USA: New National Poll Shows Support for Marijuana Legalization Dips Below 50%


Contact: SAM Press Office/Luke Niforatos                                                FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE; 303-335-7584          January 17, 2018

New National Poll Shows Support for Marijuana Legalization Dips Below 50% When Voters Are Given Other Policy Choices
Mason-Dixon poll on marijuana finds support for non-legalization stands at 50%; It also finds 50% support for federal laws if individual users aren’t targeted

(January 17, 2018 – Alexandria, VA)  - A national poll conducted by Mason Dixon and funded by Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), found support for non-legalization measures like decriminalization edges out support for full marijuana legalization. In the poll, 49% of likely voters supported legalization whereas 50% supported other policies. One percent were undecided.
“The country is almost evenly split on legalization,” said Brad Coker of Mason-Dixon polling. “When people are given the choices of decriminalization, keeping marijuana illegal, or medical marijuana, cumulatively they slightly prefer these alternatives over legalization.”
The poll also found 50% of Americans were comfortable with enforcing federal marijuana laws if individual users were not targeted. Only 43% of likely voters said they would still oppose enforcing federal laws.
“This poll shows that we need to move beyond this false dichotomy between prohibition and legalization, especially for individual users,” said Kevin Sabet, Ph.D., President of SAM. “These results clearly indicate the oft-touted vast public support for marijuana legalization has a shakier foundation than marijuana investors would have you believe. This should give pause to politicians and marijuana financiers alike.”


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USA: Nearly Half of all Americans Know Someone Impacted by Addiction

46 Percent Know Someone Impacted by Drug Addiction

By Scott Rasmussen Friday, 12 Jan 2018

Forty-six percent of American adults have a family member or close friend who is or has been addicted to drugs.[1]

This is an issue that cuts across all segments of society. The Pew Research Center reports that there are few differences along partisan, racial, or other demographic lines. In fact, the only notable demographic distinction is that Americans over 65 are somewhat less likely than younger adults to know someone who is or has been addicted.

While nearly half of all Americans know someone who is struggling with addiction, federal government data found that only 2.7 percent of Americans reported behavior that meets the criteria of an “illicit drug use disorder.”

Read Full Article Here 46 Percent Know Someone Impacted by Drug Addiction


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USA: Colorado not honest over Youth Pot Use


JANUARY 15, 2018

Dissertation Reveals the Pot Problems of Colorado Springs Schools

Clyde Evans III wrote a dissertation, “Dose Of Reality: High School Counselors’ And Deans of Students’ Observations On The Effects Legalized Recreational Marijuana Has Had On High School Students.”   Recreational marijuana has had a negative impact on the high school students in a Colorado Springs school district.  Twelve High School Counselors and Deans of Students were interviewed.

Colorado Springs has more than 90 “medical” marijuana dispensaries, but not “recreational” dispensaries.  Turning marijuana use into something “medical” and selling the snake oil was an important part of making it acceptable.

Evans, author of the dissertation wrote to us.  “All participants stated how they noticed high school students who used marijuana either quit school, had declining grades, failed to participate in class and on homework assignments.”

For complete article go to  GONEtoPOT


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USA: Prevention Vs Treatment – What’s the Cost?

Weighing costs of drug abuse prevention vs. treatment

Published: 1/6/18 By Jordyn Grzelewski

At recent local forums on the opioid epidemic, members of the public submitted questions they wanted the local media to answer in its reporting.

One question was: What are the costs of addiction vs. the costs of preventing it?

The consensus among experts and studies is clear on this question: There are prevention strategies that have been proved to be effective, and the costs of implementing those strategies is drastically less expensive than the cost of responding to substance abuse.

What sometimes goes uncalculated, too, are the costs of addiction that go well beyond treatment and health care expenses.

“When we’re able to prevent the onset of substance abuse, as a society we’re able to benefit from what that individual gives to the community,” said Angela DiVito, executive director of Coalition for a Drug-Free Mahoning County. “They’re able to provide for their families. They’re productive workers who benefit their businesses and pay taxes. They are able to contribute time and creativity and so many positives to the community. We lose those things when we don’t provide prevention and addiction happens.”

THE EPIDEMIC: One of the latest harrowing headlines related to the opioid crisis was that the national epidemic again led to a decrease in U.S. life expectancy.

In 2016, more than 4,000 Ohioans died of unintentional drug overdoses. Although the overdose statistics for 2017 have not yet been finalized, they are widely expected to be worse, and to increasingly be driven by fentanyl, a synthetic opioid painkiller that is 100 times more potent than heroin.

COSTS: For many years, studies have estimated that for every $1 spent on substance-abuse prevention, on average, $10 is saved in treatment costs.

“Multiple studies indicate that every dollar spent on prevention results in an average of $10 in long-term savings. Depending on the study and the approach examined, cost savings have ranged from $2 to $20 for every dollar spent on prevention,” said a 2011 report by the Community Prevention Initiative, a project administered by the Center for Applied Research Solutions.

