National Academies of Sciences Releases Report on Science Surrounding Marijuana Use; Finds Multiple Harms

National Academies of Sciences Releases Report on Science Surrounding Marijuana Use; Finds Multiple Harms

First NAS report on marijuana since 1999 finds marijuana especially damaging for psychosis, driving safety, progression to other drugs, learning, pregnancy; says state-based legalization connected to injuries among kids
Contact: SAM Public Affairs
info@learnaboutsam.org
+1 (703) 665-1410
[WASHINGTON, DC] – The National Academy of Sciences (NAS), in a landmark report written by top scientists, The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research, concluded after a review of over 10,000 peer-reviewed academic articles, that marijuana use is connected to, among other problems:
  • respiratory problems;
  • mental health issues (like psychosis, social anxiety, and thoughts of suicide);
  • increased risk of car accidents;
  • progression to and dependence on other drugs, including studies showing connections to cocaine and heroin use;
  • learning, memory, and attention loss (possibly permanent in some cases); and
  • low birth weight.
Notably, the report also stated that, “in states where cannabis use is legal, there is increased risk of unintentional cannabis overdose injuries among children.”
“This report is a wake-up call to all Americans who have been sold the false promise that marijuana use is not harmful across multiple health outcomes,” said Kevin A. Sabet, Ph.D., the President of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM). “It confirms that although more research is badly needed, tens of thousands of peer-reviewed articles tell us today that marijuana use can produce serious health and social problems. We should be doing everything we can to stop the marijuana industry from continuing to deceive the public the same way Big Tobacco did for a century.”
Furthermore, the report underscored the success of the FDA process in developing legitimate marijuana-based medications for treating specific problems, such as chemotherapy-induced nausea.  In calling for addition research to explore other possible medical uses for cannabinoids, it implicitly criticized the medical marijuana ballot initiatives funded by the marijuana industry, which permit marijuana use without any FDA oversight.
“The NAS report confirmed SAM’s six-point plan on marijuana research, which calls for responsible medication development in the context of the FDA,” said Jeffrey Zinsmeister, Executive Vice President for SAM. “The report also confirms that we need more research on potential negative effects, such as cancer.”
For more information about marijuana use and its effects, see http://www.learnaboutsam.org.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

CALAVERAS COUNTY FIGHTS BACK AGAINST BIG WEEDS

JANUARY 12, 2017

Calaveras County made national news this week because its famed, 2,000 year old tree, which had been a tourist attraction since 1880, fell down.  Fortunately, Calaveras County also took action this week to keep out an invasive tree, the giant cannabis plants that grow like weeds.  Tourists won’t be going there for marijuana, and fortunately, many giant sequoias are still standing.  (Photos from the Calaveras Big Trees Association webpage)

Citizens Qualify an Initiative to Ban Marijuana Cultivation

Calaveras County will see California’s first ever citizen-initiated ordinance banning commercial marijuana activities decided soon by its Board of Supervisors or in a spring special election.   It’s one of the first big push-backs against Big Marijuana since the November 8 election in which the state legalized pot.

County Clerk and Registrar of Voters Rebecca Turner today certified the petition sections filed by proponents of the initiative to ban commercial marijuana cultivation included more than enough valid signatures to qualify it for a special election.  Sampling 500 of the more than 5,200 signatures submitted, the Elections Department found a validity rate of 87% which, applied to the total, would produce approximately 4,532 valid signatures, where the number needed for certification was only 3,143.  For More click here

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Maine: No Retail Pot Legalization For Now

Maine: No Retail Pot Legalization For Now
Bipartisan legislative deal puts moratorium on marijuana sales until 2018

January 11, 2016
Contact: SAM Public Affairs

Email: info@learnaboutsam.org
(Augusta, ME) — A deal has been reached by the leaders of the Maine House and Senate to put off major provisions of Question 1, the legalization initiative that passed by a razor thin margin of just a few thousand votes last November. The deal would delay retail sales until a later date.
“Given how close the vote on legalization was, we applaud the leaders of the Maine legislature for putting this compromise forward,” said Kevin A. Sabet, President of Smart Approaches to Marijuana Action. “Few Mainers want to see pot openly commercialized and sold by out-of-state private interest groups who just want to make a buck.”
SAM’s affiliate,  Mainers Protecting Our Youth and Communities (MPOYC), applauded the measure. Their statement, in part, read:

“Delaying implementation until early 2018 will provide the necessary time for state and local officials to get the data, research, and science they need to make smart, evidence-based policies that will ensure Maine does everything it can to protect the health, safety and welfare of all Mainers.  This is a stellar example of bi-partisan leadership making decisions based on sound public health principals.”

