco substitute.” Yet, the American Lung Association reports that vaporizers not only contain nicotine but other chemicals harmful to the lungs, including toxic-cancer causing chemicals, such as a chemical used in anti-freeze. The ‘vaping’ industry misleads smokers into believing that vaping is safer than smoking and a great way to quit cigarettes. The allure of the hundreds of flavors entices consumers to indulge. Young people are particularly vulnerable to such marketing messages. The flavors themselves contain harmful elements that damage the lungs. Diacetyl, a chemical found in flavors is now known to be harmful to the lungs.
Wired, the technology magazine, tells the stories of several tragic vape pen accidents. The fact that an electronic cigarette are blowing up in adults and teens faces resulting in fractures, burns, and broken teeth leaves us wondering why people continue to put themselves at risk. While we wait for further research to explore even more dangerous aspects of ‘vaping’, we can only hope that smokers will not be fooled into thinking vaping is a safer alternative.
Whether you smoke pot or not or believe in recreational legalization – Prop 64 is a long, poorly written bill that does not accomplish what pro-pot claims it will. Let’s count down to number one, the 8 reasons you should cast a No vote on marijuana legalization.
8. “Inevitability” has already happened – to the question, “aren’t we just postponing the inevitable, by voting no?” – Pot is legal in California today – everyone in California that wants to or believes they need to smoke can do so under our medical marijuana laws.
7. Small possession is only an infraction (less than a traffic ticket)- If your buddies can’t be bothered to spend the $25 for a medical marijuana card, they risk virtually nothing – California has had the most lenient possession laws in the country since 2010.
6. Prop 64 isn’t going to raise significant revenue. “Sin” taxes historically do not generate large sums. Look at alcohol and tobacco tax revenue last year – $367M and $84M, respectively. California has a $110+ billion budget – $451M is only .0041% of revenue –this is not a game changer. Also, Prop 64 allows regulators to reduce the tax rate it sets after one year; many will still buy with their medical marijuana card where no tax is collected; many will continue to buy from existing suppliers where no tax will be charged; some will grow their own.
5. Prop 64 is not about social justice – African American leaders in California are beyond insulted that the Marijuana Industry is trying to tie civil rights to legalization. See Bishop Ron Allen speak
4. Organized crime dominates the Marijuana Industry in every state. It’s fantasy to think the market leaders (organized crime) just pack it up and go home now that pot is legal – they thrive under the veil of legalization. They operate quite comfortably outside the new laws, just like they did with the old laws. It’s dangerous. If your employed by Organized Crime or a competitor they do carry guns, for real.
3. Anyone interested in the pot industry, should focus on perfecting the medical marijuana laws passed by congress October 2015 –called MMRSA (Medical Marijuana Regulation & Safety Act) – it provides a real (and bi-partisan) framework for potentially bringing pot out of the shadows and making it a legitimate player. To date, no state including California has gotten organized crime out of the Marijuana Industry. Perhaps California can, with MMRSA, enough money and the will and support of our state legislature. Further, Prop 64 scrambles portions of MMRSA – making pot more unmanageable.
2. Marijuana potency is getting stronger every day. This is not a debate about whether marijuana is good or bad for you, but science is settled on the fact that it’s bad for younger developing brains. The younger one starts using marijuana, the greater potential this increase in potency has to inflict harm and addict.
1. The number one reason to vote no on Prop 64 – is because it is not fair. Yes, you could find pot when you were younger, but you had the privilege of growing up in communities that were not awash with marijuana. No constant skunky-garlicky smell wafting from home grows. No marijuana advertisements – on TV, Radio, Instagram or Twitter. No huge companies telling you to “just do it” or that “you’ll never smoke alone with x-brand of pot.” You never went to homes where pot was growing or the candy could actually hurt you – permanently. It’s too selfish – don’t inflict this horrible living environment on your little brothers and sisters or the generations to follow.
Watch these 18-25 year old film-makers in So Cal – who understand what the proliferation of edibles means to them and their friends.
Last month, Momsstrong.org and Parents Opposed to Pot (poppot.org) joined California drug prevention groups, Citizens Against Legalizing Marijuana (CALMUSA.org) and StopPot2016.com at a rally in Sacramento, the state capital of California. The rally was to raise public awareness of the dangers of marijuana and why the state should not legalize this addictive drug for recreational use. In these videos, Dr. Christine Miller, a neuroscientist discusses the cannabis and psychosis link.
Vote No on Prop 64 to protect your community and our youth from this alarming trend towards the normalization of drug use.
A Drug Prevention Activist Sends Email to Warn Voters
This email forwards important information on a very dark question we are being asked next week – will we further legalize marijuana in California – for recreational use. First, this is not about medical marijuana – it is legal today. Second, outsiders with experience (Coloradoans) are coming from everywhere to tell the 5 states – California, Arizona, Nevada, Maine, Massachusetts, with recreational marijuana on their ballots this November – to Vote NO. I wonder if this has ever happened in our political history?
1. See the letter from Denver, Colorado District Attorney Mitchell Morrissey to California voters about the impacts of recreational marijuana legalization on his state. DA Morrissey writes, “since the legalization of recreational marijuana the number of crimes in Denver has grown by about 44 %” He also notes that, “Besides the overall increases in crime we have experience, the Denver police department is dealing with a 900% increase in the unlawful cultivation and manufacture of marijuana concentrate…”
3. See comments from Colorado moms that flew to a Moms Strong rally in Sacramento to describe how horrible life has become in Colorado and how they wish they had never moved to Colorado – in the Common Falsehoods Heard About Legal Marijuana – Protect kids section.
5. Colorado police officers, like Sergeant James Gerhardt have attended conferences and rallies throughout our state for months sharing his difficult experience on the Thornton, Colorado police force (see the SAM Report – Lessons Learned).
6. Colorado Governor Hickenlooper has already advised, that Colorado is making very little money from legalized marijuana, but he was on 60 Minutes recently saying he has spoken to almost all the leaders of Nevada, California, Arizona, Massachusetts and Maine about the drug and his recommendation is to wait.
Third, Recreational Legalization is so bad because initiatives like Prop 64 are “commercialization” bills. They change the calculus of drug use and drug dealing in our communities. What is now a one-on-one or small group decision to use drugs becomes a mass marketed consumer product onslaught ….consumer advertising and promotion along with all the other aspects of capitalism that seeks to increase trial of a product, reduce costs and derive profit is what we are really voting for. These bills are written by the Marijuana Industry (not Democrats or Republicans), and they are funded by the greediest of the 1% among us for the sole purpose of selling drugs to the 87% of us who do not currently use marijuana or use without much frequency – we represent huge market potential.
Fourth, Prop 64 favors the Marijuana Industry over public health and safety. It includes:
1. TV, radio, billboard, print and internet advertising as well as product merchandising & promotion,
2. Unregulated home growing of marijuana (6 plants are allowed in every home & apartment). This further normalizes marijuana and makes law enforcement more difficult; FYI 1 plant conservatively = 1 pound (1000 joints).
and Prop 64 does not address:
3. The increase of impaired drivers it puts on the road, nor
4. The increase in organized crime activity it fosters, which they originally claimed to eliminate, but we now know based on the Colorado and Washington experience it increases, nor
5. Skyrocketing potency in both smokable & edible pot products (10-40x stronger than 15 years ago). This is being linked to an increase in serious neurological harms, nor
6. The increase in use among 12-17 and 18-25 year olds – the most vulnerable among us neurologically – these age groups in Colorado rank #1 in our nation for pot use, up from #3 and #4, respectively before to legalization (see use charts in “MJ Fundamentals”).
Fifth, Prop 64 is losing ground because voters are starting to understand…Prop 64 is NOT about social justice, individual rights, protecting kids, raising taxes, or getting rid of the black market. We know from Colorado that none of this is achieved with legalization/commercialization. Prop 64 is about making a very few people more wealthy on the backs of our communities, especially our kids who become lifelong customers at higher rates because of their neurological susceptibility to THC (the intoxicating cannabinoid in marijuana).
Look around you today…do you see any marijuana ads? Do you see any pot imagery – leaf logos on backpacks or water bottles? Do you smell the relentless, skunky-garlicky smell of growing marijuana? Do you see pot shops? Do you see homeless hanging around the pot shops? Do you see any marijuana bars? For most of you, the answer will be “no.” If we pass Prop 64, this will never be the case again. How tragic for California’s future, especially our kids.
Marijuana Presents Itself as a Gateway Drug For Many
Under the right circumstance marijuana leads people towards addiction, mental illness, or other harmful drugs. Scientific studies on the drug have shown its ability to damage brain circuitry. It numbs the reward system, sending users on a search for a stronger high. Peer influence or personality traits can lead to use of drugs beyond marijuana. Here are some reasons why marijuana tempts someone to open the gate and try other drugs.
1. Biological Evidence and Plateau Effect:
Studies showing the damaging effects marijuana has on dopamine receptors and our brain’s reward system suggest marijuana may lead to the use of many other different drugs. In one study done by the University of Michigan Medical School, researchers found a negative correlation between the amount of marijuana consumed over time and the amount of dopamine that was released in the brain in response. This study suggests a change in the reward system over time with a high-inducing drug like marijuana. This decrease in the amount of dopamine released creates a plateau effect. Smokers will then seek other drugs in order to achieve the high they used to experience with pot.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse says cannabinoids are able to decrease the reactivity of brain dopamine reward circuits over time, leaving frequent marijuana users vulnerable to other drug addiction. Additionally, THC promotes an enhanced response to other drugs in the same way that alcohol and nicotine do, which may lead to the progression of more serious drug addictions.
2. Social Environment:
While the scientific evidence supports the idea of marijuana being a gateway drug, it is important to consider the pot smoker’s social environment. Those who begin taking drugs or abusing other substances are likely surrounded with other frequent users. And often their peers have moved on to chasing greater highs. Through their friends they are introduced to harder drugs. There is no predicting who will succumb to addiction in such a progression. If someone is already inebriated or high, they will be less able to resist the invite from a friend to try another substance. Plus, while the motivated, wealthy or successful individual may seemingly thrive with the use of recreational pot, their not so motivated and less successful counterpart may become a cocaine addict. According to the Foundation for a Drug-Free World 99.9% of cocaine addicts began their drug journey with marijuana, alcohol, or nicotine.
3. Gangs and Drug Dealing:
One of the most subcultures is that of drug dealing gangs. The goal of these groups is to make a profit off of the same drug they are hooked on. Check out the story of one man, Eddie Martinez, who managed to overcome a life of drug dealing and now advises young people to steer clear of the dangers which surround marijuana and its victims.
4. Addictive personalities
For some marijuana use may be an occasional form of recreation or a one-time deal. However, various personality traits make one susceptible to substance abuse. This is what is known as an addictive personality. Especially males, who are often considered “risk-takers,” have a greater chance of becoming addicts when they are willing to engage in extreme behaviors. So while marijuana presents itself as a gateway drug to many, the risks to an individual depends their personal choices. See this article, Big Marijuana Claims vs. The Science.
5. Craving the High:
Marijuana, alongside alcohol, is one of the most accessible high-inducing drugs on the market, making it a gateway drug to intoxication addiction. John Daily, an adolescent and young adult addiction specialist argues it is not the THC that people get hooked on. Jon says, “Addicts are hooked on intoxication” so it makes sense that those who become Opiate or Heroin addicts began with marijuana because it was the most readily available drug which later lead to their pathological relationship to getting high.
Recently on CBS News 60 Minutes Report on Colorado Marijuana, Governor John Hickenlooper was asked to reflect on his state’s pot experiment. He warned residents of other states not to legalize marijuana. His state recently passed a law requiring more labels and more packaging on edible marijuana. He described regulating marijuana as “more than tricky.”
One of the most disturbing facts in the 60 Minutes was stated by Dr. Steven Simerville. He said 71 teens showing up in his hospital in Pueblo testing positive for THC. It begs the questions: Why are so many teens in the hospital and why are so many teens using pot?
Anyone who reads faces honestly knows that Gov. Hickenlooper is trying to put the best possible spin on a bad situation. The marijuana lobby wrote Amendment 64 in 2012 to give tremendous amounts of money to the marijuana industry.
Other States Voting on Pot Experiment
The five legalization initiatives on the ballots in California, Arizona, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada this year are also designed to benefit Big Marijuana. Here are the problems.
Although the cities and counties can opt out of retail stores, it will be very, very difficult as in Colorado and entail legal battles and fights that are yet to come. (Here’s what is happening in Pueblo)
All ballots allow the sale of edibles without restrictions on the strength of edibles. Edibles can look like popular candies and often send children to the ER. (It has already happened in California.)
Governor Hickenlooper hopes – that is hopes – some problems can be resolved. The state now spends $8 million trying to warn teens not to use pot. Although the Colorado Healthy Kids Survey suggests that teen use did not go up, key counties did not participate in the survey and there are problems in the survey.
In short, marijuana legalization is written to benefit the financiers who are trying to make money off of something that can harm teens and harm society as a whole.
Too many people are still deceived by the image of the laid back pot smoker. A certain percentage of stoners can become psychotic and violent from using marijuana. Davie Dauzat, who beheaded his wife on August 25, was certainly having a psychotic break when he killed her. He told police that it was wrong, but he slayed her because it was a “battle between good and evil.” He and his wife had smoked pot together before he killed her.
Domestic Violence Awareness is promoted each year during the month of October. Educating others about the connection between marijuana and psychosis can stop many irrational cases of unnecessary violence in the home.
Substance abusers cause more than 80 percent of domestic violence, according to estimates. Some reports say drug and/or alcohol abuse is involved at least 92 percent of the time. Marijuana, classified as a hallucinogen, can cause fear, anxiety, panic or paranoia. Experiencing any of these symptoms can lead to intimidating, violent or bullying behavior, endangering family, other people and property.
Last month Reveal and Cosmopolitan published riveting stories of sexual violence in marijuana country, the Emerald Triangle. If national policy targets early drug prevention, including marijuana, fewer men and women will become violent.
Domestic Violence and Marijuana Use
In South Carolina, Jesse Osborne recently shot and killed his father before attempting to murder three more people at an elementary school. The father, Jeffrey Osborne, had convictions for marijuana and domestic abuse and had filed for bankruptcy. The boy had acted out in previous years and had been forced out of the local school for bringing a hatchet. Could it be that his violent, marijuana-using father was traumatizing him and he in turn acted out on others?
One of Stoppot’s big supporters was a 17 year-old California girl smoked pot to anesthetize the pain of losing her father. By age 30, she was a mother and had been through a failed marriage and two boyfriends, each one a batterer who used pot. She had a failed suicide attempt at age 29. Both she and her boyfriends used marijuana, but she failed to see how it was harming her life. She continued to face depression and stayed in violent situations. Badly beaten up and in the hospital, she had the revelation that marijuana was doing destroying her life.
Why Woman Stay With Partners Who Harm Them or Their Children
A University of Florida study gives insight into women who began using marijuana at a young age. Frequent marijuana users in adolescence are twice as likely to engage in domestic violence as young adults. The same study showed this group more than twice as likely to become a victim of domestic violence. 1 They often stay with intimate partners who are violent, even risking the safety of their children.
Preventing girls from using marijuana at a young age may prevent them from hooking up with violent males. National policy should address this issue and stop pretending that marijuana just makes users passive and lazy. Highly addicted users, while high on the drug, may behave much like severe alcoholics, or even worse.
For addicted users who run out of the drug, there may be violence. A few weeks ago in Vermont, a 36-year-old man killed five people in a wrong-way driving crash. He had been convicted of domestic violence previously, and an ex-girlfriend said becomes violent when runs out of marijuana. Earlier on the day of the accident, he had tried to check himself into an emergency medical center.
Solution to Domestic Violence
Studies from around the world have shown that marijuana contributes to psychosis and violence. Efforts to stop domestic violence need to educate against substance abuse. Multi-generational substance abuse and violence will continue until we change the way of dealing with these issues.
Much drug abuse comes from trauma. We need to find solutions to childhood trauma that will circumvent drug use and not fall back on marijuana as a solution for PTSD. 2 Domestic Shelters need to take a holistic approach that helps the victims get away from drug use and into treatment. Education is the big equalizer, but the national government continues to neglect the need for drug prevention programs in schools. If states do not require it, domestic shelters should take up the slack, starting with the children. Otherwise, the patterns will repeat. Family courts have made costly mistakes by failing to see marijuana use as a serious issue.
Life is challenging, and substance abuse is not the way to deal with challenge. If marijuana is promoted as safe and healthy, young people will not understand how marijuana usage interferes with responsible parenting. Medical marijuana “patients” should reconsider their choice if they want to be in a relationship or continue parenting. For people with physical handicaps, the law must carefully consider the children when considering their needs.
1 A study The Journal of Interpersonal Violence, consistent marijuana use in adolescence is a strong predictor of intimate partner violence for those who are both victims and perpetrators, independent of alcohol use and other risk factors. (Reingle, J. et.al., The Relationship Between Marijuana Use and Intimate Partner Violence in a Nationally Representative, Longitudinal Sample J Interpers Violence May 2012 27) These findings are consistent with prior studies, which have found that any marijuana use is predictive of victimization and physical assault by their intimate partners (Moore et al., 2008; Nabors, 2010; Railford et al., 2007).
2 Physically abused children are at special risk to become heavy pot users in adolescence. See Characteristics of Child Maltreatment and Adolescent marijuana Use: A Prospective Study, by Howard Dubowitz, Richard Thompson, Amelia M. Arria, Diana English, Richard Metzger and Jonathan Kotch, Child Maltreatment
Rolling Stone, an icon of pop culture, has been singing the praises of marijuana and advocating for legalization for some time. Actor Sean Penn held a secret interview with Mexican drug kingpin, “El Chapo” Guzman on behalf of Rolling Stone. The drug lord had escaped from prison and was in hiding at the time. The day after Guzman was recaptured, the edgy magazine published an article with this interview. Some journalists slammed the Rolling Stone for its ethics on account of the interview.
However, the magazine could lose it’s reputation further for publishing of a false story of gang rape on November 19, 2014. Allegedly, seven men forced themselves onto one girl who had been invited to a fraternity house party in September, 2012. Reactions at the university were extreme, as the school struggled to save its reputation. In fact, the university president suspended all fraternity activities for nearly two months.
Shortly after Rolling Stone published “A Rape on Campus,” some bloggers and the Washington Post discovered inconsistencies in the story. By December 2012, the journalist said she no longer trusted her witness. On April 5, 2015, Rolling Stone finally retracted the story and deleted it. It now appears that the rape never happened.
Everything that Rolling Stone would have been looking for to describe rape culture is found in the marijuana industry. The problems of secretiveness, cover-up, fear of reporting rape are endemic to California’s Emerald Triangle region.
