Marijuana, Brain Development and the Impact of Legalization and Commercialization

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:

Continue reading Marijuana, Brain Development and the Impact of Legalization and Commercialization

Cautionary findings. Should the Commonwealth (or Any State) be in the business of promoting Marijuana?

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:

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Study: Poorer marijuana users smoking the most
Pot users profile closer to cigarette smokers than alcohol drinkers

Study: Poorer marijuana users smoking the most

Continue reading Cautionary findings. Should the Commonwealth (or Any State) be in the business of promoting Marijuana?

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:

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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

Why We Opt-Out — The Emerging Narrative on Community Marijuana Opt-Outs

Marijuana commercialization disguised as compassion
Under the guise of compassion and rights lurks an industry bent on creating a market of lifetime users.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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

Massachusetts Commercial Marijuana — How to “Opt Out” — An Action Plan

How to Opt Out of Commercial Recreational MarijuanaCommercial Recreational Marijuana Opt-Out Action Plan

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:

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

Heavy Use, High Potency, Real Dangers of Pot Commercialization

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

See links below: Continue reading Heavy Use, High Potency, Real Dangers of Pot Commercialization

Here’s What’s Coming to Your Back Yard — A tour of a Colorado Commercial Marijuana Operation

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:

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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.

Continue reading Here’s What’s Coming to Your Back Yard — A tour of a Colorado Commercial Marijuana Operation

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

When it Comes to Marijuana, Some Revenue is Not Worth Taking

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

Opting Out of Massachusetts Marijuana Law is a Heavy Lift and Very Confusing. Why?

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?

Westborough’s Concerned Citizens to Host Marijuana “Opt-Out” Forum

Massachusetts’ First “Opt-Out” Town Attributes 10x-Margin Victory to Fact-Based Voter Education

Westborough’s Opt-Out Process–A Step-By-Step Action Plan

Opt Out Press Release on Westborough Concerned Citizens 4-12 Forum

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.

Continue reading Westborough’s Concerned Citizens to Host Marijuana “Opt-Out” Forum

Massachusetts Commercial Marijuana Law Opt Out — Westborough Voter Guide

Opt Out Marijuana Massachusetts Westborough Guide
When voters become educated on the true nature of the predatory industry behind the MA Marijuana Law, they become very concerned about what this industry might do to the character of their communities. Educate, vote, opt out.

VOTE YES to OPT OUT to KEEP OUT Pot Shops:

(download this guide to print & share)

Q&A:

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

“Pot used to be pretty harmless, but it’s plenty dangerous today” – Post-Gazette

Marijuana commercialization disguised as compassion
Under the guise of compassion and civil rights lurks an industry bent on creating a market of lifetime users.

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 product they are pushing is being proved to be dangerously strong and the cause of wasted potential, wasted productivity, and wasted lives.

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 During Pregnancy — Real Risks Real Harm

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.

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

Big Marijuana is Officially Corrupt. That’s What Colorado is Teaching Us. Will we listen?

Big Marijuana is officially corrupt.
Big Marijuana is officially corrupt.

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.

So here’s how they roll in Colorado — my way or the high way:  Continue reading Big Marijuana is Officially Corrupt. That’s What Colorado is Teaching Us. Will we listen?

The 90 “No on Q4 Communities” That Voted In Opposition to Commercial Recreational Marijuana

“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:

Massachusetts Community:
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%
Wareham ?
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%

Growing List of Opposition to Ballot Question 4 To Legalize Commercial Marijuana Industry in Massachusetts

 



No on Question 4. No to commercial marijuana.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

Wellesley, Mass League of Women Voters: A Forum on Ballot Question 4 on Marijuana Legalization and Commercialization

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:

Lessons Learned From Four Years of Marijuana Legalization — The SAM Report

Lessons Learned After Four Years of Marijuana LegalizationThough 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

Mass Medical Society Believes the Health of The People Is at Stake with Question 4. Urges All Colleagues to “Vote No on 4”

Get, and share, their booklet here

mass-doctors-urge-no-on-ballot-question-4-public-health-at-stakeWhile 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”

Does Question 4 Really Treat Marijuana Like Alcohol When It Comes to Youth Access? Not at All.

