Category Archives: Featured

Ivanka Trump; New Nancy Reagan?

Ivanka Trump gets an office in West Wing, Washington Post 3/21/17

“Although Ivanka Trump lacks a formal White House job, the president’s older daughter is moving into her own West Wing office, an administration representative said — a move that increases her profile as an influential, although unofficial, adviser to her father…President Trump has named Ivanka, 35, the mastermind behind his child-care and maternity- leave plans, the first proposals on such issues from a Republican president…”

This may be a good fit for Ivanka Trump to fill the Nancy Reagan chair as the nation’s top drug prevention advocate supporting the millions of drug-besieged Parents currently suffering over 500 drug-related deaths of their loved ones EVERY DAY– and the millions more enslaved to drug-incapacitated family-member addicts.

When Nancy Reagan served as honorary chairman for Parents’ drug prevention organizations throughout the nation with her direct access to the President, that collaborative effort was credited with reducing teen drug use by 50% during the Reagan era saving many lives and preventing many family drug crises.

A specific example is when Parent Drug Prevention leaders told Nancy Reagan about the blood-bath being created on the nation’s highways that resulted from teen drunk driving fatalities that skyrocketed after the drinking age was lowered to 18 from 21. One of our parents at a local meeting lamented at that time, “I’m getting tired of going to teen age funerals.” Nancy immediately responded by bringing to President Reagan’s attention this horrific tragic outcome from the lower drinking age promoted by the alcohol industry assisted by misguided liberal theorists. The President immediately coordinated a bi-partisan initiative with leaders of Congress to enact a federal law mandating returning the drinking age to 21. As a direct result of Nancy Reagan speaking up for us, 21 became law and teen drunk driving fatalities decreased by over 70% saving many lives since then.

In Nancy Reagan’s keynote address at the D.C. National Federation of Parents annual conference in 1986, she counseled us not to give up out of frustration at the slow rate of progress in preventing drug-related tragedies. She told us the “Starfish Story” about the retiree at a beach community who walked the beach every morning at sunrise and observed the great number of starfish that had been stranded on the beach as the tide went down. He knew they would die as the sun rose and dried them, so he tossed them back in the water as he walked along. A friend watching him commented that with all the starfish along the beach his efforts would not make any difference. To which he responded as he tossed another starfish back into the water, “It makes a difference to this one.”

Today, over three decades later, Parents are increasingly suffering from failing national drug prevention policies. But we keep trying, hoping to save at least “this one” once in a while. But under the overwhelming influence of addictive substances massive profits, government officials at all levels are failing to initiate effective policies to stem this nationwide public health crisis of drug-related deaths and disabilities. See our recent article citing this crisis at link:  Lawmakers Corrupted by Drug Money Ignore Marijuana Harms.  It includes many other links to valid studies and reports.

As a young mother with children who could become as endangered by the nation’s failing drug policies as millions of our children are, Ivanka Trump may be perfectly positioned to understand and be motivated as Nancy Reagan was, to provide the high-level leadership needed to “make a difference to all families” in this nation’s war on drugs.

We Parents should welcome Ivanka Trump’s new White House position. Especially if her influence as a Nancy Reagan type drug prevention spokesman should result in serious new effective drug prevention policies that will prove their benefit by recording major reductions in drug-related death rates in confirmation of President Donald Trump’s legacy of success similar to that of our beloved Nancy and President Ronald Reagan.

NICAP 3/22/17

DeForest Rathbone is a Board Member, Parents Affected By Addiction (PABA). DeForest Rathbone is a leader in the parent’s movement which has been active since Nancy Reagan’s campaign which was credited with a 50% drop in youth drug use during the Reagan era. He can be reached in Leonardtown, MD, 301-994-2733, DZR@prodigy.net.

Photo Credit: Marc Nozell

Vaping is Not a Safe Alternative

Marijuana Users Hide it with Vaporizers

While electronic cigarette enthusiasts and marijuana addicts continue to blow their clouds, new research conducted on electronic cigarettes has pointed towards the additional dangers. After conducting a federally funded study on the dangers of vaping, Harvard scientists are now calling for “urgent action.” The researchers found harmful chemicals that destroy the lungs; these chemicals are commonly found in vaporizer liquids, also known as “juice”.