Journalist Sabrina Rubin Erdely had an agenda and went to an elite school looking for a story. Her research led to a student named Jackie who told about a fraternity member named “Drew.” Jackie had reported a rape at the time to her friends and to the Dean Eramo later that year. However, the journalist never verified other sources or contacted the friends. Rolling Stone’s fact checker questioned many parts of the story and picked it apart. Columbia University School of Journalism conducted an independent review of the story and found it invalid and shoddy.
Marijuana Country of Northern California is full of Sexual Assault, Rape, Violence
Erdely could have found a valid story of rape if she looked among the marijuana growers. In fact Shoshana Walter recently recently wrote about the difficulty of investigating rape in the Emerald Triangle. Last week Walter tweeted that this type of abuse won’t go away if Prop 64 passes. Why didn’t Sabrina Rubin Erdely look there?
Both the journalist and the magazine have damaged rape victims by using the example of a false testimony. (Will others who report assault and rape be considered liars?) What connects the culture of the college fraternities and the marijuana country is substance abuse. Abusing substances, especially combining alcohol with marijuana and other drugs, increases the likelihood of unwanted sex. Why aren’t we exposing this part of the story to warn potential perpetrators and victims?
According to Maryann Hayes Mariani, a coordinator for the North Coast Rape Crisis Team: “Women believe they are getting hired for trimming work, and then they’re drugged and raped.”
Besides rape and human trafficking, here’s what happens at marijuana farms, as reported this week in The Union:
*Growers sometimes blindfold trimmers before driving to plots deep in the mountains, lacking cell service and public transportation.
*Young women have reported being forced to perform sex acts with their bosses in order to get paid.
* Some women get higher wages to trim topless.
*There were 252 missing persons reported in Humboldt County, more than any area of the state.
Billionaires have created the marijuana ballots, and marijuana businesses are donating money to create a nationwide addiction industry. This campaign of moneyed interests will be a nightmare for mental health. There are many other groups in California, Colorado, and around the nation, fighting against big marijuana. Check them out, “like” and follow to help spread the word! We are the building the grassroots community of opposition. We have provided links for the most important ones. Smart Approaches to Marijuana and Parents Opposed to Pot are national and concentrate on marijuana. The Marijuana Report has a newsletter delivered each Wednesday with up-to-date news about marijuana.
Mothers Opposed 2 Marijuana
Parents of Colorado Against the Normalization of Dope
Parents for a Healthy Colorado
Parents Opposed to Pot Smart Colorado
Keeping Missouri Kids Safe
Mainers Protecting Our Youth and Communities
George Soros is the Big Fish who funds many 527 organizations and controls multiple national and international policies (Read Part 1). Now we live with outcome of his idea, changing the War on Drugs. Soros can make a god out of money to influence policy, but this political success is failure in a much bigger and more important way.
Soros donated an estimated $200 million to fund the changes to US drug policy over the last 20 years. Using his big fish status, he’s swallowing those who can’t fend for themselves, our young people. The groups he funds blame America’s DEA for violence in other lands, rather than the drug dealers who fight each other and kill. Politically, these groups target students, even those below voting age. Using a twist of logic, our young people start believing drugs are good and it’s the American government that’s wrong. (At the same time, they become drug users.) To say the war on drugs was a failure doesn’t account for the continuous drop in youth drug use between 1979 and 1992.
Legalization ballots that passed wouldn’t have happened without Soros’ help. In California, Soros influenced Proposition 47 which changed felonies to misdemeanors and let drug dealers out of jail. This year he’s the source of the Dark Money in the California campaign, about $4 million that is under the banner of Fund for Policy Reform, as uncovered in the Sacramento Bee.
The Lie About Social Justice
Legalizers have successfully framed legalization as a social justice issue — which is not. In fact, convincing people that hundreds of thousands of people are in prison for marijuana use only — rather than crimes related to the drug or while on drugs — is one of the false narratives. It is the main reason why people have been persuaded to vote for legalization. The Sacramento Bee recently investigated and couldn’t find a single low level marijuana offender in California prisons.Criminal justice experts agree that loosening drug possession laws would have little effect on the total numbers in prison. There are plenty of ways to revise and improve criminal justice without harming people, and drug use harms people.
“Ending the War on Drugs” is “for an ulterior, but far more straightforward motive—making a lot of money at the expense of public health,” explains Kevin Sabet, director of Smart Approaches to Marijuana. Going to prison can mess up lives, but drug abuse messes up lives more. Legal pot dealers are doing the same as illegal drug dealers did – locating in minority communities. Legalization is a failure because it doesn’t improve the lives of minorities who have more to lose by using drugs.
The one initiative written by the Soros-funded ACLU, I-502 in Washington, was more palatable to many voters because it had a DUI standard and strict plans for enforcing marijuana use by minors. However, these restrictions which allowed I-502 to pass without controversy were immediately stripped. The ACLU even fought against local marijuana bans in court, arguing that cities cannot opt out of the ACLU-imposed law. So much for the organization’s honesty and sincerity.
Arrests for Blacks go up – After Legalization
Soros’ attempt to change the “War on Drugs” is not bringing about racial justice. Marijuana related arrests have skyrocketed for Black and Hispanic minors in Denver since legalization. The outcome raises suspicions. Is the charge of racism that is central to the Drug Policy Alliance’s message a cover for ulterior motives? After legalization in Seattle, blacks were still arrested more frequently than whites, so Seattle decided it would no longer arrest for the public smoking of pot.
Drug Policy Alliance, like ACLU, pretends that racial justice problems are solved by supporting drug legalization. (Soros and Nadelmann are intelligent enough to know that complex problems don’t have simple solutions.) A video from Democratic party’s convention this summer shows DPA’s Ethan Nadelmann. He was rallying and cheering for all the money that can be made in the marijuana industry. At then end, Nadelmann almost forgot to add a token phrase about social justice. Like much of the “medical” marijuana ruse, the idea that ending the war on drugs will end racism is a ruse. It’s a good political cover.
Other Failures with Legalization
The notion that black market would end with legalization has proven false, also. For example, in Washington, the tax rate is high and the black market is nearly half the market in the state. As one former federal prosecutor exclaimed, “Legalization doesn’t put drug cartels out of business; it emboldens them.”
While those who pushed for legalization in Colorado in 2012 argued that tax revenue would help the schools, most schools are not getting money. In fact the city of Denver has a video busting the myth that marijuana money funds schools. That argument did not reveal to voters the high cost of regulation. In fact by almost all standards, marijuana legalization is a failure. (Many of these myths about taxes, black market, crime reduction were pushed by the Marijuana Policy Project, a group funded by Peter Lewis and his heirs, not Soros. However, MPP coordinates its message with DPA. )
Harm Reduction Policy is a Failure
A George Soros interview in 1999 explained that decriminalization followed by legalization was “an experimental idea.” Now, the proof is in the pudding. Today’s death rate from drug overdose of illegal and legal drugs is 129 a day and growing.
Those dying in the 25-34-age group die at 5x the rate was in 1999. Death by overdose in the 12-24-age group is double what it was in 1999.
Harm Reduction and “reversing the drug war” is a policy that is killing people at an unprecedented rate. Getting drugs and needles to people is not a bad motivation, but it only saves lives temporarily, for the most part. Some people die just weeks or months later. Will Soros and Drug Policy Alliance admit failure?
Teens and those ages 20-34 grew up under the Soros/Drug Policy Alliance philosophy of “harm reduction.” Harm reduction is taught with little evidence drugs can be used safely. Instead of educating to prevent the start of drug use, this philosophy assumes kids will use drugs. In the late 1990s, a lawsuit forced drug czar Gen. Barry McCaffrey to take anti-drug commercials off television. Since that time, funding for D.A.R.E was cut by two thirds. Demand for drugs is growing and the United States has 56% of the world’s drug users.
The US policy which favors harm reduction over demand reduction is a FAILURE! The 47,000+ drug deaths a year is nearly 50% higher than the next biggest accidental cause of death, traffic accidents. It’s also nearly 50% higher than deaths by gun violence, but where is the outrage about dropping anti-drug education in the schools?
Of course people will always use drugs, but that doesn’t mean we should not try to prevent it, as we did for years until Soros started interfering in our drug programs.
Failure Confirmed and Time to Admit It
Several announcements were made ahead of the United Nations meeting on drugs in New York, UNGASS Conference, in April suggesting that worldwide policy surrounding drugs would change. They did not. Soros doesn’t know more than world leaders.
Some of Soros’ pet projects to encourage democracy in other countries may have helped people. However, his game board is the world. Soros has controlled the wealth of nations, but he also wants to be chief architect of foreign affairs, drug policy, immigration. He influences environmental matters, housing, finance, health care, judicial matters and state governments while controlling politics of other countries. So is the attempt to legalize marijuana and other drugs an attempt to kill people?
The “experiment” did not work. However, there were many “victims,” and Soros should not take this fact lightly. Marijuana weakens minds, as users lose valuable memory and their IQs actually go down. Pot users are often less interested in life and work less than others, making them easier to manipulate. Was the plan carried out with the idea that drugs make the people who don’t die more malleable?
If Soros and his sidekicks at ACLU and DPA do not change policy, their original goals will become more obvious. Overturning the “War on Drugs” brings more drug use and death of our young people. It’s manipulation and death in the guise of philanthropy.
By Roger Morgan, Take Back America Campaign (www.tbac.us)
Sachs’s Trial Involves Another Murderer Linked to Marijuana
Pro-pot people like to say “nobody dies of marijuana.” They are referring to overdose, of course, but overdose isn’t the only cause of death, nor the only adverse outcome. Credible scientific research has clearly shown that marijuana is a causal factor in schizophrenia and paranoia, which in many cases has lead to violent acts of murder. The riveting case of Californian Ashton Sachs in the news this week is a terrifying example.
Sachs was 19 years old, living in a condo his parents bought in Seattle. Originally he attended college there, but dropped out of school in favor of smoking pot and playing video games. Then one day in February 2014 he drove 18 hours to San Juan Capistrano in Southern California and murdered his parents. He also shot his younger brother in the head, and tried to kill his 17-year-old sister. The brother is now paralyzed, and he happened to miss his sister because she hid under the sheets.
Then he flew back to Seattle, and arranged for his car to be shipped. He expressed awe and sorrow when being told about the death of his family members. He even gave a heart-wrenching speech at the funeral. Ultimately, he confessed and was sentenced on Friday to life in prison without possibility of parole. He had a wide smile on his face in court, a symbol of his deranged, sociopathic mind.
How Marijuana Played a Role
Fortunately, not everyone who consumes cannabis goes crazy. According to Dr. Christine Miller, a neuroscientist formerly with John Hopkins University, somewhere between 12 and 15% of users will develop psychotic symptoms. (This statistic is for low-strength marijuana, while much marijuana today over 15% THC.) Of those, about 35% develop full psychosis, of whom half become chronically mentally ill. The life-altering circumstances lead to homelessness, crime, public health expense and incredible pain and suffering for entire families. Too often it leads to suicide as well.
Those who use marijuana during adolescence are 7 times more likely to commit suicide. (Ashton Sachs had already tried to take his own life twice) Heavy users of high-strength marijuana are 5 times more likely to develop schizophrenia at some point in their lives, often earlier rather than later.
In most cases of mass murders in recent history (Cascade Mall shooter, Tucson, Aurora, Colorado Springs, Boston Bombers, Orlando, etc), the murderer was a heavy pot user. While correlation doesn’t equal causation, there are too many cases involving marijuana to deny marijuana’s impact on the brain as a factor. It is not like these people were known for their heavy indulgence in sugar, milk or chocolate.
Governor Now Has Opportunity to Speak up for Youth Brain Health
A group of six parents who spoke at a Moms Strong rally in Sacramento highlighted the egregious ways marijuana harms young brains. Their exposés shed light on how costly it has been to freely give out medical marijuana to 18-year-olds whose brains are still under development. The state legislature had a chance but failed to raise the age for smoking and ingesting medical marijuana to 21. Gov. Jerry Brown now has the opportunity to speak out once again against marijuana legalization, citing a need for taking brain health seriously.
Smoking cigarettes takes off from the end of life while using marijuana increases the risk of mental impairment in early life and increases the risk for suicide by 7x. A poster at the rally showed photos of seven people who died from suicide following psychotic breaks after ingesting or smoking marijuana.
NAMI and Science Provide the Facts
National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) states that marijuana is the substance of abuse recognized for a relationship to schizophrenia. NAMI’s webpage for schizophrenia states: “A growing body of evidence indicates that smoking marijuana increases the risk of psychotic incidents and the risk of ongoing psychotic experiences. The younger and more frequent the use, the greater the risk. Another study has found that smoking marijuana led to earlier onset of schizophrenia and often preceded the manifestation of the illness.”
California does not track medical marijuana users for psychosis, schizophrenia, depression, suicide or other negative mental health outcomes. In fact, the United States and individual states do not have tracking systems for psychosis and schizophrenia.
Canada and the American Society of Addiction Medicine insist that the age limit for “medical” marijuana should be 25 or over, after the brain has fully developed. The State legislature should consider health in early adulthood–when one is completing their education and getting that very first job — as important as end-of-life issues.
Tobacco Cigarettes Versus Marijuana Smoke or Edibles
When California raised the age for buying cigarettes to age 21, Citizens Against the Legalization of Marijuana (CALM) vigorously lobbied the state legislature and the governor to include “medical” marijuana (excluding CBD for seizures or for terminal cancer). It would have been logical to include another smoked product.
When the state banned vape pens and e-cigarettes for those under 21, it excluded medical marijuana. “If California gets a national reputation as being a little bit kooky, sometimes we have only ourselves to blame,” read an article in LA Weekly explaining the new law. It means there is no limit on teenagers vaping marijuana, including concentrated pot products like hash oil, wax and dabs.
Our lungs develop until age 18. When the age limit for buying tobacco products was set at 18, medical research had shown that lung damage could be mitigated by waiting until the lungs had fully developed before starting to smoke.
Our brains continue to develop until age 25, perhaps until age 28 or 29 for males. Therefore, a person who begins smoking or ingesting marijuana after age 25 experiences less brain damage and fewer negative consequences than those who begin below age 25. (While tobacco smoke has its greater influence on the health of our lungs, the THC of marijuana has the more influence on our brains than any other organ.)
Tom Steyer is Silent
Billionaire political donor Tom Steyer is currently running a TV advertisement in favor of raising the tax on cigarettes by $2, but remains silent about the environmental damage of marijuana and Proposition 64. Considering that he is an environmental activist and cares about lungs, his silence is on Proposition 64 is perplexing. It is completely fine to be against BIG TOBACCO, but it is not progressive enough to be against BIG MARIJUANA. The Dark Money behind Proposition 64 comes from George Soros, and from Silicon Valley billionaires. People give BIG MARIJUANA a pass because this greedy industry is promoting itself as quite glamorous.
Here’s news for Mr. Steyer and others: Big tobacco is investing in marijuana. However, Joe Camel is no longer cool or popular but marijuana is hyped as the next big investment.
When California allows doctors to recommend medical marijuana, there are no specifications for dosages. There’s no record-keeping. It can be given over the phone without even seeing the doctor, with a minimal fee.
CALM and Moms Strong, a coalition of drug prevention activists and those who have lost family members to marijuana abuse, demonstrated in front of the capitol on October 4, 2016. In a rousing series of speeches which ended when legislature member Jim Cooper arrived at 1:30, the activists told how their lives had been influenced and changed by marijuana. Jim Cooper is the Assistant Majority Leader in the state legislature and his district includes Sacramento. Maybe he can spread his knowledge to other legislature members.
Under Medical Marijuana, California Deaths from Stoned Driving are Significant say Researchers
The National Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) reports that in California, 252 persons were killed in 2015, and 1,332 have died over the past 5 years (2011–2015) in fatal crashes where the driver had marijuana (THC) in the driver’s blood system.
Marijuana was found in 21% of fatal crashes in CA in 2015, up from 18% in 2014. Both Colorado and Washington at 24%, who have had Recreational Marijuana Dispensaries open for the past two years, have a higher percentage of marijuana driving fatalities than CA.
“Many say that approving Prop 64 and making marijuana widely available is no big deal. For me, it is a huge deal since my sister, a nurse driving to work, was killed by a marijuana driver.” says Phillip Drum, Pharm.D. author of the study. See full Marijuana Traffic Fatalities Study here.
Further, 41% of the CA marijuana drivers were under the age of 25, hardly the age group expected to be using “medical marijuana”. Also of note, marijuana using youth had a higher incidence of speeding 39% compared to a speeding rate of 27% in all other fatal crashes..
Currently blood is tested for drugs in only 25% of all CA driving fatalities compared to more than 80% tested for alcohol. “Lack of blood testing of fatal crash drivers is masking the true level of marijuana involvement in fatalities. In San Francisco, only one of 50 fatal crash drivers were blood tested for drugs in 2015.” Says Al Crancer, Co-author of the study .
Five Southern CA counties of Los Angeles (43 fatalities), Riverside (29), San Diego (19), San Bernardino (18) and Orange (15) lead the state in marijuana driving fatalities.
There is no evidence that using marijuana is resulting in fewer opiate driving fatalities. The level of opiate driving fatalities has been constant at 6% over the past five years.
Age of CA Marijuana Drivers in Fatal Crashes, 2015 FARS Data
Some people say California has already legalized marijuana and Proposition 64 gives it a chance to be regulated. Pandora’s box has been opened. We can and will put it back, by following federal law and adhering to international treaties.
On September 14, two women were arrested for holding four men captive to work on a marijuana plantation near West Point in Calaveras County. The men had escaped violence in Mexico, only to be forced at gun point to work on a marijuana plantation. When discovered in late July, a chain of events began and several law enforcement agencies eradicated 23,245 marijuana plants on private and public lands. The Federal Bureau of Land Management led the way.
Calaveras County had a devastating fire that burned 71,000 acres and destroyed 860 houses and other buildings. In seeking economic salvation, the County commissioners voted 4 to 1 to sell licenses for cultivating “medical marijuana”. They ultimately sold 200 permits for an annual fee of $5,000, bringing in $1 million in revenues. By imposing a $2 per square foot annual levy on outdoor commercial grows, and $5 per square foot on indoor grows, the County hopes to bring in $4 million in new tax revenue.
The licenses allow up to 99 plants. If you do the math, at 1 to 5 lbs per plant in outdoor cultivation, that equates to 118,000 to almost 600,000 joints. Some indoor grows in Oregon are getting in excess of 10 lbs per plant, with plants the size of orange trees. All of this is being grown under the guise of medicine in a “medical marijuana” market that has long since been saturated.
A year ago, a 72-year-old woman was arrested for shooting and killing her son because “he was going to rape her.” They lived together on a marijuana farm in West Point, Calaveras County. Also in 2015, three people were shot and killed trying to steal marijuana from a local pot farm. Ironically, the Sheriff and California Highway Patrol are ramping up to provide better protection for the growers during harvest season, including extensive use of a helicopter. In contrast, it is almost impossible to get anyone to enforce state or federal laws to protect the public from the drug.
Human trafficking is all over California’s marijuana trade. In San Francisco, Asian gangs bring in young, underage laborers living in crowded grow houses surrounded by the stench.
