The Marijuana Policy Initiative

We Change Minds About Marijuana Legalization

Marijuana Legalization Narrative Evolving

A 2012 crash in West Hempstead, N.Y., in which the teen driver had smoked marijuana. (Photo: Frank Eltman, AP)

A 2012 crash in West Hempstead, N.Y., in which the teen driver had smoked marijuana.
(Photo: Frank Eltman, AP)

The car crash graphic was an interesting choice for USA Today.

The comments are getting smarter:

  • harmful
  • incarceration not a real issue
  • big problems in Colorado
  • we already have medical mj [should be cannabis based medicines only, however]

But the pro-legalizers are still very much in the rhetoric. “most people think its ok”; “people shouldn’t go to jail”

We have to resist being part of the dialogue on how much pot is good for you or OK for you. The answer is, with everything science is telling us about the harms, Generalized pot exposures should be eliminated as much as possible.

Simple public health message:

  • if it means more pot, pot promotion and more pot use, its a bad policy for Americans.
  • Commercialization is a bad answer and harms more people.
  • More pot means more harms.
  • It’s a lousy choice.
  • It’s not OK to collude with pot profiteers.
  • It’s not about one person. It’s about increasing harmful exposures across 315 million people.

Epidemiology should be easy for people to understand these days. Pot use can be contagious. And the harms follow for too many.

This new “freedom” message is bunk. Should marijuana users/sellers be free to hold the rest of us hostage to their promoting pot use to the most vulnerable for profit?

There is no freedom to inflict harm on innocents.

But the tide does seem to be turning. Evitable.

___________________________

Check out the referenced article from USA TODAY:

Marijuana legalization lights up midterms: Opinionline

Junk Science, Real Harm: the Marijuana Reality

Marijuana's junk science

Like Big Tobacco, the Marijuana Industry is using questionable “science” to justify benefits of its products.

We can already see the damage done by rising levels of increasingly potent marijuana use.

But quality science is catching up and is now methodically providing a body of evidence detailing the damage done by the drug.

From a policy perspective, pot legalization has produced the following results in CO:

What’s up?

  • black market sales and illegal drug diversion are up.
  • child drug exposures/poisonings are up
  • pot-related problems in schools are up
  • ER visits for adverse reactions to pot are up
  • marijuana-positive traffic deaths are up
  • workplace positives on drug tests are up
  • mj addiction treatment is up
  • butane hash oil explosions and fires are up
  • marijuana-related deaths are up
  • potency and concentration of THC are way up, hence new levels of damage being done by the drug
  • exposures during pregnancy, and hence infancy, are up

This list could be a lot longer, but that’s what we know so far. Continue reading

Holder’s position on Marijuana – Does he think we are all stupid?

Eric Holder-Marijuana.jpgThe idea that the US Attorney General has merely forgone the prosecution of users is ridiculous. The policies of this administration have allowed for the widespread commercialization of pot and unleashed a new big tobacco that is growing in power and influence as the federal government refuses to enforce clear and unambiguous federal law relating to DRUG TRAFFICKING (not use).

Sophistry is defined as the use of fallacious arguments, especially with the intention of deceiving. Leaving pot users alone at the federal level is one thing, but claiming that this is the intent of your actions is sophistry taken to a new level.

The American public needs to understand that low level marijuana possession offenders were never put into the American prison system.

Drug traffickers were prosecuted — because profiting from addiction put money into the pockets of drug dealers at the expense of their customers who too often become dependent on the drugs and are vulnerable to a host of health ills and harms that accompany drug abuse.

Commercializing and industrializing an increasingly potent hallucinogenic drug, and releasing the forces of addictions marketing onto the people, is not something we should be “cautiously optimistic” about.

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A Wasted Legacy — Obama, Holder & Marijuana

A wasted legacy--Obama, Holder and Marijuana

When legalization of marijuana yields national use rates of 40+% using the same deceptions that tobacco did, who foots the bill for rehabilitation, productivity loss and health effects?

By looking the other way as drugs are legalized by industry-funded state ballot questions in violation of federal and international law, President Obama and Attorney General Holder are legitimzing and normalizing the use of a mind-altering drug based on recollections of experiences from their youth. But make no mistake: they are setting an exmple for generations to come — demonstrating that in their view, drug abuse is not a serious social problem. When the smoke clears from the increasingly potent and addictive products from ever more agressively advertised new open drug markets, it is unfortunate but inevitable: Obama and Holder will have a “wasted” legacy on drug policy.

It’s a real shame.  Big Tobacco got its wish: Big Marijuana is next.

Michelle Obama addressed one public health epidemic (childhood obesity) while Barack ushered in the next: rising youth marijuana use of a potently disruptive chemical which primes the adolescent brain for progressive addiction.