The deal also closes two problematic loopholes by ensuring marijuana is not legal for youth and prohibiting edibles, which have led to a skyrocketing increase in hospital and ER admissions in states like Colorado.

“We are so thankful for the leadership of President Thibodeau and Speaker Gideon in drafting this legislation. We are thankful they have heard and incorporated the concerns of the half of Maine that said ‘No’ to Question 1, because of their deep concerns about the risks posed to youth and communities,” stated Smart Approaches to Marijuana and No On 1 Campaign Chair Scott Gagnon. “It was especially crucial to close the youth possession loophole and to continue to prohibit edibles. Our coalition strongly supports this legislation and will be actively engaged in advocacy to ensure its speedy passage.  This is a good compromise to respect democracy while also ensuring we respect the health, safety, and welfare of all Mainers.”

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

World Drug Report 2016

Continual monitoring of new cannabis policies is recommended

Although it is still too early to evaluate the impact of new cannabis policies, the evidence collected to date in the United States points to an increase in cannabis use in states where referendums have led to the legalization of recreational marijuana use. New challenges have emerged in some states of the United States (notably Colorado), including the marketing of unregulated cannabis products (edibles) with a high content of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Moreover, there is evidence of an increasing number of cannabis users driving under the influence, as well as an increase in cannabis-related emergency room visits and hospitalizations. However, cannabis-related arrests and court cases related to cannabis offences have decreased. All of these outcome measures would need to be rigorously monitored and evaluated over a period of time before a final assessment can be made.

https://www.unodc.org/doc/wdr2016/WORLD_DRUG_REPORT_2016_web.pdf

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

When Drug Crisis Hits Home!!

No one wants to read about drug addiction, abuse, overdose numbers and young death. Why should they? Why should anyone who is steady, healthy and cogent enough to be combing a newspaper, or scanning news on their iPhone care much about someone who — all the world assumes — lost their own future, made avoidable mistakes? Not my lane. Not my worry. Not my world, right? Wrong.

When the tide comes in, it takes all. Especially when it comes by storm. And this storm, my fellow Americans, is upon us. If you’re not touched by addiction yourself, you soon will be. Society is being confronted by an unprecedented wave of events. Marijuana legalization, far from harmless as advertised, is producing a wave of new drug dependence. Nor is that black dog easy to shake. Then, add the related opiate epidemic. The Centers for Disease Control just reported 50,000 more dead Americans in 2016 (most young), on top of the 50,000 dead in 2015. Read more at When Drug Crisis Hits Home

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Colorado Youth Cannabis Use Escalating! S.A.M.

National Survey Shows Colorado Still #1 State in the Country for Marijuana Use; 18-25 year old use rate skyrocketing

Colorado shows increase in teen use since before legalization; 18-25 year old rate and overall 12 and older rate also up

Contact: Jeffrey Zinsmeister jeff@learnaboutsam.org +1 (703) 665-1410

[WASHINGTON, DC] – The nation’s only representative sample of people in U.S households release special state data today finding increases in marijuana use not seen in a national school survey (Monitoring the Future). The National Survey on Drug Use and Health report released today found that Colorado youth past-month marijuana use is higher than it was before legalization. It also found that Colorado teens and adults use marijuana at a higher rate than the rest of the country. Colorado legalized marijuana in 2012 and implemented legal marijuana stores in 2014. At the same time, the sales of alcohol shows a slight increase.

“Once again, Colorado takes the prize for leading the nation in underage pot use,” said Kevin A. Sabet, a former White House drug advisor who is now president of SAM, Smart Approaches to Marijuana. ” Not only that, but use overall and use among 18-25 year-olds is steadily climbing.  It’s no surprise, given that the pot industry is pouring millions of dollars a year into promoting the use of their addictive products.”

