USA: F.D.A says UNSAFE and SHUT DOWN to Most CBD Products!

FDA Says Most CBD Products May Not Be Safe, and Warns 15 Companies to Stop Selling Them

CBD may pose unknown health risks and cannot be marketed as a dietary supplement, food or therapeutic cure-all.

CBD products may be trendy, but health officials are worried that these products — which are often marketed illegally — may not be safe.

Yesterday (Nov. 26), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued warning letters to 15 companies that sell CBD products because the products violate federal law. The agency also issued an update to consumers about the popular products, and stressed that there is limited evidence for their safety.

CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a chemical found in cannabis that does not induce a mind-bending high. Although drug developers have long sought to uncover the potential health benefits of CBD, to date, only one CBD product has survived the FDA approval process — a prescription drug to treat  rare forms of childhood epilepsy. Nonetheless, consumers can now purchase any number of unapproved CBD products, from oils to chocolate bars to pet foods, from companies that claim their goods deliver therapeutic benefits or help treat disease.

Related: Mixing the Pot? 7 Ways Marijuana Interacts with Medicines

These companies have broken federal law by marketing the unproven health benefits of their CBD products, mixing the drug into food, or advertising CBD as a dietary supplement, the FDA announced yesterday. What’s more, these companies may have placed their customers at unknown risk, the FDA said.

“We remain concerned that some people wrongly think that the myriad of CBD products on the market, many of which are illegal, have been evaluated by the FDA and determined to be safe, or that trying CBD ‘can’t hurt,'” Dr. Amy Abernethy, the FDA’s principal deputy commissioner, said in a statement. In reality, the FDA does not have enough data to say whether CBD can be “generally recognized as safe,” and several reports raise questions about the unintended health consequences of consuming the compound.

For instance, when scientists first tested the safety of the approved CBD epilepsy drug, they noted that CBD could inflict damage to the liver. If taken without medical supervision, the damage could prove more extensive, the FDA said in a consumer update on cannabis-derived compounds. Several studies indicate that CBD may alter how the body breaks down other drugs, either increasing or decreasing their potency. In addition, studies in animals suggest the compound may impede the function of testes and sperm, deplete testosterone levels and impair male sexual behavior.

Some reports have uncovered contaminants “such as pesticides and heavy metals” in CBD products, the FDA said. Other studies highlight the potential side effects of taking the compound, including sleep disruption, diarrhea, abdominal pain and mood changes. And questions still linger about how repeated CBD exposure might affect someone over time.

Moreover, the compound may trigger unknown effects in vulnerable populations, including pregnant people and children. Some of the companies called out today specifically market products “for infants and children,” who may not metabolize and excrete the drug as adults do, the agency noted.

“As we work quickly to further clarify our regulatory approach for products containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds like CBD, we’ll continue to monitor the marketplace and take action as needed against companies that violate the law in ways that raise a variety of public health concerns,” Abernethy said.

The FDA defines a “drug” as any non-food product intended to treat a disease, have a therapeutic use, or affect the structure or function of the body. By this definition, many CBD products count as drugs and should be subject to the same scrutiny as other pharmaceuticals, Abernethy said. In addition, the FDA will continue to evaluate the safety and regulation of CBD products intended for “non-drug uses,” according to the consumer update.

“This overarching approach regarding CBD is the same as the FDA would take for any other substance that we regulate,” Abernethy said. The agency encouraged consumers to speak with health care professionals about how to treat diseases and conditions with existing drugs, and to be wary of  “unsubstantiated claims” associated with CBD products.

The FDA requested that the companies issued letters respond within 15 working days and report how they plan to correct the violations.

For complete story Originally published on Live Science.

https://www.livescience.com/fda-warns-companies-selling-cbd-products.html  (28/11/19)

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GLOBAL: Youth Drug Use Prevention Vital!

Health Care Professionals and Families Must Focus on Youth Substance Use Prevention

The peer-reviewed journal JAMA Network Open asked Robert L. DuPont, MD and Caroline DuPont, MD, President and Vice President, respectively, of IBH, to respond to a new research study by Bertha K. Madras, et al., “Associations of parental marijuana use with offspring marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol use and opioid misuse.”

