“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.”
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.
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.
Some 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.
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.
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?
The slow motion train wreck is coming into clearer view and gathering speed.
Corporate marijuana’s gradual process of picking off states one-by-one with written to deceive pot laws has led to a slow and steady trending toward more illicit drug use and abuse.
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)
Those of us involved in monitoring the rise of corporate marijuana should understand the value of our disquiet. It is an early warning sign.
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
“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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
“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
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
We 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.
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.
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.
‘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
The 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
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:
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Big Tobacco used doctors for years to convince us that cigarettes were okay. They even had campaigns pitching the health benefits of smoking cigarettes.
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.
By legitimizing and normalizing the use of the drug of their youth, they are setting the example for generations to come. When the smoke clears Obama and Holder will have a “wasted” legacy.
It’s a real shame. Big Tobacco got its wish: Big Marijuana is next.
Michelle 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.
There is a lot of new evidence about the health impacts of high potency 21st Century marijuana. But the rise in its use among young people is perhaps the most problematic.
Student debt had risen dramatically in the past decade, so making the most of that very expensive education is more critical than ever. That makes the following news even more compelling.
Pot has a serious negative impact on the return on investment of those education dollars.
Here’s the scoop at Health Day:
It is one thing to have our neighboring states create marijuana chaos for themselves, but exporting it over the border to states that have the good sense not to surrender to the drug culture is despicable. Law enforcement, drug education and prevention people, and government officials take note.
Here are two articles that were published recently. This information should be very disturbing to anyone in our states who cares about marijuana and substance abuse.
AG Holder recently unveiled a list of eight marijuana violations the Justice Department will enforce. They include:
- The distribution of marijuana to minors.
- Directing revenue from marijuana sales to gangs and cartels.
- Diverting marijuana from states where it is legal to other states where there are no laws allowing for marijuana use.
- Using legal sales as cover for trafficking operations.
- Using violence and or firearms in marijuana cultivation and distribution.
- Driving under the influence of marijuana.
- Growing marijuana on public lands.
- Possessing marijuana or using on federal property.
The intent of the following “entrepreneurs” is clearly diversion and trafficking. They will join other traffickers in Colorado with similar plans for Oklahoma. Your state next.
Don’t believe the hype: marijuana legalization poses too many risks to public health and public safety. Based on almost two decades of research, community-based work, and policy practice across three presidential administrations, my new book “Reefer Sanity” discusses some widely held myths about marijuana:
Myth No. 1: “Marijuana is harmless and non-addictive”
No, marijuana is not as dangerous as cocaine or heroin, but calling it harmless or non-addictive denies very clear science embraced by every major medical association that has studied the issue. Scientists now know that the average strength of today’s marijuana is some 5–6 times what it was in the 1960s and 1970s, and some strains are upwards of 10–20 times stronger than in the past—especially if one extracts THC through a butane process. This increased potency has translated to more than 400,000 emergency room visits every year due to things like acute psychotic episodes and panic attacks.
Since CNN sensationalized his “Weed” reports, Sanjay Guptas has continued to erode his own credibility, for example, in his statements about vaporizing marijuana.
The biggest concern about Dr. Gupta is his relationship with science-based medicine. Being a medical correspondent is a tough job to have and still stay true to science and evidence-based medicine. The temptation to “sex up a story” or to do credulous puff pieces about the latest “alternative” medicine in order to drive ratings is strong, and it takes a strong commitment to be able to resist them.
It seems that Gupta’s weaknesses as a science-based or evidence-based professional were known even as he was being considered for surgeon general in 2009 (see article below). He didn’t make the cut then.
His carelessness in promoting marijuana to his broad TV public with no regard for the impact on public health and increasing abuse of marijuana bares out that skepticism about his professional judgement. Continue reading
Colorado’s wholesome image of fresh air and exercise, hiking and beautiful scenery gave way again this April to a haze of pot smoke while police largely ignored enforcement of the “no public consumption provisions” of the amendment that legalized marijuana in the state.
Meanwhile, a backlash from local and national groups makes headlines as they give Colorado poor marks in first annual 4-20 Report Card.
Is marijuana addictive? Yes. Period.
And the marijuana industry, like the tobacco industry, is counting on it.