———–

“While drug, cigarette, and alcohol use are falling almost across the board, due to decades of work and millions of taxpayer dollars, kids are turning more and more to marijuana,” said Jeffrey Zinsmeister, SAM’s Executive Vice President. “It’s unsurprising now that the marijuana industry — following in the footsteps of the tobacco industry — is pouring millions into marketing kid-friendly edible products like pot candy to maximize their profits.”

According to statements from the American Medical Association, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Society of Addiction Medicine, and the American Psychiatric Association, marijuana use, especially among youth, should be avoided, and legalization efforts opposed.

“Medical research is very clear that marijuana is both addictive and harmful,” noted Dr. Stu Gitlow, immediate past president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. “One in six adolescents that use marijuana develop an addiction, and use is associated with lower IQ, lower grades, and higher dropout rates in that same population. It is therefore of significant concern that this year’s study may actually underreport marijuana use and downplay its impact.”

Meanwhile, the toll of legalized marijuana continues to climb in Colorado and Washington. For example, the AAA Foundation reported earlier this year that the percentage of fatal crashes in the state of Washington linked to drivers who had recently used marijuana more than doubled the year marijuana retail sales were authorized. Similarly, cases of marijuana poisonings are up 108% in Colorado after legalization, and up 206% among children ages 0 to 8 years old. (More data on these trends is available in SAM’s recent report on legalization in both states.)

For more information about marijuana use and its effects, see http://www.learnaboutsam.org.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

S.A.M. – Marijuana Use Among Young Stubbornly High

U.S. Student Drug Survey: Marijuana Use Remains Strong Despite Drops in Other Drug Use

States with Lax Marijuana Laws Also Show Higher Marijuana “Edible” Use than Other States
Contact: Jeffrey Zinsmeister
jeff@learnaboutsam.org
+1 (703) 665-1410
[WASHINGTON, DC] – The nation’s annual school survey of drug use, Monitoring the Future (MTF), shows marijuana use among adolescents, including heavy marijuana use, remaining stubbornly high and higher than ten years ago  – despite reductions across the board among other drugs. Past year and past month marijuana use among high school seniors is up versus last year, and marijuana use among almost all categories is higher than ten years ago. And students in states with lax marijuana laws are much more likely to use marijuana in candy or edible form than students in other states.
“Why would marijuana use not be falling like the use of other substances? The answer is likely marijuana commercialization and industrialization, spurred by legalization initiatives,” said Dr. Kevin A. Sabet, a former White House drug policy advisor and President of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM). “It also might explain why six percent of high school seniors use marijuana daily. Moreover, this study does not include kids who have dropped out of school — and are thus more likely to be using drugs than the study’s sample.”
Additionally, the MTF showed differences between students in states with loose marijuana laws and students in other states. Students in lax policy states were much more likely to use marijuana, and also more likely to use edibles. Among 12th graders reporting marijuana use in the past year, 40.2 percent consumed marijuana in food in states with medical marijuana laws compared to 28.1 percent in states without such laws.
“While drug, cigarette, and alcohol use are falling almost across the board, due to decades of work and millions of taxpayer dollars, kids are turning more and more to marijuana,” said Jeffrey Zinsmeister, SAM’s Executive Vice President. “It’s unsurprising now that the marijuana industry — following in the footsteps of the tobacco industry — is pouring millions into marketing kid-friendly edible products like pot candy to maximize their profits.”
According to statements from the American Medical Association, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Society of Addiction Medicine, and the American Psychiatric Association, marijuana use, especially among youth, should be avoided, and legalization efforts opposed.
“Medical research is very clear that marijuana is both addictive and harmful,” noted Dr. Stu Gitlow, immediate past president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. “One in six adolescents that use marijuana develop an addiction, and use is associated with lower IQ, lower grades, and higher dropout rates in that same population. It is therefore of significant concern that this year’s study may actually underreport marijuana use and downplay its impact.”
Meanwhile, the toll of legalized marijuana continues to climb in Colorado and Washington. For example, the AAA Foundation reported earlier this year that the percentage of fatal crashes in the state of Washington linked to drivers who had recently used marijuana more than doubled the year marijuana retail sales were authorized . Similarly, cases of marijuana poisonings are up 108% in Colorado after legalization, and up 206% among children ages 0 to 8 years old . (More data on these trends is available in SAM’s recent report on legalization in both states .)
For more information about marijuana use and its effects, see http://www.learnaboutsam.org.
 

