Using the same lies and tactics the marijuana industry will precede the next major American public health crisis. Commercialization drives use.
We were once fooled by a major industry living off addiction for profit. Let’s not let it happen again:
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.
“There is ample evidence to support the government’s conclusion that “this psychoactive, addictive drug is not accepted as safe for medical use at this time, even with medical supervision,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Broderick wrote.
Pot proponents stuck the Rohrbacher amendment into a thousand page appropriations bill in 2014, after relentless lobbying by drug advocacy groups, cutting funds for pot enforcement in medi-pot states. And so a budget was passed and the government was not shut down. This hardly means the administration supports legalizing pot, even if, for the budget year, medi-pot states are lawless when it comes to marijuana law enforcement.
This latest, consistent, decision speaks for itself. Research has been done– hundreds of studies. Pot’s harms outweigh its utility. FDA approved and safely dosed formulations are the best option for cannabaoid derived drugs. They are already available. Legalization and its subsequent commercialization is a money grubbing addictions-marketing sham.
…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.
With all due respect to his family, Bob Marley did not appear to die a particularly unworried or happy death when he passed at age 36 from cancer back in 1981. And, in the perhaps the ultimate of ironies, the next great addiction-driven industry will exploit his soul for silver and gold.
Given what we now know know about ever more potent forms of 21st Century marijuana and the harms associated with it, capitalizing on Marley’s drug of choice seems worlds away from any sense of public good for the People.
When drugs are the only comfort a people have to turn to, they simply have too few options for a better life. The ironies are endless here.
The People deserve so much better than open drug markets. The marijuana moguls are the height of predatory market practices — exploiting anyone in order to release their drug on the masses.
This is most certainly not power to the people. It’s power to the Pied Pipers of Pot. And the marijuana moguls hope to be laughing all the way to the bank.
“I, I, I, I.” “Me, me, me, me.” “Money, money, money, money.” “I can buy whatever I want. Even ballot questions which defy the rule of the law of the land. Anytime I want to. In fact, I’m only getting better at it.”
But in many ways, this guy is the only one speaking the truth when it comes to marijuana politics.
Now the marijuana advocates in Florida are saying they should have done what worked in other states: trot out sick people and exploit them for public sympathy; find the rogue former law enforcement official who will publicly say marijuana legalization is a really great ideal; write vague and complicated ballot questions that the people won’t actually understand; work the young and impressionable college crowd hard — with late adolescent brains still under development they are easy targets for marijuana friendly votes.
Pour on millions of dollars of ideological advertising twisting the realities of this drug and ignoring the implications of its broad commercialization. Then get to work opening the markets to another addiction-for-profit business juggernaut that takes a half-century of public health and safety damage before the industry can be brought to its knees — just like Big Tobacco. Meanwhile, the marijuana moguls can be laughing all the way to the bank. And taxpayers can pay for the cleanup costs. Continue reading Me, Me, Me. Greed, Deception Fuels Marijuana Legalization
The growing commercialization of pot continues to create absurd results – including a possible conflict between two states where marijuana is widely distributed through legalization.
Hopefully, Oregon will not succumb to full legalization, but if so, Washington officials are concerned that Oregon’s market will impact Washington’s ability to collect drug proceeds in the form of taxes.
Full legalization in Oregon will allow Oregonians to possess a half pound of weed, 8 times the amount allowed in Washington or Colorado. Furthermore, Oregon pot will be taxed at a much lower rate, driving Washington users, and others, to Oregon and the black market.
This could all result in an advertising war over who has the best prices and the strongest dope–the scenario for marijuana commercialization gone wild. An aggressive competition to see which marijuana merchants can gain exposure of its drug to the most human brains and bodies.
Pair this scenario with the latest information on:
You have all the makings of a new wave of drug abuse — a new plague of drug addiction. With the marijuana moguls laughing all the way to the bank. We saw it with tobacco, an addictive drug that damages the lungs and the heart. Now we open the markets to marijuana, an addictive drug that damages lungs, heart, brain and immune system, and impairs memory, motivation, judgment and psychomotor skills.
