UK: Recovery Orchestra – Making Recovery Count For Prevention!

BDP Launches The First Recovery Orchestra In The South West

Bristol Drugs Project are very excited to announce the launch of the first Recovery Orchestra in the South West! The orchestra will join its family of arts and recovery groups, which already include Rising Voices Recovery Choir and Stepladder Drama group, which have both been running for 4 years.

Starting in February 2019 and meeting for an initial 8 weeks, the recovery orchestra will be creating and writing music together leading up to a performance at the end of March.

Sophie, from BDP, says: I was inspired to set up a recovery orchestra when I came across New Note Orchestra in Brighton in September 2017. Our recovery choir, Rising Voices, had been invited to take part and perform in the Music Dare conference, and New Note were there too. Witnessing the impact playing music together had had on their members, I wanted to come back to Bristol and do the same thing! It seemed like the logical next step for the arts recovery groups at Bristol Drugs Project, and for the arts and recovery scene in Bristol. A year and a half down the line, we have funding from Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra to run an 8 week pilot of our very own Recovery Orchestra!

Led by local composer and conductor, Jon James, the Recovery Orchestra will welcome anyone who can play an acoustic instrument and has had issues with drugs and alcohol or is in recovery.  You don’t need to be able to read music, beginners and experienced musicians are welcome, and you don’t have to have used BDP or ROADS services to take part.

For complete story https://www.bdp.org.uk/news/bdp-launches-the-first-recovery-orchestra-in-the-south-west

 

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USA: 2019 NATIONAL DRUG STRATEGY

US: NATIONAL DRUG CONTROL STRATEGY

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy has published the administration’s first National Drug Control Strategy and outlined its priorities for combating illicit drug abuse and distribution.

This Strategy is focused on achieving one overarching strategic objective:

“Building a stronger, healthier, drug free society today and in the years to come by drastically reducing the number of Americans losing their lives to drug addiction in today’s crisis, and preparing now to dominate the drug environment of the future. This will be done by preventing initiates to drug use, providing treatment services leading to long-term recovery for those suffering from addiction, and aggressively reducing the availability of illicit drugs in America’s communities. “

For copy of the National Drug Strategy http://www.eurad.net/filestore/PDF/NDCS-Final2.pdf

 

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USA: Cannabis Carnage – Mental Health Mayhem!

ANOTHER HORROR STORY OF CANNABIS USER WHO KILLED HIS FAMILY

FEBRUARY 5, 2019

Last week another violent horror story made national news, and once again, there’s a marijuana connection. Dakota Theriot, a 21-year-old from Louisiana, allegedly killed his parents, his girlfriend and her father and brother. A sheriff called the Dakota Theriot case an “extremely horrific example of failed mental health system.” Five people died, but the violent outbreak follows a pattern of family murders linked to pot use and mental illness.

Authorities tracked Theriot to his grandmother’s home in Virginia. It didn’t take one journalist long to find out that Theriot had used cannabis for many years.

“Cory Flannery, a friend of Theriot’s from his time in Warsaw, a small town of about 1,500 in the Northern Neck of Virginia, said he remembers Theriot sitting on his couch eating cereal and smoking marijuana with him. While Flannery said Theriot had a temper, the shooting rampage on Saturday was still out of character for the person he knew.

“Flannery said Theriot had smoked weed for years and was addicted to cigarettes as a middle-schooler but didn’t know him to use hard drugs at the time. Though he was often in trouble, Flannery said, Theriot didn’t seem violent or dangerous.”

When Keith Theriot, Dakota’s deceased father, called police in 2017, the home was in a cloud of marijuana smoke used by both father and son. He said that his son was diagnosed with “substance-induced mood swings.” However, Dakota’s ex-wife, who witnessed his violence and hallucinations, said he had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. Mental illness does not dictate homicidal violence, but it’s more likely to occur when enhanced by drugs like marijuana.

For complete story Cannabis Carnage & Criminal Chaos

 

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Global: Weed the Answer to High Academic Achievement!

