This slide presentation includes evidence and data regarding the impacts of lax marijuana policy in states experimenting with legalization, commercialization and industrialization of cannabis. It is a must read, must understand for all parents, concerned citizens, policy makers. Download the .pdf or view it in this post below:
As the share of the population who uses marijuana increases, the number of users who become addicted to the product rises proportionately. Except in the 20th Century, we have much more potent marijuana and THC-laced products. So the new numbers on addiction rates are yet to be collected or fully analyzed.
We need less marijuana. Not more.
Here’s what’s trending in marijuana industrialization and commercialization news and why Massachusetts’ Cannabis Control Commission and other States’ regulators should be paying attention:
Study: Poorer marijuana users smoking the most
Pot users profile closer to cigarette smokers than alcohol drinkers
Marijuana IS NOT “Harmless”
Only the Cannabis Industry, and those deceived by their decades-long tobacco-like campaign of normalization, are saying marijuana is harmless. Those who are studying the effects of regular marijuana use are warning the drug is in fact clearly harmful — not only to those most vulnerable (youth and young adults with still-developing brains) but to regular adult heavy users as well.
Even as those appointed to regulate the marijuana industry in Massachusetts are being bombarded by the self-serving narrative of this next addiction-for-profit industry, doctors and scientists are amassing volumes of evidence that regular marijuana use IS harmful.
Here is the testimony of a neuroscientist submitted to the Massachusetts’ Cannabis Control Commission. Lawmakers, voters, regulators, mothers and fathers, as well as would-be and current users, should read the following and its embedded links:
Dear Members of the Cannabis Control Commission,
I am a PhD level neuroscientist, trained analyst in mental health and substance use disorder pathophysiology and therapeutic areas, and parent of three young children; I have been a leader in youth substance abuse prevention efforts in the MetroWest region for the past 7 years.
A growing body of scientific evidence suggests that no amount of marijuana use is safe for children and youth; chronic use during adolescence is associated with long-lasting effects on the brain resulting in increased risk of addiction and negative impacts on mental health (including suicide and psychosis 1,2) and achievement metrics. Marijuana/cannabis is not “harmless”. Commercialization and use of high potency marijuana products, including concentrates and edibles, are of particular concern with respect to increased risk of negative consequences for public health and safety. Legalization of marijuana reduces youth perception of harm and increases access to marijuana by youth. Continue reading Recommendations to the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission from a Neuroscientist
It’s time to take our communities back from the national pot lobby.
“Opting Out on marijuana profiteering is really Opting In to Community Health and Wellness”
Important local messaging:
- Marijuana IS NOT harmless. The only people saying marijuana is harmless are those standing to profit from it and those who believe them. Science and medicine tell us otherwise.
- Where there’s more pot more people use. Increased supply and commercial access to this drug impacts youth and vulnerable citizens. 80% of marijuana revenue now comes from 20% of heaviest users–this is the definition of an “Addiction-For-Profit” industry.
3. Normalization of marijuana use impacts use rates, school performance and workplace performance. The highest rates of use, across age categories, are where the drug had been commercialized.
4. Public Health: Addiction prevention involves community environmental factors that delay and minimize drug exposures, especially to the developing brain through age 25. But heavy use, daily/near-daily use, and “Cannabis Use Disorder” (addiction) is now a defined substance use disorder in DSM 5 and is a growing public health issue of concern. Continue reading Why We Opt-Out — The Emerging Narrative on Community Marijuana Opt-Outs
UPDATE: November 16, 2017: Updates include addition of the excellent opt-out language passed by Longmeadow; and a link to a video of testimony to Bridgewater Town Council: “Commercial Marijuana Opt Out | What Every Elected Official Should Consider”
* UPDATE: October 31, 2017
Having received an interpretation from Beacon Hill we have updated this post to once again advise that both a General Bylaw and Zoning Bylaw with identical language be voted on by your community’s legislative body. Nowhere in the recreational marijuana law does it explicitly require a Zoning Bylaw as the confirming action of a local legislative body. Therefore a General Bylaw, only requiring a simple majority vote (51%) is believed to be sufficient to confirm a community’s desire to Opt-Out or ban recreational marijuana establishments. Zoning Bylaws require a super majority (2/3 affirmative) vote to pass. It is recommended, out of an abundance of caution, that your community in addition to voting a General Bylaw vote on a Zoning Bylaw (after voting on the General Bylaw). Regardless of the outcome of the vote on the Zoning Bylaw, the General Bylaw is expected to be sufficient to uphold an Opt-Out intention of a community.