Recently, a 14-year-old girl wound up in the hospital suffering from mild burns to the legs and arms while trying to enjoy a ride on the Hogwarts Express at Universal Studios. The man sitting next to her on the ride brought his vape to the amusement park. The vaporizer in his pocket exploded, causing burn injuries both to the man and teen girl. This was not an isolated incident. The U.S. Fire Administration deems electronic cigarettes as “flaming rockets” due to their ability to blow up as compared to other battery-powered devices. Despite this warning, the FFA is still allowing these devices on airplanes.

Dangers of Dabbing

The dangers of ‘dabbing’ are also quite alarming. Dabbing is smoking highly concentrated marijuana oil produced by using butane as a solvent. The ‘dabs’ are then smoked through a vape pen or bong. Vaporizers are often used to conceal the use of marijuana in school, at work, and any public place because the scent is not detectable. The dabbing trend has led to more marijuana addicts and home explosions because of the process of making the concentrate using highly flammable butane. What is disturbing is that marijuana users continue to ‘dab’ for the quick and fast effects of ‘dabbing’, the THC content can be up to 70 to 85 percent. Michigan State Police are facing the challenges of controlling the dangers of ‘dabbing’ as stated by Lt. David Kaiser, “We always have explosions. We always have severe burns. It’s something that can wreck your body and your life forever,”. (Jackman, 2015). According to Jackman, a link between psychosis and dabbing was also found.

Vaporizers Not Safer Than Tobacco

Vaporizers are widely known to be a “tobacco substitute.” Yet, the American Lung Association reports that vaporizers not only contain nicotine but other chemicals harmful to the lungs, including toxic-cancer causing chemicals, such as a chemical used in anti-freeze. The ‘vaping’ industry misleads smokers into believing that vaping is safer than smoking and a great way to quit cigarettes. The allure of the hundreds of flavors entices consumers to indulge. Young people are particularly vulnerable to such marketing messages. The flavors themselves contain harmful elements that damage the lungs. Diacetyl, a chemical found in flavors is now known to be harmful to the lungs.

Wired, the technology magazine, tells the stories of several tragic vape pen accidents. The fact that an electronic cigarette are blowing up in adults and teens faces resulting in fractures, burns, and broken teeth leaves us wondering why people continue to put themselves at risk. While we wait for further research to explore even more dangerous aspects of ‘vaping’, we can only hope that smokers will not be fooled into thinking vaping is a safer alternative.

Former Addict Comments on Mainstreaming of Marijuana

Illuminating Comment Thread on Bend Bulletin Article

A recent article, Mainstreaming Marijuana, which outlines the ominous trends due to marijuana legalization is sparking some good conversation on the issue. Here is a portion of the comment thread:

M. Parent wrote:

I don’t use cannabis. I just can’t tolerate people being punished for using it, having their lives ruined via draconian laws
Your addiction is quite rare. At least you were never in the position of dying or acquiring a deadly ailment via its use.

Most users have no issue or problems with mj other than legal ones.

Be well

Skyway 1234 responds:

Thank you for your polite response, which must be because you don’t smoke pot. The pot smokers are unbelievably nasty, cruel, rude and determined to have their way. We don’t have draconian marijuana laws anymore. Today the only time people are arrested and charged with marijuana possession is if they have other charges against them and law enforcement wants to throw the book at them.

The percentage of convictions for marijuana alone are very few. My addiction is sadly anything but rare. I’ve been sitting in meetings now for 29 years and marijuana is the #1 drug that I see people going back out on. It is insidious and anything but good for your health. Our society has raised it’s young people to believe marijuana is completely harmless, so they don’t have a clue of what they are doing to themselves.

Most users have issues and problems, but we have a cabal of marijuana sellers who are determined to make you believe it is wonderful to smoke pot. Think of how it was with Big Tobacco, only in addition to the smoke and tar in your lungs, you’re loaded. People are smoking pot and driving, raising children, going to work, getting divorced, and so on. My older brother doesn’t have a problem with marijuana, he just keeps getting divorced – 4 times so far. No problem.