In Lake County, two marijuana growers used a 15-year old girl for labor and sex, chaining her ankle to a box to keep her from escaping. The men are expected to plead guilty for “illegally growing marijuana and using a minor in a drug operation,” while the sexual and human trafficking charges are dismissed. Are these the people the ACLU claims are non-violent drug offenders while trying to get them out of jail?
Cosmopolitan Magazine and Reveal recently published exposés of the secretive sexual exploitation that is woven into very profitable marijuana industry of the Emerald Triangle (Humboldt, Trinity and Mendocino Counties).
Economic Salvation is Really the Downfall
Calaveras isn’t unique in turning to pot to solve their economic problems. Examples include Desert Hot Springs who is planning on 3 million square feet of indoor cultivation; Adelanto, a desert town in Southern California with no other obvious forms of salvation; and Coalinga, a little town in the San Joaquin valley converting a prison to a pot farm. All these towns are oblivious the harmful impacts of marijuana on humans, or the fact that social costs will exceed income by 10 times, or that they have violated federal law and their most fundamental responsibility, to protect the people.
Drug legalizers say the War on Drugs has failed, and that legalization is the answer. For sure, greed and money in politics gets in the way. It’s a war that can never be won entirely, but surrender isn’t an option. From 1978 to 1992, marijuana and other drug use by youth was cut in half. Because of today’s greed and the influence of money on our politicians, marijuana use has gone from 7 to 13% over the past 8 years, and 129 Americans dying of drug overdose every day.
Marijuana and other drugs inflict more death, social destruction and economic cost on this nation than all events in modern history. If we care about our youth, public health, safety and our natural resources, it is time to demand of our leaders at all levels that they focus once again on serving the people and fulfilling their oath of office. That includes Calaveras County. Vote No on Prop 64.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR ….
ROGER MORGAN Chairman/Founder, Take Back America Campaign,
20 year anti-drug activist dealing with drug prevention at the local, state and national level. (www.tbac.us). Formerly Chairman and Executive Director of the Coalition for A Drug-Free California. Owner/CEO of Steelheart International LLC, engaged in international business development and has been an entrepreneur and businessman in California for 35 years. He was Founding Chairman of the Coronado SAFE Foundation in 1997, a non-profit dealing with drug prevention; prior Board Member of the San Diego Prevention Coalition; member of the National Coalition for Student Drug Testing; and Special Advisor to the Golden Rule Society in Coronado.
Cannabis Use is Always Relevant in Cases of Mental Imbalance
Washington Shooter Arcan Cetin opened fire in the Macy’s at Cascade Mall, killing 5 people on September 23. Three women and one 16-year-old girl died immediately; the man died later. It happened in Burlington, about 30 miles north of Seattle.
The Cascade Mall shooter was 20 years old and had graduated from high school the previous year. He was born in Turkey, but raised on Whidbey Island. Cetin had a track record of arrests, including three charges of domestic violence, plus drunk driving. It is clear that the courts were trying to help him. His family was quite patient.
Washington Shooter Had Marijuana Trail
The Seattle Times reports that Cetin was homeless at one time during high school. Marty Baldwin and his wife allowed Cetin to live with him. “Baldwin kicked him out a few months later after learning the younger man was using and selling drugs, he said.” (Marijuana became legal for adults over 21 in December 2012, although it wasn’t sold in stores until the middle of 2014.)
Kiro News reports of incidents from the past year: “A prosecutor asked about firearms, and Cetin’s mother said those were removed, according to court records. As the case continued in 2015, additional counseling was recommended….. That case was tracked with a separate Island County case involving another alleged victim.
“As part of that misdemeanor case, Cetin was ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation in August 2015. The evaluation was completed as of March 2016, according to court records.
Governor Jay Inslee spoke at a Press Conference after the shooting. He said, “Passivity in the face violence is unacceptable,” and that “I don’t have the answers.” Getting to the answers includes finding out how this Washington shooter compares with other young shooters and shopping mall shooters.
Jaylen Fryberg, a 15-year-old who shot and killed 5 at his high school in Marysville, Washington, two years ago, left a record of his marijuana habit on Twitter. It happened after marijuana was legalized in Washington for those 21 and over, but not for teens.
When we track stories that make national news, marijuana use is often a common trait in many young killers. Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and the Columbine shooters were also marijuana users. Neither Fryberg nor Tsarnaev appeared mentally unstable to their classmates. On the other hand, Arcan Cetin’s high school classmates thought he was disturbed, and he did not fit in.
On September 26, Nathan DeSai shot and injured 9 at a Houston strip mall. According to neighbors, he had been acting erratically lately. The police report said, “There were also reports of heavy pot use in DeSai’s apartment,” and that there were numerous complaints about the strong marijuana odor coming from his unit.
Two other mall shooters, the Clackamas Mall shooter in Oregon and the Columbia Mall shooter in Maryland, had both mental illness and histories of marijuana use.
The Marijuana – Mental Illness Links
“The kids who start to use marijuana at a young age are much more likely to experience longer-term mental health problems,” Dr. Neal McKeganey warned more than a decade ago. Since teens have many adjustment problems to begin with, parents, schools and communities need to spread this message more firmly. We can expect children of immigrants to have many challenges–disrupted living experiences, culture shock and even memories of violence. Whatever trauma a child may have witnessed in the homeland will be carried in memory and could make adjustment difficult.
Americans ask why we have such a violent society, but fail to acknowledge the widespread drug usage. Murders would probably be about 30% less frequent, if marijuana use were completely eliminated. Not all acts of mass violence would go away. However, mass shootings could be less frequent. As a society, we cannot ignore these correlations between marijuana and violence when:
a shooter’s psychosis or other mental illness is triggered by marijuana use – (Eddie Routh, football player Aaron Hernandez, Chattanooga shooter, Arcan Cetin, the Ottawa shooter, the Nice terrorist are recent examples)
marijuana use numbs feelings to such an extent that shooters feel no sympathy for victims (Jaylen Fryberg, Boston terrorists, Dylann Roof, some of the Paris terrorists)
Soros manipulated the world’s financial markets before trying his hand at control of internal US policy. His first domestic policy interest was to change how we treat illegal drugs. The push to legalize marijuana begun 25-30 years ago, and passing of California’s medical marijuana in 1996 was his first big success. In 2016, the Sacramento Bee reports that a “small number of individuals, corporations and dark money organizations that don’t disclose their donors have paid for the initiative with more than $16 million in donations of $250,000 or more.”1 Soros is chief financier behind Drug Policy Alliance and other changes in US drug policy.
Deception at the Heart of the Legalization Movement
The marijuana lobbying depends on the propagation of myths, such as the idea that marijuana is only illegal because of racism against blacks and Mexicans. Never mind that Mexico made marijuana completely illegal in 1920, and that the United States is bound by several treaties to keep marijuana illegal. Drug Policy Alliance supports the legalization of all drugs.
To get full legalization, the first step was to use medical marijuana as a way in the door, pretending is that medical marijuana is about compassion. (There are videos in which NORML’s leaders admit it’s a gimmick to get full legalization. Putting it to vote allows the maximum deception, because ballots are vague and provide a good way of getting around regulation.)
“Regulate like alcohol” and “eliminate the black market” are some of the rallying cries for legalizing pot. Regulating alcohol doesn’t prevent underage drinking or keep drunk drivers off the road. Why would marijuana be different?
Another big myth the drug lobby fosters is that people get arrest records and go to jail for a one-time mistake. The truth is that they commit other crimes while on drugs and get convicted for “drug possession only” by using plea bargains. Drug Courts and judges have been using the drug treatment option for nearly 20 years, a fact that legalizers omit.
The current message is one of inevitability, despite big losses in states like Vermont and Ohio. However, by saying “inevitable,” the marijuana industry and its financiers can intimidate anyone who might disagree and donate to the other side. It’s David vs. Goliath in terms of money…………….and bullying.
Soros Web of Control through Policy and Funding
As WikiLeaks revealed, Soros influenced Secretary Clinton’s push for the 2011 Panama Free Trade Agreement, which opened up that country as as a tax haven for billionaires, a direct benefit to him.
A book funded by the Soros’ Open Policy Institute, Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow, omits critical information about drug courts which give drug addiction treatment as an alternative to jail. The book also doesn’t discuss the plea bargains which allow drug users to serve their sentences for drug crimes in lieu of more serious crimes. The author strategically kept out information which did not help the bias from which the book was written. Like her patron, Michelle Alexander supports the legalization of all drugs. Maia Szalavitz is another pro-legalization writer who is a Soros Fellow.
We are told that George Soros funded the education of ACLU lawyer Alison Holcomb. She wrote Initiative-502 to legalize marijuana in Washington state and met with Gavin Newsom and Sean Parker to discuss Proposition 64. (More on I-502 in part 2)
There’s a group of people who have been supported by Soros and are beholden to him, including Vanita Gupta, currently head of the Civil Rights Division in the Justice Department. Despite her intelligence and success as a prosecutor, Gupta doesn’t appear to understand crime and addiction as it relates to drugs. She also supports the legalization of all drugs, She was a recipient of a Soros Fund Fellowship and was supported by the Soros’ Open Society Institute. Perhaps agreement on this issue is a litmus test for getting grants from groups that Soros funds, and getting powerful appointments in government.
Soros gives a great deal of money to the ACLU which has tons of money and funds studies to point out that blacks are arrested for drugs proportionately more frequently than whites. As for Washington, DC, Police Chief Cathy Lanier wrote that the “ACLU misconstrues the District’s data” and “appears not to understand our city well.” Lanier also suggests that police do not target, but have use their responsibility to respond to neighborhood requests.
Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) has a middle ground with drug policy with more creative problem-solving ideas. There are solutions to the problems of criminal justice which address the dangers of drug use and drug crime, but don’t involve legalization.
Other billionaires and political donors concentrate on a few issues they know well, such as Tom Steyer’s support of environmental causes. (As a Californian, he should learn about marijuana, how it destroys the environment and leaves the problems of smell and secondhand smoke.)
It’s hypocritical when politicians who complain about Citizens’ United and the Koch Brothers don’t mention George Soros. What’s even more ironic is that Soros is far more powerful than the Koch Brothers. He is the most influential of all political donors because of how he spreads donations into the many 527 groups he funds.
Small donors who opposed the Iraq War in 2002 – 2003 contributed to MoveOn.org because of a specific issue, but the organization morphed into something entirely different. After George Soros made a large donation to the group, the organization decided it could control the Democratic Party. In an email signed by MoveOn’s leaders in 2004, they claimed control of the Democratic Party, “Now it’s our Party: we bought it, we own it, and we’re going to take it back.” (There’s evidence that Soros hasn’t donated to MoveOn since 2004. After changing its emphasis, he let go.)
The American Friends Service Committee is another group whose goals were substantially changed following Soros donations which moved the Quaker group into new territory far away from its historical purpose of fostering peace.
Soros Control of Political Reports and The Media
Again, how did Soros get his information removed from WikiLeaks?
We cannot expect non-biased reports from Open Secrets, which has taken $100,000 from Soros’ Open Society Foundation this year. Its reports about donations for and against marijuana legalization are wildly skewed in favor of legalization. How ironic that it published an article in 2014 stating that “money not morals drives marijuana prohibition movement.” 2 (It would have been more honest to say money not morals drives marijuana legalization.)
Soros funds of TheNation Magazine, Center for American Progress and other groups. There is now a echo chamber in the media which supports marijuana legalization. Soros’s influence goes much further than just donating outside money to drug legalization efforts. When The Nation and MSNBC reported that “anti-marijuana legalization groups” CADCA and Partnership for a Drug Free America are tools of the pharmaceutical companies, they did not report how minuscule the donations were compared to total funding for those organizations. Dr. Carl Hart, the spokesperson MSNBC who was asked to comment on donations to CADCA and Partnership for Drug Free America, criticized the donations without stating that he is on the board of the Drug Policy Alliance funded by Soros.
Arianna Huffington is on the Honorary Board of the Drug Policy Alliance, too. The Huffington Post’s marijuana articles are heavily biased in favor of marijuana legalization and rarely report about the negative side of marijuana.
Advocates of marijuana legalization claim with little evidence that pharmaceutical companies are trying to stop marijuana legalization. Pharmaceutical companies — like marijuana companies — give lots of money to politicians, there’s slim evidence pharma is connected to opposition to marijuana legalization.” 3
Claims that George Soros’ interest in marijuana is control of GMO marijuana and hemp may be farfetched. However, he was a huge investor in Monsanto and had some power over legalization in Uruguay. Read about Soros’ biggest failure in Part 2.
This year Sean Parker of Napster and Facebook fame is the top funder for California’s marijuana legalization ballot. Soros is still involved and so are the descendants of his friend Peter Lewis who give through New Approach.
A neighbor’s marijuana prompts this person to warn our readers. A number of our readers share their testimonies about the impact of marijuana on quality of life. This blog about a neighbor is our third testimony about the marijuana lifestyle and how it affects others. Read My Hopes for a Peaceful Retirement and Living the Pot Lifestyle.
I live right next door to a marijuana grow and even though the county has a law banning the grow of marijuana for any reason, law enforcement won’t enforce it for several reasons. Money/lack of resources isn’t one of them.I cannot allow my grandchildren to come over anymore. I’ve reported the issue to the irrigation district, the sheriff and the Board of Supervisors.
It’s been almost two months and nothing has been done. The plants are at least two feet above the 10-foot fence they installed that we share. I am literally 30 feet away from the outside plants. Because there’s a loud electrical buzzing, there’s probably an indoor grow as well.
Law Enforcement’s Hands are Tied
Here’s what law enforcement wrote back to me about my neighbor’s marijuana:
“It’s not about money…We can’t get the Feds to prosecute because the Obama Administration has told the US Attorneys not to prosecute MJ cases. No local prosecution because of Prop 215 and our Attorney General who has added mud to water over prosecution. Yes, the Board of Supervisors has taken a position based upon land use, not criminality and that is handled administratively through the county. What you describe is not a land use issue. Bottom line, we’re quickly getting out of the eradication business and we’ll see what happens with Proposition 64 on November the 8th.”
Because no one is enforcing the law, marijuana grows are allowed to continue unchecked.
Pesticide Risks from a Neighbor’s Marijuana
It exposes those living around them to toxic chemicals including pesticides linked to autism and other serious irreversible neurological damage. Common pesticides used on marijuana are Avid, Phosmat, Diazinon, Organophosphate –pesticides which were used to make Agent Orange during Vietnam.
Pesticide drift is a serious problem, even when pesticides are used responsibly. We all know the goal of marijuana growers is not the responsible use of pesticides. Pesticides can drift for miles in residential areas. I have watched my organic tomatoes die and my potted flowers wither. I can smell the chemicals from the grow and the fumes come through my air conditioner. I’m very concerned that my entire yard and my house could be contaminated with pesticides that cause nerve damage.
Think about what your neighbor can get away with if this is legal in the entire state. The only way to stop your neighbor’s marijuana is to Vote No on 64.
A reader shared with us two letters on Prop. 64, the Adult Legalization of Marijuana Act sent to the Los Angeles Times. She said, “It isn’t yet a legal substance, yet I realize that I have constantly smelled very strong marijuana fumes in my yard for about the last month.” Those who remember the smog Los Angeles suffered from in the past cannot believe that the state is willing to embrace a return to such a major environmental disaster again.
Patricia Jackson writes: “Here is what I submitted in reaction to a story ‘Tough New Climate Limits’ which ran on Friday, September 9, 2016:
I question whether these new tough climate laws will achieve their full potential if marijuana is legalized. I already find myself closing my car windows and running my air conditioning substantially more often than in prior years because of the overpowering smell of marijuana. People who smoke pot in their cars seem to almost always open their windows for some reason.
Both my front and back yard are constantly filled with the smell of marijuana both in the earliest morning when I walk out to pick out my copy of my just-delivered LA Times as well as into the evening when I go out into my backyard. On a recent 3-day weekend while painting high up on a ladder I had to wear a respirator mask at all times because the wind carried the at times chokingly-powerful smell of marijuana from someone near by who was on a morning-to-night marijuana bender.
One of your first stories on the legalization of marijuana featured a marijuana distributor standing in a state park. I thought the point of state and national parks was to create a nature experience. The legalization of marijuana will rob many people of the right to clean air and will disproportionately affect people living in apartments and people who cannot speak up for themselves for a variety of reasons. I’d like to know who is liable if I am overcome by fumes and sustain an injury. Unlike all the other places where marijuana has been legalized, Los Angeles has often record-low amounts of rain to clear the air, a host of dying mature trees and air that already contains a high amount of particulate matter.
It baffles me that the legalization of marijuana is even being considered in a way that gives a free hand to marijuana smokers about where they smoke. I’d also like to see a story about how often childrens’ sports teams in public parks (soccer, basketball, swimming, etc) experience marijuana fumes during their workouts. My experience was that every time I picked up my children from the park I smelled strong marijuana fumes.Please, please take the time to make clear that by legalizing marijuana we are abdicating our right to clean air.
The second letter is to Robin Abcarian, who is writing a series on marijuana legalization
I have been reading your series on the presumed legalization of marijuana and am baffled at the lack of discussion of the effect on clean air. There are no restrictions on where marijuana may be used, the restrictions are on where it is sold. I can tell you from overwhelming personal experience that the powerful effects of the wind in dispersing marijuana fumes from the most powerful brands of pot are not being considered at all. This means that pot may not be consumed physically next to school but in areas adjoining and the smell wafts over to the school. Or, what happened to me: I discovered while high up on a ladder to paint that marijuana odors travel at different rates on the wind. The fumes were far more powerful up high than they were at ground level.
The unrestricted ability to smoke some of the really potent, smelly marijuana means that the so-called selling point protections are meaningless because they fail to take into account how children and vulnerable adults could be impacted by powerful marijuana fumes. I am also interested in knowing what protections exist for people who are neighbors of heavy users and/or who live in apartments.
I currently smell marijuana when I step out into my yard around 6-7am and into the evening. I have completely lost the ability to know with any degree of certainty that I will be able to breathe in and get clean, un-marijuana-soiled air. I voted for legalization the last time, but I most certainly won’t this time because my experience has been that fumes from the types of brands of marijuana now available substantially reduce my quality of life in reducing my guaranteed access to un-marijuana-laced air.
I recently noticed just how polluted the air outside and in my home had become when I went to a dental office and was astounded at how refreshingly odor-free the air was. The dentist’s office was always a place previously where I was acutely aware of odors. Recent land-mark California clean air legislation could be completely undermined by the additional need for air conditioners, fans, and other technologies to block the smell of marijuana.If the marijuana industry is so profitable, they should be setting up and publicizing odor-free zones instead of sending people to side streets to smoke their pot (and yes, my street has filled that function for pot dispensaries). If you are dispensing it, people should be using the really smelly stuff somewhere where not everyone else is forced to participate.
