Tag Archives: Marijuana

5 Ways Marijuana is a Gateway Drug

Marijuana Presents Itself as a Gateway Drug For Many

Under the right circumstance marijuana leads people towards addiction, mental illness, or other harmful drugs. Scientific studies on the drug have shown its ability to damage brain circuitry. It numbs the reward system, sending users on a search for a stronger high. Peer influence or personality traits can lead to use of drugs beyond marijuana. Here are some reasons why marijuana tempts someone to open the gate and try other drugs.

1. Biological Evidence and Plateau Effect:

Studies showing the damaging effects marijuana has on dopamine receptors and our brain’s reward system suggest marijuana may lead to the use of many other different drugs. In one study done by the University of Michigan Medical School, researchers found a negative correlation between the amount of marijuana consumed over time and the amount of dopamine that was released in the brain in response. This study suggests a change in the reward system over time with a high-inducing drug like marijuana. This decrease in the amount of dopamine released creates a plateau effect. Smokers will then seek other drugs in order to achieve the high they used to experience with pot.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse says cannabinoids are able to decrease the reactivity of brain dopamine reward circuits over time, leaving frequent marijuana users vulnerable to other drug addiction. Additionally, THC promotes an enhanced response to other drugs in the same way that alcohol and nicotine do, which may lead to the progression of more serious drug addictions.

2. Social Environment:

While the scientific evidence supports the idea of marijuana being a gateway drug, it is important to consider the pot smoker’s social environment. Those who begin taking drugs or abusing other substances are likely surrounded with other frequent users. And often their peers have moved on to chasing greater highs. Through their friends they are introduced to harder drugs. There is no predicting who will succumb to addiction in such a progression. If someone is already inebriated or high, they will be less able to resist the invite from a friend to try another substance. Plus, while the motivated, wealthy or successful individual may seemingly thrive with the use of recreational pot, their not so motivated and less successful counterpart may become a cocaine addict. According to the Foundation for a Drug-Free World 99.9% of cocaine addicts began their drug journey with marijuana, alcohol, or nicotine.

3. Gangs and Drug Dealing:

One of the most subcultures is that of drug dealing gangs. The goal of these groups is to make a profit off of the same drug they are hooked on. Check out the story of one man, Eddie Martinez, who managed to overcome a life of drug dealing and now advises young people to steer clear of the dangers which surround marijuana and its victims.

4. Addictive personalities

For some marijuana use may be an occasional form of recreation or a one-time deal. However, various personality traits make one susceptible to substance abuse. This is what is known as an addictive personality. Especially males, who are often considered “risk-takers,” have a greater chance of becoming addicts when they are willing to engage in extreme behaviors. So while marijuana presents itself as a gateway drug to many, the risks to an individual depends their personal choices. See this article, Big Marijuana Claims vs. The Science.

5. Craving the High:

Marijuana, alongside alcohol, is one of the most accessible high-inducing drugs on the market, making it a gateway drug to intoxication addiction. John Daily, an adolescent and young adult addiction specialist argues it is not the THC that people get hooked on.  Jon says, “Addicts are hooked on intoxication” so it makes sense that those who become Opiate or Heroin addicts began with marijuana because it was the most readily available drug which later lead to their pathological relationship to getting high.

 

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.

 

California Traffic Fatalities are Climbing Due to Marijuana

Under Medical Marijuana, California Deaths from Stoned Driving  are Significant say Researchers

 The National Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) reports that in California, 252 persons were killed in 2015, and 1,332 have died over the past 5 years (2011–2015) in fatal crashes where the driver had marijuana (THC) in the driver’s blood system.

Marijuana was found in 21% of fatal crashes in CA in 2015, up from 18% in 2014. Both Colorado and Washington at 24%, who have had Recreational Marijuana Dispensaries open for the past two years, have a higher percentage of marijuana driving fatalities than CA.

 “Many say that approving Prop 64 and making marijuana widely available is no big deal. For me, it is a huge deal since my sister, a nurse driving to work, was killed by a marijuana driver.” says Phillip Drum, Pharm.D. author of the study. See full Marijuana Traffic Fatalities Study here.

 Further, 41% of the CA marijuana drivers were under the age of 25, hardly the age group expected to be using “medical marijuana”. Also of note, marijuana using youth had a higher incidence of speeding 39% compared to a speeding rate of 27% in all other fatal crashes..

Currently blood is tested for drugs in only 25% of all CA driving fatalities compared to more than 80% tested for alcohol. “Lack of blood testing of fatal crash drivers is masking the true level of marijuana involvement in fatalities. In San Francisco, only one of 50 fatal crash drivers were blood tested for drugs in 2015.”  Says Al Crancer, Co-author of the study .

Five Southern CA counties of Los Angeles (43 fatalities), Riverside (29), San Diego (19), San Bernardino (18) and Orange (15) lead the state in marijuana driving fatalities.

  There is no evidence that using marijuana is resulting in fewer opiate driving fatalities. The level of opiate driving fatalities has been constant at 6% over the past five years.

Age of CA Marijuana Drivers in Fatal Crashes, 2015 FARS Data
Driver Age # Drivers %
<21 36 15.9%
21-24 57 25.2%
Under 25 93 41.15%
25-34 75 33.2%
35-44 16 7.1%
45-54 20 8.8%
55-64 16 7.1%
65+ 6 2.7%
Total 226 100.0%

Here’s the Problem When Neighbor’s Marijuana is Next Door

My Neighbor’s Marijuana Weeds Runneth Over

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

unintended-consequences-legal-marijuana
Once people look deeper, they discover a great deal of problems with legalization of marijuana. (even before legalization) Know more = Vote No!

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.