The Marijuana Policy Initiative

Don't Commercialize Marijuana.

A volunteer non-partisan coalition of people from across the US and Canada who have come to understand the negative local-to-global public health and safety implications of an organized, legal, freely-traded, commercialized and industrialized marijuana market.

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

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.

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Does Pot Cause Your Brain to Rot? – Scientific American

Does Pot Cause Your Brain to Rot?

[click image to enlarge] Does Pot Cause Your Brain to Rot? http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/does-pot-cause-your-brain-to-rot/

Here’s the straight dope from young science writers at Wake Forest University. In an up-to-the-minute graphic novel format, no less. Each graphically supported factoid raises as many health and policy consequence questions as it answers. But it gets the science out there is an accessible way.

The scientific question not addressed here: Does commercialization and marketing/messaging drive higher rates of use and addiction? Why or why not? (Nora Volkow has hypothesized/stated that commercialization and advertising do indeed drive higher rates of use and addiction.)

See it at the source at Scientific American.

Why “Colorado regulators can’t answer basic pot questions”…

Colorado can't answer marijuana questions.

Why Can’t Colorado Officials Answer Basic Pot Questions?

…because pot is an unregulateable habit-forming and addictive substance which quickly slips out of control.

Already a black market is under-selling “taxed and regulated” pot in Colordao.  There is still no reliable way of knowing exactly what is in the pot being sold.  Reliable testing would be so expensive it would send many more users to cheaper unregulated sellers. The notion of seed to sale tracking is a pipe dream.  You can’t put a gps chip in every seed, bud or leaf.  It’s easy to dump excess inventory onto the black market. And it’s easy for criminals to grow and sell the drug — but difficult for anyone to determine the source of the product.

Where there is more pot, there is more pot use — including among young people with developing brains, one in six of whom will develop addiction.

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We’ve Become the Marijuana Black Market

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

Washington State’s pot consultant said in 1978:

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

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

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

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City Defends Marijuana Dispensary Ban

City defends right to ban marijuana

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

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

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

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Our Kids are the Canary in the Legal Marijuana Coal Mine

Kids are canaries in marijuana legalization coal mine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Video: Peer-Reviewed Publications on Negative Marijuana Health Effects


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

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

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

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

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

[.pdf of this page]

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

 

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

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

Public Health and Pot’s Pandora’s Box — Death Raises Questions

Pot and Pandora's Box

“To open Pandora’s box” means to perform an action that may seem small or innocent, but that turns out to have severely detrimental and far-reaching consequences. [1]

The recent death of a student who jumped to his death in Colorado after ingesting a marijuana cookie is waking many up to what is really being unleashed in the misguided pursuit of marijuana legalization.

In her article in the LA Times, Jenny Deam sees a precautionary tale in the recent death last week of a student who jumped of a balcony after the effects of eating a marijuana cookie kicked in.

Many of her statements reflect the narrative of those who are looking beyond civil liberties, beyond nostalgia, beyond the false dichotomies of justifying another addiction-based vice industry with the evils of two others — tobacco and alcohol — to the downstream realities of legalized marijuana.

“The case has become a grim exhibit in a growing case file as Colorado health officials wonder whether, in the rapid rollout of legalized marijuana, adequate attention was paid to potential health risks of its use”

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Don’t Go To Pot — David Frum Weighs In

In a most eloquent, most thorough, most thoughtful consideration of the issue, David Frum provides the case against marijuana legalization.

“Today, the experiment of state-by-state marijuana legalization is failing before our eyes—and failing most signally where the experiment has been tried most boldly. The failure is accelerating even as the forces pushing legalization are on what appears to be an inexorable march.”

Here’s the full text as published on Commentarymagazine.com: Continue reading

FactCheck: Marijuana Is 300-800% More Potent

“Today’s marijuana is 300 to 800 percent more potent than the pot of yesteryear” claimed SAM New England’s Heidi Heilman in her commentary in Rhode Island’s Providence Journal on March 13, 2014.

It turns out she is right.

rulings-tom-truePolitiFact, the fact checking website, vetted this statement and rules it “TRUE” while providing the research to back up this judgment.

A 300 to 800 percent increase in potency reflects a 4 to 9 times increase over your Woodstock weed or baby boomer bong hit. Parents and voters would do well to ask what other facts SAM has got right.  For example: Marijuana is addictiveContinue reading

Feds demand marijuana ‘patient’ records in MI, OR

Michigan in 2010, Oregon in 2013.  Search warrant demand of ‘medical’ marijuana patient records shows that Federal DEA is far from giving up on Controlled Substances Act enforcement.

