Category Archives: Drug Policy

Maryland’s Senators Introduce Marijuana Legislation

The Proliferating Pot Problem in Maryland

On March 3rd, 2017 Senators in Annapolis gathered to introduce two new bills that would call for the legalization of marijuana in Maryland.  The two new bills are being introduced by Democratic Senator Brian Feldman as well as Democratic Senator Richard Madaleno Jr, both from Montgomery County.

Feldman’s bill calls for the citizens of Maryland 21 and over to be able to purchase legal cannabis,  possess up to two ounces of marijuana at one time, and cultivate up to six plants at one time with three of those plants being mature each cycle.

Madaleno’s bill calls for the legalization of marijuana where users will be able to possess up to one ounce or less of dried cannabis, 5 grams of hash oil and 72 ounces of cannabis creams or oils, or any combination of the above.

An experienced marijuana grower can yield up to 5.0 oz per plant when subjected to the right conditions which is absolutely absurd. How many plants do people really need to be growing in their houses?

Marijuana was decriminalized in Maryland back in 2014 and now Senators and delegates are revisiting the issue of making it legal for all citizens over the age of 21.

During the committee hearing many different people showed up to voice their opinion to the proposed legislation. One such person was Aubree Adams, who traveled all the way from Pueblo, Colorado to share her heartbreaking story.

As she got up on the stand to present her testimony she asked for more than the two allocated minutes to speak to which her appeal was rejected, so she began to speak very fast in order to get through her pitch. The committee realized that this was going to get them nowhere so they granted her additional time.

She began talking about  the negative adaptations Pueblo has had to make over years since marijuana has been legal, hitting on the fact that the homeless rate has skyrocketed as well as the crime rate since Amendment 64’s inception in 2012.

Adams’s story turns a corner when she begins talking about her own son and how his addiction to marijuana edibles had triggered psychotic episodes and an attempt at suicide. His addiction developed after proposition 64 passed and access to edible marijuana became extremely easy in Pueblo.

One night while suffering from a marijuana induced psychosis episode Adams’ son attacked his younger brother and put a gun to his own head, but did not pull the trigger. Instead he decided to overdose on 250 ibuprofen pills. “He vomited all night in his sleep,” Adams said. Her oldest son is now part of a treatment community and resides in Houston, Texas.

Other testimonies came from Dr. Amelia Arria, who is the Director of the Center on Young Adult Health and Development and the Office of Planning and Evaluation at the University of Maryland School of Public Health, and Dr. Peter Musser who is a clinical psychologist who received his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Dr. Arria, who has researched marijuana for over 25 years concludes that, “Cannabis use is linked with decreased productivity and decreased cognitive function.”

Dr. Musser similarly has seen in his research that the more normalized marijuana becomes in the communities, the amount of people who go to the ER for psychosis had increased. Dr. Musser also mentions that treatment centers in Colorado have been adding more beds and expanding in order to keep up with the influx of new patients. Shouldn’t our government be trying to stop the problem, not try to avoid the issue by just putting up with it? These two bills would also cost Maryland taxpayers around $2.1 million to implement. These two issues will be on the ballot for voters to decide later on in 2018.

Click Here to view the Senate Committee Hearing

Proposition 64 is about Launching Commercial Sales of Marijuana in California

A Drug Prevention Activist Sends Email to Warn Voters

This email forwards important information on a very dark question we are being asked next week – will we further legalize marijuana in California – for recreational use. First, this is not about medical marijuana – it is legal today. Second, outsiders with experience (Coloradoans) are coming from everywhere to tell the 5 states – California, Arizona, Nevada, Maine, Massachusetts, with recreational marijuana on their ballots this November – to Vote NO. I wonder if this has ever happened in our political history?

