USA: Hamilton Review – Where Kids & DRUGS Collide

A Conversation with Dr. Karen Randall & Dr. Brad Roberts: An In Depth Look at the Effects Of Cannabis in a Small Town (Part Two‪)‬

The Hamilton Review

In part two of this special series, Dr. Bob speaks again with Dr. Karen Randall and Dr. Brad Roberts, emergency room physicians in Pueblo, Colorado. Doctors Randall and Roberts share more details and statistics about how marijuana use can ruin a community. This is a must listen episode!

About Dr. Karen Randall: Residency trained in pediatrics, emergency medicine and family practice Academic teaching faculty at Henry Ford Department of Emergency medicine, former Teacher of the year – Henry Ford Hospital residency, Sinai Grace Hospital Member SAMHSA Marijuana Technical Expert Panel, 9/2019 Certified in Cannabis Science and Medicine, University of Vermont School of Medicine Co-President of Parents Opposed to Pot.

About Dr. Brad Roberts: Professional Experience: Southern Colorado Emergency Medical Associates, Parkview Medical Center – 2015-Present. Pueblo, CO. Level 2 Trauma Center. 85,000 annual visits. Emergency Medicine Physician Miners Colfax Medical Center. Raton, NM. Frontier, Critical Access Hospital – 2015-Present. Staff Emergency Medicine Physician. UNM Hospital. Albuquerque, NM. Level 1 Trauma Center. 93,000 annual visits – 2015-Present. 21,000 pediatric. Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine. Sandoval Regional Medical Center. Rio Rancho, NM. Level 3 Trauma Center – 2014-2015. 43,000 annual visits. Moonlighting Emergency Medicine Resident Presbyterian Hospital. Albuquerque, NM. Level 2 Trauma Center. 72,500 – 2014-2015. Annual visits. Moonlighting Staff Physician. UNM Hospital. Albuquerque, NM. Level 1 Trauma Center. 93,000 annual visits – 2012-2015. 21,000 pediatric. Emergency Medicine resident.

Education: University of New Mexico: Emergency Medicine Residency – 2012-2015. Medical College of Wisconsin: Doctor of Medicine – 2008-2012. Brigham Young University: BS Exercise Science, Cum Laude – 2002-2008.

Listen in ‎The Hamilton Review: A Conversation with Dr. Karen Randall & Dr. Brad Roberts: An In Depth Look at the Effects Of Cannabis in a Small Town (Part Two) on Apple Podcasts

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USA: Holes In Marijuana Laws? Noooo…. Really?

A DANGEROUS GAP IN OUR MEDICAL MARIJUANA LAWS

Published in the Colorado Springs Gazette, February 28, 2021. By Libby Stuyt, MD, a Professional Advisor to Parents Opposed to Pot

When Coloradans in 2000 voted to legalize marijuana for medical use, the highest concentration of THC, marijuana’s high-inducing chemical, was 5%, and concentrated products didn’t exist.

Over the last 20 years, the industry has dramatically increased the concentration of THC. The average in the plant is now 18.8%. The industry also created concentrates, including vape oil and resins known as wax and shatter, with average THC potency of 69.4% and up to 95% THC.

While there is evidence that components of marijuana can be beneficial for some medical conditions, research supporting this used THC concentrations less than 10% in the smoked plant. There is no validated research on 18-95% THC products to indicate they are medically helpful or safe.

After voters in 2012 legalized recreational marijuana in Colorado for adults 21 and over, medical marijuana applications for adults slowly declined.

Yet there has been a steady increase in medical marijuana cards for those 18-20 over the last three years.

Parents can get medical marijuana cards for their children under 18. In November, parents of 271 children had done so.

Loopholes allow medical marijuana cards for underaged users

Those 18-20 are too young to buy recreational marijuana but they can get their own medical marijuana cards. As of January, 3,935 had cards, with the primary indication being “severe pain.”

An 18-year-old whose brain is not yet fully developed and cannot purchase tobacco or alcohol legally can obtain a medical marijuana card without parental knowledge. The physician is not required to write a “prescription” for a type of product, route of administration, amount, frequency, and period of use. There is no requirement for follow-up appointments to determine whether the recommendation has been helpful or if there are side effects.

Even if the physician recommends something low in THC, the patient can take the card to the dispensary and get anything. Bud tenders give out advice but have no requirements for medical training.

Patients can purchase twice as much from a medical dispensary (two ounces per day) versus recreational dispensary and medical products are less expensive because of lower taxes. There is no tracking to see if someone is going from dispensary to dispensary and purchasing more product, a process known as looping.