Former NIH Drug Abuse Director Sends Letter to Canada Task Force on Marijuana
To the Canadian Task Force on Marijuana Legalization and Regulation:
By way of introduction, I was the first Director of the National Institute of Health’s National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the United States’ principal agency devoted to scientific research on drugs of abuse, including marijuana. I am currently the President of the Institute for Behavior and Health, Inc., a non-profit organization devoted to reducing illegal drug use, and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine. I urge you to not underestimate the significant negative public health impacts of marijuana legalization.
In response to the discussion paper, Toward the Legalization, Regulation and Restriction of Access to Marijuana, I would like to share with you some important information specifically related to the discussion of the gateway theory. Marijuana is in fact a “gateway” drug – but importantly, it is not the only gateway drug. Alcohol and tobacco are also gateway drugs. By this I mean that their use is highly correlated with one another and nearly always precipitates the use of other substances. Recent analysis of data from the US National Household Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) confirm that among young people aged 12 to 17, using one of these three primary drugs of abuse dramatically increases the likelihood of use of the other two, as well as use of other illicit drugs. Similarly, the decision not to use any of these three drugs is negatively correlated with use of the other two drugs (as well as other illicit drugs). This finding has significance for Canada and the US, as well as any other nation considering adding marijuana as a third legal drug for adults. More use of marijuana means more use of other drugs, including the two currently legal drugs. As such, given that the vast majority of substance use disorders, i.e., addiction, can be traced to initiation of substance use during adolescence, there must be significant focus on prevention.
Marijuana is not a harmless drug as it is often perceived to be today. In the US, marijuana accounts for more substance use disorders than any other drug (other than alcohol). Of the 7.1 million Americans aged 12 and older with substance use disorders related to illicit drugs, nearly 60% are dependent on or abuse marijuana (Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, 2015). The only drug that causes more substance use disorders than marijuana is alcohol.
Making marijuana more easily accessible and subsequently increasing its use by the public should be of serious concern to the Canadian government and its citizens. Recent research has shown that daily or near-daily marijuana users in the US consume most of the drug, with the poor and less-educated representing a disproportionate number of marijuana users (Davenport & Caulkins, 2016). Protecting the vulnerable populations – from youth to the disadvantaged – must be a national and global priority.
I urge you to support policies and programs that seek to reduce drug use, including marijuana use, and to improve public health. Making marijuana more accessible and its use more acceptable is not in the interest of public health.
Editors Note: The New York Times opinion series “Room for Debate” asked if marijuana should be legalized in the face of today’s heroin and opioid crisis and if it is a gateway drug. IBH President Robert L. DuPont, MD contributed to the series stating that marijuana use is positively correlated with other drug use; marijuana users consume more legal and illegal drugs than non-users. Rather than legalize drugs, effective prevention is needed. He clearly states that establishing marijuana “as a third legal drug, along with tobacco and alcohol, will increase drug abuse, including the expanding opioid epidemic.”
What You Should Know about the Politics Behind the CBD Miracle Claims
The CBD miracle may be a mirage. The push for legalization has been greatly aided by the unfortunate cases of young children with seizure disorders. No one wants to see a child suffer. Especially the child’s parents. Desperate for pain relief for their beloved child, these parents are easily convinced that a yet untested drug may offer hope.
Opportunistic groups like Marijuana Policy Project, Americans for Safe Access, Drug Policy Alliance and NORML make lobbying visits to state legislators and other parents of extremely sick children. They argue that refusal to legalize marijuana is to deny these parents and their child hope. This is one of the most effective strategies they have found to open the minds and prey on the sympathies of our legislators. This is a critical step to advance their drug policy agenda.
Another claim these legalization advocates often make, is that marijuana is a victim-less drug and that it has killed no one.
Yet, a deeper look at both of the above arguments finds that marijuana doesn’t necessarily help the extreme cases of childhood illness and that child patients who have tried medical marijuana have indeed died. See Marijuana Oils Misleading Promises.
Unfortunately, the lawyers and lobbyists for the marijuana industry don’t want the facts to get in their way of opening up more markets and creating more customers.
Parents need the whole truth, though. They have a right to know about the limits of our scientific knowledge about CBD oil and the limits of its effectiveness. They also need to be informed of the possibility it will not save the life of their child. Or even improve it. See Right to Know about CBD.
A Look at the History of this Campaign
In the late 70’s NORML activists joked about their need of the ‘medical’ benefits of marijuana. In this video, you will hear them plotting to push for marijuana as a medicine which they believed (quite rightly) would eventually lead to the right to get full legal access.
Watch the Video
You see, these drug users don’t care a whit about sick children. They are not truly seeking a cure. By the time science catches up to the scam, they plan to have full legalization accomplished. They just want the right to do their drug of choice without the guilt of drug dealers going to jail on their behalf. Or, the stigma of being illicit drug users. Or the danger of having to do a back alley deal with an unsavory character to get their ‘high.’
The drug legalizers know that calling “pot” medical is nothing more than a political gambit. They have always known it. They also are well aware of the negative outcomes of marijuana use but they keep those quiet. Read more: Medical the Strategic Plan for Legalization.
Under its influence, this drug makes people extremely political, according to Dr. Ed Gogek, an addiction expert and author of Marijuana Debunked. He says, “Pot users are relentlessly political. It’s an effect of the drug, not a rational decision.”
Parents of drug abusing children will hear their child rattle off all the arguments of the Pro-pot lobbyists, “But mom, its only marijuana, it’s not addictive, it’s just an herb, it’s harmless, it’s never killed anyone” etc.
Are they parroting the drug dealers or is it the drug itself talking?
CBD Miracle Cure Often Fails to Deliver
True medicine goes through rigorous scientific testing and approval processes. It is packaged in carefully controlled doses, and packaged with labels and package inserts which specify contraindications, side effects, warnings and dosing instructions.
None of the marijuana products being currently sold by state approved dispensaries can say the same. This leaves care giving parents buying ‘snake oil,’ taking chances and performing their own medical experiments on their own child. This should not be. A recent article on Buzz Feed, The Dark Side of Medical Marijuana’s Miracle Drug, tells several such stories and about the disillusionment that follows.
The latest poll of Proposition 64 shows soft support of the measure and highlights how quickly support changes depending how the message is given. Of the five states with marijuana legalization on the ballot in 2016, California is the only state in which support for legalization leads in the polls. Legalization ballots lose badly in Massachusetts and in Arizona, according to recent polls. It is a statistical tie in Nevada.
Smith-Johnson Research conducted a poll of 500 likely California voters by cell and land lines, August 17-19, 2016. The margin for error is +/-4.4%. Support for legalization drops once voters hear one fact — Proposition 64 will allow marijuana smoking ads in prime time, and on programs with millions of children and teenage viewers.
Voters heard the description of Proposition 64 two different ways.
First, the ballot said that the Adult Use of Marijuana Act “could result in tens of millions of dollars in savings and increase tax revenue from hundreds of millions of dollars to over one billion annually. It gives local government the right to ban local sales, and establishes a state system of regulation and licensure.” With these positive messages, 56% of voters support the ballot. (About 80% of communities in California have banned marijuana.)
Second Ballot Mentions Advertising
In the second ballot, they were told of a ruling by the Sacramento Superior Court about advertising. Opponents to Proposition 64 may state there’s the possibility of television ads promoting marijuana smoking and edibles on prime time television. The change from the first to the second poll was dramatic, shifting from majority in favor to majority opposing. The second ballot yielded 43% support compared to 52% oppose.
In each case, the interviewees asked, “If the election was held today, would you definitely vote for Proposition 64, probably vote for Proposition 64, probably vote against Proposition 64 or definitely vote against Proposition 64.
These results of this new poll shows the fluidity of vote and the softening of the support. Support soften as voters begin to hear more about the actual details of the measure. As in other surveys on this issue women continue to be skeptical about Prop 64. In this latest statewide test only 49% of likely women voters are “probably” or “definitely” supporting the measure. Here’s a description of the new poll with complete description of the questions.
“Proposition 64 has had two weeks of press coverage that is starting to expose some serious flaws,” said Tim Rosales. Rosales is a strategist working on No on 64. He mentioned possible “television ads promoting smoking marijuana that will air to millions of kids.” Support is soft and a win of No on 64 is “definitely is in striking distance.”
On August 3, California Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de León said that he is not ready to support marijuana legalization. Reporters at a Sacramento press briefing asked his opinion of Proposition 64. De León replied: “I don’t know if I am behind the times in comparison to other folks, but I still have my concerns.”
De León had an opportune meeting with Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado, sitting next to him on a flight back from the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. The men discussed the effect of a pot legalization measure which was approved by Colorado in 2012.
De León told reporters, “We had a very comprehensive conversation.” The Senate leader worries that the marijuana of today is far more potent than in the past and that the sale of pot edibles in the form of candies and gummy bears attracts minors. “These are real-life consequences.” he said.
Another message of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA, also called Proposition 64) is based on false innuendo. “The current system of prohibition has spectacularly failed to protect children, since drug dealers don’t card,” cites Kinney, using a common cliché.
Marijuana lobbyists told the same presumptuous lie in Colorado and Washington back in 2012, when they tricked voters into legalization.
To find a place with strict marijuana laws, one must look outside of the United States. (The United States has more than 50% of the worlds drug users.) Most states have decriminalized marijuana in practice. Police arrest for pot possession only when other crimes have been committed or are suspected.
When Colorado legalized adult marijuana use in 2013, children began using pot at younger ages. For example, instead of marijuana use starting in middle school, it began to show up with 4th graders.
Black markets thrive in Colorado, Washington and Oregon, as more people want to get into the business.
Can de Leon’s Wisdom on this Issue Spread?
Sen. de León listened to Governor Hickenlooper who has been trying to make pot legalization work in Colorado. Hickenlooper did not support legalization in 2012. In 2014, during a debate with his Republican opponent for governor, he called Colorado’s marijuana legalization “reckless.” Marijuana taxes contribute to less than 1% of Colorado’s state budget, while thousands of dollars are spent on the consequences of legalization.
Kevin de León represents the Los Angeles area. He has been in the California Senate since 2010 and quickly rose to leadership. Two years ago the Senate elected him Senate president pro tempore. He became the first Latino to hold that position in 130 years.
De León is a member of the young guard of the Democratic Party which generally supports marijuana legalization. Governor Jerry Brown and Senator Dianne Feinstein do not favor it. Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom formed a committee to write the AUMA initiative. However, he admits that his wife is very afraid of the message it sends to the children.
De León is co-author of a bill requiring colleges that receive state funds for student financial assistance, to adopt an “affirmative consent standard” for sexual relations (“Yes Means Yes”). That type of leadership ability on key issues could be valuable again. His background is as an educator, teacher and community organizer. De León said he is still processing information to make an intelligent decision about marijuana legalization. He has made it clear, however, that he is aware of major problems, even though other party members listen to the pot industry. http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article93525057.html
If you are impressed that Senate President is cautious about marijuana legalization please fan his facebook page @KevinDeLeonKDL and tell him so!
Illegal Pot Growers Claim to be Hikers When Rescued in Big Sur
It may not be making the national news, but on local TV news in California, we learn that firemen discovered illegal pot growers amongst those individuals they rescued from the fiery inferno. See KSBW News report “Hikers” Rescued from Soberanes Fire were Illegal Pot Growers. Officials suspect as many as eleven rescued people were actually involved in a 900 plant marijuana farm. The marijuana growers culpability in starting the fire at this point is unknown, and subject to further investigation.
The fire is raging out of control and fire authorities expect it to burn all through the month of August. Five thousand fireman are working the blaze, which has consumed over 57 homes and more than 33,000 acres. It is now spreading into the Los Padres National Forest according to The Mercury News.
Careless smokers are often the start of such forest fires. If these growers were smoking their product or burning their trash, they very well could have started the fire.
This fire is just one of the many examples of the carelessness of our politicians who are pushing to turn this illicit drug into a big industry. The legalizers often use the argument that legal weed will end illegal activities surrounding the drug. We know from stories out of Colorado, Washington and Oregon that legal marijuana attracts more illegal activity. Each of these states is seeing an increase in illegal drug activities, both growing and sales. Here is a recent example of an illegal grow operation in Oregon in the Statesman Journal.
Illegal growers destroy the forest floor and tribal lands to plant their ‘crops’, they use toxic chemicals, poison animals and leave unbelievable piles of trash. NBC Bay Area news investigated the environmental damage. The Pacific Fisher is a mammal at risk for extinction, and in this news report 6 of the remaining 300 in Northern California have died, and 86% of those researchers have tested, are found to be exposed to the illegal rat poison used on this marijuana. Just think of what this potent poison could do to the human health of those who smoke this illegally grown drug.
Watch the Video on Environmental Impact of Illegal Marijuana Grows
It is also increasing fire hazards, such as the hash oil explosions. The most recent case was in Nederland, Colorado, and took place in a rented house with an absentee landlord. See the TV news report from a Denver station: Hash Oil Explosion Causes Large House Fire. If wind conditions were favorable, the report says a wildfire could have easily erupted, causing more property loss and forest fire. See Parents Opposed to Pot series of articles on Hash Oil Explosions to learn more about this negative consequence of legalizing marijuana.
Nevada County marijuana cultivators plan to come out in force to push for ever more liberal policies on commercial marijuana. Protect Placer Coalition Against Commercial Marijuana is rallying those residents and organizations opposed to the commercial marijuana industry to appear at a public hearing tomorrow.
Concern for the impacts on the community culture of Placer and Nevada Counties, the group cite public health, safety and environmental dangers if the board of supervisors liberalizes the marijuana laws.
Details on the Marijuana Public Hearing
Mica Heilman, a Soil and Agricultural Scientist and a community organizer for the Protect Placer coalition asks local residents, businesses, and prevention activists to attend the Tuesday July 26, 2016 hearing and prepare a statement.
Please consider preparing a short testimony about why you are opposed to the expansion of commercial marijuana and attending the meeting to speak out.
Date and Time: Tuesday, July 26, 1:30 PM
Location: 950 Maidu Avenue, Nevada City, First Floor, Eric Rood Administrative Center
From their recent letter to the Placer County Board of Supervisors:
Nevada County would be among the first few California’s counties to “jump in with both feet” to legalized commercial marijuana production when so little precedent has been set, and when there are many consequences we cannot predict. Our concern is not centered on personal medical marijuana use. We are gravely concerned, however, about growing an excessive legal commercial marijuana industry in our exceptional county.
1. There is very clear evidence from other counties in California, as well as counties outside of California, that the following three things happen when commercial marijuana is allowed to increase:
1. The number of marijuana grows increase;
2. The size of marijuana grows increase;
3. The number of illegal, existing grows, does not decrease
4. Access by local youth increases
2. Regardless of potential rules for permitting commercial production, marijuana is still a federally controlled Schedule 1 drug. With other examples in California to learn from, it is clear that commercial marijuana production would foster more illegal drug trade in Nevada County that includes much “harder” drugs. This kind of industry draws people from outside our county who are willing to break the law. This has been evidenced in other areas and is already happening in Nevada County as parties across the country seek to descend on Nevada County and increase marijuana cultivation. There is not a shortage of medical marijuana in California, and additional production in Nevada County would simply fuel illegal trade and drug cartels.
3. Those that are growing illegally will likely continue to do so, as there is little incentive for them to come “out of the shadows.” Examples elsewhere have shown illegal production does not
decrease when permissive cultivation rules are adopted. A permissive or unclear ordinance will increase marijuana production in our county and the detrimental effects, including increased
youth access and use, increased crime, and increased DUI accidents, only making Nevada County less attractive to the families and businesses we want to attract and keep here!
4. There is increasing documentation about the unanticipated negative impacts of various loosening marijuana restrictions, including increases in homelessness and burdens on medical emergency facilities. Black market sales also increase when marijuana prices increase because of taxation, as it can be purchased cheaper illegally, further driving illegal drug circles. Nevada County must consider these costs and potential ways to offset them as a part of any ordinance permitting commercial cultivation.
5. Marijuana production has highly detrimental impacts on our natural resources, forest and watersheds. The concept of setbacks and limited production on larger parcels still creates a web of non-point source pollution and irrevocable damage to forest lands. Considerable thought should be given to zoning requirements for any commercial cultivation, avoiding residential and rural residential areas when the exposure is greatest and also avoiding productive forest lands where development puts those resources at risk for erosion, pollution and wildfire in remote areas that are the most difficult to respond to in emergencies.
6. Even if recreational marijuana is legalized in the November election, the issue of growing and distributing in Nevada County is an entirely different one. The California Use of Marijuana Act (Parker Initiative) that will be on the state ballot in November still allows for counties and other jurisdictions to decide how they want to approach marijuana operations. Limiting them in Nevada County now will prepare Nevada County regardless of the November election outcomes.
7. Marijuana produced commercially in our county will necessarily need to be transported out of it, across county lines and jurisdictions that have either banned marijuana production or otherwise have different regulations. We would therefore be creating more illegal activity in our state, and particularly in areas proximate to our county. Because of the patchwork nature of marijuana laws in our country and state, Nevada County would, without doubt, become a target or major center for drug trade if permissive laws are established.
8. The following problems and complaints have been associated with marijuana production:
Drug trafficking organizations
Increase marijuana production
Butane honey oil labs
Nuisance complaints (smell)
Dead or sick animals
StopPot2016.com urges Californians to show up and be counted on any public hearing around the state. Since, as stated above, any marijuana grown in any county in the state will be exported to other counties, your community can be impacted by these decisions.
If you want to send a letter here is the Board of Supervisors address:
Nevada County Board of Supervisors
Board Chambers, First Floor
Eric Rood Administrative Center
950 Maidu Avenue
Nevada City, California
On the theory that a word to wise is sufficient, one should look at the reality of legalized pot in Oregon prior to assuming it is a good thing for California. Indoor marijuana grows, especially, would be a disaster.
California, with a population of 38 million reportedly has 50,000 mostly illegal outdoor cultivation sites. Oregon, with a population of only 4 million, had 47,000, even prior to legalizing pot for recreational use in 2014. Aside from the impact on humans from consuming this illicit, dangerous drug, the impact on the environment and local communities has been devastating.
Once pristine communities have been invaded with unsavory people who were attracted by the right to grow this illicit drug legally. Rural environments with once nice equestrian facilities, and gentlemen farms, have been invaded with pot plantations that smell of skunk so badly, people can’t open their windows. To protect from human and animal predators, pot plantations are surrounded with high walls with razor wire on top. Inside, they are guarded by pit bulls and armed guards.
Obviously, as is the case with California, the crop isn’t intended for the population of those who consume marijuana within the State. California, according to our State legislators, provides 60% of pot to the entire US market. Oregon is obviously not far behind.
Now, our own Lt Governor Gavin Newsom, backed by out-of-state billionaires, is leading the charge to legalize pot for recreational use in California. In reality, we already have de facto legalization. Anyone 18 or older can get a pot doctor’s recommendation for $20 and buy (and sell) all the pot they want. The intent from day one in 1996 when three out-of-state billionaires with George Soros at the helm, was just use “medical marijuana” as a red herring to give pot a good name as a first step toward full legalization. It has been a long patient plan, but combined with financial contributions to elected officials and the press, it is working.
