Other organizations in the fight to keep states drug-free.

Marijuana Mills Drive Addiction. Resistance is Local.

Manufacturing marijuana addicts through commercialization and legalization.The marijuana lobby and its spokespersons now are actively blaming communities who refuse to support commercial drug use promotion for the black market in marijuana.

And unfortunately, the Boston Globe, Gatehouse Media and other media outlets are buying in.  The Globe’s July 7th, 2018 editorial “Mass. towns need to stop stalling on marijuana rules” is about the uncertainty created for the marijuana industry because of extended moratoriums.  But behind that pretense is the new blame game: saying that communities who choose to refuse to support or promote commercial marijuana/THC are responsible for the marijuana black market.

The notion that all communities should increase marijuana/THC availability and sales because some of them are stuck with it is illogical.  It’s like saying that because Flint has lead in its water, all communities in Michigan should have lead in their water for the sake of social justice.   Both are known neurotoxins to the developing brain.  And both hit vulnerable populations hardest.   And we need less of both neurotoxins in all of our communities.

If the shaky numbers coming out of UMass Amherst for the “marijuana baseline study” (with a survey response rate of 20ish % — too low to be valid)  are anywhere near true, with marijuana use rates at 19%, that number is worrisome and high.  Tobacco use rates have been brought down to 11% in Massachusetts.  The marijuana commercialization lobby is clearly driving a message that is encouraging more marijuana/THC use.  That’s a public health indicator that is moving in precisely the wrong direction.

Remember, the 2016 law specifically provided communities the right to Opt Out.   But they made this process complicated,  burdensome, and expensive.  Opponents of Q4 warned that this new drug sector would target vulnerable communities, as it has in previous marijuana states where 2/3’s of communities who can organize for public health over drug  profits never Opt In to marijuana commercialization.

The 8,500 word 2016 law, written by and for the speculative commercial marijuana/THC product industry,  is responsible for the current confusion in communities about how to control this industry and drug use promotion in cities and town. There will be no help from the Feds or the state for  this new regulatory enforcement burden to cities and towns. That’s why moratoriums are long.  Blaming the victim never works out well.

Municipalities should take as long as needed to strictly regulate or Opt Out on this drug as is their right under the law.

What’s the rush for accommodating increased recreational drug supply and sales in the community environment? The pressure is coming from those that would profit handsomely from heavy problem drug use which now comprises 80% of marijuana consumption in the marijuana states.

The marijuana industry lobby is putting on the full court press now. They have opened an online voter registration drive in Massachusetts to push for more marijuana/THC friendly laws and politicians.

We need to double down now on communications via local news outlets and social media presence.

The Globe may be a dying news organization.  Like the Denver Post in 2012ish, which opened a section called “The Cannabist”, they are looking for paid sponsored content, and eye balls — which is the currency for advertising revenue.

Denver Post ended up laying off most of its staff, including its writers for “The Cannabist”.

This drug use resistance movement will need to continue to be driven by community and neighnorhood leaders and ordinary people, an intertwined root system, relentlessly speaking truth to power.

The cannabis/THC stores are no different than the Pill Mills and “pain clinics” which infected the South with complicated opiate addiction.  These are marijuana/THC product mills.  And they drive addiction.

Please respond and share with your networks.  Every voice of reason counts.

We need to work to preserve Citizen’s rights to maintain community norms which discourage drug use and prevent addiction. 

Use your voice to discourage drug use at the source and prevent substance use disorders.

We don’t need to shame anyone.  We need a voice of reason on addiction prevention, protecting the developing brain,  and avoiding addiction-for-profit industrial sectors. We need to find better ways to address problems of social justice and inequities than pushing more drugs into our community environments. 

Recommendations to the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission from a Neuroscientist

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

Legalization/Commercialization of Marijuana Drives Use Rates

Marijuana Usage by State and State of Legalization
[click image to enlarge] Looser laws drive use. Use drives addiction.
From The Marijuana Report, this infographic contains one of the most powerful graphics you can use in fighting the pot industry. The red lines show the highest rates of youth marijuana use in states that have legalized.

For a detailed summary of the chaos in Colorado, please refer to the latest publication from the Rocky Mountain HITDA group. This document is the go-to source for everything that is happening there.

If someone really wants to know about Colorado, they should start with this document. I strongly urge review of the youth use data, starting on page 9, which shows that Colorado is ranked 3rd in the nation for current marijuana use among youth (56.08 percent higher than the national average). They were ranked 14th in the nation in 2006 before commercialization began.

For a journalistic view of these problems, please see this series of recent articles published by The Colorado Springs Gazette — a 2014 Pulitzer Prize winner — to investigate the impact of marijuana legalization on Colorado and beyond.

http://gazette.com/clearingthehaze

Latest report on the impact of marijuana legalization/commercialization in Colorado

Effect of marijuana legalization and commercialization in Colorado
Colorado’s failed marijuana commercialization policy is negatively impacting schools, our healthcare system, youth and adults, and community safety. This is the third report from Rocky Mountain HIDTA.

2015-04-09

The Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) has published its latest report on the impact of marijuana legalization/commercialization in Colorado.

As you will see, Colorado’s failed marijuana commercialization policy is negatively impacting schools, our healthcare system, youth and adults, and community safety.

This is the third report from Rocky Mountain HIDTA–Read it here. The new report and copies of the previous two can be found here.

While the state continues to only put out revenue figures, the costs continue to grow. What this new report and growing data continue to show is voters in Colorado were deceived and marijuana commercialization is a failed policy approach.

The latest report highlights include:

  • Impaired driving related to marijuana is increasing
  • Colorado marijuana use rates exceed the national average in every age category, including almost a third of 18-25 year olds using
  • School drug related expulsions/suspensions are up dramatically since commercialization began under the guise of medicine in 2009-10
  • Marijuana related ER visits are continuing to go up
  • Marijuana related hospital discharges (at least an overnight stay) are up
  • More marijuana calls to poison control and youth poisonings
  • Illegal diversion of marijuana continues to grow

View the report for yourself.

Colorado Police Foundation: Legalized Marijuana may have increased illegal drug trade

Marijuana guidebook colorado police foundation
Although the Colorado Police Association report tries not to take a position on marijuana legalization itself, the facts argue strongly against it. [Click Image to Download the Report]
In a publication just issued, the Colorado Police Foundation and the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police have summarized law enforcement issues related to the legalization of marijuana in that state. This 84-page document covers topics such as the growth and history of legalization in Colorado as well as particular law enforcement issues dealing with establishing probable cause for arrest, search warrants, drug dogs, the continued existence of the black market, threats of explosions and fires, medibles, tourism and public safety, home marijuana grows, changes to hiring practices, the homeless, the presence of large amounts of cash, drugged driving offenses and the impact on youth and education.

One of the statements struck us as being particularly telling — “legalized marijuana may have increased the illegal drug trade.” Page 17.

You simply can’t make something legal without simultaneously making it illegal. And, when you make a commodity legal and tax it you make it expensive and unaffordable to many. Throw in commercialization–advertising, titillation, deception, promises of false rewards, and social norming and you create more would be buyers.

Layer this all with addiction to high-potency engineered and distilled cannabis derivatives and you have the perfect conditions for a burgeoning black market.

Continue reading Colorado Police Foundation: Legalized Marijuana may have increased illegal drug trade

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 Marijuana Legalization: Not Looking So Good In Reality