by Phillip Drum, PharmD Today my sister would be turning 63 — that is — if she hadn’t been killed by a stoned driver while on her way to work in 2012. The incident occurred a few months before Washington voters chose to legalize marijuana, without knowing that the guilty driver had used pot before the fatal crash.
Rosemary Tempel, RN, BSN, BC, CQIA was 56 years old at the time. She was driving to work at Virginia Mason Hospital in downtown Seattle, WA. Timothy Durden was speeding in the center turn lane, traveling in the opposite direction while under the influence of marijuana. He was speeding toward a stopped vehicle in a center turn lane. At the last second before striking the stopped vehicle, Durden swerved, directing his Jeep into Rosemary’s car, which was traveling 35 mph in the opposite direction. He catapulted over Rosemary’s car – crushing her and breaking her neck. She had to be cut out of her vehicle.
Durden’s car lost the two front wheels and tumbled down the busy road resulting in an 8-car pile up. When pulling Durden’s vehicle upright, a Seattle police detective saw marijuana and multiple business cards to a marijuana dispensary fall from the vehicle. Continue reading My sister would have been 63 today→
Joseph Bresnyan, a 40-year-old father of four, was killed by a stoned driver while changing a flat tire along Interstate 80 near Sacramento on May 3. The other driver tested positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. When pot shops start selling recreational marijuana next week, California will need to prepare for more drivers under the influence of pot. Californians, beware!! Continue reading California: Are you ready for the rise in traffic deaths?→
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.