The Newsom ballot initiative calls for anyone to have the ability to grow six plants for “personal use”. Lets look at what that could mean.
According to Shirley Morgan, Oregon’s premier anti-marijuana activist, “….. in Oregon marijuana plants can range from 10’ to 15’ in height depending on where and how they are grown. ….. According to the 2015 Privateer Holdings report, individual yields depend on many factors, such as plant density, nutrient availability, light availability and genetic pre-disposition. A HIDTA paper anecdotally reported yields in southern Oregon ranging from 6 to 20 lbs per plant with an average yields of 10 lbs of usable, dried, marijuana per plant, with a single harvest per year. ….. A U of Washington study on indoor cannabis production found that the typical yield from a single plant grown indoors is about one ounce, but the indoor grow site can expect four harvests per year.” They report higher yields for indoor and outdoor grows are not uncommon, as one would assume from the large indoor grow pictured.
So what would 6 indoor marijuana plants per household in California mean?
Lets just conservatively say one lb of produce per plant. There are an estimated 1,000 joints per pound, so six plants would produce 6,000 joints. But, as evidenced in the previous paragraph, it is possible to get 10 lbs per plant, or 60,000 joints …. with a single harvest. Four harvests a year are possible indoors. As in Oregon, it is marketed to out-of-state and underage markets. It’s not about medicine. Its all about money, with no regard for people or the planet.
Another reality is that marijuana isn’t just measured in joints any longer. Extracting the THC through butane to produce hash oil (BTO) has caused new dangers. Butane is so volatile even static electricity can cause a major explosion. There were 143 such explosions in California in 2014, and 32 deaths. Many of those who survived ended up on burn centers for 2 to 3 months getting skin grafts for deep seated burns.
Because the wax and oils sell for more money, many if not most indoor and outdoor growers have gravitated to this dangerous practice. If the explosions don’t occur, the fact that marijuana and money exist in one location makes them a magnet for crime.
The list of deleterious impacts on humans is endless, especially anyone under age 25 whose brains can be permanently damaged. But the list goes on, including psychotic breaks, mental illness, addiction, birth defects, traffic fatalities, et al. Altered minds lead to more crime, more academic failure, and more use of drugs that are killing 129 Americans everyday just of overdose.
The burden of public health and safety has fallen on local enforcement and private citizens. It is impossible to control. There is no amount of tax revenues that will offset the social costs, or compensate for the painful impact of even one young person losing their life, or succumbing to the life long disease of mental illness.
If we don’t protect our environment and youth, they have no future. Nor do we as a nation.
A report from the Denver’s Visitor’s Bureau on the impact of legal marijuana to downtown Denver and feedback from conference planners:
“As the marketing organization for the city, VISIT DENVER measures, records and reports hundreds of data points. The attached presentation highlights the safety trends and feedback we receive and closely track from convention and leisure visitors over the span of several years. VISIT DENVER realizes that homelessness is not a crime, and that it is just one component of the many issues having an impact on Denver and surrounding cities. However, it is important to note that visitors often do not recognize or distinguish the differences between panhandlers, travelers, homeless, and others but rather provide overall feedback based on personal safety and sense of security when visiting Denver.
There are several key takeaways from the information provided:
• The downtown environment is the #1 complaint from meeting planners, far surpassing any other categories. The severity of this issue has increased and as of 2014 nearly 50% of meeting planners negatively commented on homeless, youth, panhandling, safety, cleanliness, and drugs including public marijuana consumption.
• Denver ranks very high on walkability, affordability, facilities, and other factors. However, Denver as a “safe city” ranks significantly lower according to interviews with key convention planners conducted by an independent third-party.
• Denver is losing visitors and valuable convention business as a result of these overall safety (or perception of safety) issues. Unfortunately, word is beginning to spread among meeting planners about the safety challenges Denver is facing. As the marketing organization for the city, we fear not being able to brand Denver away from this growing reputation.
VISIT DENVER is committed to solutions that will improve our community for all who live, work and visit Denver. We are happy to share more information or answer any questions you may have.”
Real statistics of Colorado Marijuana Traffic Fatalities.
Watch this 3 minute video which effectively debunks the news headlines about impact of legalization on Colorado marijuana traffic fatalities.
It is important to note that Radley Balko is a libertarian leaning journalist, which may give his reporting on the issue a distinct bias. His news story “traffic fatalities in Colorado at historic lows” is featured in this video. As they say, you can lie with statistics, and it is always important to read beyond the headlines and seek other sources of news before you inform an opinion on a subject like marijuana legalization.
Here is our Crashes page, with links to more information about the impact of impaired driving due to marijuana.
Parents Opposed to Pot blog also has written some articles about this subject which you can find linked to from their Driving page.
Canadian Mental Illness Experts Warn of Cannabis-Psychosis Link
The worst of the mental issues that can result from pot use are schizophrenia, psychosis. Scientists and addiction specialists are aware of marijuana as a trigger for mood disorders. The general public is by and large ignorant on this subject.
People experiencing psychosis can have breaks with reality. The can experience hallucinations. They can even become violent. Read a definition of psychosis on the Healthline website. Schizophrenia symptoms seem to be similar according to Healthline. Yet, it seems that it is a chronic condition rather than temporary.
The Schizophrenia Society of Canada has on online campaign to educate the public about the connection between marijuana use and psychosis called Cannabis and Psychosis.
While the Pot Lobby wants the public to consider marijuana a safer alternative to other addictive substances like tobacco and alcohol, the medical experts warn otherwise. See this excellent article, The Cannabis-Psychosis Link: Mind your Mind.
For more scientific and anecdotal evidence, we highly recommend the website MomsStrong.org. This website was launched by a California mom who lost her son to cannabis withdrawal suicide and a mom in Arizona whose son committed suicide as a result of his losing battle with marijuana addiction.
They Got it Wrong Again is the official Slogan of the campaign against Prop. 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), also called Proposition 64 in which will be on the California ballot in November. StopPot2016 joins CALMCa and SAM Action in opposing this measure. This week the official campaign issued a statement:
“As expected, the ballot measure to commercialize non-medical marijuana has qualified for the November 2016 ballot.
This campaign will very be similar to that of Proposition 19. They have the money and No on Prop. 64 has the facts.
Under current law, convicted cartel meth and heroin dealers are banned from being involved in medical marijuana, but this initiative overturns that ban and lets these felons be licensed to sell recreational marijuana. The proponents were specifically advised by numerous law enforcement groups during the comment period about this huge flaw, but they deliberately chose to keep it in, and you have to ask “why?” Who is that provision for? They got it wrong. Again.
Proposition 64 is NOT Inevitable
For more information on this and other Proposition 64 initiative loopholes, please visit: www.TheyGotItWrongAgain.org. The press release advises contact with Tim Rosales for more information, 916.475.4900
Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Governor Jerry Brown oppose the legalization of marijuana. Although Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom supports the ballot, he admits that his wife is is “scared to death about the message (marijuana legalization) sends to our kids.”
The Bishops of the Arizona Catholic Conference oppose the campaign to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Arizona because it is harmful to both children and families in Arizona. (Editor’s Note: It would be helpful if the California Bishops also came out and made a statement as these Arizona Bishops recently did.)
Legalizing the recreational use of marijuana sends a message to children and young people that drug use is socially and morally acceptable. As people of faith, we must speak out against this effort and the damaging effects its passage would have on the children and families of Arizona.
Studies have shown that adolescents who use marijuana have significant differences in brain structure and cognitive functioning compared to those who do not use marijuana and experience up to an eight-point drop in IQ. Furthermore, based on what happened in just two years after Colorado legalized marijuana, it is estimated that if Arizona passes this measure, tens of thousands of additional 8th graders here will smoke marijuana for the first time. Marijuana-related traffic accidents and other problems are also likely to dramatically increase if recreational marijuana use is legalized.
In Colorado for example, marijuana-related traffic deaths dramatically increased after recreational marijuana was legalized. Additionally, Colorado witnessed similar dramatic increases in hospitalizations and emergency room visits related to marijuana usage after recreational use was legalized. In states that have legalized marijuana, there has also been an increase in the use of harder drugs like cocaine and heroin since marijuana was legalized, which only further increased societal costs.
For the reasons mentioned above, and others, it is anticipated that legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in Arizona will lead to more abuse by teens, more emergency room visits, more traffic deaths, and more societal costs. Accordingly, due to the detrimental effect it would have on children, families, and all of society, we strongly oppose this dangerous proposal. Most Rev. Eduardo A. Nevares Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted Auxiliary Bishop of Phoenix Bishop of Phoenix Most Rev. James S. Wall Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas Bishop of Gallup Bishop of Tucson
The Take Back America Campaign (TBAC), and Citizens Against Legalizing Marijuana (CALM) have filed formal complaints with the US Attorney, DEA and Attorney General Kamala Harris regarding Desert Hot Springs actions and intentions to become Marijuana Mecca.
“Marijuana is a federally banned substance because it inflicts harms on humans and increases the social and economic costs borne by all Americans,” explains Roger Morgan, Chairman of the Take Back America Campaign.
The two organizations took this action to register their concern that the California market for marijuana is already saturated with over 50,000 illegal outdoor cultivation sites growing pot under the guise of medicine. CALM and Take Back America report that currently California illegally serves 60% of the entire US market for pot, according to recent statements by our own state legislators. “The Desert Hot Springs move to participate, places them in the same category as the Mexican cartels this nation has battled for decades,” says Morgan.
Based on the known facts about today’s high-THC pot, Morgan believes, “this is an assault on all Americans.” Marijuana is an addictive substance which causes permanent brain damage to any user under age 25, can trigger psychosis, mental illness, birth defects, traffic deaths and directly contributes to elevated levels of crime and academic failure.
Scott Chipman of CALM says, “Public health and safety is the most important responsibility of all elected officials. Aside from the fact that marijuana is a dangerous drug in its own right, almost all of the 129 Americans who die every day started their drug journey with pot. Nothing inflicts more death, destruction or economic cost on this nation.”
State and Nation Saturated with Drugs
Carla Lowe of CALM adds, “America’s number one enemy consists of marijuana and other drugs. Driven by the greed of people who care only about money, little or no concern is being shown about the harm the drug inflicts on others. We are devolving rapidly into a Narco Nation.”
The TBAC and CALM are asking state and federal officials to enforce the law. The plan on the drawing board for Desert Hot Springs would eventually allow for 3 million square feet of grow space, which according to Morgan’s calculations is enough to supply the entire country with the drug. Should the next President choose to enforce the law, the entire plan for Desert Hot Springs would be subject to enforcement actions, including forfeiture of land and facilities, according to a letter written by Morgan to Desert Hot Springs Mayor Scott Matas apprising him of the filing of the complaints.
Yuba County residents have had enough. On June 7, they voted to keep marijuana at bay in their county. The County Supervisors and citizens have been under assault for more than a year by pro-marijuana cultivators and out-of-area dispensaries who want to sell more drugs.
Unsavory types have moved into otherwise nice communities growing pot, to the disdain of their neighbors. The stench from marijuana is so bad they can’t open their windows at night. If they complain, they are threatened. In one case residents had their windows shot out.
Roughly two thirds of the citizens soundly rejected two ballot initiatives, Prop A that would have allowed up to 60 plants in outdoor cultivation, and Prop B which called for five new dispensaries. Opposition to these measures was organized and carried out by local residents Colene and Buck Weckman, who took no small amount of flack for doing so. Their facebook page is called Stop Commercial Pot. It was effective.
Buck and Colene and all who had the courage to stand in the face of incredible abuse, deserve thanks from every Californian for setting an example that our youth, communities and future are worth fighting for. Let’s hope others communities join the effort to turn back marijuana this November and reject the ballot initiative to calling for legalized recreational use, financed (once again) by out-of-state billionaires.
Marijuana Industry To Come Clean About Reliance on Highly Potent Products In Massachusetts
Tomorrow the Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts will hear a case to dismiss the petition to legalize commercial marijuana. Hensley vs. Attorney General was filed about five weeks ago. The suit alleges voters have not been told that high concentrations of THC could be added to food or beverages, such as candy, cookies or soda, under this proposal. Nor were voters told that the question would allow for the sale of genetically modified forms of marijuana with THC concentrations of 60 percent or higher. The Bellotti Law Group filed the suit on behalf of 59 voters.l
The Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts is not a party to the suit, but the campaign believes that legal challenge raises important issues, especially the high THC levels of today’s marijuana products. The Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts reiterated its call on the marijuana industry to discuss the fact that it will rely on highly potent products in Massachusetts.
One Marijuana Industry representative in Colorado admitted that efforts to cap THC levels at a rate above what the Dutch government has moved to classify as a prohibited hard drug would “gut the industry” in that state.
Statement from Nick Bayer, campaign manager for a Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts:
“As this case is heard before the SJC, we believe the Marijuana Industry should acknowledge what we all know, that it will need to rely on highly potent products in Massachusetts to make a profit. This ballot question would open the door to the selling of a drug that is 400% more potent than the marijuana of even a generation ago, and edible products that have no restrictions placed on THC levels. People deserve to know what they are voting on, and this more powerful drug will have a great impact on families and young people.”
Some additional facts include:
Today’s commercial marijuana industry is producing and pushing products with average THC (the psychoactive element which creates the high) levels multiple times higher than found in the 1970s—frequently at or above the 15% THC level that the Dutch government has moved to classify as a prohibited “hard drug.”
Edible products, which the ballot measure specifically authorizes, make up about half the marijuana market in Colorado and would likely do the same here. Edibles use extracts with THC content that can rise as high as 90%.
In a recent interview, the head of Colorado’s marijuana trade association told a news outlet that an effort in his state to cap THC levels at 16% “literally would gut” his industry. Marijuana Business Daily quoted Mike Elliot, executive director of The Marijuana Industry Group, as saying the proposed THC cap would “would probably ban all the concentrates and most of the edibles and most of the flowers that people grow, too. Most of the flower that our industry is growing is above 16% THC.”
A bi-partisan group of politicians is leading the charge against legalization in Massachusetts, including Governor Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, and Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo. An impressive group of school superintendents and other civic organizations have already spoken out against legalization. It’s time that similar leadership form in California.
I was just talking to my friend who lost her son last year. She told me a man she knows who has smoked pot for decades came by and said he had just gotten out of the hospital from pneumonia. She said this, “My son argued and argued with me until he was blue in the face about how wonderful marijuana was and how much it did for his life. I could never get him to listen to me when I would tell him it was bad for him. Now he is dead and it is too late to try and tell him anything.” Silence.
My sad testimony about my friend’s son is that we all went to high school together. His parents were my parents’ best friends and we adored their entire family. Mike was a great kid all the way up until he started smoking pot when he was 21. He never got married, never had a relationship lasting more than a short time, never had children, never settled in to a rewarding career or owned a home, and never rented a home he didn’t leave trashed and owing large amounts of money. He had cancer 4 times. He was his parents’ only child, so that meant when he died that was the end of their family.
His parents took care of him for 9 years before he died, at age 62, of cancer. He never brought his mother a birthday card, a gift, a Christmas card, a Mother’s Day card. He did nothing, really, except rip them off as best he could, until his parents had to pretty much ban him. So his entire adult life he did nothing for his mom and dad, his grandparents died knowing he was the end of their family. Yet when he got sick his parents still took care of him until the day he died, gave him an apartment, bought him a truck, and drove him to all of his appointments, paying all of his bills during the 9 years of his 4 different cancers. His mother spent copious amounts of time trying to figure out anything she could to keep him alive, in spite of the fact that he had never shown her an ounce of care.
In April his father died, which now leaves his mother alone. Utterly alone. No daughter-in-law, no grandchildren, and very few good memories of a son who lived the pot lifestyle.
Editor’s Comment: Marijuana is tooted as this miracle treatment for cancer, but he got cancer anyways. What a scam. It doesn’t pay to be so kind and tolerant. The mother was selfless.
“Medical” marijuana brings over-pungent smell, increased crime to Southern CA
I had a beautiful two-acre parcel — with views to die for — in the mountains of Southern California. I was hoping to build a home and retire there. Then “medical” marijuana happened, and my neighbors have turned their land into a pot farm. It’s a two-bedroom mobile home, that claims to have five different residents, all with Medical Marijuana Cards.
The police claim there is nothing they can do.
These people grow their “medical” marijuana outside. The smell is so pungent it makes it impossible for me to enjoy what used to be fresh mountain air. I planted lilacs all along my fence line, to mitigate the odor but it didn’t help. The traffic coming and going from their property during the harvest is insane, stirring up dust on the dirt road. The crime rate has increased as well. Now that the neighborhood kids know where to go to get some free marijuana, they just hop the fence, and steal what they want to get high.
My right to the enjoyment of my property is being violated, and no one seems to care. I put my property up for sale, and because of disclosure laws, I was forced to reveal the existence of the pot farm next door.
I ended up selling, but taking a loss on the property and gave up my dreams of a quiet home in a rural residential area. I moved to a retirement community, with neighbors all around. So all my years of hard work and dreams of a peaceful retirement are gone.
The legalization of “medical” marijuana has stripped all rights away from the people who have chosen not to partake.” I urge you to vote against any measure to legalize marijuana, and ask you to endorse legislation that would strictly limit the growing of “medical” marijuana.
Today’s Turbo-Charged Marijuana is Putting Children in Danger
Why is it so difficult to accept the fact that 21st century marijuana and its derivatives are insidiously altering the brain chemistry of some teens/ young adults?
There’s a group of Moms who’ve banded together to expose the devastation potent pot is causing some of our kids who naively believe today’s high octane strains of pot are “benign,” “medicinal” and “harmless.” However, one of the saddest videos on this topic I’ve just discovered goes back to 2005 under the ONDCP Director John Walters of President George W Bush’s Administration. This presentation never became a true Public Service Announcement or warning as was intended (uploaded Nov ’07). It didn’t get the circulation to parents and kids because of the politics and the lobbying power of marijuana which was so strong even then.
Pity it could have warned kids and parents just how DANGEROUS 21st century marijuana IS.
Kids are growing up in this “culture of pot,” yet have no clue they are playing Russian roulette with their precious brains. And tragically, for some, it’s too late by the time one of the hideous psychiatric disorders is triggered (in spite of the truth most kids have NO family history of any severe mental illness).
It has not been easy for myself or my family. Never in a billion years could I have imagined the hell we endured from the negative effects from our son’s naive use of today’s potent pot. He never used until moving away from home at age 19, but within a short time, at age 23, he went into this sudden, overnight descent into “THC-induced-psychosis.” The mental health facility misdiagnosed Shane even though he admitted to and tested (+) for THC on his toxicology test but in 2009 this diagnosis was not forthcoming.
It’s a long, horrific tale, but I assure you, I am not tragically misinformed. I’m already well educated in the sciences with two degrees, plus 30 years working in health care.