###
About SAM
Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) is a nonpartisan, non-profit alliance of physicians, policy makers, prevention workers, treatment and recovery professionals, scientists, and other concerned citizens opposed to marijuana legalization who want health and scientific evidence to guide marijuana policies. SAM has affiliates in 31 states.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Oregon Localities Overwhelmingly Reject Marijuana Industry at Ballot Box

Local bans on sales, production of marijuana pass; at odds with statewide legalization vote

November 10, 2016 Contact: SAM Public Affairs Email: info@learnaboutsam.org (ALEXANDRIA, VA) -

Official returns from the state of Oregon show that approximately two-thirds of localities rejected the marijuana industry at the ballot box, even if they voted for statewide legalization two years ago. “As in Colorado and other places, Oregon voters may have cast their ballot for statewide legalization, but they don’t want much to do with it on the local level,” said Kevin Sabet, President of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM). “This vote should send a strong message to state legislators and even members of Congress that people are not comfortable with pot shops in their neighborhoods or marijuana cultivation sites near their homes.” Relatively populous Marion County, for example, rejected non-medical marijuana businesses 53 to 47 percent. Residents there even rejected medical marijuana stores. Lake Oswego banned non-medical sales by twenty points. West Linn also rejected marijuana stores. Both areas are primarily Democratic voters. Marijuana Accountability Project (MAP) Since the election, SAM raised $1M in pledges for a new Marijuana Accountability Project (MAP) that promises to keep state officials and the industry accountable— by making sure data is collected, municipalities are empowered to ban stores in their neighborhoods, and the industry pays for their damage. SAM will also explore legal options against the industry and we will continue to engage in Oregon with stakeholders around this issue, as well as with the new US Congress and Presidential Administration.

###

SAM Action is a non-profit, 501(c)(4) social welfare organization dedicated to promoting healthy marijuana policies that do not involve legalizing drugs. Learn more about SAM Action and its work at visit www.samaction.net. PayPal – The safer, easier way to pay online! Donate to SAM Action’s general fund

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

WALL STREE JOURNAL: A Brave New Weed-Editorial Board

Dear Friend,

We are so happy to announce that after meeting with SAM Honorary Advisor Patrick Kennedy and SAM President Kevin Sabet, the Wall Street Journal came out on the correct side of our issue and editorialized against legalization!

Please share far and wide!

Yours,
SAM Team

A Brave New Weed

Wall Street Journal Editorial Board

Marijuana is now legal in 25 states for medicinal purposes and in four for recreational use. Voters in another five have a chance on Nov. 8 to legalize the retail consumption of pot, but the evidence rolling in from these real-time experiments should give voters pause to consider the consequences.

In 2012 Colorado and Washington voters legalized recreational pot, followed by Alaska and Oregon two years later. Initiatives this year in California, Arizona, Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts would allow businesses to sell and market pot to adults age 21 and older.

Adults could possess up to one ounce (more in Maine) and grow six marijuana plants. Public consumption would remain prohibited, as would driving under the influence. Marijuana would be taxed at rates from 3.75% in Massachusetts to 15% in the western states, which would license and regulate retailers.

Marijuana is a Schedule I drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970, which prohibits states from regulating possession, use, distribution and sale of narcotics. However, the Justice Department in 2013 announced it wouldn’t enforce the law in states that legalize pot. Justice also promised to monitor and document the outcomes, which it hasn’t done. But someone should, because evidence from Colorado and Washington compiled by the nonprofit Smart Approaches to Marijuana suggests that legalization isn’t achieving what supporters promised.

One problem is that legalization and celebrity glamorization have removed any social stigma from pot and it is now ubiquitous. Minors can get pot as easily a six pack. Since 2011 marijuana consumption among youth rose by 9.5% in Colorado and 3.2% in Washington even as it dropped 2.2% nationwide. The Denver Post reports that a “disproportionate share” of marijuana businesses are in low-income and minority communities. Many resemble candy stores with lollipops, gummy bears and brownies loaded with marijuana’s active ingredient known as THC.