In their commentary, Drs. DuPont note that this study showed that when parents used marijuana, their children had increased risk of using marijuana too. “This underscores the need for engagement by both parents and health care professionals in youth substance use prevention and parental substance use disorder treatment.” Drs. DuPont then connect the findings to IBH’s own youth prevention work:

The association of parent use of marijuana with offspring use of marijuana and tobacco complements a recent finding suggesting that there is a common liability for substance use among adolescents. Among young people aged 12 to 17 years, the use of one substance is positively associated with the use of others, and nonuse of any one substance is positively associated with non-use of others. There is also evidence that there is a large and steadily increasing number of American youth who do not use any substances, including alcohol, tobacco, or marijuana. More than half (52%) of high school seniors have not used any substance in the past month and more than one-quarter (26%) have not used any substance in their lifetime, up from lows in 1982 of 16% and 3%, respectively. Together, these facts can empower parents when they are educated about their own substance use choices affecting the risks of their children using substances. They can also inform health care professionals that no use of alcohol, nicotine, marijuana, or other drugs is not only the health standard for youth but that nonuse by young patients is common and achievable.

This commentary extends the work of IBH to set a new health standard for youth prevention of One Choice: no use of any alcohol, nicotine, marijuana or other drugs by youth under age 21. Drs. DuPont and the IBH team thank Madras, et al. for their important contribution in JAMA Network Open and thank the journal for the opportunity to share their insights on its implications for prevention and treatment.

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A Renewed Focus on Youth Substance Use Prevention Is Needed Among Health Care Professionals and Families

JAMA Netw Open. 2019;2(11):e1916058. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.16058

Using nationally representative data from the National Surveys on Drug Use and Health, the study by Madras et al1 found that parental use of marijuana was associated with the use of marijuana and tobacco by offspring aged 12 to 30 living in the same household.1 The adjusted risks of substance use were up to 2.5-fold higher among offspring of parents who had any lifetime marijuana use compared with their peers whose parents never used marijuana. This study’s demonstration of the associations of intergenerational substance use has important implications for both drug use prevention and addiction treatment.

It is widely known among addiction professionals that most adults with substance use disorders initiated their substance use early in life, before age 18 years,2 a period of rapid development when the brain is uniquely vulnerable to substance use. This underscores the importance for health care professionals, particularly those in family medicine, pediatrics, and adolescent medicine, to address substance use among their patients, keeping in mind the added risk to youth from parental substance use. A first step is to use validated risk tools (eg, Screening to Brief Intervention5 and Brief Screener for Tobacco, Alcohol, and Other Drugs6) to screen young patients for substance use. Not only does screening provide opportunities for early intervention with young patients to prevent the development of subsequent substance use disorders, it also provides opportunities to educate parents about the potential effects of their own behaviors on youth substance use. Parents may question their ability to mitigate or significantly reduce the risks of their children having future substance use disorders; this study by Madras et al1 highlights the fact that their own substance use may increase the risk of their children using these substances.

The association of parent use of marijuana with offspring use of marijuana and tobacco complements a recent finding suggesting that there is a common liability for substance use among adolescents.3 Among young people aged 12 to 17 years, the use of one substance is positively associated with the use of others, and nonuse of any one substance is positively associated with nonuse of others. There is also evidence that there is a large and steadily increasing number of American youth who do not use any substances, including alcohol, tobacco, or marijuana.4 More than half (52%) of high school seniors have not used any substance in the past month and more than one-quarter (26%) have not used any substance in their lifetime, up from lows in 1982 of 16% and 3%, respectively.4 Together, these facts can empower parents when they are educated about their own substance use choices affecting the risks of their children using substances. They can also inform health care professionals that no use of alcohol, nicotine, marijuana, or other drugs is not only the health standard for youth but that nonuse by young patients is common and achievable.

In the area of addiction treatment, the findings in the study by Madras et al1 should motivate treatment professionals to engage families in the addiction treatment process to stop the cycle of substance use disorders within families, recognizing the important association between parent and child substance use. This information could also motivate parents to initiate and maintain treatment for substance use disorders. In our clinical practice, we often see not only that substance use is contagious within families, but so is non-use. Children of adult patients with substance use disorders frequently encourage successful efforts of their parents to become drug free.