University students’ grades plunge when cannabis is legalised, studies find

  • Studies have found that legalising cannabis leads to students failing exams
  • Legalisation was said to lead to an increase in the assignment of D and F grades
  • Researchers found ‘a much stronger effect on grades of men than women’

By STEPHEN ADAMS FOR THE MAIL ON SUNDAY UPDATED: 01:07 AEDT, 4 February 2019

Legalising cannabis leads to more university students flunking their exams.

Striking evidence that legalising the drug negatively affects undergraduates’ behaviour and makes weaker students particularly likely to fall behind is provided by three new studies.

In America, researchers found that students’ grades at Washington Western University fell after Washington became the first US state to legalise the recreational use of marijuana in 2012.

Legalisation ‘leads to an increased incidence in the assignment of D and F grades’, authors Adam Wright and John Krieg wrote in the journal Economic Inquiry. ‘Specifically, we estimate that Ds and Fs are given about seven per cent more frequently after legalisation.’

Legalising cannabis leads to more university students flunking their exams, three new studies have found (stock image)

They also found ‘a much stronger [negative] effect on grades of men than women’ – consistent with evidence that young American men are twice as likely to smoke cannabis as young American women.

A second US study discovered that even in states where only medicinal cannabis use has been legalised, students were more likely to slacken off, with average study time around a fifth lower than in states with a blanket ban.

‘College students in medical marijuana law states spend approximately 20 per cent less time on education-related activities and 20 per cent more time on leisure activities than their counterparts in non-medical marijuana law states,’ the research team reported.

For complete story https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-6661987/University-students-grades-plunge-cannabis-legalised-studies-find.html

Pseudo-Decriminalisation of this heinous drug ‘Cannabis’ – The Price We All Pay!

 

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USA: Marijuana News (Smart Approaches to Marijuana)

News Roundup

February 2019
Here is a brief rundown of marijuana news as well as an update on what we have been up to over the last month.

Public Health’s Biggest Victories over Big Pot in 2018
 

Malcom Gladwell Asks “Is Marijuana As Safe As We Think?” In The New Yorker

Public health and safety advocates, including Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) and its state affiliates, are celebrating a year of victories against the growing marijuana industry as multiple marijuana legalization bills failed from coast-to-coast.
Healthy and Productive North Dakota, SAM’s affiliate, and other supporters worked to defeat Proposition 1 by the second highest margin in the recent history of such ballot measures.
NJ-RAMP and other partners in New Jersey have successfully slowed down Governor Phil Murphy’s attempt to legalize marijuana in the Garden State. The Governor sought to legalize the substance in his first hundred days. A year later, he has failed to do so thanks to the dedication of supporters like you.
All told, eight states said no thank you to the marijuana industry’s attempts to expand in their state either at the ballot box or in the state legislatures.
Additionally, we are working within states that have legalized, such as Michigan, Massachusetts, and California, to help local communities “opt-out” of legalization by banning pot shops in their communities.
Best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell questioned the rush to legalize marijuana in this piece entitled “Is Marijuana As Safe As We Think?”, and he made compelling points.
Gladwell questions the rush to legalize when we don’t have solid data behind the effects today’s highly potent marijuana has on the human brain. We know from the preponderance of data available what effects low potency marijuana can have on the human brain. Greater odds of mental illness and substance abuse, loss of IQ points, early onset of schizophrenia, and even marijuana dependence.
Additionally, Gladwell points out that:
“We’re only a decade or so into the widespread recreational use of high-potency marijuana. Maybe cannabis opens the door to other drugs, but only after prolonged use. Or maybe the low-potency marijuana of years past wasn’t a gateway, but today’s high-potency marijuana is.”
Indeed, by rushing to legalize today’s highly potent pot, our policy makers could be simply dumping more fuel on the fire that is the addiction epidemic our nation is currently trying to deal with.

 

SAM Unveils New Resource: Marijuana Industry Donation Tracker

SAM is proud to announce the unveiling of our new initiative, “The Money Trail: Where Big Pot Meets Big Politics,” that tracks marijuana industry donations to elected officials at the federal level. 

This initiative seeks to expose elected officials who pocket money from the marijuana industry and then support policies that would benefit the industry. This blatant conflict of interest must be exposed, and we are proud to roll out this resource free of charge.
“These elected officials have decided to put the addiction-for-profit interests of Big Pot over the interest of public health and safety,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet, president and founder of SAM. “We at SAM have been actively following the flow of money from the industry to elected officials and now the public can see if their member of Congress has been bought and paid for by Big Marijuana and its Big Tobacco investors.”