I don’t intend to let the public continue to deny the science.
Please consider educating yourselves, like we parents have had to do. It’s time we stop with the politics & greed involved in marijuana legalization (and yes the black market is still thriving in Colorado and Washington). Unless a reader has equal or higher education & expertise than the leading scientists like Dr. Bertha Madras, a Harvard psychiatry professor, or Sir Professor Robin Murray, a leading researcher in schizophrenia at Kings College, London, let the science speak for itself.
The website Moms Strong recently launched and profiles a REAL story of marijuana harms each week. Please don’t insult the parents who write honest, heartbreaking stories.
These tragedies are happening in every town across the U.S.
Perhaps, when it happens to your “child”, the viewers who deny potent pot tweaks some young brains, especially thru at least age 25 when the neural pruning process occurs, you will finally appreciate why politics must stop trumping science!
By Lori Robinson, co-founder of Moms Strong, a support group partnering to inform and educate those harmed by marijuana. Moms Strong is not funded by industry or the government, they’re parents hoping to spread awareness and prevent marijuana related tragedies.
The truth about marijuana evades young adults on April 20. 4/20 is the annual celebratory day when marijuana users “toke up” around the world. Yesterday, marijuana enthusiasts promoted illegal drug culture without a care in the world. Marijuana is a dangerous drug, especially before the age of 25 when the human brain is fully developed. Most young adults including popular libertarian vlogger, Ms. Julie Borowski don’t know this. In her video Ms. Borowski talks about why you should care about marijuana legalization even if you don’t smoke.
by Pamela McColl, Smart Approaches to Marijuana Canada email@example.com
We are greatly disappointed that Canada used its precious time on the global stage to promote the legalization – and thus commercialization – of cannabis. This statement sent a powerful message from our government that profits come ahead of public health.
Not mentioned was the global call among scientists this week that cannabis harms should be widely publicized. This new call to action has been released from scientists around the world, reflecting “a growing consensus among experts that frequent cannabis use can increase the risk of psychosis in vulnerable people and lead to a range of other medical and social problems. ” according to the TheGuardian. It was reported that researchers now believe the evidence for harm is strong enough to issue clear warnings. This is in line with a recent World Health Organization report on the harms of cannabis.
Legalizing cannabis creates the potential for broad scale development, manufacture, and marketing of marijuana products.
This dynamic becomes even more pernicious when coupled with the higher addiction rates among underage marijuana users. One of the best ways to develop and capture heavy users is to encourage use at the earliest age possible, when dependence is more likely to develop. This mirrors business strategy by the multi-billion-dollar tobacco industry
It is therefore no surprise that the marijuana industry is borrowing another page from the tobacco playbook by marketing colorful, kid-friendly edible marijuana products. These “edibles,” such as the ones shown below—including marijuana-laced candies, lollipops, gummy bears, and sodas—already account for roughly 50% of the Colorado marijuana market.
Additionally, these market dynamics explains the marijuana industry’s efforts to drive potency of its products as high as possible. As noted earlier, the average potency of smoked marijuana has increased at least six-fold since the 1960s (to around 14% in the US), with edibles and concentrates pushing the rate even higher, up to 95%. The industry has also opposed recent attempts to cap potency at 15% in Colorado.
As a network of more than 300 NGOs have said this week at the UN, we need to prevent, not promote, drug use and addiction. Instead of promoting the use of a dangerous drug, this is what should have been Canada’s theme too.
In 25 years, the public health community and public in general will look back on legalization and say, ‘What were you thinking?’ said Carnegie Mellon Professor Jonathan Caulkins during his keynote speech April 17 at the 2016 Cannabis Science and Policy Summit preceding this week’s general assembly of the United Nations.
Caulkins is an internationally respected drug policy researcher whose career stops have included serving as co-director of the RAND Corporation’s Drug Policy Research Center in Santa Monica (see his bio on Wikipedia for a broad overview of his work). He did not mince words at the summit about the harms of marijuana — current and projected. He presented a graphic to remind the room that half of marijuana use is problematic and that contrary to popular belief, most users of the addictive drug are not college grads.
Legalization advocates overstate weed’s role in criminal convictions, prison sentencing and violence related to drug trafficking in Mexico, he said, further adding marijuana is “not a performance-enhancing drug, it’s a performance-degrading drug.” He ended his talk with this: “People will end up being harmed by this corporate cannabis model we are cresting.”
Use the hashtag #PreventDontPromote to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. Stand up for mental health.
A recent comment to our blog was provocative enough that we want to make it an official blog. Bry asked: “Just curious what all of you think regarding the causality of these crimes and the widespread availability of assault style weapons. Liberals would say such easy access to such weaponry is far more responsible for the carnage of mass shootings than marijuana use.” Thank you, reader, for the following response to the question about marijuana or guns:
As far as assault rifles, it would be interesting to see statistically what role they have in mass murder, at least within the US. I may be wrong, but I suspect their role is minor. Personally, I do think we can restrict their availability and still not infringe upon our 2nd amendment rights. There’s got to be some limits to ‘gun rights’ and personal protection, otherwise at the logical (and absurd) extreme, a person can’t be allowed to build a nuclear bomb in their living room, for instance, for ‘home security.’
But you are onto something profoundly pertinent, and that is are guns and their availability the problem behind American violence, or is it mental derangement correlated with prior drug abuse? For me, all the big red arrows are pointing to drugs.
Politically, the left gets mileage by blaming guns exclusively because they know that guns are prevalent within much of rural, conservative America. The strategy is transfer the blame to conservatism for the ideological gain within the eyes of the American public.
Yet the shooting madness invariably revolves around drug abuse, mostly in the big cities where drugs are dealt. It’s gangs, cartels, people on drugs, people seeking drugs- a whole drug culture that can turn deadly violent from time to time. Additionally in my opinion, it is very likely that the violence derives not so much from the illegality of drugs, but from drug-induced mental derangement. Nearly all, if not all, these violent criminals in the drug trade, are abusers of drugs themselves- a little known fact! And personally, I think their use of marijuana over years of abuse, has completely depleted whatever naturally empathy for life they may have once had.
Establishing causality is one of the most elusive challenges of modern science. There are a host of factors to consider- genetics, age, cultural environment, economic status, health, nutrition- all of which in conjunction with drug abuse can influence outcomes.
One school of thought is that violent crime is genetically determined, so there’s not much we can do about it. I think that genetics can play a role, but it’s merely one element within the complex panoply of influential variables. Otherwise we would have to conclude that our ‘minorities’ are genetically more prone to violence (as per statistics), and there’s nothing we can do about. Not only is that racist in principle, it’s wrong. There are many other factors.
But the one persistent variable among all situations, appears to be to be drug abuse! And that specific drug is marijuana. It’s amazing how it always seems to pop up where ever evil acts are performed.
Just Google search any crime and marijuana. Just moments ago, for instance, I was trying to find information about something completely unrelated, but one of the first search results was about a grisly crime recently in southern California where some Middle Easterner was just apprehended I think in Iran, was being extradited back to the US. He and others robbed a medical marijuana dispensary, kidnapped the owner, (this is all ‘alleged’) took him into the Mojave desert where they tortured him.
It’s all too weird, so uncanny. This is happening in our beloved country, founded on ‘goodness’ and care for the human plight, yet this horror continues to happen among us, and appears to be growing. It seems this evil stuff going on, somehow, some way, ALWAYS has a connection to marijuana.
Marijuana is tricky as the devil. We can’t seem to pin it down scientifically, because for whatever science that comes about, it always seems to be ‘iffy’ and inconclusive, or even immediately refuted.
But, if there is a ‘devil’, an agent that brings about wickedness, (picture the dying baby at the Oklahoma City bombing, for instance) in my opinion, marijuana throughout the ages, mostly unsuspected and unbeknownst to mankind, might be its incarnation.
When voting in the next election, for state and federal offices, it would be nice to support the candidates who are not taking money from the marijuana lobby and their various advocacy groups.
Here’s some direct quotations from an article in Open Secrets, The Money in Marijuana, updated by Brianna Gurciullo in November, 2015:
“During the 2014 election cycle, NORML PAC’s $28,000 in donations – the most it has ever spent – went to politicians like Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), along with Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who have supported legislation freeing up access to medical marijuana and protecting state marijuana laws.
“Besides contributions, MPP has spent more than $1 million on lobbying in Washington since 2002. The organization’s efforts peaked in 2007 at $200,000 and have dropped off since then. In 2014, MPP’s lobbyist, Dan Riffle, looked to gain support for legislation to protect state marijuana laws, eliminate marijuana prohibition on the federal level, give marijuana-related businesses access to banking services and allow those businesses to receive tax deductions and credit. (Dan Riffle has since quit working for MPP)
“That year, MPP also lobbied against Congress blocking a D.C. law to decriminalize marijuana possession.
“Then there is the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), an organization that calls for the revision of all drug laws. Since 2001, DPA has spent almost $4.2 million lobbying to end the “War on Drugs.” The organization’s spending skyrocketed in 2009 to $880,000 and has hovered around $500,000 ever since. In the first three quarters of 2015, DPA spent $322,000 lobbying Congress on overhauling drug sentencing, ending the federal government’s prohibition of marijuana, preventing overdoses, tackling synthetic drug use and allowing individuals convicted of drug-related crimes to obtain student loans.
“The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), founded in 2010, is the sole group representing state-sanctioned marijuana-related businesses on the federal level. NCIA aims to create an economic environment that is not hostile to cannabis. During the 2014 election cycle, NCIA’s PAC raised $48,600 and spent $32,500 on contributions to allies like Reps. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) and Edwin Perlmutter (D-Colo.), former Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). So far this cycle, NCIA has been one of the biggest contributors to Rand Paul’s presidential campaign.
“The trade group has spent $312,500 on lobbying since 2011. This year, NCIA hired outside lobbying firms – Heather Podesta & Partners and Jochum, Shore & Trossevin – to bolster efforts by its chief lobbyist, Michael Correia. NCIA has zeroed in on issues like protecting banks that provide services to marijuana enterprises from federal prosecution and giving tax deductions to those businesses, in addition to supporting bills to regulate marijuana like alcohol and protect state marijuana laws. The association also supported an amendment to an appropriations bill that would prevent “any federal Department of Justice funds from being used to raid, prosecute or otherwise harass state-sanctioned medical marijuana patients and providers,” according to its lobbying report.”
Groups Allegedly Against Legalization
The same article talks about the type of lobbyists who may be against legalization and records money given by pharmaceutical companies, alcohol companies, police unions and prison-for-profit companies.
Everyone knows pharmaceutical companies donate a lot to Congress, but most of their medications are not medications that would compete with marijuana. We believe that if pharmaceutical companies find a way to profit from marijuana, they will join Altria, a tobacco company, and get into the marijuana businesses. In fact, GW Pharmaceuticals has Sativex and Epidiolex, two medicines derived from components of marijuana.
Marijuana – impairment, along with another unnamed prescription drug, was involved in the accident that shut down Highway 1 for three hours on the afternoon of March 21. A black Lexus SUV hit a silver Mazda sedan near Molera Road at 12:30 p.m., California Highway Patrol officers said. It happened between Castroville and Moss Landing.
The 24-year-old man who was driving the Mazda died in the crash. He has not been identified.
Seven 19- and 20-year-old women were in the Lexus. They included four young women from Santa Cruz, students from University of California, Santa Cruz. The three others were college students visiting from Colorado. They were headed to Big Sur for their Spring Break.
The driver told the California Highway Patrol that she rolled down her window to toss a cigarette out (did she mean joint?), accidentally veered into oncoming traffic, and hit the Mazda. She has been arrested.
CHP officers said they suspect that the Lexus driver, Linnaye Hernandez, was under the influence of marijuana, and one passenger hid a makeup bag full of marijuana in a farm field. The passenger, 19-year-old Sarah Cameron of Santa Cruz, was arrested for destroying or concealing evidence. Investigators said a witness called in and saw Cameron hiding something in a nearby field.
“So thanks to that caller we were able to locate a bag filled with marijuana,” said Oscar Loza, CHP Officer.
During questioning, almost everyone in the Lexus eventually admitted to using marijuana, and the driver said she had taken prescription medication just minutes prior to the crash, according to the CHP. It is not clear what drug she had taken
The students were transported to Natividad Medical Center and a San Jose trauma center to be treated for injuries that range from critical to minor. The driver suffered a lacerated liver.
“It’s spring break, people want to enjoy their time off, relax, get away from school and that’s great but when you do it, just do it responsibly. We don’t want your break from school to end in a tragedy like this,” said Loza.
Here’s another report about the accident and investigation. It should be noted that three of the girls came from school in Colorado and four go to school in Santa Cruz, long-standing center of marijuana activism with the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana.
The United States has replaced drug prevention strategy with a “Harm Reduction” strategy. We need to look at the current heroin epidemic and acknowledge that the United States loses 129 people each day to drug overdose deaths, up from 78 a day a few years ago. We have less than 5% of the world’s population and nearly 60% of the world’s drug users. Let’s prevent initiation into drug use and bring down the desire to do drugs.
Speaking in Vienna last week, Carlsson said, “A successful drug policy makes clear that drug use is unacceptable. ” Carlsson described the false premises surrounding marijuana in his presentation. Here are excepts from his speech with very minor edits:
The first false premise is that The Criminalization of Drugs Fuels the HIV/AIDS Epidemic. It does not.
The prohibition of illegal drug use does not encourage the spread of HIV/AIDS. Rather it reduces illegal drug use among HIV/AIDS patients, as well as the non-infected population thereby reducing the population vulnerable to HIV/AIDS infection by contaminated needles.
Illegal drug use exacerbates weaknesses of the immune system, making individuals with AIDS more susceptible to infection and death. Marijuana use causes impaired immunity and opens the door for the virus that causes Kaposi’s Sarcoma, life-threatening for individuals with HIV/AIDS. Marijuana also contains bacteria and fungi that put users at risk for infection.
Illegal drug use among AIDS patients is life threatening because these drugs lessen the effectiveness of anti-retroviral (ARV) medications.
Non-medical drug use is associated with increased risky sexual behaviors, which promote transmission of HIV/AIDS in a way that needle exchange cannot prevent.
The second false premise is that the Criminal Justice System and the Public Health System are Conflicting Approaches to Drug Policy. They are not.
The Criminal Justice System and the Public Health System Are Complementary and Not Conflicting Approaches to Drug Policy.
Prevention and treatment are programs that promote public safety and public health. “Harm reduction” tolerates, and thus perpetuates, non-medical drug use.
“Harm reduction” seeks to reduce the “harm” caused by non-medical drug use without stopping the use itself. Substance abuse prevention and treatment work to stop non-medical drug use. Making non-medical drug use as a crime is an important public health strategy that reduces many of the “harms” produced by illegal drug use.
The challenge of future drug policy is to find ways to encourage the legal and justice systems to work better together with prevention and treatment to achieve goals that neither can do alone.
Treatment systems can work together with the criminal justice system by incorporating new, effective and evidence-based strategies to reduce illegal drug use among criminal offenders. These approaches also reduce the commission of new crimes and associated incarceration.
The third false premise is that Major Costs of illegal Drug Use are generated by the criminal justice system itself. It is not.
The greatest costs of illegal drug use are not generated by criminal justice system but by the non-medical drug use itself.
The costs include not only sickness and death but also reduced productivity and the high healthcare costs generated by illegal drug use.
The future of an improved drug policy is not to legalize intoxicating drugs of abuse, including marijuana.
It is the development of a balanced, restrictive drug policy that prevents drug use and intervenes with drug users to provide them with a path to life-long recovery.
Instead of legalizing drugs, an enlightened drug policy can harness the criminal justice system to thwart drug markets, facilitate entry into treatment and restrict incarceration to egregious offenders.
By Roger Morgan, Take Back America Campaign, #StopPot on social media
People that grow and sell marijuana and other drugs aren’t the world’s finest to begin with, so it isn’t a surprise that they prey on street kids from California to London and beyond. They’re easy targets for sexual abuse and slavery; a real human tragedy.
In Lake County, California, police arrested 30-year-old Ryan Balletto and 25-year-old Patrick Pearmain, initially for a massive marijuana grow on 680 acres, only to discover that they held a 15-year-old runaway as a sex slave, and forced her to help with the cultivation. She was even held captive in a metal box 4’ x 2’ x 2’ twice for up to 30 hours. The girl was from southern California, but ended up at a northern California grow site.
A friend and colleague reports there are 700 homeless kids in Mendocino County. Many of these street kids find work during marijuana harvest season, then they languish under bridges or wherever they can find shelter with no means of support. With none of life’s essentials, they have to turn to crime or prostitution for survival. In a county which bases its economy on cultivation this illicit crop, growers are making millions of dollars while creating a public welfare problem for the most vulnerable among us.
My friend says that many of the kids in Juvenile Hall, 13-and 14-year-olds, can’t read or write. Many have never known the joy of having a birthday or Christmas present. Just forgotten souls, victims of our failure as a society to utilize all resources to keep them away from drugs and provide safe passage to adulthood.
The many adults who wish to use drugs to lure children is a threat to society. Combined with the deterioration of the family and widespread loss of faith and community, many children and teens are attracted to the alternative, drug-loving lifestyle.
From personal experience, I can attest to the nightmare of trying to cope with a drug-addicted child. Once their brain is altered by drugs, they are incapable of rational conversation. After multiple failed attempts at treatment and rehab, sometimes its tough love and children are forced out of the home. Parents who take this approach need to know the terrible violence they’re exposed to after they become street kids. With no money, job skills, food and shelter these children are perfect prey for anyone who offers a helping hand.
Streets Kids and Youth in Denver and Seattle
Many are attracted to places like Colorado and Washington where they can smoke pot with no possibility of arrest, or get a job working in the marijuana industry. Since Colorado legalized marijuana, their shelters have seen a 40 to 50% increase in homelessness. Homelessness has also spiked in Seattle.
In Seattle, 50 acres of land owned by the Washington state Department of Transportation houses 400 people in tents. After 5 people were shot in a drug deal gone bad in January, the city is struggling with what to do. The site is rampant with problems of rape, assault and drugs run rampant. It is filed with stolen articles including brief cases, computers, luggage, bicycles and used needles. The human waste leaches into the nearby river, and there is superficial damage on the bridge overpasses. It is considered so dangerous that addiction and homeless outreach services won’t even go there.
Given the many challenges confronting child-rearing today, one thing is clear. Preventing or deferring the onset of alcohol, tobacco and drug use, starting with marijuana, is a big part of the solution. Young people who have moved to states like Colorado for the freedom to use pot are oblivious to the harms that marijuana inflicts on the brains of anyone under age 25. They’re also unaware of those who will exploit them for personal gain with no concern for their well being.
On Saturday, February 13, 2016, Pope Francis called on Mexico’s government on Saturday to fight endemic corruption and drug trafficking. As the front page headline of El Universal’s Sunday newspaper said, “Pope Criticizes Corruption and Narcos.”