Although Madras et al1 could not determine whether the substance use reported by parents or offspring in the study was problematic or what the views were of one another’s substance use, this study shows that when parents use marijuana, their children had increased risk of using marijuana too. This underscores the need for engagement by both parents and health care professionals in youth substance use prevention and parental substance use disorder treatment. Rather than drug-specific approaches to policy, prevention, and treatment, we must recognize the close connection of all substance use as well as the intergenerational contagion of substance use.

For complete article go to https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2755860

 

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GLOBAL: Drug Use Men & Reproduction – Again STOP Using if You Want Healthy Kids!

Now we are learning that men who want to have healthy babies should not use drugs and alcohol from a biological standpoint as well. A new study, soon to be published by the Boston University School of Public Health and reported on in U.S. News, suggests that men who use marijuana while trying to conceive are more likely to conceive a fetus that miscarries, as opposed to prospective fathers who do not use marijuana at all.

https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2019-10-14/frequent-male-pot-use-linked-to-early-miscarriages

Men who use marijuana at least once a week are twice as likely to see their partner’s pregnancy end in miscarriage, compared to those who use no pot, new research suggests.

Miscarriages related to frequent male pot use tended to occur within eight weeks of conception, which bolsters suspicions that marijuana use damages sperm in some essential way, said lead researcher Alyssa Harlow, a doctoral student at the Boston University School of Public Health.

Some previous studies have indicated that pot use can lower sperm count and reduce the active movement of sperm, Harlow noted. There’s also a possibility that marijuana could cause DNA damage in sperm.

“We would expect that the sperm was healthy enough to fertilize an egg, but any damage to the sperm might result in early pregnancy loss,” Harlow said.

For the study, Harlow and her colleagues gathered data from more than 1,400 couples in the United States and Canada who were trying to conceive.

Men were asked about their pot use — whether they used marijuana less than once a week on average, once or more a week, or never. About 8% of the men said they used pot at least weekly, compared with over 82% who said they never use it.

Nearly 19% of couples who did conceive wound up reporting a miscarriage, the Boston University researchers said.

The association between frequent pot use before conception and miscarriage persisted even after researchers restricted their analysis to couples in which the female partner didn’t use marijuana. Those couples also had a doubled risk of miscarriage if the man used pot at least once a week.

The researchers controlled for a number of factors that could influence risk of miscarriage, including smoking status, alcohol and caffeine intake, weight, amount of sleep, history of sexually transmitted infections, and mood disorders.

That said, only an association was seen in this study, and Harlow noted that there may be other factors associated with either marijuana use or miscarriage that weren’t taken into account.

“More research is needed,” Harlow said.

Mitch Earleywine, an advisory board member of NORML, the pro-marijuana nonprofit organization, agreed that this study cannot prove a direct cause-and-effect link.

While the researchers did a “stellar job” of accounting for other factors that can increase miscarriage risk, he said, “We should keep in mind that marijuana use was not assigned at random here.” Earleywine is a professor of psychology with the State University of New York at Albany.

Although more study is needed, fertility expert Dr. Taraneh Nazem also thinks that “we should be counseling male patients about these preliminary findings.” She is an assistant clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive science with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

“I think we have enough evidence to suggest there is a potential negative impact from marijuana use on male fertility,” said Nazem. “If a male patient is trying to conceive with his partner, I would counsel him to make some lifestyle modifications based on this preliminary data.”

Earleywine agreed.

“The millions of regular marijuana users who have successfully sired children with ease will balk at the idea, but those couples who’ve endured this outcome can certainly consider decreasing frequency of use for a few months in an effort to have children,” Earleywine said.

The study was to be presented Monday at the annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, in Philadelphia. Research presented at medical meetings is considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

H. Baker – Drug Free Australia

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Weed Violence: Growing Right Along With the Liberalization Agenda!

Cannabis-induced psychosis blamed in beheading of father at Muskoka cottage

Warning: Graphic and disturbing content

The court heard cannabis-induced psychosis, not a major mental disorder, spurred the brutal death of 67-year-old John Kehl by his then 31-year-old son Adam.