UPDATE: October 9, 2017
After the passage of House Bill No. 3818 that became the recreational marijuana law in July 2017, the process for opting out of commercial recreational marijuana activity has changed slightly since Westborough became the first of about 30 communities to do so before this compromise law was signed by Governor Baker. A growing number of more than 100 communities have either Opted-Out or have passed moratoriums on recreational, commercial marijuana establishments citing among their reasons:
- incompatibility with the character of their community
- addiction for profit during a national addiction and overdose epidemic
- impacts of marijuana on brain development
- health and mental health harms of heavy use
- increased availability and reduced perception of harm as a driver of youth and heavy general population use
- increased community costs of enforcement, regulation, and hospitalization
- some revenue is not worth taking
The law applies differently to each community based on whether that community voted in opposition (No On Q4 Community) or support (Yes on Q4 Community) of ballot Question 4 in November 2016.
Here is our understanding now based on information from the Massachusetts Municipal Association: Continue reading Massachusetts Commercial Marijuana — How to “Opt Out” — An Action Plan
State House News Service
BOSTON — One year ago, the battle over whether marijuana should be legal for adults to use was raging in Massachusetts. Now that it’s settled, the combatants are still engaged in a skirmish over how the legal marijuana market should be structured and regulated in Massachusetts.
The Cannabis Control Commission is in the middle of a series of listening sessions around the state and organizations from both sides of the legalization debate are hoping to pack those sessions to sway the commission’s regulations in their favor.
“We need the prevention community’s voice heard at these meetings,” the Massachusetts Prevention Alliance, which opposed medical marijuana and adult use legalization, wrote to supporters in an email Tuesday. “PLEASE arrange your schedules to attend the remaining four of seven sessions THIS WEEK.”
Jody Hensley, policy adviser for the Prevention Alliance, said the organization wants to make sure community health supersedes interests of the marijuana industry as the CCC writes the rules of the budding industry.
“The overarching point is that the Cannabis Control Commission needs to be very clear that this drug is not harmless,” Hensley said. “Our government is here to protect us from the excesses of industry that could harm the public, and the Cannabis Control Commission is here to protect the people, not the industry.” Continue reading Opponents speak out as pot-control panel tours state
Heavy use and high potency commercialized marijuana are real dangers of pot commercialization. Already this latest addiction for profit industry is proved to follow the others: 80% of profits come from 20% of daily chronic users. And as prices inevitably collapse with over supply, so do the tax revenues leaving insufficient funding for health services, regulation, enforcement and prevention.
This is unprecedented — a side effect of pot commercialization: much more heavy use of a much more potent drug.
This pot market takes on a life of its own. It quickly slips out of control. Agricultural economics and commodity market stampedes.
- supply goes up
- prices plummet
- a glut of product results
- cheap excess drug gets pushed onto new consumers
- potency is driven up as producers try to differentiate their products
- more people use more potent pot more often
- predictable health and mental health consequences
Our colleague, Jo McGuire, in Denver was recently asked to accompany a group of delegates from other states investigating commercial marijuana legalization on a tour of the Colorado marijuana industry. Here’s her account what they observed:
A delegation from out of state came to Denver in late April to see how the Colorado marijuana industry is working. I was asked to help guide the tour and ask questions of the industry leaders.
This was an all-day experience, so I will give you the highlights that stand out to me.
After the delegation heard a bit about my experience and area of expertise in safe & drug free workplaces, we were given a presentation by two officers of the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) in Colorado.
They started off the presentation by repeating how utterly impossible it is to regulate marijuana and keep all the rules and know all the enforcement measures they are supposed to follow (these are the people overseeing enforcement for the whole state.) They bragged that they now have 98 people in their office overseeing regulation but later in the day admitted that only 25% of those do on-site inspections statewide (3,000 facilities), the rest are trying to keep up with paperwork.
They cannot get to every site in the state for inspections (again – impossible) so they respond to complaints, spot-check and rely on other community entities to report anything they may find or see. The largest amount of complainants come from other MJ facilities trying to get their competition shut-down.
The greatest violations are:
1. Using pesticides banned in the U.S.
2. Not using the proper inventory tracking system
3. Waste disposal violations
4. Circumventing the required video-monitoring system
They were asked how potency of marijuana is determined and they said, “It is impossible to determine potency.” When challenged – they were adamant that it is not possible.