I am a job creator, manufacturer, award-and patent-winning innovator, payroll meeter, benefit provider, 401k matcher, complier with government regulation and tax payer whose business employs 112 people—two dozen of whom were added in the last five years.

But before all that, I am a husband, father and coach.  I am also a local elected official, and give back in time and dollars through numerous charities.

I am an Independent in registration, but my sensibilities and votes tend toward democratic party policy. Until now.

On marijuana, we have become so open minded our brains have fallen out.

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Marijuana, Addiction, Legalization and the Parable of the Boiled Frog

The slow boil of marijuana legalization is underway. When will we panic? And, will it be too late?

The slow boil of marijuana legalization is underway. When will we panic? And, will it be too late?

Those of us involved in monitoring the rise of corporate marijuana should understand the value of our disquiet. It is an early warning sign.

The Parable of the Boiled Frog

Over twenty years ago M.I.T. systems thinker, Peter Senge, wrote about the “parable of the boiled frog.” In short: if you place a frog in a shallow pan of boiling water it will immediately try and jump out. But if you place the frog in warm water, and don’t startle him, he will remain there, unbothered. If the temperature of the water rises gradually, the frog will stay put in the pan, until it’s too late and he’s unable to climb out. As ghastly as the image of the boiled frog is, the lesson is clear. We are not unlike the frog. Our ability for sensing threats to survival is geared to immediate and sudden changes, not to slow, creeping, gradual changes.
(The Fifth Discipline: the Art & Practice of the Learning Organization, Peter M. Senge, Doubleday. August 1990)

What are the top factors which will awaken the rest of America to the bigger picture? Can we make clear the threats and opportunities we sense around us, or is the lull of the warm water just too tempting for a country brimming with distraction? Can we pay attention? Continue reading

Erasing the Inevitability of Marijuana Legalization

Marijuana legalization is not inevitable

ev·i·ta·ble adjective \ˈe-və-tə-bəl\
Definition of EVITABLE: capable of being avoided

Among other recent developments beginning to erase the mantra of “inevitability” for marijuana legalization, “medical” marijuana questions failed to make state ballots in Ohio and Arkansas in the 2014 election cycle.

Pot proponents now say they need paid signature gatherers. “You need paid help for an effort like this and what’s disappointing is that we can’t convince enough donors to contribute to get the necessary resources to put us over the top,” said John Pardee, president of the Ohio Rights Group.

If you have to pay people to get signatures to legalize pot, how is that “the will of the people?”

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Ford Hall Forum Going to Pot? Buying into the Marijuana Industry Message of “Inevitability”

Is the Ford Hall Forum Going To Pot?

Re: October 9th Forum “Going to Pot”: Who will benefit most if pot is normalized? That’s a decent question. But if you really care about justice, the better question is: who will be most damaged?

Imagine our surprise when, just one week after a sold-out audience at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library listened to a presentation by Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Addiction on the “Effects of Marijuana on the Brain, Body and Behavior”, we learned that the Ford Hall Forum (FHF) at Suffolk University was giving one of its sessions to marijuana industry promoters from the Hemp Industries Association and MassNORML.
FHF appear to be buying into the highly-financed and well-honed industry messaging strategy around “inevitability” of industrial marijuana legalization by those who seek to vastly expand pot production and consumption.
The evidence is clear, and getting clearer, that this drug holds significant negative consequence for American public health . . . primarily mental health.
Inviting the cannabis industry to be featured at a Forum is akin to inviting the tobacco industry in to discuss who should profit from their product marketing.  Not exactly a thoughtful or balanced “conversation”.
We invite FHF to take a look at just some of the evidence and data from the National Institutes on Drug Abuse. And consider how the simple but effective manipulative messaging of marijuana promoters is driving up use of this drug — along with its negative consequences.

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Can the USA Afford the Risk of Further Increases in Marijuana Use?

Marijuana's Effects on Brain, Body and Behavior

“Can the USA Afford the Risk of Further Increases in Cannabis Use? “Not if we want people  engaged in society” — Dr. Nora Volkow, NIDA

It’s been an interesting week across the country on the marijuana issue.

See link on the homeless migrating to Colorado in search of jobs in the marijuana industry, and the news of current federal executive agencies making marijuana banking easier, while science is getting clearer and clearer on the developmental damage done by this drug.