Adam Kehl voluntarily entered a plea of guilty to manslaughter in front of The Honourable Michelle Fuest in Barrie court on Nov. 22 who called the incident “horrifying and unusually brutal.”

https://www.thespec.com/news-story/9737249-cannabis-induced-psychosis-blamed-in-beheading-of-father-at-muskoka-cottage/

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The following (not publicly reported) heinous drug-induced behaviour happened in Pueblo, Colorado earlier November 2019

A young man who used a cannabis wax and then experienced an excited delirium episode in which he ran in on coming traffic swinging a metal rod at cars.  He was tazed and tackled by police and came in with 3 police officers and 5 paramedics working to hold him down.  Prior to arrival EMS had given him 50 mg of diphenhydramine, 5 mg of Haldol, and 2 mg of Versed and he continued to be that combative.  On arrival here he took all of the aforementioned personnel plus 3 of our security officers to hold and move him to the bed and hold him down.  I gave 10 mg of Versed with plans to likely need to intubate him.  He became more relaxed and calm following, never required intubation.  UDS only positive for cannabis.  He developed rhabdo and was admitted to the peds service for this following.

Patient was 17 years old

“High potency” is typically 10-12% THC.  That simply does not exist in Colorado.  It’s too weak. Our kids have access to 17-20% THC easily to smoke as well as concentrates pushing 40-60% THC as well as the wax/shatters which are 90%+ THC.  Easily and readily available to adolescents in Colorado.

We are at a tipping point in the US with our kids using these products.

Colorado Medical Doctor

 

 

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USA: FDA Continuing to WARN Against CBD Quackery Claims!

What You Need to Know (And What We’re Working to Find Out) About Products Containing Cannabis or Cannabis-derived Compounds, Including CBD

The FDA is working to answer questions about the science, safety, and quality of products containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds, particularly CBD.

  • The FDA has approved only one CBD product, a prescription drug product to treat two rare, severe forms of epilepsy.
  • It is currently illegal to market CBD by adding it to a food or labeling it as a dietary supplement.
  • The FDA has seen only limited data about CBD safety and these data point to real risks that need to be considered before taking CBD for any reason.
  • Some CBD products are being marketed with unproven medical claims and are of unknown quality.
  • The FDA will continue to update the public as it learns more about CBD.
  1. CBD has the potential to harm you, and harm can happen even before you become aware of it.
    • CBD can cause liver injury.
    • CBD can affect the metabolism of other drugs, causing serious side effects.
    • Use of CBD with alcohol or other Central Nervous System depressants increases the risk of sedation and drowsiness, which can lead to injuries.
  2. CBD can cause side effects that you might notice. These side effects should improve when CBD is stopped or when the amount ingested is reduced.
    • Changes in alertness, most commonly experienced as somnolence (drowsiness or sleepiness).
    • Gastrointestinal distress, most commonly experienced as diarrhea and/or decreased appetite.
    • Changes in mood, most commonly experienced as irritability and agitation.
  3. There are many important aspects about CBD that we just don’t know, such as:
    • What happens if you take CBD daily for sustained periods of time?
    • What is the effect of CBD on the developing brain (such as children who take CBD)?
    • What are the effects of CBD on the developing fetus or breastfed newborn?
    • How does CBD interact with herbs and botanicals?
    • Does CBD cause male reproductive toxicity in humans, as has been reported in studies of animals?

For more go to FDA Consumer Updates: Cannabis

 

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USA: HHS for Blocking Opioid Grant Funds from Medical Marijuana Programs

For Immediate Release:
November 25th, 2019

SAM Applauds HHS for Blocking Opioid Grant Funds from Medical Marijuana Programs

(Alexandria, VA) – The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced on Friday that federal monies doled out by the health agency would no longer flow to individuals or organizations that use, prescribe, or provide marijuana for the treatment of opioid use disorder and mental health issues. Furthermore, SAMHSA Director Elinore McCance-Katz stated that treatment programs must document efforts urging patients to stop using marijuana to prevent a loss of federal funding.

“We commend the Department of Health and Human Services for this decision, which will have a significant positive impact on public health,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet, president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana and a former senior drug policy advisor to the Obama Administration. “Numerous studies have been released in the last year alone showing that marijuana use has no positive impact on opioid addiction. It is refreshing to see SAMHSA take such a firm action against the misinformation campaign being peddled on this front by the marijuana industry.”

