Tag Archives: Marijuana

Proposition 64 is about Launching Commercial Sales of Marijuana in California

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…”

2. See a former Governor and Mayor from Colorado describing what has happened to their state. This ad was produced by No on 205 (Arizona’s measure).

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.

4. Not directed to California, but– watch Colorado High School Student – Harrison Chamberlain – describe what has happened to his friends since legalization.

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.

Vote No on 64.

See Reasons Why to Vote No

Press conference from San Diego – ER Doc, sheriff, DA, county supervisor, city councilwomen share their experience with marijuana and articulate the concerns about Prop 64 clearly.

5 Ways Marijuana is a Gateway Drug

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.

 

Colorado Pot Experiment What Other States Can Learn

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.

The Denver District Attorney recently wrote a letter to Californians warning about the increase in crime that comes with legalization.

When Coloradans tried to put together a ballot petition to limit the strength of marijuana to 16% THC, the marijuana industry bought off the petitioners and killed the democratic process.

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.

 

California Traffic Fatalities are Climbing Due to Marijuana

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
Driver Age # Drivers %
<21 36 15.9%
21-24 57 25.2%
Under 25 93 41.15%
25-34 75 33.2%
35-44 16 7.1%
45-54 20 8.8%
55-64 16 7.1%
65+ 6 2.7%
Total 226 100.0%