No matter how obvious it is that a death has occurred as the direct result of marijuana, pro pot advocates will not admit it. For example, there was a case in San Diego where a teenaged girl was hired to babysit a 1 1/2 year old toddler. While at the house, the baby was playing in the bedroom alone, the girl got a call from her Aunt, stepped outside, and the two females started smoking pot out in the car. The thick smoke must have been what blocked them from seeing the baby come out of the house and walk into the street. The baby was killed.

Now, was that death due to marijuana? Of course it was. The pro marijuana people advocated and supported the teen until she was acquitted of all charges and let go. Baby dead – perp walking the street. No matter how awful it is, pot advocates will tell you that it wasn’t because of pot. I’ll give you a true set of statistics. We have 50 million people in the US with a pot problem, 60 million alcoholics, and 15-21 million hard drug addicts. 259 million prescriptions are written each year for painkillers alone – and 250 million for anti-depressants. All of the above is for a population of 321 million. According to a UN study conducted at the end of 2014, the US has 5% of the world’s population – and 80% of the world’s drug addicts. Do we really need to make it easier for young people to obtain and use mind altering substances?

I’m not arguing with you to be spiteful, or annoying, to irritate or be a “right fighter.” I am saying this because I don’t want to see the suicides, the psychotic reactions, the honey oil explosions, the head on collisions, and the terrible toll marijuana takes on our society in hundreds of ways.

Look around online to find information that is not being provided to you by the marijuana industry, because they are feathering their own nests by trying to get the young people to believe marijuana is utterly harmless. Nothing could be further from the truth.

 

Please read the full article here and the comments that follow:

Mainstreaming Marijuana in the Bend Bulletin

What does Marijuana Legalization mean for you?

Some Things to Consider if Your State Just Legalized Marijuana Like California Did

What is legal today in California

• Adults can grow 6 pot plants in their home or apartment – this is a huge new unregulated (black market) supply of marijuana. It will service those under 21. Growing pot smells poorly. That skunky-garlicky smell is probably no longer a skunk.

• Pot can be advertised in all media – pay attention to internet advertising on sites and apps your kids use.

• Pot can be promoted using any method – merchandise/swag giveaways, free subscriptions. Keep an eye out for these offerings and giveaways. Notify Program Directors of any sport or other kid activity if you see marijuana vendors or increasing marijuana imagery at events.

• Mobile delivery must be allowed on our streets – current medical marijuana licensees are legally allowed to deliver to homes; it will be impossible to know if these licensees will restrict delivery to medical sales while they upgrade their license to include recreational use.

• Smoking pot/consuming THC in your home – marijuana-infused foods are common in Colorado, both commercial and home-made versions are available. They are easy to make at home yet difficult to monitor potency. They are very bad for kids and developing brains (0-25) and are responsible for huge increases in poisonings and hospital visits.

• Giving away pot to friends and potential friends – there will be more pot used in our communities. All Legalization results in increases in marijuana use across all age groups – 12-17, 18-25, 26+

What is not legal in California:

• Smoking in public – is not allowed however only carries a $100 fine. Few may be deterred by this low penalty, but you can legally ask for it to stop or be stopped.

• Driving under the influence of marijuana – however the incidences of this will go up as they have in all other rec-legal states. Be careful.

• Selling pot for recreational use to friends or customers without a specific recreational sales license – for which it will take approximately a year to set up procedures.

The mind-set to adopt is “more people around me may be high”. The first fundamental of marijuana legalization/commercialization is that use of marijuana goes up among all ages…12-17, 18-25 and 26+

That skunky-garlicky smell is probably no longer a skunk and will become more prevalent. Growing and burning marijuana smell similarly.

A parent’s jobs just got exponentially harder:

• Start really watching your kids for signs of marijuana use. The legal age limit of 21 set by Prop 64 is meaningless, because of how much “off-premise” pot will be in our communities. One of California’s Prop 64’s central features is the unlicensed home grows, which became legal November 9th. This is a new black market supply from which many kids will be first exposed to marijuana and where most kids who use pot will get it.