Claiming marijuana could be a solution to the opioid epidemic has been a key talking point for the marijuana industry in its efforts to legalize the drug. Legalization supporters have covered states considering legalization in billboards promoting a 2014 study claiming states that legalized marijuana experienced a 25 percent reduction in opioid deaths. This year, Stanford researchers attempted to recreate the 2014 study and instead found legalization resulted in a 25 percent increase in opioid deaths.

Just last week, Canadian researchers at McMaster University analyzed twenty-three studies with more than 3,600 participants and found that marijuana use neither led to reduced opioid use during treatment, nor did it lead to people staying in treatment programs.

In October, a study by researchers in Oregon and California found 78 percent of states where marijuana was “legal” significantly higher rates of opioid-related deaths after legalization than states that have not legalized the drug. Furthermore, a study published earlier this year in Substance Use and Addiction, a JAMA-related publication, concluded that “medical marijuana law enactment was not associated with a reduction in individual-level non-medical opioid abuse, contradicting the hypothesis that people would substitute marijuana for prescription opioids.”

Furthermore, researchers from the National Institutes of Health found that marijuana users are 2.6 times more likely than nonusers to abuse opioids and develop an opioid addiction.

“For far too long, we have allowed the marijuana industry to play fast and loose with the science while ignoring warnings from the medical and scientific communities,” continued Dr. Sabet. “Assistant Secretary McCance-Katz and SAMHSA are to be applauded for beginning a much-needed pushback against the dangerous myths being perpetuated by the marijuana industry.”

About SAM

Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) is the nation’s leading nonpartisan, non-profit public health alliance of concerned citizens and professionals who oppose marijuana legalization and support science-backed marijuana policies. SAM and its 30+ state affiliates have successfully prevented marijuana legalization in dozens of state legislatures and at the ballot box.

Guided by a Scientific Advisory Board of scientists from Harvard, Princeton, and University of Colorado, SAM educates the public on cutting edge science: marijuana is harmful, addictive, and legalization creates social injustice and expands illicit market activity.

For more information about marijuana use and its effects, visit www.learnaboutsam.org.

Media Contact:
Colton Grace
(864) 492-6719
[email protected]

 

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Australia: Pill Testing Push is ‘Science Free’ Propaganda

BRIEF for Journalists 

Our Vision: To support and educate young people, their families and communities to prevent the damage caused by drugs

 

THE SCIENCE – PILL TESTING OFFERS NO PROTECTION

When the science on MDMA-related deaths is assessed, rather than resorting to unscientific surveys of user’s self-reported intentions, pill testing can demonstrate no to very little protective effect against ecstasy-related deaths.

Statistics from England and Wales show that the introduction of pill testing did not produce any reduction in deaths as promised, nor did it appear to change the behaviour of users by getting some to quit using ecstasy, as also forecast by its promoters.  While European countries have poor to non-existent statistics on ecstasy deaths, the UK keeps up-to-date figures.  Pill testing operated by “the Loop” began in 2013 and by 2016 began expanding into 12 music festivals with government assent.  In 2013 ecstasy was used by 1.2% of the population, rising significantly to 1.7% by 2017/18 (see p 7).  In 2013 there were 43 ecstasy deaths, more than doubling to 92 deaths in 2018.

The explanation for this failure lies in the science on MDMA-related deaths in Australia, where we are the only country worldwide to carefully examine past toxicology reports for ecstasy deaths.  A recent study of 392 ecstasy deaths in Australia (see p 18) between 2001 and 2016 found no deaths from impurities or contaminants in pills.  There was no record of deaths from bad batches where other deadly drugs were cut with the MDMA in a pill.  Both were central rationales for introducing pill testing, but neither caused Australian deaths in the study.  And because scientific studies have shown that ecstasy overdose is rare it is clear that the third rationale regarding overdoses from increasing purity is scientifically not yet demonstrated.

The actual causes of ecstasy deaths are due to, in some cases, an individual vulnerability to MDMA, even a small fraction of a pill.  This was what happened with Australia’s first ecstasy death in 1995. Anna Wood took an identical pill to her four friends but only she died.  The majority of deaths are from individuals using ecstasy with alcohol, cocaine or amphetamines, and where the toxic effects of ecstasy are amplified by higher ambient temperatures and differing social situations which make it unpredictable to use.  None of these triggers are properties of an ecstasy pill, and pill testing merely looks in all the wrong places.