Dr. Nora Volkow of NIDA spoke to sold out drug education events on Monday, 9/22, at the Butler Hospital in Providence and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston on “Marijuana’s Effects on Brain, Body and Behavior”. Among the most recent scientific and research findings:

  • Past month marijuana use among 12th grade students now surpasses cigarette use.
  • Addiction is a developmental disease that starts in adolescence and childhood when the brain is most easily primed for the disease of addiction through early exposures to addictive substances.
  • Long-term effects: About 9% of marijuana users become drug dependent. One in six who begin marijuana exposures to the brain in adolescence (17%) become dependent on the drug. 25%-50% of daily users of marijuana are drug dependent .
  • Cannabis use and later life outcomes are dose dependent. When looking at the number of cannabis exposures during ages 14-21 in a population sample, those with 400 or more cannabis exposures represented 50-60% of the population sample who at age 21-25 were currently welfare dependent or unemployed. These high rates of marijuana exposure appeared in less than 2% of that same population sample that had gained a university degree by age 25. Inversely, those who had used marijuana zero times represented the largest percentage of the population with a college degree by age 25 at over 35%, while “never used marijuana” represented the smallest portion of the unemployed at ages 21-25 at below 25% of that group. Over 50% of that unemployed group had used marijuana 400 times or more during age 14-21, and nearly 60% of welfare dependent had used marijuana 400+ times during ages 14-21.
  • Persistent cannabis users show neuropsychological decline from childhood to midlife.
  • Amotivational syndrome is linked to persistent marijuana use. Drive and ambition are negatively impacted.
  • Brain abnormalities are associated with long-term heavy cannabis use.
  • High potency cannabis use significantly increases risk of psychosis.
  • Regular cannabis use increases risk of schizophrenia in the genetically vulnerable.
  • As THC potency has increased significantly in recent years with marijuana commercialization, emergency room visits for adverse marijuana reactions have risen significantly as well.
  • the percentage of marijuana-positive fatal car crashes in Colorado nearly doubled during post-marijuana commercialization in 2009 going forward.
  • Perceived risk for marijuana use among 12th graders for regular marijuana use has been declining since the early 90’s. During this same time, daily use of pot by 12th graders has been rising and is at a 30 year high.
  • Marijuana use has been linked to higher drop out rates and stop out rates in both high school and college.

Dr. Volkow’s parting rhetorical question was, “Do we really want half of America stoned?”  And her concerned reply? “Not if we want them fully engaged.”
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Marijuana Legalization: Not Looking So Good In Reality

Support for Marijuana Legalizaitn Drops. Good news for Teen Health, Public Health

Support for Marijuana Legalization Drops. Good news for Teen Health, Public Health.

With support for legalization slipping (down to just 44% from 51% a year ago) there is finally some encouraging news.

Legalization of another drug for recreational purposes might have looked like to good idea on paper to some drug policy and criminology intellectuals. But its not looking so great in reality.

Fortunately, there are now new resources to help Americans better understand the most misunderstood illicit drug in the country.

We don’t determine medicine by public opinion in this country.

And we should not have addiction for profit lobbying groups and wall street speculators pressuring America to legalize a third major addictive drug for “recreational” purposes.

The target market is always the most vulnerable. Predatory advertising targets the suffering and young people to create lifetime customers. Private profits soar, along with over-consumption and public health and safety fallout. Its time to get smart about the about the facts of this drug. Its not your Grandma’s Woodstock Weed anymore. Marijuana harms. Component medicines may heal — but that hasn’t been proven. Continue reading

Major Poll Finds National Support for Marijuana Legalization Down 7 Points (13.7%) Since 2013

Marijuana-support-for legaliztion-Down-Nationally

Public Religion Research Institute Poll, funded by the Ford Foundation and the Nathan Cummings Foundation, finds only 44% of Americans now support legalization, down from 51% in 2013. Opposition at 50%. 24% strongly oppose.

September 23, 2014

WASHINGTON- Coming off of a Suffolk University/USA Today poll finding only 46% of Coloradans support legalization now, a new report released today finds that in a survey of over 4,500 adults, only 44% support marijuana legalization. 50% of Americans oppose it, including 24% who strongly oppose such a policy.

“Legalization is not a done deal – far from it,” remarked Kevin A. Sabet, President of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM). “People are waking up and realizing that legalization in practice does not represent the magic policy they were promised.”

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Marijuana Legalization Support Plummets 17% — USA Today/Suffolk University Poll

Latest polls show support of marijuana legalization plummeting

“Marijuana Doubts: Colorado voters may be having second thoughts about the legalization of marijuana. A slight majority of voters (50.2 percent) say they do not agree with the decision to legalize recreational marijuana in that state—a decision made by voters in 2012–while 46 percent continue to support the decision. Nearly 49 percent do not approve of how the state is managing legalized pot, compared to 42 percent who approve.” Suffolk University News

Colorado Voters are Turning Against Marijuana Legalization.

A September 17, 2014 Suffolk University/USA Today poll finds support for legalization plummets 17% among Colorado voters.