1. See the letter from Denver, Colorado District Attorney Mitchell Morrissey to California voters about the impacts of recreational marijuana legalization on his state. DA Morrissey writes, “since the legalization of recreational marijuana the number of crimes in Denver has grown by about 44 %” He also notes that, “Besides the overall increases in crime we have experience, the Denver police department is dealing with a 900% increase in the unlawful cultivation and manufacture of marijuana concentrate…”

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

3. See comments from Colorado moms that flew to a Moms Strong rally in Sacramento to describe how horrible life has become in Colorado and how they wish they had never moved to Colorado – in the Common Falsehoods Heard About Legal Marijuana – Protect kids section.

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

5. Colorado police officers, like Sergeant James Gerhardt have attended conferences and rallies throughout our state for months sharing his difficult experience on the Thornton, Colorado police force (see the  SAM Report – Lessons Learned).

6. Colorado Governor Hickenlooper has already advised, that Colorado is making very little money from legalized marijuana, but he was on 60 Minutes recently saying he has spoken to almost all the leaders of Nevada, California, Arizona, Massachusetts and Maine about the drug and his recommendation is to wait.

Third, Recreational Legalization is so bad because initiatives like Prop 64 are “commercialization” bills. They change the calculus of drug use and drug dealing in our communities. What is now a one-on-one or small group decision to use drugs becomes a mass marketed consumer product onslaught ….consumer advertising and promotion along with all the other aspects of capitalism that seeks to increase trial of a product, reduce costs and derive profit is what we are really voting for. These bills are written by the Marijuana Industry (not Democrats or Republicans), and they are funded by the greediest of the 1% among us for the sole purpose of selling drugs to the 87% of us who do not currently use marijuana or use without much frequency – we represent huge market potential.

Fourth, Prop 64 favors the Marijuana Industry over public health and safety. It includes:

1. TV, radio, billboard, print and internet advertising as well as product merchandising & promotion,

2. Unregulated home growing of marijuana (6 plants are allowed in every home & apartment). This further normalizes marijuana and makes law enforcement more difficult; FYI 1 plant conservatively = 1 pound (1000 joints).

and Prop 64 does not address:

3. The increase of impaired drivers it puts on the road, nor

4. The increase in organized crime activity it fosters, which they originally claimed to eliminate, but we now know based on the Colorado and Washington experience it increases, nor

5. Skyrocketing potency in both smokable & edible pot products (10-40x stronger than 15 years ago). This is being linked to an increase in serious neurological harms, nor

6. The increase in use among 12-17 and 18-25 year olds – the most vulnerable among us neurologically – these age groups in Colorado rank #1 in our nation for pot use, up from #3 and #4, respectively before to legalization (see use charts in “MJ Fundamentals”).

Fifth, Prop 64 is losing ground because voters are starting to understand…Prop 64 is NOT about social justice, individual rights, protecting kids, raising taxes, or getting rid of the black market. We know from Colorado that none of this is achieved with legalization/commercialization. Prop 64 is about making a very few people more wealthy on the backs of our communities, especially our kids who become lifelong customers at higher rates because of their neurological susceptibility to THC (the intoxicating cannabinoid in marijuana).

Look around you today…do you see any marijuana ads? Do you see any pot imagery – leaf logos on backpacks or water bottles? Do you smell the relentless, skunky-garlicky smell of growing marijuana? Do you see pot shops? Do you see homeless hanging around the pot shops? Do you see any marijuana bars? For most of you, the answer will be “no.” If we pass Prop 64, this will never be the case again. How tragic for California’s future, especially our kids.

Vote No on 64.

See Reasons Why to Vote No

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

Colorado Pot Experiment What Other States Can Learn

Recently on CBS News 60 Minutes Report on Colorado Marijuana, Governor John Hickenlooper was asked to reflect on his state’s pot experiment. He warned residents of other states not to legalize marijuana.  His state recently passed a law requiring more labels and more packaging on edible marijuana.   He described regulating marijuana as “more than tricky.”

One of the most disturbing facts in the 60 Minutes was stated by Dr. Steven Simerville.  He said 71 teens showing up in his hospital in Pueblo testing positive for THC.  It begs the questions: Why are so many teens in the hospital and why are so many teens using pot?