Predictable consequences: open marketing of increasingly potent marijuana drives up rates of harm and addiction
As reported in the New York Times “This is your brain on drugs” this month: High-THC marijuana is associated with paranoia and psychosis, according to a June article in The New England Journal of Medicine. “We have seen very, very significant increases in emergency room admissions associated with marijuana use that can’t be accounted for solely on basis of changes in prevalence rates,” said Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and a co-author of the THC study. “It can only be explained by the fact that current marijuana has higher potency associated with much greater risk for adverse effects.” Emergency room visits related to marijuana have nearly doubled, from 66,000 in 2004 to 129,000 in 2011, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
The car crash graphic was an interesting choice for USA Today.
The comments are getting smarter:
incarceration not a real issue
big problems in Colorado
we already have medical mj [should be cannabis based medicines only, however]
But the pro-legalizers are still very much in the rhetoric. “most people think its ok”; “people shouldn’t go to jail”
We have to resist being part of the dialogue on how much pot is good for you or OK for you. The answer is, with everything science is telling us about the harms, generalized pot exposures should be eliminated as much as possible.
Simple public health message:
if it means more pot, pot promotion and more pot use, its a bad policy for Americans.
Commercialization is a bad answer and harms more people.
More pot means more harms.
It’s a lousy choice.
It’s not OK to collude with pot profiteers.
It’s not about one person. It’s about increasing harmful exposures across 315 million people.
Epidemiology should be easy for people to understand these days. Pot use can be contagious. And the harms follow for too many.
This new “freedom” message is bunk. Should marijuana users/sellers be free to hold the rest of us hostage to their promoting pot use to the most vulnerable for profit?
The idea that the US Attorney General has merely forgone the prosecution of users is ridiculous. The policies of this administration have allowed for the widespread commercialization of pot and unleashed a new big tobacco that is growing in power and influence as the federal government refuses to enforce clear and unambiguous federal law relating to DRUG TRAFFICKING (not use).
Sophistry is defined as the use of fallacious arguments, especially with the intention of deceiving. Leaving pot users alone at the federal level is one thing, but claiming that this is the intent of your actions is sophistry taken to a new level.
The American public needs to understand that low level marijuana possession offenders were never put into the American prison system.
Drug traffickers were prosecuted — because profiting from addiction put money into the pockets of drug dealers at the expense of their customers who too often become dependent on the drugs and are vulnerable to a host of health ills and harms that accompany drug abuse.
Commercializing and industrializing an increasingly potent hallucinogenic drug, and releasing the forces of addictions marketing onto the people, is not something we should be “cautiously optimistic” about.
By looking the other way as drugs are legalized by industry-funded state ballot questions in violation of federal and international law, President Obama and Attorney General Holder are legitimzing and normalizing the use of a mind-altering drug based on recollections of experiences from their youth. But make no mistake: they are setting an exmple for generations to come — demonstrating that in their view, drug abuse is not a serious social problem. When the smoke clears from the increasingly potent and addictive products from ever more agressively advertised new open drug markets, it is unfortunate but inevitable: Obama and Holder will have a “wasted” legacy on drug policy.
It’s a real shame. Big Tobacco got its wish: Big Marijuana is next.
Michelle Obama addressed one public health epidemic (childhood obesity) while Barack ushered in the next: rising youth marijuana use of a potently disruptive chemical which primes the adolescent brain for progressive addiction.
I am a job creator, manufacturer, award-and patent-winning innovator, payroll meeter, benefit provider, 401k matcher, complier with government regulation and tax payer whose business employs 112 people—two dozen of whom were added in the last five years.
But before all that, I am a husband, father and coach. I am also a local elected official, and give back in time and dollars through numerous charities.
I am an Independent in registration, but my sensibilities and votes tend toward democratic party policy. Until now.
On marijuana, we have become so open minded our brains have fallen out.
Among other recent developments beginning to erase the mantra of “inevitability” for marijuana legalization, “medical” marijuana questions failed to make state ballots in Ohio and Arkansas in the 2014 election cycle.
Pot proponents now say they need paid signature gatherers. “You need paid help for an effort like this and what’s disappointing is that we can’t convince enough donors to contribute to get the necessary resources to put us over the top,” said John Pardee, president of the Ohio Rights Group.