DENVER- In the first indication of a backlash brewing in Colorado against legal pot, a Suffolk University/USA Today poll finds that now only 46% of likely voters support Amendment 64, the constitutional amendment legalizing and commercializing marijuana. 50% of likely voters oppose the measure entirely. That is a marked difference from election night 2012, when 55% of voters supported the measure. Even fewer people – 42% of likely voters – approve with the way the state is handling the legal change. Continue reading

Teen Marijuana Use: Is This A Price We’re Willing To Pay?

Parental attitudes critical in teen marijuana use

Kids are 6 times more likely to use pot simply because of a parental attitude of indifference

Its becoming increasingly common to hear proponents of marijuana legalization to say its “the government” who wants to keep this drug illegal. Understandably, if one cannot win an argument on the merits, then attack either A) the person making the better case, or B) the government or any other convenient conspiracy canard.

However — many doctors treating kids derailed by this drug, which is almost always a pre-cursor for their young patients and clients who move on to other drugs or developing other co-occurring mental health problems, think expanding the supply of this drug through open commercialization is a bad idea for public health.

The Lancet tells us why:

Dr. Muiris Houston emphasized the recent findings published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry regarding youth marijuana use, which included research showing teenagers who are daily users of marijuana are:

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Weed for Welfare: Another Avoidable Accident of Marijuana Legalization?

Avoidable accidents on the road to marijuana legalization Another weirdness in the odyssey of experimental marijuana promotion in the West: weed for welfare recipients.

With evidence pouring in on the risks to productivity and IQ losses associated with early and regular marijuana use, could this law and policy have gone further off the rails than in making marijuana available for purchase with welfare benefits?

Another avoidable accident on a road ostensibly paved with someones good intentions?

Weed for welfare recipients

It’s Come to This: Welfare For Medical Marijuana Recipients is Now a Thing

Mental Health Parity and Marijuana — Insurance Companies Will Have to Pay

 

Mental Health Parity is now the law of the land.

Mental Health Parity is now the law of the land. Insurance companies will have to cover the treatment costs for drug abuse and addiction when it strikes.

In the US, adolescent marijuana use is at the highest levels since 1992.  Canada’s stats look similar. And the marijuana they are smoking is at least 3 to 8 times more potent than the weed of previous decades.

What was happening in 1992 that led to some of the lowest rates of use of this drug over 40 years?

What was the messaging that persuaded kids not to use?

What was the funding for education, prevention and enforcement of marijuana laws?

What has changed?

Something was working then that is not working now . . . and our kids are paying the price. We are trending in the wrong direction with exposures to this drug.

Having pot profiteers waiting in the wings, advertising and glamorizing this drug — without consequence — is a very clear part of this picture.

Is this what we want for the coming generation? In the United States, Mental Health Parity is now the law of the land.  Insurance companies will have to cover the treatment costs for drug abuse and addiction when it strikes.  We know that one in six adolescents who use today’s marijuana will become addicted. And that risk of addiction goes up to 25-50% among those who smoke marijuana daily. Continue reading

Life and Learning Impaired: Marijuana and School Don’t Mix

Even a little pot increases college dropout risk.

Some say a 21-year-old age limit solves the problem of adolescent exposures to this drug. A ridiculous assertion. Society is a pourous. Where this is more pot, and more pot promotion, more of this drug falls into the hands of young people.d

Those who say a 21-year-old age limit on marijuana sales solves the problem of youth exposures are dreaming . . . society is porous . . . where there is more pot, more pot falls into the hands of young people.

Adolescent development is a stage where the brain does not process long term consequences, and it is a time of egocentrism and a strong need to figure out peer relationships and find a place to belong.

The euphoria of a cannabis high, when it falsely appears “all the kids are doing it” can trump what well intentioned adults have told their kids about the rules.

We are seeing the highest levels of youth marijuana use in 30 years. And it is a much more potent drug this time around as profiteers seek to deliver the most impactful high to eager consumers looking for just that.

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How Staten Island Is Fighting a Raging Drug Epidemic — Where does marijuana figure?

Marijuana-pathway-to-opiates….This article in the New Yorker, Sept 8, 2014, paints a poignant picture of the opiate crisis in one geography — Statan Island. It tells the pharmaceutical history of the chemical sources of the epidemic — and how Pharma companies engage in “tobacco-like” litigation to protect their sales. And how parents and churches take the lead in caring for addicts and work to prevent more addiction.

One topic missing this in this article is marijuana. Radio silence, again. Youth alcohol use is mentioned, pills, opiates, heroin.