Real questions about marijuana legalization.

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:

regulate-marijuana-like-alcohol-in-massachusetts-1of2-jpg

regulate-marijuana-like-alcohol-in-massachusetts-2of2-jpg

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).

No On Question 4. No To Commercial Marijuana Industry says Mass School Nurses Org.

Nurses say no to Massachusetts Marijuana Commercialization
“It would be irresponsible and dangerous to increase its availability and ease of access for young people.”

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.

Continue reading No On Question 4. No To Commercial Marijuana Industry says Mass School Nurses Org.

Weed worry: Why I dread advent of recreational pot

Big Marijuana, like Big Tobacco is counting on cultivating the youth market.
Big Marijuana, like Big Tobacco is counting on cultivating the youth market.

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

The jig is up.The ruse perpetrated by the marijuana barons is being exposed at newer and broader levels than ever.

The jig is up. The ruse of the pot barons is being exposed at newer and broader levels.
The jig is up. The ruse of the pot barons is being exposed at newer and broader levels. So powerful to have the dirty tricks exposed in multiple states simultaneously.

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.

Marijuana Driving Problems/Fatalities Escalating

Marijuana related driving fatalities skyrocketing
“Normally, any drug with so many deaths, injuries, and associated problems would be pulled from the market by FDA”

From, “The Marijuana Report”

Marijuana DUII arrests in Oregon surged 163 percent in the first six months of recreational legalization, according to the Oregon State Police. DUII, driving under the influence of intoxicants, is the term Oregon uses to describe alcohol and drug impaired driving. Authorities say the lack of systematic data collection about marijuana-impaired driving is the biggest gap in the state’s preparation for recreational legalization. A report on the topic is due to the legislature next year. Continue reading Marijuana Driving Problems/Fatalities Escalating

Edible Marijuana Overdoses Reported to US Poison Control Centers on Rise

THC poisonings on the rise with marijuana commercializationThe age groups with the most calls were children less than five years old (109 calls) and adolescents ages 13-19 (78 calls).

From, “The Marijuana Report
Researchers analyzed exposure calls coded to marijuana edibles that were reported to the National Poison Data System from January 2013 to December 2015. Four-hundred and thirty calls were reported.
The two states that had implemented recreational marijuana legalization by then had the most exposures:
Colorado—166, or 1.05 per 100,000

Washington—96, or .46 per 100,000 Continue reading Edible Marijuana Overdoses Reported to US Poison Control Centers on Rise

Poll shows a majority of MA voters are opposing Question 4 to legalize the commercial marijuana industry 

Good news! A majority of Massachusetts voters would choose health and safety over a commercialized marijuana industry
Good news! A majority of Massachusetts voters would choose health and safety over a commercialized marijuana industry

The Boston Globe, reports some positive news.
A new poll shows that a majority of voters are opposing Question 4 to legalize the commercial marijuana industry in Massachusetts. 51% of voters oppose it, while just 41% support it.

It shows that as more people learn about this proposal written by and for the marijuana industry, the more concerns they are having. Continue reading Poll shows a majority of MA voters are opposing Question 4 to legalize the commercial marijuana industry 

Bipartisan Leadership Seeks Your Help in Making A Powerful Statement Against Marijuana Industry

Keep Massachusetts Clean, Healthy and Drug Free
Keep Massachusetts Clean, Healthy and Drug Free

Last Friday was an amazing day.
Governor Baker, Mayor Walsh, Speaker DeLeo, Lieutenant Governor Polito, Sheriff Tompkins, and so many health care, education, business, and anti-addiction leaders joined together to kick off the campaign to oppose the legalization of the commercial marijuana industry in Massachusetts.
Not many issues bring such a broad, bi-partisan coalition together. But this issue does.