Organizations like Marijuana Anonymous are founded for a reason.
They are founded to address a need. The need is coping with and recovering from marijuana addiction.
Fueled by an aggressive profit motive backed by billionaires, and with the goal of creating and profiting from the next big addiction-based industry, marijuana addiction as a substance use disorder is rapidly growing. Continue reading
Marijuana legalization means commercialization, which means more potent pot, more pro-pot marketing, more youth exposures, more public health fallout, and yet another vice-based industry preying on vulnerable populations.
80% of their profit comes from the 20% of their customers who are chronic users. And the youth market is the target market for building a life-long customer base.
“To open Pandora’s box” means to perform an action that may seem small or innocent, but that turns out to have severely detrimental and far-reaching consequences. 
The recent death of a student who jumped to his death in Colorado after ingesting a marijuana cookie is waking many up to what is really being unleashed in the misguided pursuit of marijuana legalization.
Many of her statements reflect the narrative of those who are looking beyond civil liberties, beyond nostalgia, beyond the false dichotomies of justifying another addiction-based vice industry with the evils of two others — tobacco and alcohol — to the downstream realities of legalized marijuana.
“The case has become a grim exhibit in a growing case file as Colorado health officials wonder whether, in the rapid rollout of legalized marijuana, adequate attention was paid to potential health risks of its use”
In addition to his legitimate and well-earned bone fides as a senior writer for NBC News and Newsweek and The Daily Beast before that, Tony Dokoupil comes at the marijuana legalization issue from an interesting perspective. As the son of a notorious marijuana dealer and folk hero, Dokoupil is quoted from his memoir The Last Pirate–A Father, His Son and the Golden Age of Marijuana as saying, “My father went to jail for dealing weed and, to my surprise, I would keep him there.”
“If we really mean to sell marijuana like alcohol, then we mean to create a market where most of the revenue comes from people who have a problem.
That is the business model of alcohol. Eighty percent of the revenues comes from a tiny sliver of the users. It’s not the guy who has a drink after work. It’s the guy who has six and misses his kid’s bedtime, his marriage is in shambles. That’s the kind of guy who supports the industry.”
It seems one of the best places to look for evidence of a trend of awakening to the realities of marijuana legalization may be in the pot legalizers’ own literature.
Their own original playbook was:
1) decriminalization — which played on sympathies for the unjustly incarcerated, lowered stigma and consequences, and dramatically drove up availability and ease of use,
2) medicalization — which ingratiated the street drug into the good graces of the more mainstream with appeals to sympathies for the profoundly ill, and that further lowered perception of harm and further increased use — though because these laws were written to deceive they brought defacto legalization, and now,
3) a mantra of “inevitability” of the march toward full-blown legalization and enormous profits as a newly enriched pot lobby funds its messaging among online youth audiences and lawmakers.
But full-blown legalization is NOT inevitable. Continue reading
In a most eloquent, most thorough, most thoughtful consideration of the issue, David Frum provides the case against marijuana legalization.
“Today, the experiment of state-by-state marijuana legalization is failing before our eyes—and failing most signally where the experiment has been tried most boldly. The failure is accelerating even as the forces pushing legalization are on what appears to be an inexorable march.”
Is it really going to take a body count to stop Big Marijuana?
The tragic news yesterday of the death of a college student visiting Denver on a pot-themed Spring Break trip should sober us all.
If the evidence isn’t already sufficient to simply vote it down, States considering recreational marijuana legalization would do well to wait and see. Continue reading
It turns out she is right.
PolitiFact, the fact checking website, vetted this statement and rules it “TRUE” while providing the research to back up this judgment.
A 300 to 800 percent increase in potency reflects a 4 to 9 times increase over your Woodstock weed or baby boomer bong hit. Parents and voters would do well to ask what other facts SAM has got right. For example: Marijuana is addictive. Continue reading
Ed Wood is among many who are waking up to the manipulations and outright lies of Big Marijuana. In his letter to the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Wood writes:
Pot Taxes May Help State Income, but Problems Remain
Regulation does not keep pot out of the hands (and bodies) of youth whose brains, still being in the formative stages, are most susceptible to permanent harm. Continue reading