The speech startled some who did not expect the Pope to speak so frankly to the President and his Cabinet against corruption. Pope Francis also cautioned the youth of Mexico about the corrosive power of drug trafficking.
Pope called on Mexico’s Bishops to take Active Stand Against the DrugTrade
On this trip, the Pope has traveled extensively to a children’s hospital and to big sports stadium in the state of Chiapas. Besides invoking Mexico’s history, its spiritual heritage, the plight of the poor and inequities of power and greed, Pope Francis addressed the Bishops of Mexico:
“I urge you not to underestimate the moral and antisocial challenge which the drug trade represents for Mexican society as a whole, as well as for the Church.
“The magnitude of this phenomenon, the complexity of its causes, its immensity and its scope which devours like a metastasis, and the gravity of the violence which divides with its distorted expressions, do not allow us as Pastors of the Church to hide behind anodyne denunciations.” (For full text of the pope’s speech, read here)
It is estimated that 100,000 people have died from the drug trade in Mexico over the last decade. The marijuana lobby likes to say violence is caused by the United States and its War on Drugs, rather than acknowledging how the drug trade causes violence.
Can California Doctors Avoid Responsibility for Medical Marijuana Abuses?
Last week the California Medical Association, a lobbying group representing more than 40,000 members statewide, officially threw its support behind a proposed November ballot initiative to legalize recreational marijuana. Around the same time, Governor Bruce Rauner of Illinois vetoed 8 new conditions for medical marijuana under that state’s experimental program which started in November. Illinois, in contrast to California, requires the patient and the physician to have a bona fide physician-patient relationship. It also requires record keeping, which California does not require for “medical” pot. (Illinois’ medical marijuana industry is worried because only 4,000 patients have been approved.)
Why would the California Medical Association (CMA) support something that every other state and national medical group opposes? In a statement released by the California legalization campaign, the CMA stressed they do not encourage marijuana use and discourage smoking. They gave two reasons. First, under a legal market, cannabis could be monitored, researched, regulated and mitigated to protect the public health. Secondly, improper diversion by healthy patients into the medical marijuana system could be reduced. The second condition gives a hint at how poorly medical marijuana in California really works, contrary to the way for which it was intended.
Citizens Against the Legalization of Marijuana Responds
Three citizens’ groups have introduced The Safe and Drug Free Communities Act, now called the MEDICAL MARIJUANA. INITIATIVE STATUTE, to roll back the widespread abuses created by California’s medical marijuana program. Scott Chipman is co-chairman of Californians Against the Legalization of Marijuana (CALM) and a sponsor of the Safe and Drug-Free Communities Act. Chipman explained how he sees the position of the CMA: “This is passing the buck for their own convenience and ignoring their primary responsibilities – first, ‘to do no harm’ and also to educate patients regarding sound health care practices.”
“Less than half of California doctors belong to the CMA. This endorsement of a just-to-get-high marijuana initiative is more of a union leadership ideology… not a medical, public safety position and not likely supported by the membership generally.
“Ironically, one of the biggest problems contributing to the back-door legalization is the medical malpractice of issuing of marijuana recommendations for any ailment with no examination by doctors who are accomplices in criminal drug dealing.
“I have 3 pot recommendations and have never seen a doctor for any of the recommendations.
“We need doctors to help close down the back door legalization drug dealing that is occurring in California, not give into it. Nearly every major medical association, including American Medical Association, have taken positions against legalization as well as using botanical marijuana inappropriately for medical purposes.”
The approved medical conditions in California are limitless and anyone age 18 and over can get a card. Today tens of thousands of 18-20-year-olds in California are getting recreational pot this way. Legalization will not stop this problem, and in fact will intensify the problem by making it more available to younger children. The Safe and Drug Free Communities Act would roll back on medical marijuana, limit it to one state grow site and keep it in the hands of county health departments.
When asked about the rescheduling of marijuana for research, Chipman explained: “Scheduling of marijuana as a schedule I drug is not precluding studies. There have been at least 12,000 studies. Some of those studies were suspended after exposing participants to harm.” Major court decisions have come down against the rescheduling of marijuana, and President Obama made it clear that loosening restrictions on marijuana is not on his agenda for this year.
SAFE AND DRUG FREE COMMUNITY ACT COMPARED TO NEWSOM’S MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION INITIATIVE
Since Prop 215 (The Compassionate Use Act) was enacted in 1996, California has devolved into de facto legalization. Over 50,000 cultivation sites grow marijuana under the guise of medicine, then illegally sell it to 60% of the United States market for recreational use. In the meantime, massive quantities of our precious water is being used for marijuana cultivation, resulting in destruction of our natural resources and ruining the quality of life in once fine communities.
Currently, a whopping 19.5% of the California budget is directed towards dealing with issues related to substance abuse. However, surprisingly only 1% of this 19.5% is spent on prevention. Most of it is used for shoveling up the damage and treating the wounded, horrible economic policy. Furthermore, out of the 129 Americans who die every day of drug overdose, almost all started their drug journey with marijuana, and 59% of people arrested (Sacramento) test positive for marijuana.
Against this background, two contrasting ballot initiatives will be introduced to the California voters in the 2016 elections: The Safe and Drug-Free Community Act and Newsom’s Adult Use of Marijuana Act. The former seeks to prevent our California communities from transforming into drug production and consumption havens, and preserve our natural resources for our future generations; the latter seeks to make marijuana, universally known as the “gateway drug” widely available, without considering the social, economic and environmental cost of the drug.
SAFE AND DRUG-FREE COMMUNITY ACT
The Safe and Drug-Free Community Act which which seeks to prevent marijuana use will save lives, cut crime, improve academic achievement, save taxpayers billions of dollars and help regain and retain all that made California and this nation great.
The Safe and Drug-Free Community Act addresses the marijuana related issues faced by California communities as follows:
Keeps marijuana illegal. Today’s high potency marijuana is known to cause brain damage, mental illness, psychotic breaks, suicidal depression, harms to a fetus, and increased traffic deaths.
Would prevent privately owned cultivation sites which are destroying our natural resources, sucking up mass quantities of water (6 gallons/day/plan) and causing irreparable ecological damage.One cultivation site will remain, owned and controlled by the government to fulfill the intent of Prop 215.
Privately owned dispensaries will be banned to stop the enormous abuse that has and continues to take place. State owned dispensaries will be allowed where local communities choose to allow them and “medical marijuana” will be more tightly controlled with lab testing, packaging, potency and consists.
The legal age of “medical marijuana” will be raised from 18 to 21. The American Society of Addictive Medicine recommends no one under age 25 use marijuana based on scientific evidence that the human brain isn’t fully developed until then.Ages 18, 19 and 20 are critical years for brain development, and at least closer to brain maturity, where the vulnerability to harm is far less.
Imposes strict standards on doctors who recommend marijuana, something currently lacking.
Requires dispensaries to report marijuana as part of CURES Act so pharmacists can safe guard against adverse interactions with conflicting medicines that could cause harm.
Sets a standard for marijuana impaired driving.Currently 12.6% of drivers (one-in-eight) are driving impaired to some degree by marijuana.Traffic deaths owing to marijuana have doubled in California.Stoned drivers are even killing people on sidewalks.
Mandates a statewide educational program for parents, teachers, students and the general public so people can make an informed decision about using marijuana, allowing their children to use it, or what and whom to vote for.
NEWSOM’S ADULT USE OF MARIJUANA ACT THREATENS OUR FUTURE
As with Prop 215, this ballot initiative is once again financed by drug money that flows from and through out-of-state billionaires who are putting millions into their campaign to persuade California citizens to overlook the harmful effects of the drug. New York billionaire Sean Parker has been recruited to augment money that will flow from George Soros and the DPA. Despite openly stating that he doesn’t want marijuana near his own children, Lt Governor Gavin Newsom, is leading the legalization effort full force. Their stated benefits of legalization and arguments for it are frankly an affront to one’s intellect:
They Say It Will Protect Our Kids – They want to tax and regulate marijuana so we have money to teach our kids not to use it.Brilliant!Expanding the availability and access will increase adolescent use as it has in Colorado, Washington and all places in the world where it has been decriminalized.
They Say It Is For Adult Use Only – Today’s highly potent pot can cause permanent physical and chemical changes in the brains of anyone under 25 years old.Marijuana use peaks at age 20 and tapers off rather rapidly after age 25, so the focus from a marketing standpoint is on young people, just like Big Tobacco. Governor Brown has stated, “…How many people can be stoned and still enable us to have a great state and nation?”Actually it’s worse than just getting stoned. Diminished intellect, mental illness, psychotic breaks, depression, suicidal tendencies and addiction are life-long chronic conditions. You can’t just sleep it off.
They Say It Can Be Regulated– If the government was capable of, or cared about regulation, God knows they would have demonstrated it by now. California has over 50,000 mostly illegal cultivation sites producing pot under the guise of medicine, then illegally selling to 60% of the US market. In the meantime, the pot plantations are inflicting irreparable harm on our precious ecosystems.
They Say It Will Benefit The State Economically – The social costs of marijuana, like alcohol and tobacco, are 10 times greater than tax revenues. Expanding the use of marijuana for the sake of the 8% who want to get high, or make money on those who do, will cost the other 92% more. Nor will the black market go away. Cartels don’t pay taxes so they have a price advantage.
They Say They Want Local Government Control – Over 83% of California communities currently have bans or moratoriums on marijuana because they don’t want this junk in their communities. Under the Newsom initiative local communities would lose that control unless the people, through a ballot initiative, decide they don’t want it. How’s that for “slipping it to you?”
It Would Retain “Medical Marijuana” – The existing program which allows anyone over 18, for any purported illness, to access all of the pot they want for personal consumption or to sell, doesn’t go away. We already have de facto legalization, producing more pot than Californians can consume.
Marijuana is a dangerous drug, with proven ability to destroy the brains of our youth, inflict irreparable harm on our natural resources and pose a public health and safety problem for everyone.Anyone that aspires to be Governor of this fine state needs to demonstrate that protecting people, the planet and our tax dollars are of higher priority than pandering for drug money for his or her personal campaign.
In the interest of public safety and environmental protection, just defeating full legalization isn’t adequate.We need to roll back what exists.
by Roger Morgan, Take Back America Campaign, published in the Contra Costa Times
In 1996, California voters were hoodwinked into approving Prop 215, the Compassionate Use Act, by a propaganda campaign financed by three out-of-state billionaires with George Soros at the helm. Since Peter Lewis and John Sperling, the other two billionaires are deceased, New York billionaire Sean Parker has been recruited to fill the void. Parker didn’t make over $2 billion because he is dumb, but apparently he thinks we are.
Their stated benefits of legalization are frankly an affront to one’s intellect.
Protection For Our Kids – They want to tax and regulate marijuana so we have money to teach our kids not to use it. Brilliant! Expanding the availability and access will increase adolescent use and if they care about education, they could tap the $58 to $103 million they currently collect taxing marijuana.
Adult Use Only – Today’s highly potent pot can cause permanent physical and chemical changes in the brains of anyone under 25 years old. Marijuana use peaks at age 20 and tapers off rather rapidly after age 25, so the focus from a marketing standpoint is on young people, just like Big Tobacco. Governor Brown has stated, “…How many people can be stoned and still enable us to have a great state and nation?” Actually it’s worse than just getting stoned. Diminished intellect, mental illness, psychotic breaks, depression, suicidal tendencies and addiction are life-long chronic conditions. You can’t just sleep it off.
Better Regulations – If Gavin Newsom was capable of, or cared about, regulation, God knows he hasn’t demonstrated it. California has over 50,000 mostly illegal cultivation sites producing pot under the guise of medicine, then illegally selling to 60% of the US market. In the meantime, the pot plantations are annihilating our natural resources and inflicting irreparable harm on our precious ecosystems. He should be in high gear fixing what is already broken.
Economic Benefits – A study called Shoveling Up, by CASA at Columbia University (www.casacolumbia.org) showed that in 2005 19.5% ($19.9 billion) of the California budget was consumed by substance abuse; less than 1% on prevention and the balance shoveling up the damage and treating the wounded. This is horrible economic policy and an assault on all taxpayers. The social costs of marijuana, like alcohol and tobacco, are 10 times greater than tax revenues. Expanding the use of marijuana for the sake of the 8% who want to get high, or make money on those who do, will cost the other 92% more. Nor will the black markets won’t go away. The experiment in Colorado proved that with 40% of sales.
Local Government Control – Over 83% of California communities currently have bans or moratoriums on marijuana because they don’t want this junk in their communities. Under the Newsom initiative they would lose that control unless the people, through a ballot initiative, decide they don’t want it. How’s that for “slipping it to
“Medical Marijuana” – The existing program which allows anyone for any purported illness to access all of the pot they want doesn’t go away. We already have de facto legalization and are producing more pot than Californians can consume, so why do we need full legalization? In the interest of public safety and environmental protection, we need to roll back what exists.
Marijuana is a dangerous drug, with proven ability to destroy the brains of our youth and inflict irreparable harm on our natural resources. Anyone that aspires to be Governor of this fine state needs to demonstrate that protecting people, the planet and our tax dollars are of higher priority than pandering for drug money that flows from and through out-of-state billionaires. Further, since marijuana is a Schedule I drug and illegal by federal law, Newsom needs to renew his vows as an American.
Voters need to get it right this time. We don’t need more marijuana, we need less. And we don’t need out of state billionaires with maligned motives shaping our policies. That is what started the mess we have now.
ROGER MORGAN Chairman/Founder, Take Back America Campaign,
20 year anti-drug activist dealing with drug prevention at the local, state and national level. (www.tbac.us).
Provisions for Big Marijuana and Monsanto left out of final Spending Bill
The Omnibus spending bill passed early this morning in Congress did not include some key provisions pushed by Big Marijuana.
It should also be noted that a Monsanto provision that would have banned states from enacting right-to-know labels for foods using GMO ingredients also did not pass. The bill was a major victory for drug prevention advocates–and for those who want less corporate influence over Congress. (Will Bernie Sanders understand? And does he understand that today’s marijuana is also genetically altered and different from the weaker pot of the ’60s?)
The bill omitted four out of six provisions heavily lobbied for by marijuana lobbyists and the cannabis industry forces.
“Despite the rhetoric, legalization is not inevitable, and it’s clear this Congress doesn’t have an appetite for it. Our hard work this session has paid off,” said Dr. Kevin A. Sabet, a former White House drug policy adviser who now serves as President of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM). Provisions allowing the marijuana industry to leverage the U.S. financial and banking system. This move cuts into the marijuana industry’s ability to to harness the mass marketing of pot like the mass marketing of Big Tobacco.
A provision that would have prevented the Department of Justice from enforcing federal marijuana laws with respect to “recreational” marijuana did not pass.
Also, a provision allowing the Veterans’ Administration to recommend marijuana to treat PTSD also failed, a major victory for science. Earlier this month, Yale University researchers found that “marijuana is not associated with improvement in PTSD and that initiating marijuana was associated with worsening outcomes in a number of measures.”
The omnibus bill also includes language that prevents the District of Columbia from continuing with its legalization “experiment,” a well-intentioned but misguided attempt to address disparities in arrests and incarcerations through legalizing drug use. “The District of Columbia can resolve these very real and worrisome disparities through criminal law and sentencing reform without exposing District residents, especially children, to the addictive and harmful effects of marijuana,” commented Dr. Sabet. “And ironically, legalized marijuana is likely to harm disadvantaged communities disproportionately just as liquor stores are far more prevalent in African-American neighborhoods.”
Two Riders Pushed by the Marijuana Industry Pass
Two riders did pass, as expected –one disallowing the Department of Justice to enforce medical marijuana laws and one allowing hemp for research purposes. Both of these also passed last year.
All of this news come on the heels of this weeks national school survey release, finding declines in use of almost every drug except marijuana. The survey also demonstrated that states that have legalized marijuana have the highest youth marijuana usage.
Six percent high school seniors use marijuana daily. That means that 1 in 17 high school seniors use marijuana daily, a near a historic high. According to statements from the American Medical Association, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Society of Addiction Medicine, and the American Psychiatric Association, marijuana use, especially among youth, should be avoided, and legalization efforts opposed.
The powerful marijuana industry lobby that has emerged is certainly not indestructible,” commented Jeffrey Zinsmeister, SAM’s Executive Vice President. “Like Big Tobacco, marijuana companies put their bottom line before public health. But common sense can still prevail.” For more information about marijuana use and its effects, see http://www.learnaboutsam.org
(Many of us who are against marijuana legalization notice the irony that anti-GMO activists often are pro-marijuana legalization. )
Californians, please think. Our children can’t afford the explosive growth in marijuana use that comes with legitimizing and legalizing the powerful drug. We will not support the marijuana legalization proposition advocated by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, and paid for by east coast billionaire Sean Parker.
The most comprehensive federal government drug use survey conducted in all 50 states (and the District of Columbia) shows that Colorado now leads the country in past-month youth marijuana use, after legalizing marijuana in 2012. The state claims this dubious distinction after being in third place in the 2012-2013 report, and in fourth place in the 2011-2012 study.
“Now that Colorado has legalized and widely commercialized marijuana, their children use marijuana regularly more than children in any other state,” according to Dr. Kevin Sabet, President of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) a former White House drug adviser who grew up in California. Project SAM will work actively against the proposition in California next year.
“In Colorado especially, Big Marijuana has been allowed to run wild, and it appears that kids are paying the price more than in any other state in the country.”
Other states that have legalized marijuana finished in the top six: the District of Columbia (4th), Oregon (5th), and Washington state (6th). Vermont and Rhode Island are also in the mix.
Youth Pot Users Includes 6 Percent of 12th Graders who are Daily Users
“This year’s survey shows how, in an era of falling overall drug,
cigarette, and alcohol use — an achievement made possible by years of effort and millions of dollars of public funding — marijuana use among kids remains strong,” remarked Dr. Sabet.
“It may also be why daily marijuana use is at near-record levels.
And this doesn’t even include teens not going to school.” Moreover, this year’s survey may underestimate minors’ marijuana use. Of most concern is its exclusive focus on use of “marijuana/hashish.” The term is not well-defined given the explosion of novel marijuana products. The survey showed that kids in “medical marijuana” states use far more edible products than kids not in those states.
That narrow focus may also exclude highly concentrated products such as butane hash oil (BHO), waxes, and resins (“shatter”), which have also gained in popularity. It therefore remains unclear whether survey respondents identified use of all of the above products as
“marijuana/hashish” use. These products are very popular in California.
The survey also excludes high school dropouts, who are more likely to use marijuana than their peers. Teens who smoke pot daily are much more likely to drop out of high school and/or college.
