USA: Push to Protect Weed Pushers – Say NO Mr President!

 

For Immediate Release   

June 7, 2018

Contact: Colton Grace  

Colton@learnaboutsam.org

864-492-6719

Statement from SAM President Kevin Sabet Regarding Senator Cory Gardner’s Legislation Shielding Addiction-For-Profit Industry From Federal Law

[Alexandria , VA ] –  In response to today’s announced legislation by Colorado Senator Cory Gardner and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) President Dr. Kevin Sabet released the following statement: 

“Why is Senator Gardner standing for the same companies that were caught red-handed recommending pot to pregnant women? The state of Colorado still has taken no enforcement action against these businesses. By the way, they also make THC candies, cookies, 99% concentrates and other kid-friendly items.
“Further, Senator Gardner must have missed the recent NBC expose showing the complete infiltration of foreign drug cartels into Colorado using the cover of legalization.
“While Senator Gardner is calling this a ‘states’ rights’ approach, this bill essentially amounts to the federal legalization of marijuana. The bill would shield the pot industry in states that have liberalized their drug policies and prevent the enforcement of federal law. Additionally, the bill would grant marijuana businesses access to the federal banking system, allowing Wall Street investment on an unprecedented scale.
“Four years ago, as a member of the House, Cory Gardner voted against these very same provisions. Now that the pot industry has expanded in Colorado, normalizing use and advertising THC-laced candies to youth, he is singing a different tune. If enacted, this bill would pave the way for the commercialization of the marijuana industry and the creation of the next Big Tobacco.
“It is a shame that Senator Gardner has chosen to put political donations and expediency ahead of public health and safety. We are seeing communities across the country fight back and SAM applauds New Hampshire, Connecticut, Vermont, and other states who have recently rejected Big Marijuana. We won’t stop amplifying the voices of families and individuals affected by these lax policies.”
In light of Senators Cory Gardner and Elizabeth Warren introducing a bill to shield the marijuana industry from enforcement of federal laws, our friends at the National Narcotics Officer’s Associations’ Coalition sent the letter below to President Donald Trump asking him not to weaken the federal policy on marijuana.
Please see their press release below.
All the best,
Kevin Sabet, PhD.
Founder and President
Smart Approaches to Marijuana
__________________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release
June 7, 2018
Contact: Bob Bushman bbushman@nnoac.com
NNOAC Urges President Trump to Not Weaken Enforcement of Federal Drug Laws
The National Narcotics Officers Association Coalition today released a letter to the President urging him not to weaken the memo issued by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions on January 4, 2018. The letter warns the President of the connection between legalized marijuana, the black market, and foreign cartel activity, as extensively documented by  NBC News and  Newsweek .
The text of the letter is as follows:
June 7, 2018
The President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C., 20500
Dear Mr. President,
We write as representatives for major law enforcement organizations representing federal, state, and local law enforcement. We are deeply concerned about reports that you may be considering action to overturn the January 4, 2018 Memorandum from the Department of Justice that merely restates current federal drug laws.
The fact is, gangs and cartels have been making liberal use of legalization to provide cover for their illegal activities. These gangs have ties to Mexican, Cuban, Vietnamese, and Russian cartels. [i] The gangs often purchase homes in residential neighborhoods, wire in extra electricity and water capacity, and convert them into multi-million dollar grow houses in suburban neighborhoods. These gangs are also trafficking in other illegal drugs, organized crime, and prostitution. Crime has been steadily increasing in Colorado in all categories since legalization, including violent crimes. [ii]
Make no mistake, the black market does not honor state lines. Colorado and other legalized states have many embarrassing examples of providing cover for trafficking of marijuana to other states. In one of the most egregious examples, Operation Toker Poker, 62 people and 12 businesses were indicted for growing marijuana under the cover of legalization. Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman said, “The black market for marijuana has not gone away since recreational marijuana was legalized in our state, and in fact continues to flourish.” [iii]
In another example, an organized crime unit with multiple licenses to grow and manufacture marijuana was finally caught after several years of shipping marijuana to other states. The Drug Enforcement Administration agents in Colorado indicated that this was a common arrangement. [iv]
Other states, like Oregon and California, have been growing much more marijuana than the state can consume and are mass exporters of marijuana to other states. The California Growers Association estimates that their members grow at least eight times as much marijuana as the entire state of California can consume and ship the rest out of state. [v] The Oregon State Police estimate that their state grows four to five times as much as it can consume, shipping the rest as far as Florida and even abroad. [vi]
We urge you to see through the smoke screen and reject attempts to encourage more drug use in America.
Sincerely,
National Sheriffs’ Association
Major County Sheriffs’ Association
Major Cities Chiefs Association
National Narcotics Officers’ Associations’ Coalition
National High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Directors’ Association
Law Enforcement Action Network
CC:      Marc Short, Office of Legislative Affairs
Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to the President
James Carroll, Acting Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy
The Honorable Jefferson Sessions, Attorney General of the United States
###