Yet, in Massachusetts, each time we’ve spoken with groups of Learn to Cope parents of addicts in support groups, on average 28 of 30 say teen marijuana use preceded opiate addiction in their loved one. Continue reading

Our Country Will Never Prosper by Disguising Marijuana Proceeds as Taxes and Fees

Protect youth from marijuana legalizationThe Honorable Mayor of Denver, Michael B. Hancock, expressed his concerns about the impact that drug legalization will have on public health and safety. He concluded with the following words:

“As a parent, I worry about how the increased presence of marijuana in our city will affect our children and our grandchildren. Despite a few lessons learned from medical marijuana, the long-term implications of that industry and the potential for an expanded industry will not be known to us for perhaps a generation or more. There is no denying, however, the potential for a negative impact on our kids — on their home lives, their health, their education and their future. We already know the toll substance abuse takes on so many of our residents. Sadly, many of them are parents. The cost of substance abuse on our healthcare system, our jails and in our courts is substantial. I want more for all of our kids and for all Denverites.”

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Teen Marijuana Use at a 30 Year High. Like Tobacco, this is what the Pot Industry Wants

Teen marijuana use is at a 30 year highThe trends are very concerning. We are at a 30 year high for youth marijuana use. This is what the industry wants and is counting on. And the drug is much different this time around.

Prevention education will be more critical than ever for this drug. Sound drug policy, law and messaging should be driving use rates down, not up.

That will be the measure of success.

Here is an interesting infographic about youth marijuana use.

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As Trafficiking From Pot States Proliferates, Wisconsin Girl Eats Dad’s 225g THC Bar from Colorado

Marijuana Legalization creates new source for drug traffickingFile under child poisonings, diversion to youth; interstate black market:

A young girl in Wisconsin found a marijuana chocolate bar in her dad’s bedroom which came from Colorado. After eating it, she was found intoxicated at school and barely had a pulse. Her father is charged with child neglect. Just another example of Colorado pot being exported to other states.

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We’ve Become the Marijuana Black Market

IMG_4153.JPGSome criminologists fancy pot legalization as a magical scheme to get control of the black market for this drug, simple economics easily predicted what is actually occurring when states legalize and “regulate” pot. The black market thrives in the midst of expensive and aggressive “legitimate” pot markets.

Washington State’s pot consultant said in 1978:

“If we legalize marijuana or any other drug, either we will have a
private industry whose profits depend on creating addicts. Or we have a public beauracracy whose revenues depend on creating and maintaining addicts. Somebody’s going to get the revenue stream; whoever gets that revenue stream is going to try to maximize it.”

“This dynamic presents a much bigger threat to America’s Public Health picture that the legalizers seem to appreciate.”

Now we seem to be on a mad trajectory of proving in policy practice what we already knew in theory.

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City Defends Marijuana Dispensary Ban

City defends right to ban marijuana

The city of Fife, Washington is defending its ban on pot dispensaries. The stakes are very high.

28 cities and two counties in Washington have banned the sale of retail pot, and many others have enacted moratoriums.

The litigating dispensary owner is suing to overturn the ban. Let’s hope that the judge makes the right decision by upholding Fife’s right to keep the dispensary from opening.

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Marijuana? Now a Call to Legalize Heroin

Legalize marijuana and heroin?

Is the fact that 91% of Americans over the age of 12 don’t use drugs a failure or that only .01% or 200,000 people use heroin really a failure of prohibitive drug policies?

Pertaining to the Boston Globe’s recent publishing of an opinion piece advocating to “End Prohibition of Heroin”…

The Manipulation of the American Public

In 1912 the United States signed an international convention restricting the use of opium, heroin and cocaine and as a direct result of prohibitive drug policies, the use of these illicit drugs has remained below .5% for the American population.

Is the fact that 91% of Americans over the age of 12 don’t use drugs , and that only .01% or 200,000 people use heroin really a failure of prohibitive drug policies?

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The Grey Lady Gaffs — NY Times Out-of-Touch on Marijuana

NY Times Marijuana Editorial Leaves Thinkers Scratching Their Heads“It’s a remarkable weekend when one finds the Grey Lady arguing for state’s rights, and worrying huffily about arbitrary Presidential powers. But when it comes to smoking dope, the mind of the New York Times has fully boggled. Against careful science, sound public policy, and even liberal politics that defends the vulnerable, the venerable editors have decided that what America needs now is marijuana, and more of it. …

In his recent blog post recounting the work of David Murray, William Kristol expresses what we’ve been thinking.  At a time when journalistic integrity is being ground away under the rolling stones of unvetted internet journalism there are few places we look for the bar to be held up. The New York Times in one of those places. So imagine the dismay when that venerable institution takes a stand on a movement that is fully exploiting “easy to sway journalism” as a cornerstone of a greed-driven manipulation campaign the likes of which we haven’t seen since the tobacco industry fooled us into thinking that smoking was okay. Continue reading

NY Times Readers Better Educated than Editors on Marijuana

New York Times should look closer on Marijuana

Gil C / Shutterstock.com

The editors of the New York Times should be held accountable for their recklessness.  A growing portion of the population is awakening to the realities that allowing a third addiction-based drug industry would have on the long-term public health and health costs.

Here are the words of a few who joined the White House and other commentators and researchers in their push back on the careless opinion of the Times editors:

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Florida Fights Back Corporate Marijuana

Florida organizes against big marijuana

A concerted and well organized push back in Florida is educating voters to the deceptions of organized, corporate marijuana industry lobbyists.

The formula is being repeated. Marijuana profiteers are picking off states one by one.

The same laws, written by the same pro-pot lobbyists, with the same negative consequences for youth and other vulnerable populations as unsuspecting voters are manipulated into voting against their own best interests for public health and public safety.

Florida is organizing. And doing it well. We’ve seen the playbook so many times. Thankfully Florida got an advance copy and can mount a truth campaign based on experiences in other states.
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Marijuana Industry Works to Erase Data But can’t Hide The Truth

Marijuana Industry Influences CO Crime Data Manipulation

In the CDC’s latest report, issued late last week, the two states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use — Colorado and Washington — are not represented. As the chart below shows, Colorado data were not weighted, essentially meaning the state failed to provide CDC researchers a sample size suitable for analysis. The State of Washington didn’t participate in the survey at all.

You can try to erase the data, but you cannot change the truth.

The Medical Marijuana Industry Group is just the latest organization dedicated to influencing policy and policymakers in the goal of corporate greed–this time in profit from marijuana addiction.

This corporate marijuana lobby, in its latest deception, issued in June a list of data that is a gross misrepresentation of the facts as it relates to youth use rates and crime statistics in Colorado.

Does drug policy affect the levels at which young people use mind-altering drugs? History has shown that, yes, indeed it does. Not only are youth use rates highest in the United States in “medical marijuana states”, but elsewhere in world, Sweden for example, each time the country softened its drug laws youth use went up, along with public health harms. Continue reading

Study finds medical marijuana farms draining streams dry

"medical" pot farms draining streams dry

“State fish and wildlife officials say much of the marijuana being grown in northern counties under the state’s medical pot law is not being used for legal, personal use, but for sale both in California and states where pot is still illegal.”

We recently wrote about the ecological impacts of marijuana legalization.  The previous day the following article appeared in the Seattle Times. A year prior, The Atlantic highlighted is theme as well in “California’s New Pot Growers: Not at All Earth-Friendly”

The magical notion that legalization will put an end to illegal pot operations is once again exposed as just that–magical.

“People are coming in, denuding the hillsides, damming the creeks and mixing in fertilizers that are not allowed in the U.S. into our watersheds,” 

Cartels no longer need to operate in Mexico. They can do it right here. On Federal and private lands, using Federal water otherwise vital for fish, wildlife and other agricultural needs.

This is the ugly secret of California’s Green Rush.

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Grown Indoors or Out, Marijuana is an Ecological Loser

 

Marijuana an ecological loser

There is nothing natural about industrial cannabis production. It’s a net loser for the environment – indoors or outdoors. Mother Nature never produced concentrated THC.

The Econundrum for Big Marijuana and the “it’s a plant from nature” mindset:

Outdoors cannabis production destroys soils with chemical contamination and is a water hog.

Chemical contamination follows the plant to the consumer.

Smaller and players and the black market will inevitably drift to outdoor production — trying to keep it hidden in remote locations.

Like the leaching of any chemical contamination through an ecosystem — this phenomenon IS man made: an industrial cannabis market.

Indoors, it’s got a huge carbon footprint — an energy AND water hog, and is a very chemical intensive agricultural process, with the same fertilizers and pesticides as are required outdoors. And it becomes even more of a genetically modified commodity hybridized for concentrated THC chemical production in plant form.

There is nothing natural about industrial cannabis production.

It’s a net loser for the environment – indoors or outdoors.

Mother Nature never produced concentrated THC. Continue reading

Buyers Remorse? Montana Initiative to ban marijuana cleared for signatures

Montana buyers remorse on MarijuanaIt’s encouraging to see at least one State’s citizens fighting back against the rise of Big Marijuana. Big Sky Country would be much better off.

That those 8% of Americans who choose to regularly expose their brains to THC get to twist drug control history in order to open the markets to this insidious frequently abused, addictive, drug is beyond common sense.

Most Americans stand with Montana and against commercialized pot. The marijuana backlash is coming. Continue reading

Marijuana During Pregnancy — Risks?

Marijuan and Pregnancy Risks

“Prenatal marijuana exposure does have negative consequences on both the mother and child. This impact should be known so that expectant mothers can make informed choices about how to treat their morning sickness and ultimately care for the future of their children.”

“Marijuana use during pregnancy interrupts fetal brain development. This can result in permanent damage and compromise the development of future cognitive abilities (1). It is the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana, that impacts the growth of the brain and this stage of the brain’s development. “

This beautifully written and thoroughly research-validated article by Pamela McColl is a must-read for anyone who has been deceived by untruths about the benefits of marijuana for pain management and nausea during pregnancy. Continue reading

‘Campaign of Deception’ — Is it Time Sue Marijuana Industry?

Campaign of deception is marijuana playbook.

The time will soon be here when lawsuits against marijuana’s Big Farma will be headline news.

The following article reports a lawsuit filed by California counties against pharmaceutical companies for deceptive advertising, unfair business practices and creating a public nuisance.

Before considering getting into the ganjapreneur game, substitute “marijuana” in the following article for “narcotic” and consider if your business plan has enough in reserves for your legal defense and subsequent penalties.

The same theories that applied to Big Tobacco, are being applied in this case to Big Pharma, can and should be applied against the burgeoning marijuana industry–Big Farma. Continue reading

For The Sake of Journalism, Marijuana Reporters Need To Take a Deeper Look

Accuracy in reporting on marijuana - 5 waysWe search the web for marijuana coverage on a regular basis. We also look at the best research done on the topic. There’s simply no doubt that a pot-friendly media, saturated in misinformation about the drug, has given the cannabis crusade a big boost in recent years.

With the demise of most print journalism, and the rise of on-line stringers, news reporting on this subject has lost much of its rigor. Quick reports using old canards, rather than the high standards of legitimate journalism, has clouded the public’s access to well-informed news analysis on the 21st century science and political history of the current marijuana movement.

Because the public has become so alarmed by the vast number of Americans who have been incarcerated, they somehow bundle that issue with marijuana. The connection of the issues is thin. There is broad agreement that marijuana is a public health problem. And unfortunately, an unbridled pot industry in reaction to an incarceration problem will create much more human suffering and dysfunction than most people have had a chance to consider.

For the sake of credible journalism, writers and reporters everywhere need to take a deeper, better, updated, look.

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Our Kids are the Canary in the Legal Marijuana Coal Mine

Kids are canaries in marijuana legalization coal mine

Sensitive to gases, canaries would chirp a warning before succumbing — warning miners to take precaution or back out of danger. Our youth, succumbing to the propaganda of the marijuana industry are similarly warning us to back out of the rush to legalization.

Our children are the canary in the coal mine of marijuana legalization.

Coal mines were/are dangerous places. Fumes can leak in undetected. Mining tragedies were not uncommon. Many miners were killed in explosions, asphyxiations or poisonings before they were aware that a hazardous substance had leaked into their midst.

But a tiny bird became their warning signal. A canary in a cage in the mine shaft, with its delicate constitution, would succumb to the hazard long before the men would sense it was there. When the canary showed signs of illnes, the miners new it was time to get out.

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Marijuana, the Most Dangerous Drug Out There. Why?

Marijuana, the most dangerous drug out there

Why is marijuana the most dangerous drug out there? “Because everyone thinks it’s safe,”

Fascinating perspective from the chief of science at the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (who was speaking recently at a national conference in Washington DC). It is worth repeating.

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From www.addictionpro.com:

‘The most dangerous drug out there’

May 8, 2014 by Shannon Brys, Associate Editor

When you opened this blog post, what were you expecting to see as ‘the most dangerous drug out there’? Methamphetamine, opiates, oxycodone or crack cocaine? Continue reading

Magical Notion: Legalization of Marijuana will keep it away from kids

Pot brownie edible as "medical" just another part of the marijuana farseThe magical notion that legalizing marijuana is going to help to keep the drug out of the hands of kids is a pipe dream. We need much smarter policy solutions, which lower use rates and drive down demand for this drug.

Only two states have have legalized pot recreationally and yet diversion to youth is getting worse everywhere–the following story from NJ.

Even as this dangerous drug is promoted through legalization campaigns, uncontrolled supply is increasing, intentionally confusing messaging about the risks associated with use of marijuana are lowering perception of harm, and promotional media messaging is driving up demand.

When the novel solution (drug legalization) is making a bad situation worse, its time to find another way. Continue reading

Video: Peer-Reviewed Publications on Negative Marijuana Health Effects


This video from a self-described “nerd” with no dog in the fight of legalization, takes a careful look at peer reviewed literature to address the many myths that are being perpetrated by the pot-lobby and marijuana proponents. Here are the YouTube notes and the bibliography:
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This video deals exclusively with the documented negative health consequences of recreational cannabis use.

I used data from over 140 papers in the process of preparing this video. I’ve done my best to document sources. Below are some key papers for reference. Continue reading

A Caution on Medical Marijuana Legalization — The Thin End of the Wedge

Marijuana -- the thin end of the wedge for addiction and legalization

“Medical” Marijuana is the thin end of the wedge for addiction as well as recreational legalization.