Those of us involved in monitoring the rise of corporate marijuana should understand the value of our disquiet. It is an early warning sign.
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 Marijuana, Addiction, Legalization and the Parable of the Boiled Frog
This selection of 30 references is a thorough compilation of current research findings on the health impacts of marijuana and the public health impacts of marijuana legalization and commercialization.
Any policymaker or journalist seeking to be better informed than by the spin of industry promoters would do well to inform their decision making, advocacy and reporting by studying and referencing this work. Continue reading What Scientific & Medical Journals & Experts Say About Marijuana
As more marijuana becomes available in the U.S. over the past decade, marijuana use has doubled. And rates of cannabis dependence syndrome (addiction) are climbing as well. This biobehavioral disorder affects three out of every ten Americans who have used marijuana in the past year.
As we permit legalization and commercialization of marijuana in any form, we move into the business of manufacturing new addicts. Marijuana addiction now afflicts 6.8 million Americans. While addiction affects all socioeconomic and racial groups, notable increases in the disorder has occurred markedly among groups who are ages 45 to 64 and individuals who are black or Hispanic, with the lowest incomes, or living in the South.
In addition to more addiction, there have been notable increases in problems such cannabis-related emergency room visits and fatal vehicle crashes. Continue reading Manufacturing Addicts: Marijuana Use Doubles Among US Adults
As cities and towns in Massachusetts consider whether to allow marijuana-related uses in their communities, many are doing the math and deciding it’s not worth it.
Westborough was the first to “Opt Out” AND others are following suit having asked themselves whether increased drug use and it’s predictable impacts on youth use rates, adult heavy use of an increasingly potent drug, and youth and adult addiction, are compatible with the brand of their communities.
The media loves headlines pronouncing the amount of revenue that taxing marijuana commerce may bring into states. But as is often the case with marijuana coverage, rarely do reporters inquire deeply and rarely do they put marijuana revenue into the context of public health, enforcement and societal costs, and seldom do they do the math. Continue reading When it Comes to Marijuana, Some Revenue is Not Worth Taking
The Town of Westborough Massachusetts was the first to opt out of commercial marijuana commerce under the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act passed by a small majority in November 2016. Westborough’s ballot question passed with 80% of the vote of its voters. Its General Bylaw passed at Town Meeting with 87% the vote and its Zoning Bylaw with 88%. Here’s how Westborough did it but it was no easy feat. Here’s why.
The MA Marijuana Law was written by and for the marijuana industry. Their ultimate aim is to maximize consumption in order to maximize profit. With each push into new states, the marijuana industry has tweaked ballot petitions based on issues that have become obstacles to maximizing their markets in other states. One of many examples is Local Control. Continue reading Opting Out of Massachusetts Marijuana Law is a Heavy Lift and Very Confusing. Why?
Massachusetts’ First “Opt-Out” Town Attributes 10x-Margin Victory to Fact-Based Voter Education
WESTBOROUGH, MA – After voting by a slim 6% margin against the November 2016 Massachusetts’ Ballot Question 4 to legalize marijuana (53% v.47%), the Town of Westborough (March 2017) became the first community in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to actively prohibit non-medical marijuana businesses, farms, testing and manufacturing. And, did so decisively at the ballot box (80%) and at Town Meeting
(87% General Bylaw / 88% Zoning Bylaw).
The 60+point margin victory was directly attributed to fact-based voter education and awareness on the risks and implications of today’s high-potency marijuana products, the speculative green-rush of an “addiction-for-profit” marijuana industry and specifically, the onerous underpinnings of Massachusetts Marijuana Law.
VOTE YES to OPT OUT to KEEP OUT Pot Shops:
When do we vote?
TOWN ELECTIONS BALLOT – Tuesday, March 7, Westborough High School, 8am-8pm
TOWN MEETING – Saturday, March 18, Westborough High School, 1pm, (potential continuation to Monday, March 20, 7pm)
Do we have to vote twice?
We encourage you to vote twice. The two voting venues are independent of each other. If you are unable to vote twice, it is absolutely fine to just vote in one of the two voting dates.
Why do we need 2 votes – Town Ballot: Tues, Mar 7 and Town Meeting: Sat, Mar 18-20th?
To avoid the state mandate in the new marijuana law that our community host pot shops, we must “opt out.”