They’re coming together to make a statement – that allowing the the billion dollar commercial Marijuana Industry into Massachusetts is the wrong path for our kids and our communities. Continue reading Bipartisan Leadership Seeks Your Help in Making A Powerful Statement Against Marijuana Industry

“Reject Commercialized Marijuana,” Urges Bi-Partisan MA Coalition 

Broad-based Bi-partisan Coalition Urges Rejection of Ballot Question to Legalize Commercial Marijuana Industry in Massachusetts

As Commonwealth Confronts Addiction Crisis, Coalition Leaders Believe Allowing Billion-Dollar Industry to Market Edible Products, Increasing Access to Young People, Is Wrong Path for Massachusetts

BOSTON – A broad-based, bi-partisan coalition of community leaders and experts joined together today to urge voters to reject the proposed ballot question to legalize the commercial marijuana industry in Massachusetts. Particularly in the context of the addiction crisis we are currently facing, the leaders said allowing the billion-dollar marijuana industry into Massachusetts to market highly potent edible products and increase access to young people is the wrong path for the state.

Continue reading “Reject Commercialized Marijuana,” Urges Bi-Partisan MA Coalition 

Mass SJC Agrees Ballot Question Misleading–Revises

Marijuana ballot question revised by SJC
SJC Revises Description To Include Reference to Marijuana Edibles Market

BOSTON – Today, the Supreme Judicial Court, while allowing the ballot question that would legalize the commercial marijuana industry in Massachusetts to move forward, has revised the one-sentence ballot description of a yes vote to make explicit that marijuana edibles would be legalized.

Food products adultereated with hallucinogenic THC marijuana extract would be legalized and commercialized by Massachusetts ballot question
Food products adulterated with high-potency, hallucinogenic THC marijuana concentrate would be legalized and commercialized by Massachusetts ballot question

Marijuana edibles account for approximately 50% of marijuana product sales in Colorado since legalization. The ballot question places no restriction on the potency of these products, which have THC levels as high as 90% in Colorado. Edible products include candies like gummy bears and swedish fish, chocolate bars, cookies, and sodas.
Statement from Corey Welford, Spokesperson for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts Campaign

“We are pleased the SJC has recognized that this ballot question would usher in an entirely new marijuana edibles market and that voters must be informed of that fact. Under this proposal, the Marijuana Industry would be allowed to promote and sell these highly potent products, in the form of gummy bears and other candies, that are a particular risk for accidental use by kids.” Continue reading Mass SJC Agrees Ballot Question Misleading–Revises

Child Wellness Advocates – When It Comes To Impact On Kids, Marijuana Is Not “Benign”

Add commercialism to youthful indiscretion and the result can be devastating.
Add commercialism to youthful indiscretion and the result can be devastating

BOSTON – Two child wellness and anti-addiction advocates responded to comments made by marijuana legalization proponents that sought to diminish the harmful impact of the drug.
At a press conference on Friday held by the Committee to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, legalization proponents called marijuana a relatively “benign plant.” In response, a letter was sent by a doctor from Children’s Hospital and the Director of the Northshore Recovery High School objecting to those “unfortunate comments that diminished the harms marijuana imposes on our kids.”

“We can have a healthy debate on the issue of legalization,” wrote Dr. Sion Harris and Director Michelle Lipinski. “But the fact that marijuana is addictive and has a negative impact on young people is not debatable.”

Continue reading Child Wellness Advocates – When It Comes To Impact On Kids, Marijuana Is Not “Benign”

Recovery High School Principal Takes Stand Against Legalizing Pot

“We can tell you first-hand that marijuana is not benign.”

“Why would we even tinker with the thought (of legalization) knowing what’s happening to this generation right now?”

By Arianna MacNeill, as published in The Salem News

BEVERLY — While voters will decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana use this fall, the highest rate of users right now is a population that wouldn’t legally be able to buy it, according to the principal of a high school for teens in substance abuse recovery.

Northshore Recovery High School Principal Michelle Lipinski, along with Dr. Sion Harris of Boston Children’s Hospital, wrote a letter to Will Luzier of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, dated April 20, accusing him of “trying to misdirect voters.”

Continue reading Recovery High School Principal Takes Stand Against Legalizing Pot

Behavioral Health Association Opposes Commercial Legalization of Marijuana


During Opiate Crisis,ABH Urges Voters To Reject Effort To Commercialize Another Addictive Drug

BOSTON – A statewide association of organizations committed to providing behavioral healthcare in Massachusetts has voiced its opposition to the proposed initiative to legalize the commercial marijuana industry in Massachusetts.
The Association for Behavioral Healthcare (ABH) voted to oppose the ballot referendum last week. ABH represents more than eighty community-based mental health and addiction provider organizations across Massachusetts.

Its members serve approximately 81,000 Massachusetts residents daily and 1.5 million annually.

Continue reading Behavioral Health Association Opposes Commercial Legalization of Marijuana

NAMI Mass Announces Opposition to Legalized Marijuana


Boston, MA – NAMI Mass, the state’s largest advocacy organization for people and families living with mental illness, is joining a growing coalition of groups voicing opposition to the legalization of recreational marijuana in Massachusetts.

“Marijuana poses a danger for those with mental illness and young people predisposed to mental illness because of the neurological actions of the drug,” says NAMI Mass Executive Director Laurie Martinelli. “In addition, marijuana use can hinder the effective treatment of mental illness.”

Continue reading NAMI Mass Announces Opposition to Legalized Marijuana

“It’s just a plant”–NOT! Adulterated food big part of commercial marijuana plan

Marijuana edibles drive youth exposure, hospitalizations, addiction
Marijuana edibles drive youth exposure, hospitalizations, addiction

PROLIFERATION OF POT EDIBLES UNDER COMMERCIAL LEGALIZATION DRIVES YOUTH EXPOSURE, ADDICTION Pot-Infused Edibles Like Candy And Soda Are Highly Potent, A Danger For Accidental Overdoses, and Represent 50% Of Retail Sales In Colorado

FRAMINGHAM – Highlighting the marketing and sale of pot-infused edibles as a major part of the Marijuana Industry’s profit model under commercial legalization, the Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts held a press conference today to discuss the impact these edibles would have on Massachusetts. Edibles have a much higher potency than marijuana plants, have no potency limits placed on them under the pending ballot question, and are a significant risk for accidental use by kids.

Continue reading “It’s just a plant”–NOT! Adulterated food big part of commercial marijuana plan

Marijuana Industry’s Failed Commitment To Protecting Massachusetts Consumers and Communities

Response To Statement By Industry’s Spokesperson; 24-Page Ballot Question Protects Industry, Fails To Protect Consumers

BOSTON – The Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts (SHMA) issued the following statement regarding the Marijuana Industry’s commitment to protecting kids and communities.

The statement is in response to quotes from the industry’s Massachusetts spokesperson following a SHMA press conference regarding the edibles market that would be established under commercial legalization.

Continue reading Marijuana Industry’s Failed Commitment To Protecting Massachusetts Consumers and Communities

Construction Industries of Massachusetts Opposes Ballot Question To Legalize Commercial Marijuana 


Association Cites Concerns Around Worker Safety, Impact on Communities; Joins Coalition Of Workers, Businesses, And Others Opposing Ballot Question

BOSTON – One of the state’s largest construction associations today voiced its opposition to the ballot question to legalize commercial marijuana in Massachusetts. The Construction Industries of Massachusetts (CIM) cited concerns around worker safety on projects and the overall impact of commercial legalization on families and communities.

CIM is an association representing all aspects of the transportation and public works construction industry in Massachusetts. Members are general contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, equipment dealers, engineers, consultants, insurance and bonding companies, law firms and accounting firms and many other companies interested in furthering the progress of the industry.

One of CIM’s major concerns is the impact of increased use of marijuana on the worksite, particularly based on the influx of legal edible products that would come with commercial legalization. Employees who test positive for marijuana have significantly higher rates of workplace accidents.

Continue reading Construction Industries of Massachusetts Opposes Ballot Question To Legalize Commercial Marijuana 

Retailers Association Of Massachusetts Opposes Ballot Question To Legalize Commercial Marijuana

Business Association Raises Concerns About Negative Impact On Companies And Communities

BOSTON – One of the state’s most prominent business associations today announced its opposition to the ballot question to legalize the commercial marijuana industry in Massachusetts. The Retailers Association of Massachusetts (RAM) cited numerous concerns, including the increased risks around job safety and the overall impact on Massachusetts communities.