[.pdf of this page]

A version of the following letter was sent to us after its first draft was sent to Governor Dayton of Minnesota.  It is as applicable as precautionary tale for Florida, Alaska, and any other state considering legalization of marijuana in any form.

 

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Dear Governor Dayton — The marijuana backlash is coming. Don’t get caught on the wrong side of history.

I’m a lifelong Democrat and voted for President Obama twice. But this issue is complex. People across the country are organizing in a grassroots response. Continue reading

Teen Marijuana use highest in “medical” marijuana states.

Teen Marijuana use highest in "medical" marijuana states.

Teen Marijuana use highest in “medical” marijuana states. (Click to enlarge or download the .pdf)

Medical marijuana states have the highest rates of youth use in the nation. As marijuana availability increases, and perception of harm decreases, more kids use.

The reality is that 95% of users who frequent “medical” marijuana stores are simply drug-seeking individuals with vague unverifiable symptoms of “pain”, or “intractable pain”, or “chronic pain”. The amount allowed per patient is more than can possible be personally consumed. The rest is diverted — often to youth.

We end up with a large illicit supply and rising youth use rates.

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Why I won’t prescribe medical marijuana — Dr. Alan Berkenwald

Medical marijuana -- why I won't prescribe

“The newest “cause” behind the current narcotic epidemic is being laid at the feet of doctors who are being told they over-prescribe opiate pain killers. Now, I am asked to be the gatekeeper for a mood- and mind-altering drug that has both recreational and (presumed) medical use.”

Hooray for Alan Berkenwald, M.D., who practices in Northampton, MA.

We need more bold medical professionals willing to speak out about the realities of these laws. What actually happens when medical issues are put to popular vote? We are boxed in by laws that were written to deceive the people, after outside funders paid over $1 million to promote their position and their product through sly — yet effective — propaganda to an unsuspecting public. No mention of risks or harms associated with using this drug. That is clearly not medicine.

Over 90% of the families of young opiate/heroin addicts that we’ve spoken to this year say that their children started with marijuana — a practical finding that bares out the science on how, far too often, the brain becomes primed for progressive addiction.

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Families BOYCOTT COLORADO Ski Tourism–Your State on Marijuana

Pot smoke over Boulder. Pot-CO's new image.

Colorado: This is your state’s new tourism image. Yes, that’s pot smoke over Boulder. Cool huh? Why would anyone choose to ski here?

Don't ski in marijuana states.

Families taking their ski business to non-marijuana states.

When you’ve taken the policy decision to trade wholesome outdoor recreation for clouds of pot smoke as your state’s tourism image, you are bound to have some blowback.

This  letter came to us from a family whose ties to Colorado are deep but who have decided to take their ski-vacations elsewhere.

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Sanjay Gupta on Marijuana: Will History hold him in the company of the Tobacco Docs?

Doctors were used to sell cigarettes. Doctors recommend marijuana.

RJ Reynolds, 1946
Ads like this regularly appeared in publications like the Journal of the American Medical Association. (Click image to enlarge).

Sanjya Gupta - Weeds Cigarette MD

Reminiscent of the heyday of Big Tobacco, Gupta’s position on marijuana and image is being co-opted to lend credibility to the marijuana industry.

Big Tobacco used doctors for years to convince us that cigarettes were okay.  They even had campaigns pitching the health benefits of smoking cigarettes.

The same playbook is being used to run the next great public health fraud–the legalization of marijuana. And they’ve got Sanjay Gupta playing the role of the Cigarette “MD”. Continue reading

Nurse as Tobacco, Now Marijuana Icon – We’re being duped again.

Tobacco Nurse is model for Marijuana Nurse

Tobacco companies used nurses, as well as doctors, to brainwash unsuspecting generations into smoking. Marijuana is using the same playbook. (Click images to enlarge).

Marijuana Nurse follows in Tobacco Nurses footsteps.

Not as demure as days gone buy, and updated to our digital and racier present, the “Nurse Tactic” of Big Tobacco is being used today to dupe us into thinking that smoking weed is okay.

When you keep lifting the lid a little more on the methods and intentions of the marijuana industry, the parallels to the duping of America and the world by the tobacco industry become so blatantly obvious that it would be laughable if it wasn’t tragic.

As states, like Kentucky, catch onto the farce that is the medical benefits of smoked marijuana, and build laws for use around just the non-high-inducing cannabidiol part of marijuana, the pot legalization proponents get all upset.

The role of the Doctor in promoting tobacco and marijuana legalization has been thoroughly exploited.  And with the doctor, of course, comes the nurse.

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