Worst of all is that in the Canberra pill testing trials, when there obviously were batches of ecstasy pills containing N-ethyl pentylone sold around Canberra in both 2018 and 2019 which didn’t hospitalise even one user, pill testers were red-coding these pills but greenlighting via a white slip of paper (see page 11) all pills found with ecstasy, despite ecstasy being the main cause of Australian deaths.  Furthermore there was no evidence of counsellors dissuading any user from taking their tested pill, with not one user recorded discarding  their ecstasy, evidencing zero behaviour change.

In Tasmania Drug Free Australia is condemning the support of pill testing by the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Council.  The Council has joined Harm Reduction Australia’s pill testing push which comes from an organisation which is a key part of Australia’s drug legalisation lobby.  It seeks to legalise recreational cannabis use in Australia.  Given there is no scientific support for pill testing, which normalises drug use, pill testing would likely be a useful strategy towards a drug legalisation end.  However, so long as drugs are still illegal in Australia it is improper for an organisation that is meant to support the rule of law and promote the prevention of drug use to be promoting the normalising agendas of an organisation trying to legalise drugs.   According to the Federal government’s triennial Household Surveys, 97% of Australians do not approve the regular use of ecstasy and 92% do not support its legalisation.

Harm Reduction Australia’s specious campaign to establish an intervention that provides little to no protective effect for ecstasy users will continue to mislead young Australians, broaden the pool of novice users and lead to more needless deaths.  Drug Free Australia has urged each Australian Premier to initiate media campaigns educating young Australians in the actual causes of ecstasy deaths.

Gary Christian,

RESEARCH DIRECTOR, Drug Free Australia

For Evidence Based Responses check our the following

Pill Testing paper – evidence for State and Territory Parliaments

PillTesting_Pass Fail Sheet_DFA_23-09-19

TassieRuralHealthMEDIARelease – PILL TESTING DECEPTION – CORONERS REPORT DOES NOT RECOMMEND PILL TESTING IN TASMANIA

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USA: Grey Market – The Third New Market is in Cannabis Chaos!

California Suspends More Than 400 Licenses as Feds Debate Marijuana

By Brad Jones, published November 18, 2019, in The Epoch Times, State Suspends More Than 400 Marijuana Licenses as Federal Legalization Debate Looms

Amid a renewed push to legalize marijuana federally, California has suspended 407 marijuana business licenses, affecting about five percent of legal cannabis supply chains, ranging from manufacturers to retailers.

Forbes Magazine reported on Nov. 16 that “a key congressional committee plans to hold a historic vote on a bill to end the federal prohibition of marijuana next week, two sources with knowledge of the soon-to-be-announced action said.”

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), who leads the House Judiciary Committee, and 2020 Democratic Party presidential primary contender Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) teamed up to push legislation that seeks to legalize pot nationwide, and that a vote on the House floor could come before the end of the year, reported the magazine in July.

But recently, in Harris’s home state, the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) clamped down on 407 marijuana retailers, delivery services, distributors and micro-businesses that failed to comply with mandatory track-and-trace training and credentialing, according to a report in Marijuana Business Daily. The businesses are prohibited from conducting normal activities until they have met state requirements.

State regulation and state lobbyists

The BCC regulates 2,630 marijuana companies that hold either provisional or annual licenses, while the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) oversees 3,830 pot farmers and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) regulates 932 manufacturers.

BCC spokesman Alex Traverso told Marijuana Business Daily that the affected businesses have had plenty of time to complete mandatory track-and-trace training and upload inventory data using required Metrc software so the state can regulate the cannabis supply chain.

Josh Drayton of the California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA) told the news outlet that the suspensions could create a bottleneck in supply.

“There’s a huge pause right now. And in a time when we’re trying to incentivize consumers to buy regulated, tested product … it’s minimizing their options. We’re kind of incentivizing the illicit market, which is a much more affordable option right now,” Drayton said. “What we really need to be focused on is access and affordability.”