 

 

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Europe: Murder and drugs

EMCDDA releases its first analysis on monitoring drug-related homicide in Europe

An EMCDDA Paper released today provides an overview of the information available on drug-related homicide (DRH) in Europe. This first snapshot provides practitioners and policymakers with the current state of the art on this topic. It is part of the EMCDDA’s efforts to expand its monitoring in the drug-related crime area in order to fully comprehend the broader ramifications of the drugs phenomenon.

Since 2013, the EMCDDA has been working on improving its framework for monitoring the supply side of the drugs problem to reflect the changing nature of drug markets and their wider harms and impact (1). The effects of drugs and drug markets reach beyond those who are directly exposed to drugs in terms of health or social problems. The issue is of serious concern in relation to the overall security situation in Europe and deeply affects communities at large, as drug use and drug markets can act as cross-cutting facilitators of acts of violence.

For complete article http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/news/2018/emcdda-releases-analysis-monitoring-drug-related-homicide-europe_en

 

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Colorado: Weed for Morning Sickness! Very Bad News for Bubs!

1000 BIBS PLACED OVER DISPENSARIES IN DENVER

31/5/18

Doctors tell women not to smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol when pregnant, so why would anyone think it’s ok to smoke pot?   It turns out that 69% of marijuana dispensaries in Colorado were giving this bad advice.

Marijuana Accountability Coalition (MAC), in partnership with Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), launched the “Don’t Hurt Our Future” Campaign.  CBS TV in Denver featured their activity on the nightly news.  Watch the video of May 30, 2018 from the TV clip:

Coalition Places Baby Bibs On Marijuana Dispensary Doors

As recently reported, nearly 70% percent of marijuana dispensaries in Colorado were found to be recommending high-potency THC products to mothers. These dispensaries and some websites promote pot as a remedy for symptoms of morning sickness.

Volunteers from MAC and SAM began at the governor’s mansion and distributed 1,000 bibs on the doors of pot dispensaries in Colorado.

The problems with marijuana in pregnancy

According to the Centers for Disease Control, marijuana use during pregnancy could result in low birth weight and other developmental issues in the womb.   Parents Opposed to Pot tracks reports of babies who died in infancy because the moms smoked pot during pregnancy.  Pot smoking leads to low birth weights and more fragile babies.   Nine of 106 child abuse deaths we found over five years included low birth-weight babies who had THC in their system.

For complete article http://www.poppot.org/2018/05/31/1000-bibs-placed-over-dispensaries-in-denver/

 

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USA: Get Smart About Drugs – Talking to YOUR Kids about Weed

New Report Advises Parents about Teen Marijuana Use

May 29, 2018

Talking to your teens about drug use can already be a little uncomfortable. But what if you live in a state where using recreational marijuana is legal for adults? That can certainly make the conversation a little bit trickier, especially considering such laws make many teens believe the drug isn’t harmful.

Washington is one of the states where recreational marijuana use is legal for adults over the age of 21 (Although, keep in mind, marijuana use is still ILLEGAL on the federal level no matter where you live).  “A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Underage Marijuana Use,” a publication produced by Seattle Children’s Hospital and the UW Social Development Research Group, provides good guidance for parents on how to talk to teens about marijuana, the effect of the drug on the teenage body, and the  answers to some commonly asked questions about marijuana such as:

Isn’t marijuana natural and therefore OK for teens to use?

There are many natural things that are not good for our bodies. Regardless of it being “natural” or not marijuana can harm youth health.

Isn’t it better for my child to consume marijuana at home where I can make sure they stay safe?

Research shows that teens who use alcohol at home are actually more likely to abuse alcohol when not at home. The same holds true for marijuana.

What about marijuana brownies and cookies? Aren’t they safer than smoking marijuana?

Marijuana, no matter how it is used, is harmful to teen health. Some marijuana products that are eaten or vaporized are more potent than smoked marijuana.

I smoked when I was a kid, why deny a rite of passage?

Keep in mind that most teens do not use marijuana, so it is not really a rite of passage. Today’s marijuana is more potent than the marijuana that was available in the past. In addition, some marijuana products being sold are “concentrates” and are even more potent and dangerous to teen health.

Read more in “A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Underage Marijuana Use.”

 

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USA: Public Health Win over Big Pot!

For Immediate Release  

June 13, 2018

Contact: Colton Grace  

Colton@learnaboutsam.org

864-492-6719
Statement from SAM President Kevin Sabet Regarding Defeat of Banking Amendment

[Alexandria , VA ] –  Today, the House Appropriations Committee voted down the Joyce amendment which would have allowed full banking access to the marijuana industry. Dr. Kevin Sabet, founder and president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana Action released the following statement in response:
“This is a major victory for public health and families in communities across this country. Allowing banking access to the marijuana industry would have opened up direct access to Wall Street investment into the sales and marketing of pot candies, cookies, and ice creams. Instead, this action has successfully pushed back the creation of the next Big Tobacco.
“We know that the industry has been working for years to push products to younger audiences and wider markets, but the game has recently changed with the advent of the  New Federalism Fund contracting with financial services powerhouse lobbying firm  Brownstein Hyatt Farber and Schreck and leveraging the power of banking special interests. We at SAM have been tracking the donations and lobbying disclosures from these industries and will continue to monitor the flow of pot money in our legislative process.
“The industry paid a lot of money in an attempt to open the floodgates for investment, and the amendment was still defeated. Today, public health took on BigPot–and public health won.”

 

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Global: Mental Health & Drug Use – Chicken and Egg?

Mental Health and Drug Abuse

May is Mental Health Awareness Month May 29, 2018

Scientists have long made the link between mental health disorders and substance abuse. In fact, the co-existence of both is referred to as “co-occurring disorders.”

According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH)8.2 million adults over the age of 18 had co-occurring disorders (see a diagram from the survey below).

Schizophrenia: Consider schizophrenia. About 50 percent of people suffering from the disorder have also abused illegal substances at some point during their lives, according to the article “Treating Substance Abuse among Patients with Schizophrenia” published in Psychiatry Online.

“It is widely assumed that patients with schizophrenia use substances to reduce psychotic symptoms and alleviate the sedating side effects of neuroleptics. However, the most common reasons given for use of alcohol and other drugs are to “get high” and to reduce negative affective states including social anxiety and tension, dysphoria and depression, and boredom.”

Researchers have made a connection between schizophrenia and marijuana use in particular. Use of the drug causes symptoms of schizophrenia – like hallucinations and paranoia – to get worse.

Teens dealing with a social anxiety disorder are more likely to start using marijuana at an earlier age, according to a study from Case Western Reserve University School.

What are reasons for the connection? There are young users who take the drug to appear more fun and to “alleviate the social anxiety of making friends,” according to the recentCanadian Youth Perceptions on Cannabis” report, where interviewers spoke to youth participating in the study. In addition to that, both “cannabis intoxication” and withdrawal from the drug can lead to anxiety.

For complete article https://www.getsmartaboutdrugs.gov/family/mental-health-and-drug-abuse?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

 

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UK: The Lancet – ‘Cannabis a huge health risk’!

Cannabis puts 27,000 people a year in hospital: Rise in admissions could be due to increase in use of super-strength ‘skunk’, warns MP

  • There were 27,501 admissions linked to cannabis in England in 2016/17, a 15 per cent rise in just two years from 23,866 in 2014/15
  • Medical journal The Lancet takes unprecedented step of branding cannabis a ‘huge risk to health’

Tens of thousands of people are ending up in hospital with cannabis-related health problems, official figures have revealed.