To “opt out” of commercial pot sales requires a “vote of the voters” to pass a “bylaw” preventing pot shops. A “vote of the voters” occurs at the ballot box. A “bylaw”, however, must be passed on the Town Meeting floor. To withstand legal challenge, Westborough, under the current law, must do both. The Board of Selectman and Town Manager are referring to it as a belt and suspenders approach.
Who can vote?
To vote you must be a U.S. Citizen, age 18 and older, and a Massachusetts resident. You must register 20 days prior to the election. Continue reading Massachusetts Commercial Marijuana Law Opt Out — Westborough Voter Guide
Update April 3, 2017: The Massachusetts Municipal Association continues to advocate for changes to the Massachusetts Marijuana Law that simply and clarify local control options for cities and towns. This is their letter to the Joint Committee on Marijuana.
The Massachusetts Municipal Association sent, in November 2016, a strongly and thoughtfully worded appeal to State leaders urging changes be made to the law passed with Ballot Question 4 to regulate commercialized marijuana for recreational use. On December 7th, 2016 MMA issued a call to action to Massachusetts members and citizens to urge their legislators to delay and rewrite this law that is fraught with “many unanswered questions and many significant flaws”. Continue reading MMA Appeals to State Leadership to Amend Marijuana Law to Protect Massachusetts Cities and Towns’ Public Health, Interest and Safety
Residents in states that voted recently to approve recreational marijuana commercialization will now have to deal with the reality of what will be for sale in their downtown stores.
Among the “products” they legalized is “shatter”, a chemical reduction of the marijuana plant that is nearly 100% pure psychoactive neurotoxin THC. The product is consumed by “dabbing.” In a process akin to freebasing cocaine, shards of shatter are vaporized with a blowtorch in specially designed pipes–paraphernalia that will additionally grace neighborhood storefronts unless communities organize to opt out of recreational marijuana sales. Continue reading Psychosis Causing Marijuana Concentrate “Shatter” Coming Soon to a Pot Shop Near You
The following is a very poignant letter from an addictions treatment physician to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
As this blog has warned before, today’s marijuana is different and far more potent than that on which this well-intentioned but wildly misjudged push for legalization was conceived.
Hybridized, genetically-modified marijuana is the product of an industry that is cloaking its push for full-blown commercialization of another addictive and harmful product in the guise of compassion and civil rights.
The simple truth of commercialization following legalization:
Increased availability and decreased perception of harm drive youth use and lowers the age of initiation to drug use — the goal of an industry working to capture lifetime customers, despite known consequences for physical and mental health. Youth exposures double the risk of addiction.
Here is “Pot used to be pretty harmless, but its plenty dangerous today” as printed in the Pittsburg Post Gazette: Continue reading “Pot used to be pretty harmless, but it’s plenty dangerous today” – Post-Gazette
“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.
Update 02/04/2017: The New York Times may finally be taking the public health impacts of marijuana commercialization more seriously if their article, “Pregnant Women Turn to Marijuana: Perhaps Harming Infants” is an indication. THC ingestion is among the more insidious downstream effects of the normalization of cannabis use. The percentages of pregnant moms using pot seems smallish, but the numbers have nearly doubled since legalization and commercialization. And that with more potent pot on the market.
The comparison with alcohol still irks. Fetal alcohol syndrome is a more universally understood risk. Don’t drink while pregnant is common advice. These are two completely different chemical exposures. With a beer or a glass of wine the water soluble alcohol is metabolized and excreted from the body in 24 hours. With cannabis, THC not only crosses placenta, but it is fat soluble and persists in the fatty tissues and breast milk for weeks or months–much more health education needed here.
Colorado hospitals have THC-positive babies needing extra care now in there maternity wards nearly every day now.
Marijuana investors and businesses would be wise to begin to accrue a legal liability fund. It is only a matter of time for evidence and public health policy to catch up, as it did with the tobacco industry and spurn lawsuits to reoup the costs caused by the downstream effects of THC normalization. Continue reading Marijuana During Pregnancy — Real Risks Real Harm
Colorado is showing us that private pot interests dominate the regulatory and democratic process. And Big Money is how they do it.
….Borghesani [of the campaign to legalize and commercialize marijuana in Massachusetts] said,
“Let’s take the model in Colorado and several other states and put control under state and local authorities, put sales in the hands of legitimate tax-paying businesses and let’s generate revenue for the taxpayers in the Commonwealth.”
But here is what the marijuana industry he advocates for does in Colorado. It stacks the regulatory decision making in favor of drug sales and against the health and well being of the public.
Now, as an estimated 80% of Coloradans want childproof packaging, potency limits, and health warnings like tobacco or any FDA approved drug, Big Marijuana dollars shut down the people’s access to a vote on those regulatory measures. You can expect nothing different here in the Commonwealth. The pot industry wrote the Massachusetts law to stack their Cannabis Advisory Board, which will devise marijuana regulations, with 9 of 15 members required from within the cannabis industry.
Remember, there is no money in NOT selling drugs. That’s why once addiction for profit enterprise takes root politically in a jurisdiction it is incredibly difficult to extricate. Drug money is poured back into the political process to maintain unbridled sales and marketing of their drug. This explains why use rates are highest where marijuana is legal, and use rates are lower where marijuana is not legal.
Some communities and many Town Counsels have been confused by MGL Ch.94G, Sec.3 (b) of the Law–the “pot bar provision”. This provision has nothing to do with the process to Opt Out of commercial marijuana establishment land uses in your community.
“No on Q4 Communities”
Alphabetical list of Massachusetts Cities and Towns that voted in opposition to commercial recreational marijuana on ballot question 4 in November, 2016:
|Agawam 50.8% to 49.2%|
|Andover 54.1% to 45.9%|
|Barnstable 52.1% to 47.9%|
|Bedford 52.9% to 47.1%|
|Bourne 51.6% to 48.4%|
|Boxford 52.0% to 48%|
|Boylston 50.3% to 49.7%|
|Braintree 54.3% to 45.7%|
|Brewster 51.8% to 48.2%|
|Bridgewater 50.6% to 49.4%|
|Burlington 54.9% to 45.1%|
|Canton 53.5% to 46.5%|
|Chatham 57.6% to 42.4%|
|Chelmsford 50.9% to 49.1%|
|Cohasset 56.3% to 43.7%|
|Danvers 52.5% to 47.5%|
|Dedham 50.0% to 50.0%|
|Dennis 53.2% to 46.8%|
|Dover 56.5% to 43.5%|
|Duxbury 56.8% to 43.2%|
|E. Longmeadow 53.9% to 46.1%|
|Easton 53.6% to 46.4%|
|Everett 51.2% to 48.8%|
|Falmouth 51.7% to 48.3%|
|Foxborough 51.2% to 48.8%|
|Hamilton 50.7% to 49.3%|
|Hampden 52.1% to 47.9%|
|Hanover 58.5% to 41.5%|
|Harwich 52.8% to 47.2%|
|Hingham 58.3% to 41.7%|
|Holden 51.8% to 48.2%|
|Hopkinton 52.0% to 48%|
|Kingston 51.2% to 48.8%|
|Lakeville 50.6% to 49.4%|
|Lancaster 50.1% to 49.9%|
|Lawrence 58% to 42%|
|Lexington 52.7% to 47.3%|
|Longmeadow 54.5% to 45.5%|
|Ludlow 51.9% to 48.1%|
|Lynnfield 60.1% to 39.9%|
|Marshfield 50.7% to 49.3%|
|Mashpee 53.5% to 46.5%|
|Mattspoisett 51.6% to 48.4%|
|Medfield 55.1% to 44.9%|
|Methuen 51.9% to 48.1%|
|Middleton 53.6% to 46.4%|
|Milton 54.9% to 45.1%|
|Needham 54.8% to 45.2%|
|Norfolk 51.0% to 49%|
|North Andover 53.3% to 46.7%|
|North Reading 53.9% to 46.1%|
|Northborough 50.6% to 49.4%|
|Norwell 54.5% to 45.5%|
|Norwood 53.0% to 47%|
|Orleans 50.8% to 49.2%|
|Paxton 54.1% to 45.9%|
|Peabody 54% to 46%|
|Pembroke 50.7% to 49.3%|
|Raynham 51.6% to 48.4%|
|Reading: 55.1% to 44.9%|
|Revere 52.7% to 47.3%|
|Rutland 50.5% to 49.5%|
|Sandwich 54.0% to 46.0%|
|Saugus 53.3% to 46.7%|
|Scituate 52.4% to 47.6%|
|Sherborn 52.1% to 47.9%|
|Shrewsbury 55.9% to 44.1%|
|Southboro 53.7% to 46.3%|
|Sterling 50.8% to 49.2%|
|Stoneham 53.0% to 47%|
|Sudbury 51.4% to 48.6%|
|Tewksbury 50.8% to 49.2%|
|Topsfield 57.2% to 42.8%|
|W. Boylston 52.1% to 47.9%|
|W. Bridgewater 50.7% to 49.3%|
|W. Springfield 51.8% to 48.2|
|Wakefield 52.6% to 47.4%|
|Walpole 56.6% to 43.4%|
|Wellesley 58.3% to 41.7%|
|Wenham 53.4% to 46.6%|
|Westborough 52.6% to 47.4%|
|Westford 52.2% to 47.8%|
|Weston 55.9% to 44.1%|
|Westwood 58.5% to 41.5%|
|Weymouth 50.3% to 49.7%|
|Wilbraham 56.6% to 43.4%|
|Winchester 57.2% to 42.8%|
|Woburn 50.7% to 49.3%|
|Wrentham 51.0% to 49%|
|Yarmouth 55.5% to 44.5%|
Leaders From Every Region Join Growing List of Organizations To Say That Question 4 is Wrong Path For Their Communities
The list of health, business, faith, and local town boards and officials who oppose Question 4 continues to grow weekly. They join a bi-partisan coalition of 120 legislators from every region of the Commonwealth today voiced their opposition to ballot question 4 to legalize the commercial marijuana industry in Massachusetts.