With the opioid epidemic worsening in recent years, some experts believe the ratio now is closer to $1 on prevention to $18 in treatment savings.

By many measures, the overall cost of substance abuse is significant.

For example, the National Institute on Drug Abuse put the 2013 cost of prescription opioid abuse at $78.5 billion – higher, if taking into account other forms of substance abuse

For complete article



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UK: London Drug Busts UP!

London drugs: Massive increase in cocaine and other drugs taken off London’s streets last year

The amount of cocaine seized in London last year was nearly double that confiscated in the previous 12 months, new government figures reveal.

Police found a total of 633.2kg of the Class A drug between April 2016 and March 2017 – a huge increase from the 330.9kg seized in 2015/16.

It is also the biggest quantity seized in a year since at least 2009/10, and means on average a gram of the drug was taken every 50 seconds in the capital.

The figures are compiled by the Home Office for England and Wales and include seizures made by Border Control and British Transport Police.

For complete story


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S.A.M: SAM Statement on Vermont Senate Passage of Compromise Marijuana Bill


Contact: SAM Press Office/Luke Niforatos  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE; 303-335-7584                                January 10, 2018

SAM Statement on Vermont Senate Passage of Compromise Marijuana Bill
(January 10, 2018 – Washington, DC) Today, Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) issued the following statement on the Vermont Senate passage of H.511:
This is not the legalization of retail sales like Colorado, nor should it be construed as such. Smart Approaches to Marijuana is pleased to see the Vermont House of Representatives rejected an amendment that would have legalized retail sales of marijuana in Vermont, creating another big tobacco and littering Vermont neighborhoods with pot shops.
But this bill is still irresponsible and bad for Vermont. We urge Governor Scott to veto the bill.
“We will continue to work within the state of Vermont to stave off the exceptionally harmful retail sales of pot,” said Kevin Sabet, the president and co-founder of SAM. “We look forward to being an educational resource to this administration as they consider the full implications of signing this bill into law.”
This “compromise” bill, H.511, allows for the personal possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, as well as personal cultivation of two mature plants and four immature plants. While this bill is preferable to the full-scale retail bill, it should be noted that there remain major, glaring issues with H.511 that we hope the Governor will consider before signing.
H.511 allows for stockpiling of limitless amounts of marijuana. The one ounce limit for possession in this bill only applies to herb kept on someone’s person. “Any marijuana harvested from the plants allowed pursuant to this subsection shall not count toward the one-ounce possession limit in section 4230a of this title.” There is no limit to how much marijuana people can harvest and store.
H.511 does nothing to prevent the creation and circulation of “dabs” and “shatter”, highly potent THC concentrates that can send people to the hospital. This bill only prohibits chemical extraction of marijuana via butane or hexane, which are not the only methods to cook hash oil. Also, extremely strong edibles, the kind that children can easily confuse with normal treats, are allowed under this bill.
There are no provisions in H.511 for safe disposal of excess plants. H.511 allows for the cultivation of 2 mature and 4 immature pot plants per household, yet there is no protocol for a household to follow when their immature plants mature while they still have mature plants growing. Throwing plants out in the trash gives easy access to children.
H.511 will enlarge the huge black market for selling pot. Washington D.C, which uses a model similar to H.511 has developed a thriving “gift economy” marijuana industry. These businesses – many offering delivery – get around the no selling law by selling things like cups and shirts for an extremely high price, and then throwing in a free gift of marijuana.
Perhaps the greatest concern now is what major impacts Vermont is opening itself up to in terms of the federal government’s marijuana enforcement. Just before this bill passed the House, it was announced that US Attorney General Jeff Sessions would be rescinding the Obama era Cole Memo which directed the federal government to leave states alone if they chose to legalize marijuana.
This bill is clearly a slippery slope to full retail legalization. The rollback of the Cole Memo changes everything and it would be irresponsible for Vermont to flaunt legalization in the face of the federal decision. At best Vermont risks losing much needed federal dollars.


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USA: Free Pass on ‘bad medicine’ for Big Marijuana!

Rohrabacher/Leahy language is detrimental to public health



Rohrabacher/Leahy language is detrimental to public health
© Getty Images

Imagine if Big Pharma developed a new drug they claimed would cure cancer, but instead of providing proof of its efficacy, they demanded a stamp of approval from Congress and gave generously to Congressional political races.

There would be widespread outrage, and a demand for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to step in and do its job.

So why has the multi-billion-dollar marijuana industry – selling marijuana-infused candies, sodas and other foods – been given such a pass?

The Rohrabacher/Leahy Amendment, a pesky congressional rider protecting the industry from FDA enforcement passed under the guise of protecting medical marijuana patients, prevents much action by the government.

