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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.

 

Crimes in Marijuana Country: Exploitation, Rape and Murder

Reveal, the Center for Investigative Reporting records riveting stories about the victims of sexual abuse in the Emerald Triangle.

Reveal has an expose of the abuses and the sexual exploitation of workers who go to the Emerald Triangle to find work.  Among the most horrific stories were:

  • a 12-year-old girl given meth to make her work faster. At age 14 she ran away to a Eureka homeless shelter, “only to discover that pimps were using it as a hunting ground.”
  • Another woman fled a local grow scene on foot after the owner started pressuring her for blow jobs and sex.   (Some people like this end up homeless, having no place else to go.)
  • the rape of 22-year-old by a grower twice her age.  The article recounts the difficulty of prosecuting in a region surrounded by secrecy.   Everyone protects the leaders of the pot industry

We previously published a story about the marijuana and the vulnerable street kids.

No one really knows how deep and wide the sex trafficking is in the Emerald Triangle, but it’s clear that “trimmigrants” go there from around the world and many face exploitation and/or abuse.    Law enforcement is spread thin, and those who are abused don’t feel safe reporting incidences.  Reporting a crime may expose an illegal marijuana grow and jeopardize future job opportunities.

However, Hezekiah Allen, leader of a growers association, wrote a letter to dispute this characterization of the marijuana culture.

Murder Mayhem adds to Crimes

Humboldt County, the sparsely populated county of only 135,000, leads the state in cultivation in marijuana.   It’s murder rate has spiked over the past three years.

In 2014, there were 16 murders.  Last year, 15 people died by homicide.  Two men were gunned down at a marijuana grow over the recent Labor Day weekend.   With the death of another victim on September 5, homicide has claimed the lives of 14 people this year.   The frequency of murder and property crimes may be another reason that police don’t spend as much time on sex crimes.

Those who live in Humboldt County frequently cite drug use and fights over marijuana as the source of this violence.   Marijuana is the drug most often linked to crime.  A study showed that 54% of the criminals arrested in Sacramento tested positive for recent marijuana use.

That idea that legalizing marijuana frees up the police to concentrate on more serious crime is purely bogus.   In fact, it’s marijuana use and marijuana cultivation which make it impossible for the police to keep up with crimes and investigate.

Environmental Damage and Homelessness is also Caused by Marijuana Growers

While these crimes go on, Humboldt County’s marijuana boom is destroying a unique redwood forest and drying up the fishing streams.

California has 21 % of the nation’s homeless, but the problem is particularly strong in Humboldt County.  Homelessness grows when “trimmigrants” come from around the world and try to get into the marijuana industry.  Sometimes they’re stiffed, abused and exploited.

There are nearly 1,300 homeless people in southern Humboldt County and the number may triple with the marijuana harvest each fall.

Big Sur Wildfire Smokes Out Illegal Pot Growers

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Wildfire rages out of control. Did pot smoking growers start this fire?

Illegal Pot Growers Claim to be Hikers When Rescued in Big Sur

It may not be making the national news, but on local TV news  in California, we learn that firemen discovered illegal pot growers amongst those individuals they rescued from the fiery inferno. See KSBW News report “Hikers” Rescued from Soberanes Fire were Illegal Pot Growers. Officials suspect as many as eleven rescued people were actually involved in a 900 plant marijuana farm. The marijuana growers culpability in starting the fire at this point is unknown, and subject to further investigation.

The fire is raging out of control and fire authorities expect it to burn all through the month of August. Five thousand fireman are working the blaze, which has consumed over 57 homes and more than 33,000 acres. It is now spreading into the Los Padres National Forest according to The Mercury News.

Careless smokers are often the start of such forest fires. If these growers were smoking their product or burning their trash, they very well could have started the fire.

This fire is just one of the many examples of the carelessness of our politicians who are pushing to turn this illicit drug into a big industry. The legalizers often use the argument that legal weed will end illegal activities surrounding the drug. We know from stories out of Colorado, Washington and Oregon that legal marijuana attracts more illegal activity. Each of these states is seeing an increase in  illegal drug activities, both growing and sales. Here is a recent example of an illegal grow operation in Oregon in the Statesman Journal.

Illegal growers destroy the forest floor and tribal lands to plant their ‘crops’, they use toxic chemicals, poison animals and leave unbelievable piles of trash. NBC Bay Area news investigated the environmental damage. The Pacific Fisher is a mammal at risk for extinction, and in this news report 6 of the remaining 300 in Northern California have died, and 86% of those researchers have tested, are found to be exposed to the illegal rat poison used on this marijuana. Just think of what this potent poison could do to the human health of those who smoke this illegally grown drug.

Watch the Video on Environmental Impact of Illegal Marijuana Grows

It is also increasing fire hazards, such as the hash oil explosions. The most recent case was in Nederland, Colorado, and took place in a rented house with an absentee landlord. See the TV news report from a Denver station: Hash Oil Explosion Causes Large House Fire. If wind conditions were favorable, the report says a wildfire could have easily erupted, causing more property loss and forest fire. See Parents Opposed to Pot series of articles on Hash Oil Explosions to learn more about this negative consequence of legalizing marijuana.

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Marijuana and Adolescents Educational TV Show

Dr. Lynn Fox, an author of 11 books on drug education and prevention presents the facts about marijuana in this two part TV show.

 

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Dr. Lynn Fox
C. Lynn Fox, Ph.D. is an expert in the areas of drug awareness & prevention, adolescent development, classroom management, self-esteem enhancement, and Special Education. She has trained over 200,000 K-12 teachers in the past 30 years. June 7th, 2016 her 1/2 TV SPECIAL, Marijuana and Adolescents, will air in the Bay Area and available on YOUTUBE now.

Dr. Fox has authored & coauthored 11 books, including a TEXTBOOK with Dr. Shirley Forbing for HarperCollins entitled: Creating Drug Free Schools and Communities: A Comprehensive Approach.
Visit Dr. Lynn Fox’s website, www.powerfulparenting.com. Contact Lynn foxlynn@me.com or PO Box 862, Tiburon, CA 94920.