• Start getting over any ambivalence about pot. Stop thinking of pot as being the same as alcohol. Pot is an extremely potent drug today, and the younger kids start they risk a greater chance of addiction, loss of IQ and decline in neuroplasticity. We all need to learn more about potency (% THC) and the neurological impact of marijuana. If you have not smoked pot in 1-2 years, you don’t know anything about it. You cannot rely on your personal experience to direct you in this matter. Potency is the main goal of today’s market. Currently reaching THC levels in the mid-20%, commercial cultivators are shooting for the mid-30% and expect to achieve it in the next couple of years. 15 years ago, pot rarely contained more than 3% THC. Also, no edibles nor concentrates existed then; today they do and can contain upwards of 90% THC.

• Must begin inquiring about home grows and edibles at any house your children (0-18) will visit without you. 1 in 6, or 17%, of all teens that try marijuana, will become addicted – their’s will be the brains that light-up with the first use of a cannabinoid. So sadly, allowing a child to enter a neighbor or friend’s house is now dangerous business. As uncomfortable and invasive as it might feel, you must determine if they will be exposed to marijuana. Between the potential of growing marijuana plants, possibly without the proper ventilation for greenhouse gases, fertilizers and insecticides housed inside and possible edibles on premise, you cannot risk not knowing. Again, CCC passed Prop 64 by 60.1% – your neighbors will grow and use.

• You may want to consider family pot messaging – it might serve all best to let friends know your marijuana status – are you a “no-pot” family or a “pot-friendly” family. This may start to divide some friendships, but it will keep communities from making serious mistakes with each other and this is the new world California voters want to live in, so best to get on with it.

• Big Marijuana will target kids in the same ways Big Tobacco and Alcohol have in the past. Watch youth events for casual marijuana promotion. Youth sports will be a target. Vans handing out marijuana swag were already seen last summer at a big outdoor Lax tournament for 8-18 year old boys.

• California primary and secondary “Ed Code” says no drugs on campus, but schools will need to develop strategies as they see the use of marijuana increase among students, increase smelliness among students (big problem in Colorado) and/or an increase of edibles on campus. Prop 64 offers nothing to elementary, middle or high schools – no policy, structure or money.

• Eventually, parents will need to demand drug-free education from California colleges and universities. Colorado has failed in this regard. We must find a way or the right partnerships to make this happen, so the investments in our kid’s futures do not become 4 years of being high with negative impact on executive brain function – which is under development at greatest rates 18-25.

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Marijuana.Policy.org created the wolf in sheepskin image. Marijuana advocates say legalization is a social justice issue, when it’s really an opportunity for a few people to cash in on the addiction of others. The pot industry preys on low-income communities in cities like Denver, Sacramento and Los Angeles.

Do not assume your city or town will disallow pot shops or other marijuana businesses in your community. Any city that wants to ban marijuana businesses must officially do so within the next year and the sooner the better. If you don’t want pot shops in your downtown, you really have to attend city council meetings when marijuana is on the agenda. Here’s how this works…a) a majority of your neighbors are in favor of commercializing marijuana in our communities.

The county I lived in passed Prop 64 by 60.1%, so many from your town are likely to show-up to these meetings extolling what they see as the value of selling, manufacturing or growing pot commercially right here, and b) the marijuana industry is quite adept at fostering local outcry for marijuana, they will send outsiders to every council meeting with marijuana commercialization on its agenda to speak in favor of it. Hopefully, Councils will require addresses of all speakers, so they know who is speaking from inside and outside the city. And, hopefully councils will factor this information into their decision making. But it’s not guaranteed especially if the pro-pot voice is louder than the anti-pot voice.

Be careful of homemade foods. A marijuana-infused option will start to become more prevalent everywhere – at home parties, farmers markets, events with food trucks, outdoor tournaments, concerts, etc. Again technically it is illegal to sell to people not carrying a medical marijuana card without a recreational license, but pot edibles are very easy to make and many communities and environments will embrace them now.

Seriously, enjoy the last Christmas without an onslaught of pot products being promoted as this year’s hottest gift giving item or best stocking stuffer. There may be some marijuana companies with products available, but given the greater difficulty in selling to non-medical users this year, they are less likely to promote broadly. We will not have another Christmas without a myriad of marijuana gifts. How tragic given how negatively these “gifts” will affect 9-30% of new recipients.

Reprinted with permission from a drug prevention activist in California.