If you have to pay people to get signatures to legalize pot, how is that “the will of the people?”
It’s been an interesting week across the country on the marijuana issue.
See link on the homeless migrating to Colorado in search of jobs in the marijuana industry, and the news of current federal executive agencies making marijuana banking easier, while science is getting clearer and clearer on the developmental damage done by this drug.
Dr. Nora Volkow of NIDA spoke to sold out drug education events on Monday, 9/22, at the Butler Hospital in Providence and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston on “Marijuana’s Effects on Brain, Body and Behavior”. Among the most recent scientific and research findings:
Addiction is a developmental disease that starts in adolescence and childhood when the brain is most easily primed for the disease of addiction through early exposures to addictive substances.
Long-term effects: About 9% of marijuana users become drug dependent. One in six who begin marijuana exposures to the brain in adolescence (17%) become dependent on the drug. 25%-50% of daily users of marijuana are drug dependent .
Cannabis use and later life outcomes are dose dependent. When looking at the number of cannabis exposures during ages 14-21 in a population sample, those with 400 or more cannabis exposures represented 50-60% of the population sample who at age 21-25 were currently welfare dependent or unemployed. These high rates of marijuana exposure appeared in less than 2% of that same population sample that had gained a university degree by age 25. Inversely, those who had used marijuana zero times represented the largest percentage of the population with a college degree by age 25 at over 35%, while “never used marijuana” represented the smallest portion of the unemployed at ages 21-25 at below 25% of that group. Over 50% of that unemployed group had used marijuana 400 times or more during age 14-21, and nearly 60% of welfare dependent had used marijuana 400+ times during ages 14-21.
Persistent cannabis users show neuropsychological decline from childhood to midlife.
Amotivational syndrome is linked to persistent marijuana use. Drive and ambition are negatively impacted.
Brain abnormalities are associated with long-term heavy cannabis use.
High potency cannabis use significantly increases risk of psychosis.
Regular cannabis use increases risk of schizophrenia in the genetically vulnerable.
As THC potency has increased significantly in recent years with marijuana commercialization, emergency room visits for adverse marijuana reactions have risen significantly as well.
the percentage of marijuana-positive fatal car crashes in Colorado nearly doubled during post-marijuana commercialization in 2009 going forward.
Perceived risk for marijuana use among 12th graders for regular marijuana use has been declining since the early 90’s. During this same time, daily use of pot by 12th graders has been rising and is at a 30 year high.
Marijuana use has been linked to higher drop out rates and stop out rates in both high school and college.
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
WASHINGTON- Coming off of a Suffolk University/USA Today poll finding only 46% of Coloradans support legalization now, a new report released today finds that in a survey of over 4,500 adults, only 44% support marijuana legalization. 50% of Americans oppose it, including 24% who strongly oppose such a policy.
“Legalization is not a done deal – far from it,” remarked Kevin A. Sabet, President of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM). “People are waking up and realizing that legalization in practice does not represent the magic policy they were promised.”
Colorado Voters are Turning Against Marijuana Legalization.
A September 17, 2014 Suffolk University/USA Today poll finds support for legalization plummets 17% among Colorado voters.
DENVER- In the first indication of a backlash brewing in Colorado against legal pot, a Suffolk University/USA Today poll finds that now only 46% of likely voters support Amendment 64, the constitutional amendment legalizing and commercializing marijuana. 50% of likely voters oppose the measure entirely. That is a marked difference from election night 2012, when 55% of voters supported the measure. Even fewer people – 42% of likely voters – approve with the way the state is handling the legal change. Continue reading Marijuana Legalization Support Plummets 17% — USA Today/Suffolk University Poll
Its becoming increasingly common to hear proponents of marijuana legalization to say its “the government” who wants to keep this drug illegal. Understandably, if one cannot win an argument on the merits, then attack either A) the person making the better case, or B) the government or any other convenient conspiracy canard.
However — many doctors treating kids derailed by this drug, which is almost always a pre-cursor for their young patients and clients who move on to other drugs or developing other co-occurring mental health problems, think expanding the supply of this drug through open commercialization is a bad idea for public health.