This activity should send chills up the spines of the legislators considering joining in the “medical” marijuana fray, as well as the administrators of the health departments who are facilitating drug traffickers.
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Marijuana legalization is far from inevitable

Since the 2012 election, national news coverage about marijuana has focused almost solely on the states of Colorado and Washington, creating the impression the country is moving toward legalization. But anti-marijuana forces actually won most of the contests in 2012 and in 2010, and lost only when outspent by large margins.

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A Cautionary Letter on Marijuana from AZ to NH Legislators

“As a result of false promises and unheeded warnings, Arizona is now dealing with blatant recreational use and promotion of marijuana, fights to keep dispensaries out of neighborhoods, and costly litigation.”

New Hampshire legislators, are considering a “medical” marijuana bill. The New Hampshire Legislature passed a “medical” marijuana bill during their last session, but it was vetoed by then-Governor Lynch. Their new Governor, Maggie Hassan, is believed to be generally supportive of such a law.  A vote in the full New Hampshire House is imminent.

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The Absurd Notion of Marijuana As Medicine

By spending millions of dollars, the pro-pot lobby continues to deceive the American public with a crude street drug dressed up as “medicine.” It is time that the Department of Justice put an end to this charade which is causing social, medical, economic, and legal chaos across America and the world.

This excellent article written by former DEA Administrator Robert Bonner should be required reading for politicians and pundits who have abandoned reason in favor of pot propaganda and pot profits.

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A Lefty’s Marijuana Warning To Congress

“Legalization is not far off. Congress is eating out of our hand like pigs at a trough.”
–Marijuana Lobbyist

My parent group just received a copy of a letter in which you state your support for financing marijuana stores.

We know that support for the initiative petition that saddled our state with this new law was based on a plea for compassion for the truly ill.

We now know that 97% of the so called “patients” in California have no serious illness and use pot only to get high.

California communities are trying to shut pot stores because they are a menace to communities. We also know that the newly enriched marijuana lobby is behind all the propaganda suggesting that this is anything other than a march toward full legalization.

Meanwhile, our kids are getting high every day — rates of youth use and addiction rising each year since decriminalization. Marijuana use rates among our children have nearly doubled since 1992.

We also know that new neuroscience shows regular exposure of rising levels of THC in the teen brain diminishes cognitive capacity and learning and increases addiction. Similar health impacts affect adult users.

We know the playbook of the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, DC. We know who is funding them, and who they are funding. And we know full legalization is the goal. Their strategy: pick off the states one by one to open the marijuana market to the new pot barons.

The scheme, accompanied by compassionate committees, paid signature gatherers, and propaganda support:

1) Decrim — using a plea for social justice — when in reality fewer than 1% of the prison population is there for simple marijuana possession. Result: increased illicit use as of the drug as consequences are removed.

2) “Medical” marijuana — using a plea for compassion — when in reality nearly all major medical associations are dubious about any medical efficacy of this drug, and 95% of “patients” use this drug simply to get high.

Result: This further ingratiates this drug onto the unwitting good graces of communities, while profiteers organize to set up shop. And operate with NO medical oversight selling a drug in large quantities. Diversion to non-card holding black and grey market customers is inevitable. More kids get high. More customers are enrolled.

3) Full legalization of a psychoactive hallucinogenic drug for recreational use.–using a plea for civil liberties. Legalized drug dealing. And pot barons like the Pied Piper of Pot “Dixie Elixers” move in, sell drugs on a broad scale, and recruit a new generation of life long loyal customers to an addictive drug.

A member of our national network of attended a marijuana industry trade group meeting in Denver last fall. He quoted a trade group leader saying “Legalization is not far off. Congress is eating out of our hand like pigs at a trough.”

If you are receiving donations from illicit drug legalization forces, I would caution you to be careful. Compassionate care committees have been set up in every state where ballot questions are being purchased by the marijuana lobby and it’s billionaire founders.

We are watching you, and every Congressperson who supports legislation that will further enrich the marijuana industry.

If market forces are allowed to embolden and enrich the purveyors of pot further, we will pin the inevitable rise in addiction and lost potential of the next generation on you and other pot supporters in Congress.

The FDA assures safe medicine in this country. Don’t insult our intelligence by calling a street drug medicine.

Please reconsider your support of the marijuana industry. The slow acting neurotoxin they peddle could permanently impair your political legacy.

I’m a former Democrat. This party’s enabling of a domestic drug cartel has shaken my faith in the party, and in blind liberalism as well.

Get educated on pot. Contact the national medical societies representing the illnesses for which smoking pot is allegedly beneficial for some guidance.