The FDA relies on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to take enforcement action when a company refuses to comply with the terms of an FDA warning letter. Because courts have interpreted the Rohrabacher Amendment broadly to prohibit the DOJ from taking any enforcement action, the FDA is highly limited in what it can do. In reality, the Rohrabacher/Leahy Amendment has enabled the growth of a massive, addiction-for-profit industry that is rapidly becoming this generation’s Big Tobacco.

No one wants to arrest and imprison seriously ill people. Everyone is in favor of responsible research to find new medicines that will help those who are suffering. But let’s also be honest about what’s really happening: Companies that are selling high-potency marijuana gummy bears and lollipops are not interested in medicine, they are interested in marketing kid-friendly products to hook the next generation of lifelong customers.

For more go to ‘BigTobacco2.0GetsFreePASS’


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UK: In Jail for drugs? Doesn’t happen in UK, or pretty much anywhere!

Just 1% of people caught with illegal drugs are being sent to prison

FEARS are mounting that drugs are being legalised “by the back door” – because hardly anyone is jailed for having them

By Ruth McKee / Published 5th January 2018


SHOCKING: Police made 461,000 arrests for possession of illegal drugs over the last four yearsFewer then 1% of people caught with illegal drugs have been caged for their crimes, research shows.

The latest figures reveal that in the last four years, police made 461,000 arrests for possession of illegal drugs. But just 4,374 were handed a jail term for their crime. That means 0.94% were caged when the maximum jail term for possession of class A drugs is seven years.


WEIRD: Only 4,374 received jail sentences for possession, which equates to just 0.94%

“For every 1,000 people convicted or cautioned for cannabis possession, 988 avoid prison”  Peter Cuthbertson

Only 1,440 people caught smoking or carrying cannabis were jailed while 325,000 were let off with a slap on the wrist.

Peter Cuthbertson, founder of the Centre for Crime Prevention, warned that the justice system is turning a blind eye. He said: “For every 1,000 people convicted or cautioned for cannabis possession, 988 avoid prison. For complete story go to OffTheChain


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USA: Colorado Cannabis Collateral Damage Ignored for Cash

Colorado politicians ignore major pot problems

by Colorado Springs Gazette Editorial Board10/1/18

Colorado politicians need to stop pandering and start leading, which means telling the truth about the severely negative consequences of big commercial pot.

Hickenlooper, Gardner, and other politicians tell us everything is rosy, but that’s not what we hear from educators, cops, social workers, doctors, drug counselors, parents, and others in the trenches of the world’s first anything goes marijuana free-for-all. It is not what we see in the streets.

If Hickenlooper and Gardner cared to lead on this issue, they would tell the world about the rate of pot-involved traffic fatalities that began soaring in their state in direct correlation with the emergence of legal recreational pot and Big Marijuana. They would talk about Colorado’s status as a national leader in the growth of homelessness, which all major homeless shelter operators attribute to commercialized, recreational pot.

They would talk about the difficulty in keeping marijuana from crossing borders into states that don’t allow it. They would spread the words of classroom educators and resource officers who say pot consumption among teens is out of control.

Honest leaders would talk about illegal grow operations invading neighborhoods and public lands. They would stop selling false, positive impressions about a failed policy for the sake of “respecting the will of voters” who made a mistake. They would not follow public perception but would lead it in a truthful direction.

Hickenlooper says legalization has eliminated illegal pot in Colorado, which is laughable to men and women who enforce the law and talk to us.

El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder speaks of more than 550 illegal rural home-grow operations in El Paso County alone.

Mayor John Suthers — Colorado’s former U.S. attorney, attorney general, district prosecutor and state director of corrections — speaks of hundreds of illegal pot operations in Colorado Springs he hopes to raid. We could go on with countless accounts of leading law enforcers who describe illegal pot activity that exceeds limits of departmental budgets and personnel.

For complete story


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Australia: Not TGA approved product ‘exported’…Best Practice be damned!

Australia to Allow Export of Cannabis-Based Medicines

January 07, 2018  - Phil Mercer

Laws to allow exports of Australian cannabis-based therapies will come into force in February, according to the federal health minister.

Laws to allow exports of Australian cannabis-based therapies will come into force in February, according to the federal health minister.

SYDNEY — Australia is to become the fourth country in the world to allow exports of cannabis-based therapies. The federal government hopes the reforms will help Australia become a world leader in the medicinal cannabis market.Laws to allow exports of Australian cannabis-based therapies will come into force in February, according to the federal health minister. 

It will allow Australian produced oils, lozenges, sprays and pills to be sold overseas for the first time. Advocates have argued the plant-based treatments can relieve severe pain associated with many medical conditions, including multiple sclerosis, and to reduce the impact of cancer therapies.

Potential export markets include South America, Spain, Canada and Germany.

Australian federal health minister Greg Hunt said allowing exports will help the developing domestic market to expand.

“We have a world class reputation for our clean and green farm products. Put them all together and we are brilliantly placed to be a world leader in medical development and medical cannabis,” he said

For more Medicine?


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