The Lancet tells us why:
Dr. Muiris Houston emphasized the recent findings published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry regarding youth marijuana use, which included research showing teenagers who are daily users of marijuana are:
Another weirdness in the odyssey of experimental marijuana promotion in the West: weed for welfare recipients.
With evidence pouring in on the risks to productivity and IQ losses associated with early and regular marijuana use, could this law and policy have gone further off the rails than in making marijuana available for purchase with welfare benefits?
Another avoidable accident on a road ostensibly paved with someones good intentions?
In the US, adolescent marijuana use is at the highest levels since 1992. Canada’s stats look similar. And the marijuana they are smoking is at least 3 to 8 times more potent than the weed of previous decades.
Those who say a 21-year-old age limit on marijuana sales solves the problem of youth exposures are dreaming . . . society is porous . . . where there is more pot, more pot falls into the hands of young people.
Adolescent development is a stage where the brain does not process long term consequences, and it is a time of egocentrism and a strong need to figure out peer relationships and find a place to belong.
The euphoria of a cannabis high, when it falsely appears “all the kids are doing it” can trump what well intentioned adults have told their kids about the rules.
We are seeing the highest levels of youth marijuana use in 30 years. And it is a much more potent drug this time around as profiteers seek to deliver the most impactful high to eager consumers looking for just that.
….This article in the New Yorker, Sept 8, 2014, paints a poignant picture of the opiate crisis in one geography — Statan Island. It tells the pharmaceutical history of the chemical sources of the epidemic — and how Pharma companies engage in “tobacco-like” litigation to protect their sales. And how parents and churches take the lead in caring for addicts and work to prevent more addiction.
One topic missing this in this article is marijuana. Radio silence, again. Youth alcohol use is mentioned, pills, opiates, heroin.
The Honorable Mayor of Denver, Michael B. Hancock, expressed his concerns about the impact that drug legalization will have on public health and safety. He concluded with the following words:
“As a parent, I worry about how the increased presence of marijuana in our city will affect our children and our grandchildren. Despite a few lessons learned from medical marijuana, the long-term implications of that industry and the potential for an expanded industry will not be known to us for perhaps a generation or more. There is no denying, however, the potential for a negative impact on our kids — on their home lives, their health, their education and their future. We already know the toll substance abuse takes on so many of our residents. Sadly, many of them are parents. The cost of substance abuse on our healthcare system, our jails and in our courts is substantial. I want more for all of our kids and for all Denverites.”
File under child poisonings, diversion to youth; interstate black market:
A young girl in Wisconsin found a marijuana chocolate bar in her dad’s bedroom which came from Colorado. After eating it, she was found intoxicated at school and barely had a pulse. Her father is charged with child neglect. Just another example of Colorado pot being exported to other states.
Some 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.
Pertaining to the Boston Globe’s recent publishing of an opinion piece advocating to “End Prohibition of Heroin”…
The Manipulation of the American Public
In 1912 the United States signed an international convention restricting the use of opium, heroin and cocaine and as a direct result of prohibitive drug policies, the use of these illicit drugs has remained below .5% for the American population.
Is the fact that 91% of Americans over the age of 12 don’t use drugs , and that only .01% or 200,000 people use heroin really a failure of prohibitive drug policies?
“It’s a remarkable weekend when one finds the Grey Lady arguing for state’s rights, and worrying huffily about arbitrary Presidential powers. But when it comes to smoking dope, the mind of the New York Times has fully boggled. Against careful science, sound public policy, and even liberal politics that defends the vulnerable, the venerable editors have decided that what America needs now is marijuana, and more of it. …
In his poignant article, “Comparing Alcohol and Marijuana: Seriously” for the Hudson Institute, David Murray underscores what we’ve been thinking. At a time when journalistic integrity is being ground away under the rolling stones of unvetted internet journalism there are few places we look for the bar to be held up. The New York Times in one of those places. So imagine the dismay when that venerable institution takes a stand on a movement that is fully exploiting “easy to sway journalism” as a cornerstone of a greed-driven manipulation campaign the likes of which we haven’t seen since the tobacco industry fooled us into thinking that smoking was okay. Continue reading The Grey Lady Gaffs — NY Times Out-of-Touch on Marijuana
The editors of the New York Times should be held accountable for their recklessness. A growing portion of the population is awakening to the realities that allowing a third addiction-based drug industry would have on the long-term public health and health costs.