Corinne Lamarca-Gasper: “Don’t say marijuana is harmless. A stoned driver killed my daughter.”
 

Big Tobacco Invests Heavily into the Marijuana Industry

In an oped for the Chicago Tribune, Corinne Lamarca Gasper shared the tragic story of how her daughter was killed by a man driving while high on marijuana.
“In 2012, my daughter, Jennifer Hrobuchak, in the prime of her life, was hit by a man racing through a red light at more than 80 mph. His car slammed into the side of my daughter’s car. She had no time to react, to think, to even say goodbye. She died at the scene. She was only 22 years old.”
“This driver, who bought his pot in Michigan, crossed the state border into Ohio unnoticed and then committed a crime I hope no one else ever has to experience. Don’t tell me marijuana is victimless. Don’t tell me marijuana can be legalized in one state and stay put. Don’t tell me this drug is a benefit to society when the facts state otherwise.”
After sharing her heartbreaking story, Corinne shared how legalization of marijuana has led to dramatic increases in marijuana-impaired driving and fatalities.
It’s official. Big Tobacco is continuing its efforts to monopolize the marijuana industry. Altria, one of the world’s largest producers and marketers of tobacco products, announced it is investing $12.8 billion in vaping giant, Juul, a company that controls 68% of the e-cigarette market.
This came just a week after the Marlboro maker announced it is pumping $1.8 billion in Canadian marijuana grower, Cronos. It also came a week after we learned that marijuana vaping has risen significantly, up more than 50% among all age groups.
“Big Tobacco is officially going all in with the marijuana industry now,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet, president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana. “The men in suits who once told America that nicotine is not addictive are now doing the same with marijuana, and laughing all the way to the bank.

 

SAM Summit Confirmed: NYT Journalist and Author Alex Berenson

Don’t miss the 6th Annual SAM Summit , once again taking place in conjunction with the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in Atlanta, GA on April 25, 2019.
In what will certainly be the event of the summer, award winning author and former New York Times journalist Alex Berenson will sit down with SAM president Dr. Kevin Sabet to discuss his new, groundbreaking book “ Tell Your Children: The The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence. Berenson’s book prompted an unprecedented cover article by Malcolm Gladwell in The New Yorker and Mother Jones.
Alex’s book, published just weeks ago and already in its third print, has turned the pot industry upside down. Marijuana apologists have been working overtime to debunk Alex’s meticulously researched book.
While Berenson can offer an in-depth look at his research, featured keynote speaker former US Attorney Bob Troyer will present an eyewitness account of how marijuana commercialization has negatively impacted the state of Colorado. Make sure you check out his September 2018 op-ed  ” It’s high time we took a breath from marijuana commercialization .”

 

Op-ed:  ”Allowing Oregon to Export Marijuana is a Folly That Will Encourage More Growing”

In the past few years, marijuana use is up significantly, by 10%, among 10th graders, and current vaping of marijuana is up 63% for eighth and tenth graders and 53% for twelfth graders, according to new numbers from the largest drug use survey in the United States.
In addition, the  study found that the percentage of youth who say they would use marijuana if it was legal has increased, and that 12th graders admitting to driving after using marijuana is significantly higher. Marijuana use has been known to  more than double the chance of being in a car crash.
“The marijuana industry’s efforts to glamorize and normalize marijuana appears to be working. After a decline in use, marijuana use is on the rise again over the past few years, particularly among 10th graders, and especially with respect to vaping,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet, president and founder of Smart Approaches to Marijuana. “We call on regulators to stop the sales of 99% THC vapes and edibles, the two most likely modes of administration after smoking, and to press pause on further proposals to commercialize THC.”
Recently, Oregon lawmakers have proposed the idea of exporting marijuana grown in the state to other states in an attempt to mitigate its glaring overproduction problems.