The science of how THC affects young minds is still evolving. However, studies have shown that pot use during adolescence can shave off several IQ points and increase the risk for schizophrenic breaks. One in six kids who try the drug will become addicted, a higher rate than for alcohol. Pot today is six times more potent than 30 years ago, so it’s easier to get hooked and high.

Employers have also reported having a harder time finding workers who pass drug tests. Positive workplace drug tests for marijuana have increased 178% nationwide since 2012. The construction company GE Johnson says it is recruiting construction workers from other states because it can’t find enough in Colorado to pass a drug test.

Honest legalizers admitted that these social costs might increase but said they’d be offset by fewer arrests and lower law enforcement costs. Yet arrests of black and Hispanic youth in Colorado for pot-related offenses have soared 58% and 29%, respectively, while falling 8% for whites.

The share of pot-related traffic deaths has roughly doubled in Washington and increased by a third in Colorado since legalization, and in the Centennial State pot is now involved in more than one of five traffic fatalities. Calls to poison control for overdoses have jumped 108% in Colorado and 68% in Washington since 2012.

Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman has said that “criminals are still selling on the black market,” in part because state taxes make legal marijuana pricier than on the street. Drug cartels have moved to grow marijuana in the states or have switched to trafficking in more profitable drugs like heroin.

One irony is that a Big Pot industry is developing even as tobacco smokers are increasingly ostracized. The Arcview Group projects that the pot market could triple over four years to $22 billion. Pot retailers aren’t supposed to market specifically to kids, though they can still advertise on the radio or TV during, say, a college football game. Tobacco companies have been prohibited from advertising on TV since 1971.

The legalization movement is backed by the likes of George Soros and Napster co-founder Sean Parker, and this year they are vastly outspending opponents. No wonder U.S. support for legalizing marijuana has increased to 57% from 32% a decade ago, according to the Pew Research Center.

We realize it’s déclassé to resist this cultural imperative, and maybe voters think the right to get high when you want is worth the social and health costs of millions of more stoners. Then again, since four states have volunteered to be guinea pigs, maybe other states should wait and see if these negative trends continue.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Almost half of projected Prop 64 tax revenue will go uncollected

CA Tax Official: Almost half of projected Prop 64 tax revenue will go uncollected

Data received by CA Board of Equalization also indicates Prop 64 will increase black market for marijuana, and that over 30% of Colorado pot businesses do not comply with state law

November 1, 2016
Contact: Austin Galovski Email: austin.galovski@curastrategies.com +1 (585) 305-4070

[LOS ANGELES, CA] – Jerome Horton, a member of the California Board of Equalization (which administers the state’s sales and use, fuel, alcohol, tobacco, and other taxes), issued a damming letter indicating that Proposition 64′s projected tax impacts are significantly exaggerated, and that the initiative would actually increase black market activity in the state.

The letter states that “40 percent of the projected tax revenue [of Proposition 64] will not be collected” based on data received by the Board of Equalization. This pattern of legal non-compliance follows that of Colorado, the letter continues, where “the rate of non-compliance has surged … [to] more than thirty percent.”

The letter concludes by stating that “the provisions in Proposition 64 are not sufficient to protect Californians from the negative criminal and financial impact of allowing over 23 million Californians to get high.”

“As in Colorado, legalization will expand the underground market and open the door to widespread corruption and tax evasion,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet, President of SAM Action. “We commend Mr Horton for bravely speaking out on this important issue.”

“Legalization proponents continue to sell their initiatives by promising big returns for government but ignoring the massive costs associated with them, like increased drugged driving crashes,” added Jeffrey Zinsmeister, SAM Action’s Executive Vice President. “Now we know that they are also failing to inform the public about the predictable impact of tax evasion by the pot industry.”

###

SAM Action is a non-profit, 501(c)(4) social welfare organization dedicated to promoting healthy marijuana policies that do not involve legalizing drugs. Learn more about SAM Action and its work at visit www.samaction.net.

SAM Action, 400 N. Columbus St., Suite 202, Alexandria, VA 22314

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment