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. Cetan 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)
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.
As other states legalize the drug, we see medical ‘practices’ springing up just to issue marijuana cards. No appointment necessary says one such practice operating in several states. The company’s website says their doctors do not prescribe marijuana. “Our doctors are trained to evaluate patients and authorize a certification which verifies that a patient may benefit from the use of medical marijuana.”
Slick Marketing Causes Consumer Confusion
Consumers think medical marijuana is a real thing, but are often confused about what is marijuana for medicinal purposes. It is the CBD oil only? Or is it marijuana in all forms? In theory, medical marijuana should not get you high. In practice, all forms of marijuana, smoked, psychoactive, hallucinogenic, high THC, high CBD, edibles in the form of candy, pizza, sodas are ALL being touted for their healing power and often portrayed as being for any and all ailments. See the website of a typical California marijuana dispensary.
If the hype were to be believed, cannabis cures cancer, keeps epilepsy at bay, and makes PTSD go away. One stop shopping for all sick people. Very convenient indeed for these profiteers.
Aggressive Marketing & Druggies on Staff
Dispensaries are giving free samples to promote new products, to encourage larger orders or as a thank you for referring a new ‘customer.’ Payment is taken in the form of cash because banking laws prevent these businesses from depositing their proceeds. Some dispensaries are even operating as nonprofits, and the product is traded for “donations.”
An undercover activist visited 20 pot shops in the Western U.S. (otherwise known as dispensaries, a more ‘medical’ sounding term) and was shocked to discover drug users behind the counter selling the drugs. The only requirement is that the staff be 21 years of age or older. These stores require no medical training of their staff, they apparently give no warnings about addiction or side effects of these drugs. Well known side effects of marijuana include but are not limited to: risk of addiction/dependence, paranoia, depression, psychosis, hallucinations. Read Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Investigated.
Higher Potency and Higher Highs
Marijuana effects do plateau after long term use. For those who use medical need as their excuse to get high (or ostensibly for the super ill), the industry sells concentrates, which go by the names of kief, hash and hash oil, BHO, wax, budder, shatter. These can be upwards of 70- 90% THC. So this is potent medicine, where the patient is choosing their own dosage with no medical supervision. This is all available in the typical dispensary or online retailer as over the counter ‘meds’.
Does this Sound Like Medicine?
Catchy names for smoking marijuana, like “Gorilla Glue,” “Super Lemon Haze,” “White Widow,” “SinMint Cookies,” “3X Crazy,” “Madman OG,” are among the medical marijuana product offerings.
Edible marijuana sports names like: “Cheeba Chews,” “Kurupt’s Moonwalk Syrup,” “WeEdibles’ Medicated Teas,. Other edible offerings look like the classic candy shop treats which tempt small children. They are on the medical cannabis “menus” with generic candy names like sour drops, rainbow worms, sour apple drops and lemon drops.
Other edible products include popcorn, pizza, brownies, even the common honey bear shaped bottle containing honey laced with cannabis. All of which appeal to very young children and adolescents.
Vaporizers or vape pens sold by dispensaries are a way to consume marijuana unbeknownst to employers, parents or the general public, because the concentrated THC oils used to fill them are odorless and undetectable by smell. One can only imagine the aid to the student who wants to smoke on the playground and return to class zoned out or the construction worker trying to maintain his high on the job. God forbid an airline pilot decides to avail himself of this sneaky form of ‘medicine!’
Cannabis Scofflaws Skirting the Law
From one online website: “Medical Marijuana shipped to your door, no medical card needed, it doesn’t matter if medical marijuana is legal in your state or not…Stealth double vacuum sealed shipping… We make packages that blend in with the rest of the mail… A number of different anonymous cash payments offered.”
Sounds a little sketchy, doesn’t it? Other websites warn of online scams that look like marijuana stores, and caution against ever buying pot through online classifieds.
What Do the Doctors Say?
Physicians associations are firmly on the side of prevention activists when it comes to marijuana as medicine. First, the American College of Pediatricians issued a position statement in September 2015, Marijuana Use Detrimental to Youth.
“Marijuana is addicting, has adverse effects upon the adolescent brain, is a risk for both cardio-respiratory disease and testicular cancer, and is associated with both psychiatric illness and negative social outcomes. Evidence indicates limited legalization of marijuana has already raised rates of unintended marijuana exposure among young children, and may increase adolescent use.”—American College of Pediatricians
The American Medical Association (AMA) takes a similar stand. In an article, Problems with the Medicalization of Marijuana the AMA says “the current system for dispensing marijuana does not safeguard adequately against the potential for diversion and abuse.” The article also says “Evidence supporting its efficacy varies substantially and in general falls short of the standards required for approval of other drugs by the US Food and Drug Administration.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 friends at school, and specifically children whose parents had medical marijuana cards. Did the parents know their children used it and shared it? Probably. 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→
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.