 

Oregon Utterly Fails to Regulate the Marijuana Market; SAM Calls for Moratorium on Sales

An audit conducted by the Oregon Secretary of State  found that the recreational marijuana market has failed to stay up to date on mandated inspections, its testing system continues to allow exposure to harmful contaminants, and regulators of the industry have done next to nothing to stop legal marijuana from fueling the black market.
This remarkable report found that only 3% of Oregon’s retail stores and only a third of its growers have been inspected for shortcomings, like molds, metals, and bacteria. In a remarkable statement for a legal-state government entity, the state admitted: “Oregon’s marijuana testing program cannot ensure that test results are reliable, and products are safe.”
“This earth-shattering report makes one thing clear: states cannot regulate the marijuana industry. Earlier this month, it was reported that Oregon was seriously considering exporting pot grown within its borders to other “legal” states. Now it comes to light that the problem is worse than we thought,” said SAM President Dr. Kevin Sabet. “It is painfully evident that the state is not just failing to hold the industry accountable, they aren’t even trying.”
In response to this report, SAM is officially calling for the following:
-An immediate moratorium on marijuana sales in the state of Oregon.
-An audit of state inspection facilities
-An independent state commission to examine problems
-DOJ and/or special master intervention to ensure the state secures public health

Stephen Reid: “NJ Marijuana Legalization: Promises About Legal Weed Benefits are False” 

Oped: “Cuomo backs recreational marijuana legalization, but at what cost, drug policy expert asks”
In his State of the State address, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy restated his call for marijuana legalization in the state for social justice and also for the revenue it could bring the state. In response, NJ-RAMP Executive Director, Stephen Reid, penned an oped blasting Governor Murphy’s promises as hollow.
“New Jersey isn’t the first state to hear big promises about budget-fixing tax revenue from marijuana legalization and should our lawmakers move to legalize, we surely won’t be the first state to be let down.
“In 2014, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper projected the state would rake in $118 million in pot taxes the first year of legalization. In reality, it only brought in around $67 million…well short of the promised windfall.

“While on the topic of promises failing to materialize, a recent NBC report found that the vast promises of social justice that would come with the legalization of marijuana (as we have heard from many here in our state) have simply fallen short.”
After New York Governor Andrew Cuomo laid out his proposal to legalize marijuana during his State of the State address, SAM president Dr. Kevin Sabet wrote an oped for the Journal News calling out the governor for his reckless plan and promising pushback:
“Pot legalization is not a done deal. Recent polling shows support for legalization among New Yorkers has dropped 10 percent since Cuomo chose to push for it, even though just one year ago he was adamantly opposed to it. Additionally, an Emerson College poll found that a majority of New Yorkers prefer better forms of decriminalization over full legalization.
“On his way out the door, California’s governor, a Democrat, stated plainly: “I have not counted on any revenue from marijuana. Who’s counting on the marijuana revenue? People said that to make it more plausible for voters.” What makes us think the New York experiment will be any different? Let’s not turn the New York State of Health into the New York State of Pot. We can do better than that.”

 

Contemporary Health Issues on Marijuana: New Book Co-Edited by Dr. Kevin Sabet Available Now

Hot off the presses of Oxford University, Contemporary Health Issues on Marijuana
is now available for purchase. 
This new book, co-edited by Drs. Kevin A. Sabet and Ken C. Winters, comprises chapters by other experts hailing from a wide range of fields including psychology, epidemiology, medicine, and criminal justice. It is a balanced, data-driven volume highlighting new theory and clinical evidence pertaining to marijuana.
The volume features a comprehensive review of research into marijuana’s impact on public health, including how it affects cognitive and neurological functioning, its medical effects, suggested treatment approaches for marijuana use disorders, marijuana smoking and lung function, and marijuana-impaired driving.
Supplies are limited, so place your order today!

MARIJUANA: PREVENTING ANOTHER BIG TOBACCO MEDIA CAMPAIGN TOOLKIT NOW AVAILABLE

Big Marijuana is borrowing the playbook of Big Tobacco in search of the same deep profits at the expense of addicted users. It is time to combat their game with the facts! To help you do so, Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) has partnered with Communities for Alcohol and Drug Free Youth (CADY) to offer a comprehensive media campaign prevention toolkit.