RAM has been the voice of the Commonwealth’s retailers for almost 100 years, representing small and medium-sized businesses across Massachusetts. Among the business concerns that it cited included issues around worker safety and reports of higher absenteeism rates for employees who test positive for marijuana.

Continue reading Retailers Association Of Massachusetts Opposes Ballot Question To Legalize Commercial Marijuana

Massachusetts School Superintendents Oppose Ballot Question To Legalize Commercial Marijuana

Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents Oppose Marijuana BallotThe Massachusetts Assocation of School Superintendents (MASS) has taken a unambiguous position against the proposed Massachusetts ballot question that would open the doors to legal marijuana commercialization and an industry interested in expanding use of the drug.  Citing negative impacts on young people in their communities, MASS “are strongly united in opposition to House Bill #3932”

BOSTON – Raising concerns about the negative impact increased access to marijuana will have on students and young people in their schools and communities, the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents (MASS) announced their opposition to the ballot question that would legalize commercial marijuana in the Commonwealth.

The Association, which represents 277 Superintendents and 148 Assistant Superintendents, cited numerous concerns about the impact on young people, including:

• In states where Marijuana is legal, minors and young adults have seen an increase in use. Since becoming the first state to legalize, Colorado has also become the #1 state in the nation for teen marijuana use. Teen use jumped 20% in Colorado in the two years since legalization, even as that rate has declined nationally. Continue reading Massachusetts School Superintendents Oppose Ballot Question To Legalize Commercial Marijuana

Marijuana and the Opiate/Heroin Epidemic: Brain Science Reveals a Connection

This is a 3D model of what happiness looks like in our brain. What you see is a myosin protein dragging an endorphin along a filament to the inner part of the brain's parietal cortex which creates Happiness. What happens to this little guy when in his early years - during the time his brain's host is between 12 to 25 years old, he's exposed to 21st century THC? Research is beginning to reveal, not such good things.
This is a 3D model of what happiness looks like in our brain. What you see is a myosin protein dragging an endorphin along a filament to the inner part of the brain’s parietal cortex which creates Happiness. What happens to this little guy when in his early years – during the time his brain’s host is between 12 to 25 years old, he’s exposed to 21st century THC? Research is beginning to reveal, not such good things.

Current brain science is suggesting strong plausibility that the opiate and heroin epidemic will continue to worsen with commercializing and industrializing production and sales of marijuana at levels the likes of tobacco, alcohol and prescription drugs.

With more 21st century marijuana in our communities, opiate and heroin use rises. The brain science is beginning to explain why this is. We are, with marijuana research, where we were in the 1920s and 30s with tobacco research linking smoking to cancer.

Studies are revealing that the cannabinoid-opioid systems of the brain are intimately connected.

In the areas of the brain where cannabinoids bind, opioids bind as well, and if you modify one system, you automatically change the other. Continue reading Marijuana and the Opiate/Heroin Epidemic: Brain Science Reveals a Connection

An Adult in the Room: MA Senator Lewis on Marijuana

Looking closer at marijuana commercialization
Looking closer at marijuana commercialization.

Kudos to Senator Jason Lewis (MA-D) for being the level-headed, unflappable, well informed adult in the room, and for speaking to the facts and with honesty about what he saw and learned on a fact-finding trip to Colorado. While he hasn’t made public his decision on how he will vote on the 2016 ballot question that would commercialize marijuana for recreational use in Massachusetts, the Senator, unlike much of the media, is at least digging into the issue to properly understand it.

The show on which Senator Lewis appeared is a very popular, generally liberal, public radio talk show in Boston. Upon returning from a fact finding trip in Colorado, Senator Lewis was very clear on the possible downside consequences of a rising commercial/corporate marijuana industry. Continue reading An Adult in the Room: MA Senator Lewis on Marijuana

Medical Marijuana’s Box Canyon and the “Dreaded High”

Marijuana legalization is not inevitable
ev·i·ta·ble adjective \ˈe-və-tə-bəl\
Definition of EVITABLE: capable of being avoided

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 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.