The formula is being repeated. Marijuana profiteers are picking off states one by one.
The same laws, written by the same pro-pot lobbyists, with the same negative consequences for youth and other vulnerable populations as unsuspecting voters are manipulated into voting against their own best interests for public health and public safety.
The Econundrum for Big Marijuana and the “it’s a plant from nature” mindset:
Outdoors cannabis production destroys soils with chemical contamination and is a water hog.
Chemical contamination follows the plant to the consumer.
Smaller and players and the black market will inevitably drift to outdoor production — trying to keep it hidden in remote locations.
Like the leaching of any chemical contamination through an ecosystem — this phenomenon IS man made: an industrial cannabis market.
Indoors, it’s got a huge carbon footprint — an energy AND water hog, and is a very chemical intensive agricultural process, with the same fertilizers and pesticides as are required outdoors. And it becomes even more of a genetically modified commodity hybridized for concentrated THC chemical production in plant form.
There is nothing natural about industrial cannabis production.
It’s a net loser for the environment – indoors or outdoors.
It’s encouraging to see at least one State’s citizens fighting back against the rise of Big Marijuana. Big Sky Country would be much better off.
That those 8% of Americans who choose to regularly expose their brains to THC get to twist drug control history in order to open the markets to this insidious frequently abused, addictive, drug is beyond common sense.
The following article reports a lawsuit filed by California counties against pharmaceutical companies for deceptive advertising, unfair business practices and creating a public nuisance.
Before considering getting into the ganjapreneur game, substitute “marijuana” in the following article for “narcotic” and consider if your business plan has enough in reserves for your legal defense and subsequent penalties.
We search the web for marijuana coverage on a regular basis. We also look at the best research done on the topic. There’s simply no doubt that a pot-friendly media, saturated in misinformation about the drug, has given the cannabis crusade a big boost in recent years.
With the demise of most print journalism, and the rise of on-line stringers, news reporting on this subject has lost much of its rigor. Quick reports using old canards, rather than the high standards of legitimate journalism, has clouded the public’s access to well-informed news analysis on the 21st century science and political history of the current marijuana movement.
Because the public has become so alarmed by the vast number of Americans who have been incarcerated, they somehow bundle that issue with marijuana. The connection of the issues is thin. There is broad agreement that marijuana is a public health problem. And unfortunately, an unbridled pot industry in reaction to an incarceration problem will create much more human suffering and dysfunction than most people have had a chance to consider.
For the sake of credible journalism, writers and reporters everywhere need to take a deeper, better, updated, look.
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.
The 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.
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:
This video deals exclusively with the documented negative health consequences of recreational cannabis use.
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.
Dear Governor Dayton — The marijuana backlash is coming. Don’t get caught on the wrong side of history.
Medical marijuana states have the highest rates of youth use in the nation. As marijuana availability increases, and perception of harm decreases, more kids use.
The reality is that 95% of users who frequent “medical” marijuana stores are simply drug-seeking individuals with vague unverifiable symptoms of “pain”, or “intractable pain”, or “chronic pain”. The amount allowed per patient is more than can possible be personally consumed. The rest is diverted — often to youth.
We end up with a large illicit supply and rising youth use rates.
Hooray for Alan Berkenwald, M.D., who practices in Northampton, MA.
We need more bold medical professionals willing to speak out about the realities of these laws. What actually happens when medical issues are put to popular vote? We are boxed in by laws that were written to deceive the people, after outside funders paid over $1 million to promote their position and their product through sly — yet effective — propaganda to an unsuspecting public. No mention of risks or harms associated with using this drug. That is clearly not medicine.
Over 90% of the families of young opiate/heroin addicts that we’ve spoken to this year say that their children started with marijuana — a practical finding that bares out the science on how, far too often, the brain becomes primed for progressive addiction.
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