Cannabis industry advocates say the suspensions could lead to an increase in black market sales. One of the common positions of legal pot advocates have made in the past is that legal marijuana would eliminate the black market, keep drugs away from minors, and generate tax revenue for the state.

Taxes much less than expected

Although the state was expected to collect about $643 million tax revenue from marijuana taxes within the first year of legal pot sales, it collected about half of that estimate, according to a recent Forbes report.

But the black market has only grown and become more emboldened, according to Scott Chipman, a spokesman for Americans Against Legalizing Marijuana (AALM).

Illegal pot shops vastly outnumber permitted pot shops in the state, Chipman told The Epoch Times.

“For every one pot shop that is permitted, we estimate there are three that are not. And then, for every three that are not, we would estimate there are probably 10 delivery services,” he said.

“In San Diego, for example, we had 250 unpermitted stores at one time. It took about a year to a year-and-half to go from one to 250,” Chipman said.

Eventually, police began closing down some of the illegal pot shops, but found that many of them would open up a week later in the same location, according to Chipman.

“Then, when law enforcement got a little stronger, they would just move down the street to a new location. And then, when law enforcement got even stronger, they just went to delivery,” he said.

One illegal pot shop that was shut down, simply posted a “Walk-in delivery” sign. Customers would walk into the shop, look at photos of the marijuana inventory, pay for the product, and go down the street where they would get their pot “out of the back of a car,” Chipman said. “The number of ways drug dealers will get around regulations, permitting and law enforcement is infinite.”

The Gateway Drug

Former Vice President Joe Biden said at a town hall in Las Vegas on Saturday more debate is needed on the issue, defending his long-held position against legalizing marijuana on a federal level.

Biden said: “The truth of the matter is, there’s not nearly been enough evidence that has been acquired as to whether or not it is a gateway drug. It’s a debate, and I want a lot more before I legalize it nationally. I want to make sure we know a lot more about the science behind it.”

Chipman said marijuana is “absolutely” a gateway drug.

Scott Chipman comments

“If people are using marijuana as teens and young adults, and then they’re offered other drugs, it’s very common for them to move on to other drugs. Anecdotally, what we hear from teens and young adults is when the marijuana runs out, there is always somebody who has pills,” Chipman said. “And, when you’re using marijuana, your ability to make smart choices about moving on to another drug is severely compromised.”

But a “gateway drug” for users may be more like a floodgate for dealers.

“There is a huge amount of competition to sell marijuana, and so if there are so many people selling marijuana now that [they] are having a hard time making a living—an illicit living, I should say—then there is an incentive to move on to something else—other drugs,” Chipman said.

Legal marijuana has not reduced the use of other drugs, he said.

“Drug use in the United States generally is going up. Alcohol use is going up as a result of marijuana legalization. That was measured in Colorado shortly after legalization. They thought that alcohol consumption would go down, but it has not. It’s gone up,” said Chipman. “Once you are in the habit of getting into a mentally altered state, the drug you use is not that specific. Most of the time, people are using multiple drugs. They either crossfade drugs together or they’ll use one drug one day and a different drug another day. It’s rare that you see people using just one drug.”

The Epoch Times published a followup article on November 20,  2019: More Than a Million Marijuana Plants Seized, 148 Arrested in Raids in 2019

https://poppot.org/2019/11/21/california-suspends-more-than-400-licenses-as-feds-debate-marijuana/

 

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GLOBAL: Chem-sex Chaos, Fueled by Bad Policy Practice!

Is our addiction crisis fuelling the all-time high in reported STD cases?:

The CDC, in a recent report, is now sounding the alarm over astonishingly large increases in the prevalence of STDs.

  • Cases have now increased for the fifth straight year and reached another all-time high. One contributing factor is substance use and substance use disorders (SUDs), which are linked to unprotected sex, sex with multiple partners, and other behaviors increasing the risk of STDs.
  • As the CDC predicted, needle use and substance-seeking sex have had major impacts on STD rates: a 2016 report spotlighted 220 counties at elevated risk of HIV from high levels of intravenous drug use. Drinking and use of other substances, which can alter judgment and risk calculations, are also associated with increased chances of contracting STDs.  Is our addiction crisis fueling the all-time high in reported STD cases?