Anyone who reads faces honestly knows that Gov. Hickenlooper is trying to put the best possible spin on a bad situation.    The marijuana lobby wrote Amendment 64 in 2012 to give tremendous amounts of money to the marijuana industry.

Other States Voting on Pot Experiment

The five legalization initiatives on the ballots in California, Arizona, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada this year are also designed to benefit Big Marijuana.  Here are the problems.

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

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

Governor Hickenlooper hopes – that is hopes – some problems can be resolved.   The state now spends $8 million trying to warn teens not to use pot.   Although the Colorado Healthy Kids Survey suggests that teen use did not go up, key counties did not participate in the survey and there are problems in the survey.

In short, marijuana legalization is written to benefit the financiers who are trying to make money off of something that can harm teens and harm society as a whole.

 

Soros Buys Influence Over Marijuana Policy and Nearly Everything

Two years ago, Forbes Magazine claimed that billionaire George Soros had already given $200 million to the cause of marijuana legalization.

After releasing some 2500 damaging emails about George Soros and his policy arm, Open Society Foundation, the Twitter account of WikiLeaks was removed.  How can one man have so much power?  Is a person who plays chess with the world’s financial markets and social media also a puppeteer who can control the lives of people and political events from above?

In 1992, Soros brought down the British pound and nearly broke the Bank of England, making at least $1 billion on his financial position. During the Asian financial crisis in 1997,  it was thought that Soros’  market manipulation contributed to the crisis, crippling the economies of  Thailand and Malaysia.   One Thai activist described him as “a kind of Dracula. He sucks the blood from the people.”    In 2011, his conviction for insider trading in France which he took part in back in 1988, was upheld up by the European High Court.

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.

At this writing the funding for Proposition is over $16 million, with Sean Parker giving $4 million more than previously stated.
At this writing the funding for Proposition is over $16 million, with Sean Parker giving $4 million more than previously stated.

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.

The ACLU operates by telling people how they’re supposed to be thinking.  For minorities, the ACLU’s attitude is patronizing.  Giving minorities permission to destroy their brain with drugs is not social justice and civil rights.  Furthermore, pretending racism can be solved by marijuana legalization is simplistic thinking at best.  Plus it destroys the rights of minorities who choose not to use drugs. The ACLU considers the rights drug users and drug dealers ahead of the rights of others to live in peace.

A similar simplistic approach of Soros/DPA and related groups is to charge that the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) created cartels and drug violence in Mexico.  Of course there are always many reasons for any social problem, which in this case includes drug demand and poverty.

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.

As President Obama’s first Director of the ONDCP said,  “It’s time for the United States to “acknowledge and come to grips with the link between crime and substance use” and ease the burden on its criminal justice system.   (He no longer has the job; is that Soros’ influence?)  The way to bring down incarceration is to bring down drug usage, since the vast majority of crimes are committed by people on drugs.  The United States has less than 5% of the world’s population but nearly 60% of the world’s drug users.  Yet people wonder why the rate of incarceration is high.

Soros’s Influence on Other Groups

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 The Nation 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.

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  1.  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.
  2. The article listed police unions, prison guard unions, the alcohol industry, pharmaceuticals and for-profit prison companies as the chief funders against legalization.  The first two groups don’t have much money to give; alcohol is mixed and donates in small amounts, and the last two were a good guesses.  A quote used by a popular meme about cannabis legalization and for profit prisons is accurate, but its context is not.  Snopes reported that the$17.4 million spent by Corrections Corporations of America in lobbying had nothing to do with marijuana legalization.
  3. A quote comes from According to Brookings Institution (which supports and funds marijuana legalization), “pharmaceutical companies have kept an arm’s-length distance from marijuana ballot initiatives.”  Read Bootleggers, Baptists, bureaucrats and bongs: how special interests will shape marijuana legalization in Arizona.  Since that report, a company in Arizona has given $500,000 against legalization in Arizona, a small amount compared to Soros’ web of funding.