Larger Context on Marijuana — Legalization Through Deception

Eric Holder, US Attorney General, has promised this week to issue soon an opinion from the Justice Department on its response to the Colorado and Washington State ballot initiative-based laws legalizing marijuana.  Because of those state laws, the U.S. is currently in violation of several international drug control treaties.

Background: The marijuana lobby, actively pushing its message in Congress and online, has stated its state-by-state strategy for full pot legalization:

1) Decriminalization

With a plea for “social justice” this effectively lowers consequences and drives up the number first time users — the vast majority of whom are young, and therefore more likely to become lifetime customers;

2) ‘Medical’ marijuana 

With a plea for “compassion” this serves to ingratiate the federally illegal drug — for which there is little or no substantiated evidence of medical efficacy — into the good graces of the average person. This also drives up local supply of the drug and makes it more readily available to first time users, through a purchased doctor’s “recommendation”, or though diversion from marijuana cardholders.  Again, the users are primarily young people — most frequently young men —  and again, likely long-term customers.  Two factors drive up use of this drug: increased availability and decreased perception of harm.)

3) Full Recreational Legalization

With a plea for “economic development” and “jobs”, when in fact the social costs of driving up regular marijuana use rates will eclipse any tax revenues. One in six adolescents who use regularly becomes dependent.  One in ten adults who use regularly becomes dependent. Social costs include lost potential, lost productivity, increased physical and mental healthcare costs including rehab programs, alternative school settings for recovering youth, low birth weight and developmental delays in exposed infants, increased drugged driving and workplace accidents, amotivational syndrome and chronic unemployment, increased crime, litigation costs. That’s the short list of social costs.

The tobacco lobby is waiting in the wings for full marijuana legalization, stating it can grow the plant, harvest it, roll it, package it, and get it to market quickly.  Tobacco use rates (previous 30 days) are down to 26%, from over 60% after a 50-plus year public health campaign to cut smoking rates was begun with the Surgeon General’s 1964 report announcing that smoking causes cancer.

Previous 30-day marijuana use rates are under 7% — primarily because it is illegal.  Legalization will vastly expand regular use rates, with public health impacts predicted to be greater than tobacco’s. Tobacco impacts the lungs, cardiovascular health and is carcinogenic.  Marijuana poses all those health risks, along with clear brain health impacts.

Here’s an opinion piece from Arizona, working to expose the increasingly enriched marijuana lobby and its misleading campaign tactics.

Well meaning people have been duped by an aggressive “agriculturally-based drug as market based commodity” pressure group.