Here is video of the early organizers of the legalization movement. Laughing about the scam they intend to pull on the American people, and screaming “because I like to get high” doesn’t sound so good in the midst of a 21st Century addiction and overdose epidemic that’s killing more Americans now that either car crashes or gun violence.

But full-blown legalization is NOT inevitable. Continue reading Medical Marijuana’s Box Canyon and the “Dreaded High”

The Online Cult of Marijuana — Time for Parents To “Parent”

Social norming and marijuana
Unconditional access to the internet pits parenting against a barrage of messaging designed to drive them to pot.
Internet awash in pro-marijuana messaging.
If we let it, social norming can out influence parenting. It is up to us.

Some adults become so self-absorbed that they don’t tend to the age-appropriate needs of kids.

We are given birthing classes when our children are on the way.  But we are not given classes on the adolescent stage of development. We need them.

The internet is awash with messages that glorify the use of pot. Often these messages employ sarcasm and irony to drive home a message in contradiction to the more sensible advice of parents whose boundary-setting is based in the good advice of fact-backed research or often just good common sense.

This Cult of Marijuana is rife with messages that introduce “good reasons” to get high — appealing directly to the insecurities most teens feel. Kids do not get irony. Even if they laugh along.  These are adolescents and pre-adolescents.

Continue reading The Online Cult of Marijuana — Time for Parents To “Parent”

Pot promoters continue to insist it’s harmless while marijuana deaths get more press

Will it really take a body count to shock us out of the folly of enabling a third addiction-based industry?

Another death in Colorado related to marijuana use has been reported after a local Denver CBS news affiliate obtained a previously undisclosed autopsy report of a teenage suicide in September 2012.

This time is was an 18 year-old who stabbed himself 20 times while high. His marijuana blood level was many times greater than the threshold amount for impaired driving. Although it was initially thought that meth or some other drug was involved, the autopsy revealed that no other drugs were present and that “marijuana intoxication” was a “significant condition” in his death.

It is important that you go directly to the CBS website so that you can read the article, and see the pictures of the victims and watch the news video that summarizes this and other marijuana-related deaths.

Mason Tvert of the pro-pot Marijuana Policy Project, sounding more and more like tobacco industry harm deniers, responds with his usual gibberish about marijuana being harmless.

In May of 2014, this blog made the appeal “For The Sake of Journalism, Marijuana Reporters Need To Take a Deeper Look.”  Kudos to Brian Maas and the CBS Denver for doing just that. The media has in general been far too enamored of the rise of the Marijuana Industry, and far too blind to its harms and the continually emerging science that portends the resulting public health crisis that follows commercialization. Continue reading Pot promoters continue to insist it’s harmless while marijuana deaths get more press

Youth Brains + Lead Paint = IQ -7; Youth Brains + Marijuana = IQ -8. You do the math on legalization.

Lead paint laws protect public health.
Lead paint laws put the public health rights of our youth ahead of those of paint manufacturers.
Lead-Paint-Like-Marijuana-Lowers-IQ-in-Youth
Youth Brains + Lead Paint = IQ-7; Youth Brains + Marijuana = IQ-8. Can you do math?
Look what a trip to the Benjamin Moore paint store revealed this weekend.  A brochure entitled:   “Prevent Lead Poisoning.”

By 1978 we passed laws to get lead out of our homes, our gasoline, toys and other consumer products.

Why do we keep lead out of our environments?  To protect our children’s health and our own health.

The risks are eerily similar to those of ongoing marijuana exposures.  Except lead can cost a young person 7 IQ points where marijuana use can cost 8 IQ points.

 

We’ve taken lead out of our environment. Why would we ever choose to put more marijuana into our environment?

It’s not a civil rights issue. It’s a public health issue.

Continue reading Youth Brains + Lead Paint = IQ -7; Youth Brains + Marijuana = IQ -8. You do the math on legalization.