[Added to the list below this week: Worcester Board of Health, Westborough Board of Selectmen, Milford Regional Medical Center, Tri-Town Council, Waltham City Council, Eight physicians organizations, Link to Mass Medical Society opposition booklet. Check back, list grows almost daily.] Continue reading Growing List of Opposition to Ballot Question 4 To Legalize Commercial Marijuana Industry in Massachusetts
The Wellesley League of Women Voters explores what exactly would be legalized in Massachusetts under Ballot Question 4 including, butane hash oil extraction to produce the marijuana concentrate “shatter”; industrial grow operations; home grow and distribution provision; THC infused edibles and food products; public safety implications and much more.
Watch the forum here:
In this second in a series from WestboroughTV, the issue of marijuana legalization and commercialization for recreational purposes is explored through conversation. In this episode, Colorado business consultant Jo McGuire joins hosts Heidi Heilman and Jody Hensley to shed light on what might be coming to Massachusetts should Ballot Question 4 be approved by the voters this November. Employment and workplace issues, types of marijuana and THC products, youth use data in Colorado, taxes and revenue and implications on youth access and the black market from home growing are discussed. A must see for anyone considering which way to cast their vote in Massachusetts, or in Arizona, Maine, and Nevada where similar industry-written questions are on the ballot.
On Sunday night, October 28th, CBS’ ’60 Minutes’ ran a story, “The Pot Vote,” highlighting public health and safety impacts on Colorado since the legalization of recreational marijuana.
The segment – which features the firsthand experiences and expertise of doctors, law enforcement, and prevention advocates, and CO Governor John Hickenlooper – serves as a cautionary tale to other States considering legalizing recreational marijuana. We can and should heed their warning.
NOT WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED:
“It’s affecting the emergency room, it’s affecting the operating room, it’s affecting just about every aspect of medicine that you could think of,”
— Dr. Steven Simerville, Pediatrician and Medical Director of the newborn ICU, Pueblo’s Saint Mary Corwin Medical Center.
In the premier of a new Rocky Mountain PBS investigative series, “Insight”, news anchor John Ferrugia explores what is unknown about the risks of high potency THC for those who “dab” so-called “wax”, “honey”, or “shatter” that can bathe the brain with hundreds of milligrams of the drug. That’s compared to a limit of 10 milligrams per serving of edibles infused with THC.
“Dabbing” is freebasing marijuana. Yes, like freebasing cocaine only using nearly pure THC concentrate that is vaporized with a blow torch and inhaled. The concentrate is nearly 100% pure THC–stripped by distillation of any of the protectant CBD that is also present in plant marijuana. The effect is devastating on the brain, often irreversible, and can lead to severe mental illness and, in this story, death.
Oh, and yes, it is all perfectly legal in States that vote for recreational and medical marijuana ballot questions. Watch and reconsider your vote:
How’s Legalization Working out in CO?
I moved from Colorado a little over two years ago and I have not been back so I wanted to hear from my friends how marijuana legalization is working out. I posted on Facebook: “Through conversations I have found that people in MA have no idea about the unintended/unforeseen consequences of commercialized marijuana. I have not been back to CO since we moved two years ago so I thought it would interesting to hear from you about your experiences and what you would tell voters in states proposing to legalize recreational pot.”