 

As always, thank you for being a SAM supporter. If you can, please chip-in with a small donation by clicking here.

 

If you can’t chip-in, then at the very least,  and help grow the SAM community.

 

In Health,

 

Colton Grace

 

Communications Associate

 

Smart Approaches to Marijuana

Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) |  info@learnaboutsam.org | 400 N. Columbus St., Suite 202
Alexandria, VA 22314

 

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COLORADO: Wild West Weed Not Such a Sweet Leaf?

Sweet Leaf case puts Colorado’s marijuana enforcement system to the test Denver Post  July 29, 2018

By all appearances, Sweet Leaf Marijuana Centers was a cannabis success story. In early December, Sweet Leaf had grown to 300 employees, brought in upward of $5 million in sales monthly, and expanded across Colorado’s Front Range with an eye on markets such as Nevada and Massachusetts.

The burgeoning cannabis chain was blowing away most of its hometown competition. On a daily basis, Sweet Leaf’s recreational shops were selling 6.75 pounds of marijuana flower — nearly four times that of a typical Denver dispensary.

Then the sweet life turned sour — and Sweet Leaf became one of the highest-profile criminal cases to emerge from the legalization of marijuana sales in Colorado. The case, which the defendants say was erroneously charged, stands for now as an example of successful enforcement by Denver and state authorities. But it also raises questions about how agencies interact on marijuana enforcement and whether authorities should have discovered the alleged misdeeds earlier.

Police and prosecutors claim Sweet Leaf reaped a substantial percentage of sales via illegitimate means: The practice of “looping,” when customers make repeated purchases of the maximum allowed marijuana in short periods of time. Several of those customers, buying in bulk, then engaged in illegal trafficking across state lines, officials alleged. For more (Denver Post  July 29, 2018)

 

How Sweet Leaf’s Success Story Went Up in Smoke Westword August 21, 2018

The Sweet Leaf employees gathered inside a marijuana cultivation warehouse for a celebration in late 2016 were higher on the sweet smell of success than they could ever get on pot. The company had just taken home three trophies from the Cannabis Business Awards, receiving honors for its branding, retail centers and executive leadership at the national industry event. It was on track to have ten dispensaries open in 2017, and managers boasted that the company was nearing $80 million in annual sales.

Sweet Leaf had come a long way from a single dispensary in northwest Denver in 2012.

When reporters asked Sweet Leaf owners and executives how they’d managed to grow so big so quickly, they pointed to a family-like culture that provided health-care benefits and a corporate structure that emphasized internal promotions. With over 350 employees in Colorado, Sweet Leaf was one of the state’s five largest dispensary chains and was expanding into Oregon, with plans to move into Illinois and Massachusetts.

But now that success has gone up in smoke. Today no Sweet Leaf dispensaries are open in Colorado, and the owners who once sought the spotlight are desperately seeking to avoid it.

“I’m never going to forget what was said during that party,” one former employee remembers. “All of the talk was about how we were one big family, but also this big company that was going to be worth $500 million. Something just felt a little off then, and now you can see why. We were pawns.” For more (Westword August 21, 2018)

 

 

Owners of Sweet Leaf dispensary chain sentenced to a year in prison for illegal marijuana distribution

In a landmark case involving licensed Colorado marijuana retailers, the owners of the shuttered Sweat Leaf dispensary chain each were sentenced to one year in prison Friday for their role in selling large quantities of pot to the same customers in the same day.

Christian Johnson, Matthew Aiken and Anthony Sauro each pleaded guilty in Denver District Court to violating the Colorado Organized Crime Act and illegally selling and distributing marijuana. Their plea deals stipulated one year in prison, followed by one year of mandatory parole and one-year probation, to be served concurrently.

“I think this was obviously a first case in Colorado,” lead prosecutor Kenneth Boyd said in an interview. “I think it was the first in the nation where a state prosecution office went after a licensed marijuana company. We did not see this scope with anybody else.”

Before their rash of legal problems, Sweet Leaf Marijuana Centers was raking in huge sums of money across its vast pot empire in metro Denver, The Denver Post reported in July. For more  (Denver Post  January 25, 2019)

 

 

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USA: Colorado Cop – DONT DO IT TEXAS! Cannabis Crime Contribution!