There were 27,501 admissions linked to cannabis in England in 2016/17, a 15 per cent rise in just two years from 23,866 in 2014/15.

Labour MP Jeff Smith, who requested the figures on cannabis-related hospitalisations, said the large increase was ‘a concern’.

The influential medical journal The Lancet has just taken the unprecedented step of branding cannabis a ‘huge risk to health’.

The journal was reflecting on results from the 2018 Global Drug Survey, which asked 130,000 people in 44 nations about their use of drugs. The Lancet said: ‘Globally, cannabis is still the top illicit drug used and, with the concurrent use of tobacco, remains a huge health risk.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5775533/Cannabis-puts-27-000-people-year-hospital.html#ixzz5GwvytMzR

 

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USA: Opioid Out Options

Opioid News & Tool kit

News:

Opioid Resources from Drug Free America Foundation

Opioid Toolkit https://dfaf.org/Opioid%20Toolkit.pdf

Opioid Use During Pregnancy https://dfaf.org/Opioid%20Toolkit.pdf

Opioids in the Workplace https://dfaf.org/Opioids%20in%20Workplace_85x11.pdf

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Canada: Trudeau government, senators fail Canadian children in push for pot!

Justin Trudeau stated he would legalize marijuana if he became prime minister. Instead of taking on Big Tobacco and pushing for a financial settlement for the damage inflicted on the Canadian public by the tobacco industry, a settlement worth in the tens, if not hundreds, of billions of dollars, Trudeau decided once in power to focus his government’s energies on commercializing an additional smoked product.

Bill C-45, the draft legislation to legalize pot in Canada for adults of 18 years of age and older, allows for marijuana to be consumed through smoking devices for the first year of implementation. Access to edibles will follow.

Norman Bosse, the Child and Youth Advocate for New Brunswick, prepared a risk assessment of Bill C-45, recommending that it be amended to better protect children. Bosse called for a ban on the smoking of marijuana in homes where kids reside. This wasn’t given serious attention by either provincial or federal parliamentarians.

The Senate, the chamber of sober second thought, passed over the right children have to security of self under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms by not making amendments to address kids’ exposure to second-hand smoke in the home. Officials engaged in months of discussion over far less important aspects of the legislation than the pivotal issue of the protection of children from the consequences that can befall them from adult use of marijuana, a psychotropic, genotoxic and carcinogenic product.

The gold standard in tobacco prevention is de-normalization strategy. De-normalization aims to tackle the predatory behaviours of addiction for profit industries. Legalization discussions in the House of Commons and the Senate ignored de-normalization strategy and the lessons learned from decades of tobacco control.

Discussions swirled around prosperity for the emerging marijuana industry and funding opportunities for hungry research institutes, institutes who survive on government grants and corporate dollars, which places them in a precarious position when asked to weigh in on the government’s pot agenda.

For complete article http://theprovince.com/opinion/op-ed/pamela-mccoll-xxx

 

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Canada: Sense of a Senator – Legalizing Lunacy!

Hon. Anne C. Cools: Honourable senators, I rise to speak to third reading of Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts.

I must inform you that I have absolutely no will to vote in favour of this bill, and I have not been prompted by any good reason as to why I should. In my view, this bill is unconscionable and morally objectionable. I have had great difficulty accepting the fact that Canada’s national government is leading on the legitimation of the frequent and recreational consumption of cannabis, known as marijuana, and does so despite the abundant and copious evidence in its possession that cannabis is a dangerous psychoactive narcotic.

The Government of Canada is well informed and fully aware that cannabis legalization is not solely a matter of the government’s presenting and providing cannabis as a harmless and healthy form of recreation and entertainment. The real issue here is that marijuana is, in fact, a mind-altering drug and is most harmful to the human mind, the brain, and the cognitive functions of its users, whether frequent or occasional, and most particularly to the minds of our youth.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines psychoactive as “affecting the mind or behavior.” In addition, The Oxford English Dictionary defines psychoactive as “Of a drug: that possesses the ability to affect the mind, emotions, or behaviour.”

Colleagues, I believe that the consequence of cannabis decriminalization and legalization is a much deeper issue than the properties of the drug itself. As Deputy Chair of our Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, I was struck and impressed by the quality and quantity of concerns raised by many witnesses regarding Canada’s obligations, conventions and international treaty agreements.

Mr. Bruno Gélinas-Faucher, a PhD candidate in International Law at Britain’s Cambridge University, testified before our Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, a committee which I must add is ably chaired by our honourable colleague, Senator Andreychuk, on March 29, 2018. He informed, as recorded in this committee’s report on Bill C-45, at page 11, that:

. . . this is not minor at all. Legalizing cannabis will lead to the violation of a fundamental principle that is at the very heart of the conventions.

Honourable senators, this witness, Mr. Gélinas-Faucher, cited documents from Global Affairs Canada, obtained through an access to information request. These documents recognized that the legalization of cannabis would have “a significant impact” on Canada’s obligations under the international drug control conventions.

Colleagues, I believe that this bill, which will make drastic and radical behavioural and social changes, has not been sufficiently and vigorously thought through, nor have our Canadian citizens and our international partners been sufficiently consulted.

Colleagues, testifying before the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, many witnesses raised the important question, being the extent of the impact of Canada’s legalization of cannabis on our population.

In a written brief to our Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, the quasi-judicial control body called the International Narcotics Control Board, which was established by the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, and which is also responsible for the implementation of the United Nations drug conventions, wrote that Bill C-45 is “incompatible with the treaty obligations to which Canada is bound.”

The International Narcotics Control Board further noted, and is recorded in our Foreign Affairs Committee’s Report at page 11, that:

. . . it “views any legislative measure aimed at legalizing and regulating the use of controlled substances for non-medical purposes as a fundamental breach of the international treaty provisions to which State parties to the international drug control conventions are held.”

Accordingly, the International Narcotic Control Board further noted that:

. . . the legalization and regulation of cannabis for non-medical purposes . . . as foreseen in Bill C-45, cannot be reconciled with Canada’s international obligations . . . .

Colleagues, section 91 of our Constitution Act, 1867, is headed “Powers of the Parliament,” and informs us that the fundamental purpose of government is:

91. It shall be lawful for the Queen, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate and the House of Commons, to make Laws for the Peace, Order, and good Government of Canada, in relation to all Matters not coming within the Classes of Subjects by this Act assigned exclusively to the Legislatures of the Provinces; . . .

Honourable senators, I do not believe that Bill C-45 can possibly be for the peace, order and good government of Canada. As a senator, I feel morally and politically bound to use my intellect at all times. For many reasons, I have simply not been persuaded that Bill C-45 is legally, morally and spiritually sound. I sincerely believe and I know that psychoactive drugs are a mighty foe to our society and to our young people. I believe that I have a duty to uphold those whom I do not know, and the many who have no voice, to speak on these issues.

Colleagues, a worrisome characteristic of cannabis that should preoccupy us is that whereas the human body can process and excrete alcohol quickly, the human body is slow to discharge marijuana, which can reside and remain in the body for up to four weeks.

Throughout this debate, I have rarely heard this health question raised. For myself, this health fact this is not one that I can ignore. The slow exit of cannabis from the human person should be a source of concern to all senators.

I maintain that cannabis is a very dangerous drug, which many have been persuaded to think is less dangerous and less harmful than cocaine and heroin.

Honourable senators, I shall close with Saint Thomas Aquinas.

(1900)

He said:

Every judgement of conscience, be it right or wrong, be it about things evil in themselves or morally indifferent, is obligatory, in such wise that he who acts against his conscience always sins.

Honourable senators, from where I look out at life and at these issues which deeply affect our youth and young people, I am convinced that Bill C-45 cannot possibly be for the peace, order and good government of Canada. I shall vote with my conscience.

I thank honourable senators for their attention in this very important matter.

https://sencanada.ca/en/content/sen/chamber/421/debates/214db_2018-06-04-e#27

 

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