Dalgarno Institute Comment:  It is really important to look closely at this phenomenon and interrogate the data/info with the logic that has been so ruthlessly excised from the drug policy arena. Instead or simply using the mis-applied interpretation of ‘Harm Reduction’ ONLY lens, look at it though the most important pillar of the National Drug Strategy, the Demand Reduction lens.

The ONLY way to STOP this growing costly (and quite frankly disturbing) problem is to STOP using the psychotropic drugs!  However, that very clear solution is no longer permitted on the pro-drug activist-controlled policy space.

If you smoke (at least in the Australian context) you’re a ‘social leper’, but if you use illicit drugs at will, you are to be given a free pass on any such challenges, well so now goes the emerging narrative!

Let’s pause and consider; when was the last time a cigarette gave you herpes, syphilis or HIV/AIDS? When did tobacco facilitate a sex-slave orgy or oversee the barbaric trafficking of women and children for sex? When did nicotine create carnage on our roads or facilitate a spate of family violence events that illicit drugs do, ad nauseum, and are swept under the carpet by the pro-legalise drugs demographic?

Yet to call this out in the public space is to attract the ire of these drug-using, self and community harming individuals and collectives – The Permitters and Promotors are the now the new drug Pushers of our culture.

Sexual health and HIV consultant Dr Andrady, the clinical lead for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s ‘Sextember’ campaign, said people were not aware of the risks of having unprotected sex whilst under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

“We have definitely seen a rise in people coming into the clinic after having sex whilst under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and they regret what they have done,” he said. “… people forget about protection when they are under the influence of drugs and alcohol.” (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-45367610 2018)

You see… no matter how many syringes or condoms you hand out, it is NOT a sober, rational and ethical person who is engaging these resources – NO, once these psychotropic toxins are taken (by choice) then ‘agency’ is changed, but not responsibility. The now law, moral and ethics ignoring individual are in an altered psycho-social state and the choices they make in that condition, and are accountable for (or are they?) are reckless, careless and even callous and/or psychotic.

And, along with the willful drug taking individual, it is not only family or neighbor who will pay some physical, economic or emotional price, it will be paramedics, police and eventually tax-payer abuse will be rampant as demands for greater health care budgets are sought to try and treat the ever growing, and in many instances, irreparable harm! Harm that can only be avoided by not engaging in the poor conducts that commence with substance use!

But sshhhh! That last statement is now considered ‘judgmental’. And the new propaganda mantras being spewed out by the pro-drug lobby decry such slights. Ipso facto, the only ‘bad behavior’ now worthy of such a label, is those who call out bad behavior – particularly of the ‘recreational’ drug user!

‘Harm Reduction’ in the drug use space is sadly now ONLY about trying to manage the seeming unabated damage, and now no longer even pretends to address the conduct/ behavior of drug taking.

Clearly, it is the latter that must change, but it is the latter that Harm Reduction Only  Strategies actively work against changing!

https://www.addictionpolicy.org/blog/tag/research-you-can-use/stds-and-substance-use?utm_campaign=RYCU&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=79112195&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-9gznbRf1_EzmABu4BgrC1sBDxP_RcQgIkz6eDRCK1NX9ZDwxxsXVwkbX504DseEGEWsX3yXB4ODsj-mnm6aS3FV6BJ9px_wk5Lx9_-vuELNdvhKxs&_hsmi=79112196

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GLOBAL: Papa’s Pot Play Puts Pregnancy in Peril (This is a Male Issue!)

Male Marijuana Use Might Double the Risk of Partner’s Miscarriage

BU researcher finds that miscarriages are more likely when the father uses marijuana weekly – If a man habitually uses marijuana even as little as once a week, could that increase the risk of his partner experiencing a miscarriage in early pregnancy? A first-of-its-kind study suggests so.

By analyzing more than six years of lifestyle and behavioral data from 1,535 heterosexual couples actively trying to conceive, Boston University School of Public Health researcher Alyssa Harlow discovered that for men who use marijuana one or more times a week, their partner is twice as likely to miscarry than the partners of men who use marijuana less than once a week or not at all. The link persisted even after Harlow accounted for whether or not the men’s partners used marijuana themselves.

For complete article https://www.bu.edu/articles/2019/marijuana-use-and-miscarriage-risk/

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