Colorado sheriff warns Texas against legalizing marijuana

WBAP News January 22, 2019

DALLAS (WBAP/KLIF News) — A Colorado sheriff is warning Texas to do its homework before taking any steps to legalize or decriminalize marijuana.

The Texas legislature is poised to consider five different bills related to the legalization of medical marijuana and one that proposes legalizing the possession, cultivation and sale of cannabis.

Bill Elder is the sheriff of El Paso County, 70 miles south of Denver. He told Fox News San Antonio, “(Marijuana) is dangerous. We have seen an uptick in criminal activity. Violent criminal activity.”

Sheriff Elder is leading the fight against marijuana crimes in Colorado. He has processed more pot-related crimes than any other law enforcement official in the state. He blames Colorado’s legislature for legalizing weed in 2000 without first considering the possible ramifications.

“This is not your dad’s marijuana, this is not ditch weed this is highly potent technically grown marijuana,” Elder said. He warns Texas to do its homework and learn from Colorado’s mistakes.

For More Cannabis & Violent Crime

 

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USA: OTC Opioid Crisis Continues due to Cash!!!

18% Increase in opioid deaths for every three payments made to doctors

New research has found that payments from Big Pharma to doctors is associated with increased overdose deaths.

The study looked at payments worth $39.7 million made to doctors in 2,200 US counties between August 2013 and December 2015. These payments were primarily for meals, travel costs, speaking, and consulting. It found that in a given county of 100,000 people, three additional payments to physicians were linked to 18% more prescription opioid deaths.

These results attest to the devastating effect of Big Pharma’s cosy relationship with doctors. This research comes in the same week as the release of Massachusetts court documents which detail the appalling marketing practices of Purdue Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturers of addictive painkiller Oxycontin.

The Sackler family, who own Purdue Pharmaceuticals, are being sued for misleading doctors and patients about the dangers of its opioid medications in order to boost sales and keep patients away from safer, less addictive alternatives. Court documents show that when sales flattened in 2014, Purdue doggedly focused on selling more to “high value” prescribers – typically doctors who the company had been warned were involved in diversion and abuse.

Even after being warned about the risks of Oxycontin, executives continued to prioritise profits over public health. One exchange between Richard Sackler and Robert Kaiko, the drug’s inventor, is particularly revealing. Kaiko warned that oxycodone-containing products were among the most abused opioids in the US and predicted that “If Oxycontin is uncontrolled, … it is highly likely that it will eventually be abused”. Sackler responded: “How substantially would it improve your sales?

For more https://unherd.com/davos/

Also

The cosy relationship between big pharma and doctors is killing people

In America, almost 100 people are dying from opioids every day. Some experts predict that half a million more people will die over the next decade . Others think it will be closer to 650,0001 – the population of Miami, or Atlanta, or Sacramento. President Trump has rightly declared the crisis a “public health emergency”. For more https://unherd.com/2017/11/cosy-relationship-big-pharma-doctors-killing-people/

 

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Singapore: New Drug Penalties Would See Many Harm Reduction Activists Arrested!

Singapore Creates New Drug Offences with Lengthy Sentences

On 15 January 2019, Singapore’s Parliament passed amendments to the Misuse of Drugs Act which introduce a range of new drug offences.

Once the amendments are implemented, it will be illegal to provide information to another person on how to consume, produce, or sell drugs

https://www.talkingdrugs.org/singapore-creates-new-drug-offences-with-lengthy-sentences

Whether this policy is palatable or not to the western palate, the irony is that much of Australia’s misuse of Harm Reduction Strategies would break this law!! When drug users/promotors control drug policy, this is what you get!

 

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North America: Cannabis Summit – Is Weed Immune to Regulation?

NORTH AMERICAN CANNABIS SUMMIT OPENS WITH CLAIMS OF NEUTRALITY, OBJECTIVITY

Is marijuana immune to regulation?

Andrew Freedman, formerly Colorado’s marijuana czar, spoke at the end of the day.  He talked about lessons learned in the first state to commercialize marijuana. He mentioned that 20% of the users consume 80% of the products. More and more, it seems as if “regulators” of marijuana are missing the boat, not because they don’t try. Marijuana grows like a weed and its proponents have always fought to evade regulations.