MBMP, a company in Victoria, British Columbia, is selling hand-made, medicated, “winterized” chocolates to many of the dispensaries in BC. The problem is that butane and ethanol are being used in the manufacturing of these “food” products and they are being sold without proper labeling and ingredient lists.
by Ed Wood, founder of DUID Voices and resident of Colorado. The article originally appeared on the DUID Victims’ Voices Blog
Colorado’s Law is Fatally Flawed as a Measure of Marijuana Impairment
The fatal flaws of Colorado’s law regarding driving under the influence of marijuana have now come to light. Set at 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood, the 5 ng THC permissible inference law is bad. (The 5 ng law firmly positioned Colorado with the weakest DUID laws in the nation.) Colorado’s law was supposed to make it somewhat easier to convict a stoned driver of DUI if they tested at or above 5 ng/ml of THC in whole blood — while making it extremely difficult to convict a stoned driver Continue reading Marijuana Impairment and Driving→
“All you can think about is that high.” – Shelby on her marijuana vice
Shelby’s story is a daily reality for many young Americans today. Her story illustrates the peer pressure young people are constantly under, especially when drug related. Shelby succumbed to her marijuana vice after enjoying the “high” for a third time. By college she was dabbling in cocaine and pills. Continue reading Shelby Overcame Her Marijuana Vice→
Authorities say that seven children were inside an Oroville home when a butane hash oil (BHO) lab exploded Tuesday night. The house fire and explosion happened at a home on the 5300 block of Walmer Road in Oroville in Butte County around 8 p.m. Tuesday. Continue reading 7 Children in Home with Hash Oil Explosion→
As soon as my son turned 18, he got his own medical marijuana card. I am not sure what the condition, but that “is between the patients and their doctors.” Since he was an adult we couldn’t stop it. Who are these doctors who prescribe it for $35, sometimes on the phone, without even seeing the patients?
My son is an addict. My son says he started using weed at 11. To our surprise he was already using before we ever had that first talk about drugs. I never caught him until age 15. He was an expert at hiding it. Until then, I thought we were dealing with alcohol, but he used pot before he ever used alcohol.
He got the pot from the mom of a friend at school who had medical marijuana card. This parent shared the marijuana with her children. Oh right, they tell us medical marijuana is a privacy issue between the patient and the doctor. Oh, it would be more accurate to say it’s outright fraud.
He also used alcohol, but only on weekends. He used pot daily and during school. At first we had no idea what was happening and why he was so difficult. His grades were still ok.
By the time he got his medical marijuana card, he was already addicted. He couldn’t attend college classes and had to drop out after one quarter. He began making butane hash oil, and tried the pot edibles. He even began to use other drugs. He became psychotic and manic and unstable. He still insisted on having his medical marijuana, and it was the only way he would agree to come with us, if we let him have it. Even during psychosis, the dispensary gave him the marijuana. He smoked a ton of this pot on the way home and the next day he was full blown psychotic.
He ended up in the psych ward where the doctor told us he needed to stop using drugs before we could figure out if he had a mental illness or it was just drug-induced. He went into rehab, but that didn’t really work.
Every song he listened to glorified weed. He sold weed, wanted to grow weed, write about weed, lost girlfriends and sports, lost college. Yet he still believed that pot was not addictive. No counseling or treatment that we tried dislodged this weed addiction from his mind–until the heroin addiction. That’s what worked to get him to stop weed–heroin.
Finally after cycles of escalating drug use he has been sober for almost a year. It appears that his mental problems were entirely because of his drug addiction. But our son lost so much in the process. He is now 23 and has a job. I don’t know if he will ever get his mind back fully.
I have seen countless news articles about kids getting arrested for large and small crimes with one common factor–they are high on a some drug or another, usually marijuana. Medical marijuana was extremely easy for kids to get in California as is alcohol. But marijuana is easier to hide than alcohol. It is also decriminalized and no one gets arrested unless pulled over for a traffic violation, stealing or using in school. It is virtually legal and rampant. Given that medical marijuana is available to anyone over 18 in CA, including addicts and the mentally ill, it’s clear the problems will only get worse if pot is legalized.
We know others from his school who had manic and psychotic episodes. They ‘re either in recovery struggling with addiction or mental illness, or, even worse, some of them are already dead.
Parents, get this: Once your kids are into to drugs, all control is gone. It’s lost. The whole family is at the mercy of the drug, and at the mercy of the addiction. You may be thinking–my kid would never use drugs–but I thought that too. I hope your kid does not do weed, but chances are he or she will. Will our younger son be lost too? We ignored him and spent too much time dealing with the other son. Let’s hope he learned a lesson from his brother.
A California mother shares heartbreaking testimony about her son’s drug addiction –thanks to the easy accessibility of a medical marijuana card leads to more drug abuse by teenagers. Classifying marijuana as “medical” is the entryway to get marijuana into younger hands. Marijuana is a mind-altering drug, but the danger is greatest for those under 25 and it begins earlier where there are medical pot programs.
According to Bishop Ron Allen, President of the International Faith Based Coalition, Bernie Sanders’s remarks favoring legalization of marijuana, which has the support of Alice Huffman, President of the California NAACP, appear more related to financial contributions than good sense, or what is best for America.
According to Bishop Allen, “Our civil rights leaders of years past must be turning over in their graves that our oldest civil rights organization is calling for an increase in young people getting high as a solution to discrimination; or that a candidate for President is so unenlightened on the enormous personal, social and economic impacts that marijuana is having on our youth and environment. Both Sanders and Huffman are a threat to our nation’s security and what it will take to help young people of color to escape their plight in under-served communities.”
The disproportionate arrest rate for African-Americans is primarily reflective of socio-economics Making marijuana more available won’t fix the problem. It will just make it worse.
Marijuana is categorized as a Schedule I drug because it’s harmful. It can cause permanent, physical and chemical alterations of the brain leading to loss of IQ, motivation, maturation, academic achievement and productivity. It has a particularly devastating impact on the brain of anyone under age 25, but particularly adolescents, which in turn adversely affects school performance.
Nationally, only 70% of African-American kids graduate from high school on time. High school dropouts make an average of $25,000 per annum vs $46,000 for those who graduate; they have higher unemployment rates; worse health and more demands on Medicare and Medicaid; and they commit 75% of crimes. 70% of dropouts come from low-income families. 80% of prisoners are high school dropouts. It is a self-perpetuating problem.
The answer to all of these problems starts with higher graduation rates, academic achievement and higher incomes. To that end, less marijuana and other drugs are critical … not more.
In Sacramento, 59% of those arrested test positive for marijuana, 83% for any drug. Since crime rates are up 38%, as reported by the Sacramento Bee, perhaps it’s time we elect people that understand that to cut crime we need less drugs … not more.
Bernie Sanders Marijuana Remarks Show Misunderstanding About Drug Use and Incarceration
Sanders is ignorant when he says too many people are incarcerated for marijuana. Nobody today is incarcerated for simple possession. In California the fine for one ounce of marijuana in possession (60-120 joints) is a non-escalating fine of $100, about 1/4th the fine for a red light violation. “This is not a civil rights issue,” Bishop Allen insists, and it has been wrongly framed as civil rights.
Of those in federal prison, less than 1/3rd of 1 percent are there for “simple possession” because they plea bargained down, and/or had other offenses. On average, they had 115 lbs. of marijuana in possession. That isn’t simple possession. That is drug dealing.
For roughly 30% of the population who are vulnerable, marijuana can lead to life-long chronic illnesses of schizophrenia, paranoia and bi-polar disorders. Over 500,000 people are admitted to Emergency Rooms yearly because of psychotic episodes, which have and are causing violent acts of murder and suicides. Addiction to marijuana will enslave 9 to 17% of marijuana users, which will ruin individual lives and entire families, and place a further social and economic burden on all Americans. The lifetime cost of one high school dropout is $392,000 (UC Santa Barbara High School Dropout Research).
Says Bishop Allen, “…It is time we elect leaders who are more motivated by the truth than personal contributions to their campaigns. Neither Bernie Saunders nor Alice Hoffman are deserving of the jobs they hold or seek. After 6 ½ years of no federal enforcement of marijuana laws, we desperately need leaders who are knowledgeable and motivated to protect our youth. If they have no future, neither do we as a nation.”
Testimony #1: Medical Marijuana Card at 17, Followed by Psychosis
(The first of our anonymous testimonies about California’s dangerous medical marijuana program.) David’s father at 17 gave him permission for a medical marijuana card without consulting his mother. David also smoked the pot his father grew. This card gave David the right to walk into any one of the medical marijuana shops and purchase any one of the hundreds of genres out there. As you know they package what the client chooses in what looks like a prescription bottle and label it. Disgusting. These shops need to be closed. Continue reading California’s Medical Marijuana Scam: A Grandma’s View→
Marijuana is Addictive. Dangers of Marijuana Ruining my Family
There’s this popular notion that marijuana is a harmless drug, a lie perpetuated by the pot lobby. Drug abuse harms thousands of families in the U.S. yet the pot lobby continues to deny marijuana’s damaging effects. In this blog Stop Pot 2016 presents the story of a Texas mother detailing her family’s experience with the dangers of marijuana. Continue reading Dangers of Marijuana Explained by Texas Mother→
Stoned drivers are killing people on sidewalks, even in their own home.
Traffic deaths due to marijuana impairment doubled in California, from 631 for the five years before 2004, to 1241 for the five years after. In Washington state, the average during the 2010 to 2013 period was 32 to 38 per year. After legalization, 75 marijuana impaired drivers were killed. Colorado saw the same outcome: a 100% increase. While DUI’s have gone down in many places, DUID cases involving marijuana have increased.
Two more young men died this year and marijuana is substantially to blame. In March, Luke Goodman, a 23-year old (shown above), was on a two-week ski vacation with his family. He and a cousin purchased marijuana edibles and marijuana. Goodman was inexperienced and apparently ate several peach tart candies. Several hours later he was reported to be jittery, incoherent and talking non-sensibly. His cousin describe him as “pretty weird and relatively incoherent. Continue reading More Deaths from Marijuana in Colorado→
It’s tough to regulate a criminal activity. First of all, “medical marijuana” isn’t medicine. The term was coined to give pot a good name as a first step toward full legalization. Since federal law was a barrier to the hoax, the pro-pot lobby, financed by Soros and others, hoodwinked California voters into approving marijuana for the chronically ill in 1996.
According to a poll by SmithJohnson Research, 51 percent of 600 likely voters in Colorado said they would vote against marijuana legalization if it came up today.
The survey results show a change in mood in less than three years. Amendment 64 was on the ballot in 2012 and almost 55 percent of Colorado voters supported legalizing recreational marijuana. However, based on current observations, 45 percent said they would strongly oppose the measure. Only 36% said they would be strongly for the measure if it were on a ballot now.
Vape pens can be rigged for BHO, also know as dabs, the most potent form of marijuana with THC going up to 96%. Since anyone in California over 18 can get a “medical” marijuana card, vaping has been the way to go for many of our youths on the fast track to addiction and marijuana psychosis. Continue reading Vape Pens Next Big Push in Marijuana Industry→
James Holmes killed 12 and injured countless others in the Aurora movie theater massacre back in 2012. A week ago he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Our condolences to the families who lost love ones in this mass shooting. At the same time we cry for the families of the victims, we must also appreciate the tragedy felt by the parents, Robert and Arlene Holmes.
The relationship between marijuana and mental illness is complex. No one is destined to become schizophrenic. Environment, including drug use, plays about a 50% role. Holmes’s behavior transformation began in middle school, coinciding with a move to San Diego, so he may have started to use pot at this point. It was 2-3 years after medical marijuana was introduced in California, an event that markedly increased incidences of marijuana getting into the hands of children. If Holmes had never started to use marijuana, perhaps the massacre at Aurora theater never would have happened. (Read about other cases of Modern Reefer Madness.)
Amazingly, Coloradans voted to legalize marijuana in 2012, the year this theater mass shooting happened. There is still much to learn about how marijuana triggers psychotic symptoms which can develop into schizophrenia, as well as how it makes the course of the disease much more difficult to treat.
Other Californians in the News
In recent years, two other marijuana users from California committed heinous crimes. Ashton Sacks who killed both parents and injured his brother in California in February 2014 was a heavy marijuana user. He had made previous suicide attempts, but blamed his parents for messing up his life. He was supposed to be attending community college in Seattle, but didn’t attend classes. Instead he smoked marijuana and played video games. He may have been motivated by money, and the role of marijuana in his life may help to his moral deprivation, or mental illness.
John Patrick Bedell was another Californian who smoked marijuana as a teen and young man and thereafter exhibited signs of mental illness. Bedell became the Pentagon Shooter.
These incidents give cause to speculate that Elliot Rodger, whose psychotic killing spree in an idyllic California university town, could also have been triggered by marijuana use. News accounts mention a “water pipe” in the group house where he and 3 other students lived. Water pipes or bongs are used to smoke marijuana. Elliot was suffering from depression and paranoia, which are symptoms of pot use. Prior to killing 6 victims, Rogers wrote a lengthy manifesto and posted a number of YouTube videos which depict his unbalanced mental state.
By Roger Morgan, Founder Take Back America Campaign #stoppot (916) 434 5629
In 2014, Butane Hash Oil (BHO) labs killed 32 people in California.
Driven by greed, and the growing popularity of this highly potent marijuana derivative, amateurs have been blowing up homes and apartments with greater frequency while making BHO, a marijuana derivative. Governor Brown signed SB 212 on August 7. Authored by Senator Tony Mendoza, the bill will reclassify the crime of operating BHO and methamphetamine labs as aggravated felony, if they are in proximity to residences and schools. Senator Tony Mendoza authored the bill which will go into effect Continue reading Gov. Brown Signs Bill to Help Stop Fires, Explosions→
Check out this ad in the Washington Times by the National Institute of Citizen Anti-Drug Policy (NICAP). Stop Pot 2016 is proud to work alongside NICAP to free our people from the slavery of drug addiction and death by publicizing THE TRUTH Continue reading How to End America’s Drug Overdose Crisis→
Negative Ecological Impacts Caused by Illegal Marijuana Grows
Dried out rivers and displaced wildlife is only the beginning of the devastating marijuana impacts on environment.
In this blog we bring to light the damage illegal marijuana grows are causing to the environment. Environmental impacts are widespread in California and Colorado.These problems include the killing of wildlife and aquatic life, illegal use of private land, a rapid increase in energy consumption and the worsening of drought conditions. If we don’t act now to reverse marijuana’s impact on the environment, our ecosystem will be soon be beyond repair.
In the year commercial marijuana sales began, 2014, Colorado had 3 unnecessary deaths in 2014, not including traffic fatalities. The state has spent an unprecedented amount on emergency medical treatment and to combat fires from hash oil explosions, at TAXPAYERS’ expense. Before another state votes legalizes marijuana, look what has happened in Colorado:
• Toddler Levi Welton died in a fire while parents smoked pot with friends and left the 2-yr-old and 5-yr old in another room, January.
Once again marijuana and violence are in the news as we listen to the heart-wrenching court proceedings of the Boston bomber, Johar Tsarnaev. We just finished hearing the details regarding the senseless murder in 2012 of “American Sniper,” Chris Kyle and another veteran sniper, Chad Littlefield, by a man they were trying to help. Eddie Ray Routh, prosecutors say, had a long history of “self-intoxication.” He smoked marijuana the morning Continue reading Modern Reefer Madness→
Californians voted on Prop 215 in 1996 to provide marijuana to people with chronic illnesses for whom conventional medicines were not working satisfactorily. Now, some 18 years later, it is clear that the real motives was to make pot available for those who just want to get high, and driving force was those seeking money and/or power, with no consideration for the social costs. Continue reading Pot is a Trap→
Brad Pitt is one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood after being in the spotlight for the last couple of decades. What most people don’t know about him are the different struggles and periods of depression he went through early on in his acting career while using marijuana.
In the late 1990’s Pitt admitted to using marijuana heavily which, “almost turned me into a donut,” he recalls. His real life stoner persona was intensified when he was cast in the movie, True Romance, where his character spends his days watching cartoons blowing smoke all over the room.
“I spent the 90’s trying to hide out, trying to duck the full celebrity cacophony. I started to get sick of myself sitting on a couch, holding a joint, hiding out. I started to feel pathetic. It became very clear to me that I was intent on trying to find a movie about an interesting life, but I wasn’t living an interesting life myself” he says in an interview with Parade.
Trying to pretend the marriage was something that it wasn’t.” After the interview he clarified what he meant by his statement saying, “The point I was trying to make is not that Jen was dull, but that I was becoming dull to myself—and that, I am responsible for.” I can only speculate that this meant marijuana was making him into a person he nor his wife wanted to be.
Pitt’s life changed in 2003 while he was working on the film, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, with Angelina Jolie. Although he was still married to Jennifer Aniston, that did not stop the two from hitting it off and after.
Aniston divorced him in 2005 and Jolie came into the picture soon after. The couple got engaged in 2012 and after taking a trip to Morocco, Pitt found it within himself to stop using the drug marijuana. “I just quit,” he said, “I stopped grass then- I mean pretty much- and decided to get off the couch.”
This was a good decision on his part because along with his Hollywood persona he needs to keep up with, he also has six children that he has either adopted or had with Jolie. “I’m a dad now, you want to be alert,” he said in an interview with Parade.
However, after Pitt quit his marijuana use, he continued using alcohol. Heavy marijuana users are more likely than non-marijuana users. Each addiction feeds on each other.
The abusive side of Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp is another famous actor who has had marijuana influence him in a negative way. His roles in movies are always drug addicts or gangsters from George Jung in, Blow, to his portrayal of journalist Hunter S. Thompson in, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, drugs always make it onto the set.
By the time Depp was 14 he admitted to trying every drug on the street as well as admitting that he used to self-inflict wounds, or cut himself to cope with stresses in his life. He first began by using marijuana followed by alcohol and the slope became very slippery after that for Depp.
During his early years on camera he was most recognized for his role in the TV show, “21 Jump Street” which was about a young adult who infiltrates a high school for the police to bust a drug ring. After this he started getting recognized for less popular roles in movies like, Sweeny Todd, Edward Scissorhands, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Alice in Wonderland he began to get a little bit out of control with his life.
Depp referred to that time period as a “darker period” and started around the time he was dating Kate Moss. One such run in with the police happened after police found Depp, “in a state of possible intoxication” after they found his room at New York’s Mark Hotel trashed.
The judge who heard his case ordered him to repay damages done ($9,761.12) and that was that I guess due to his celebrity status. In December of 2015 there was one instance that was reported where Depp allegedly attempted to smother his ex-wife, Amber Heard, with a pillow and ended up attacking her.
Throughout the attack she sustained a bruised eye and a bloody lip after the star lost control. Heard filed for divorce in May of last year after only 15 months of marriage.
Depp was also spotted a couple years ago after dropping off his daughter, Lilly-Rose Depp, with musician, Marilyn Manson, smoking a marijuana pipe next to the school. What kind of message did that send to (at the time) his 14 year old daughter? Celebrities should not be advocating this type of behavior around their children or other peoples children.
These “role models” are not who we should be idolizing in the spotlight because of their actions towards family and other close friends. Although it is good that Pitt quit using marijuana, more celebrities should follow suit in order to set a good example for their fans and followers.