“Hate it! Worst thing ever. I want to move and I have lived here all of my life.”
“CRIME GOES UP AND HOMELESS WILL FLOCK TO YOUR CITY”
“Hate what’s has happened to colorado. Look out the rest of the nation.” Continue reading How’s It Going? My Colorado Friends On Marijuana Legalization
Pueblo, Colorado– The story of Pueblo is a cautionary tale of what happens when local governments try to resolve their financial difficulties with tax revenue from marijuana. This small city with a population of 120,000 is a former steel mill town which fell on hard times. It ranks #2 in the state for poverty.
Seventy percent of the counties in Colorado opted out of Amendment 64, which commercialized and legalized marijuana. The city of Pueblo banned retail marijuana, but the county of Pueblo began to give licenses to marijuana grows and retail stores. Pueblo County commissioners saw marijuana as an opportunity to fill empty factories and create jobs. They made the decision against the wishes of most of the county’s 160,000 residents.
Here is a two-page pdf of reasons why Massachusetts voters should be very concerned about the provisions of Question 4. Please read, download, forward, print, share. And, please vote “No” on Question 4.
Will it really take a body count for our country to wake up to public health impact of legalized, commercialized marijuana industry using Big Tobacco’s playbook?
Reisa Clardy lost her husband and father to their seven children when a driver high on marijuana crossed three lanes of traffic and barreled into his cruiser. Here’s her appeal:
“Fatal crashes involving drivers who recently used marijuana doubled in Washington after the state legalized the drug. Washington was one of the first two states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, and these findings serve as an eye-opening case study for what other states may experience with road safety after legalizing the drug.”
I was invited to include an unprecedented guest column in my church’s newsletter on this issue and am attaching here:
Do you remember the 1990s? In the 1990s, Massachusetts and other states successfully sued the tobacco industry for deceptive practices, including misrepresenting the harmful nature of tobacco products, intentionally attracting children to tobacco products, and targeting African-Americans. Those practices were wrong back then, and they still are today.
Now this fall we are faced with a statewide push to legalize THC, the active compound of marijuana, in ballot Question 4 – but the deception and hunger for profits remains. As someone who has always prioritized the health of children and families in our community – I am a father of three school-aged kids – I am troubled at what I have learned about Question 4 and its implications. The profiteering is immoral, dangerous for our children, and makes worse our current public health opioid crisis. So I hope we can learn and pray about this decision, because I consider the hazards serious:
Though it is still early, these “experiments” in legalization are not succeeding. Marijuana commercialization is failing as a public health approach to drug use.
In the wake of multimillion-dollar political campaigns funded with out-of-state money, Colorado and Washington voted to legalize marijuana in November 2012. Though it would take more than a year to set up retail stores, personal use (CO, WA) and home cultivation (in CO, which includes giving away of up to six plants) were almost immediately legalized after the vote. (Get the full 18-page Slide Deck Here) Continue reading Lessons Learned From Four Years of Marijuana Legalization — The SAM Report
While the Yes On 4 campaign uses deceitful and confusing TV ads featuring “doctors” to push full-blown, commercialized, retail recreational bud, concentrate, edible THC-infused food and other high-potency marijuana-derived products, our real doctors are urging their colleagues, and all voters, to Vote No on Question 4 in Massachusetts. They join the Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts and eight other Massachusetts-based physicians groups on a massive list list of those opposed. In a new booklet distribute to their entire membership, and available here, MMS cites high-potency THC products, low tax rate, lack of public health oversight, lack of revenue earmarked for education, prevention and treatment, limits on local control, and highly problematic personal cultivation, the doctors organization among their reasons for opposition and sum up their position as follows:
“The MMS believes the health of the people of Massachusetts, particularly its children, adolescents, and young adults, is at stake with this ballot question,” says President James Gessner, MD in his cover letter.
And, they have good reason to be alarmed. Continue reading Mass Medical Society Believes the Health of The People Is at Stake with Question 4. Urges All Colleagues to “Vote No on 4”
While YesOn4 campaign’s TV ads (fact checked as FALSE by WCVB TV) feature “doctors” to confuse voters that this law has something to do with medical marijuana, our state’s hospital and healthcare professionals urge a “No” vote on Question 4 in Massachusetts. In the most recent correspondence to their member hospitals and healthcare professionals, the MHHA points to the latest TV ad (fact checked as TRUE by WCVB). The ad rightly illustrates that this law is about commercial, retail, recreational marijuana with no limits on potency or the number of “establishments” that could grow, sell, process, and manufacture bud, hash, and marijuana infused edibles in our towns and communities “by right”. Continue reading While “YesOn4” Campaign Conflates Q4 with Medical Marijuana, Health and Hospital Professionals Continue to Urge a “NOon4” Vote
Marijuana represents a significant part of substance use in America and adversely affects the health of millions of Americans. According to a recent report(1) issued by the National Institute of Drug Abuse, Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States.(2) Its widespread use and abuse, particularly by young people under the age of eighteen, is steadily increasing while scientific evidence clearly links its long term damaging effects on brain development. Continue reading Roman Catholic Bishops of Massachusetts Oppose Marijuana Question 4 — Urge a “No” Vote
Ballot Question 4 would allow an unlimited number pot shops, by right, in Massachusetts cities and towns. Shops that will sell THC-infused marijuana edibles, with no limits on potency, in the form of candy, chocolate, candy bars, soda, cookies, and baked goods indiscernible from their benign predecessors. 4000 kids in Colorado were exposed to these edibles in 2015 alone.
50% of revenue of the pot industry in other states comes from edibles. The law enfolded in Question 4 is a business plan, a corporate takeover of our towns, that maximizes sales for an out-of-state, predatory industry and puts the burden and cost for any limitations on our communities.
Please read the entire law. Please join us in voting No on Question 4 in Massachusetts.
The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce announces its opposition to ballot Question 4 which proposes the
legalization, regulation and taxation of marijuana. Please see below for the official statement.
“The case against Question 4 is a compelling one on many levels, starting with the broad public health concerns raised by elected officials. The bill is drafted with the wants of the marijuana industry placed before the needs and safety of our communities, including the business community. Continue reading Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Announces Opposition to Question 4 and Commercial, Retail, Recreational Marijuana Industry
- The proposed law is written to benefit the commercial marijuana industry Massachusetts has already decriminalized marijuana possession and authorized medical marijuana. People are not being jailed for marijuana use, and have access to it for health reasons. This ballot question is about allowing the national marijuana industry to come into Massachusetts and market and sell marijuana products in our communities.
Those behind Massachusetts Question 4 insist that this law will reduce youth access by regulating marijuana like alcohol. Compare how Massachusetts has prohibited youth access to alcohol for decades with the way Question 4 will deal with this issue:
1 Failure to pay fine and complete drug class within a year may result in a delinquency complaint in juvenile court for violators under age 17. Same is true for misrepresentation of age or fraudulent identification. However, adults, who are most likely to be violators, never face criminal penalties.
2 Only similarity between alcohol and marijuana enforcement is Question 4 preserves the $500 civil fine for an “open container” of marijuana in a vehicle. Compare 90, § 24I with 94G, § 13(d).
Do we want MORE marijuana use? Or do we want LESS marijuana use?
The motivation of marijuana profiteers is MORE marijuana use.
Where there is more marijuana, more kids use. School nurses understand social norming pressures on kids today. As well as the negative impacts of recreational drug use. That’s why they oppose the legalization and commercialization of marijuana in Massachusetts.
By PAUL M. McNEIL
Tuesday, August 02, 2016
When people ask me why I am against the legalization of marijuana, I need to take a deep breath and compose my thoughts, for I consistently struggle knowing where to begin.
My biggest concern is that by legalizing this increasingly potent psychoactive drug we are creating the next “Big Tobacco.” At the height of tobacco commercialization, over 50 percent of Americans smoked. That is not “progressive.” That’s an epidemic – and it’s the last thing I think Massachusetts wants and deserves with regards to marijuana legislation. Continue reading Weed worry: Why I dread advent of recreational pot
Historic fundraising effort to counter non-medical marijuana initiatives comes on the heels of proposed measures that would legalize pot advertising and candies.
“This is about stopping the next Big Tobacco.”
[Alexandria, VA] – SAM Action, the non-profit 501(c)(4) affiliate of SAM, Smart Approaches to Marijuana, co-founded by a former Obama Administration drug policy advisor Kevin Sabet, announced today a fundraising milestone of more than $2 million dedicated to defeating ballot measures that would legalize marijuana advertising, pot candies, and legitimize massive marijuana special interest groups across the country. Continue reading The jig is up.The ruse perpetrated by the marijuana barons is being exposed at newer and broader levels than ever.