You can repackage marijuana by calling it cannabis.  You can market it as high class instead of the drug of slackers. Legitimize the drug sellers and let the government make money from it.  But it doesn’t change the facts that marijuana grows like a weed, is dangerous and is impossible to regulate. Big Marijuana will take over the industry.

JANUARY 29, 2019 EDITOR

Bottom of Form

Dan Adams, Master of Ceremonies, opened the North American Cannabis Summit, yesterday in Los Angeles, calling for neutrality and objectivity.  The choice of Adams, editor of the Boston Globe’s new “marijuana section,” signals that the conference is anything but objective.  Just as the Denver Post promoted pot use in The Cannabist, this section of the Globe glamorizes marijuana usage.

Adams called for a change to favor the marijuana industry.  He doesn’t want a discussion of whether or not “to legalize.” In his opinion, it’s time to talk about “how to legalize.” He wants a more respectful conversation on pot users; we must call them “consumers,” not users. He is deeply concerned about any holdover from the “war on drugs” and “giving a voice to the voiceless.”

Shaleen Title claims cannabis was banned for racist reasons

The second speaker, Shaleen Title, like Adams, is also concerned with the “deeply racist history of the ‘war on drugs’.” Title is a member of the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission.  In the past, Ms. Title worked as a board member of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, an marijuana entrepreneur and an attorney. A long-time pot advocate and activist, she was a leader of the campaign to pass Amendment 64 in Colorado.  She is obviously a very biased speaker and, according to Adams, a “marijuana consumer.”

In her talk, Title immediately brought up the rhetoric about Harry Anslinger’s racist propaganda used back in 1937.  Despite her references to Anslinger, she said NOTHING about why Massachusetts and California made marijuana illegal in 1911 and 1913, respectively.  Those states banned cannabis long before Anslinger influenced national policy.

If Adams and Title told the audience about other historical facts, it would be clear that most outrage against marijuana has nothing to do with racism. Mexico banned marijuana in 1920, which they didn’t explain because it would put a dent into their theory of racism. They also didn’t talk about why Egypt called for an international ban of marijuana in the 1920s.  Their speeches set the tone for conference, avoiding “objectivity.”

Title stated that legalization must be taken as a “given.” “Let’s throw out the the pro-pot versus anti-pot paradigm,” she said.  Then we can all look to who can control this new world of legalization.  She gave glowing praise to her fellow regulators in Massachusetts, four different people with different objectives concerning, public health, environment and addiction.   The Massachusetts’ governor, the attorney general and the state’s treasurer appointed Title to the CCC in order to represent the social justice viewpoint.

Social Justice issues still fail after legalization

Title talked about the problem of how privileged white people have been the primary beneficiaries of legalization.  She hopes that Massachusetts can correct some of the flaws in other states.  She mentioned how difficult that objective is when it takes so much capital to open a cannabis company.  Title thinks that regulations that insist on keeping dispensaries 500 feet from schools also hinder equity.  She claims that science and data don’t support that requirement. There was not any mention of the violence and mental illness that increase in the wake of legalization.

After Title’s speech, the floor opened for questions from the audience. The topics of how to keep edibles away from children and how limit potency stumped the speaker.  She had nothing to say about measuring and preventing stoned driving. Title and Adams did not mention the hazardous, toxic chemicals in dispensary marijuana.  Title admitted that opponents’ claims of Big Marijuana have merit; she doesn’t want such a takeover in Massachusetts. She is optimistic that Massachusetts can work towards ending the white privilege that defines the legal marijuana industry.  By the end of her talk, it was clear that legalization of marijuana is not working by any valid public  interest measure.

While Shaleen Title shows sincere concern about equity and social justice, she misses the boat. Her enthusiasm for marijuana trumps common sense about why marijuana was banned in the first place. It’s so ironic that Massachusetts, that state that was at the forefront of abolishing slavery and led the US in its campaign against marijuana, now embraces a new type of slavery, an economy based on addiction.

http://www.poppot.org/2019/01/29/north-american-cannabis-summit-opens-with-claims-of-neutrality-objectivity/

 

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