Patients with severe psychiatric symptoms

As a psychiatrist, I have seen several patients in this age group, referred for problems with mood swings, anxiety, psychotic symptoms, and suicidal ideation.

They have a medical marijuana card but are usually unable to tell me the name of the doctor who gave it to them. I have looked at the cards and the recommending physicians name is not listed.

These young people are getting the cards for complaints of headache, sprained ankle, low back pain, or anxiety.

They are dabbing – using a blow torch to heat and inhale resin — or vaping 60-plus% THC multiple times daily.

Invariably, they do not schedule a follow-up appointment with the recommending physician until they need to renew the card in the next year.

“Medical” does not mean safe

Because the cannabis industry has been allowed to label these concentrated products “medical,” people believe they are safe.

Kids are increasingly using concentrates. The 2019 Health Kids Colorado Survey reported 10.2% of high school students are dabbing; of those who admit to using marijuana, 52% report dabbing, a nearly 70% increase in only two years.

Many teens with medical marijuana cards are still in high school and become the supplier of concentrates for even younger kids. I am aware of several 14-year-olds using concentrates obtained from an 18-year-old with a medical marijuana card.

A mother of a 14-year-old confiscated a bag of shatter that is clearly from a dispensary. The label indicates it is Scooby Snacks Shatter, 75.7% THC. The list of ingredients includes butane and propane and there is a “disclaimer” in the industry’s own words: “This product was produced without regulatory oversight for health, safety or efficacy.” If there is no regulatory oversight for health, safety, or efficacy – how can this be “medical”?

While there is no research indicating these high-potency THC products are safe or effective for any medical condition, we have multiple studies from around the world showing serious problems resulting from high-potency THC including addiction, psychosis, depression, anxiety, sleep problems, suicide, and violence. Dutch researchers stated anything higher than 15% THC should be considered a hard drug, comparable to cocaine and ecstasy and the Netherlands capped potency at 15% THC.

Colorado needs to close regulatory gaps that are endangering young people.

Libby Stuyt, M.D., is a Colorado addiction psychiatrist. 

For original post go to A Dangerous Gap in our medical marijuana laws – Parents Opposed to Pot (poppot.org)

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Global: Weed Warriors – Environmental Terrorists?

IS MARIJUANA ECO-FRIENDLY?

Marijuana is hazardous to your health and the earth.

The only thing green about marijuana is the color. Otherwise, it is an environmental disaster.

Whether grown outdoors or indoors, it is dirty agriculture and negatively impacts air & water quality, robs the electric grid and watersheds, and  produces greenhouse gases. The industry uses heavy pesticides which put wildlife at risk. It was never meant to be a large scale agricultural product. The end product contains mold and toxins that are harmful to humans.

https://youtu.be/iNdTscw7Bpg

Marijuana drains water supplies

Marijuana agriculture contributes greatly to California’s water shortage, with plants swallowing up more gallons of water than any other crop. One plant uses same water per day as one human should be consuming daily. For those concerned with water conservation, do we want to grow water-hogging weeds?

The above meme was published by Mother Jones Magazine in 2014. Since then, California public policy has resulted to more legal and illegal marijuana grows. Legalization is increasing the demand for marijuana. To improve the health of our environment, public policy ought to discourage use to decrease the demand for marijuana.  Both legal and illegal marijuana grows are taxing our precious water supplies.

Veteran newsman Dan Rather writes Gone to Pot in The Huffington Post that large-scale syndicate farming is not only using lots of water but repaying communities by dumping deadly pesticides into the water supply.

Environmental scientist Scott Bauer wrote to the Los Angeles Times in 2015, “The reality is that marijuana cultivation has significant negative effects on our watersheds and the fish and wildlife that depend on them.”  Given the money drug sales can bring in, it is doubtful that the “green rush” and all the environmental damage caused by the burgeoning pot industry will get better.  As a matter of fact, data is showing that since this article was written in 2015, it has gotten worse.

This article from 2015 points out the environmental hazards and strains of illegal grows in CA.  Corporate grows often use similar techniques and banned pesticides. Much is associated with watershed theft and poisonous chemicals, which are still a problem today since illegal grows are thriving after legalization, and corporate grows use same techniques. The author points out the regulatory steps needed to help with these environmental harms, but guess what?  That takes money, money, money, making it another way tax revenue is insufficient to regulate the industry.

Illegal grows that steal water, divert streams and pollute the water supply are an ongoing problem for California. According to a June 25, 2020 article, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s enforcement team raided two parcels in the Honeydew area, seizing 7,930 cannabis plants and firearms.  The California Department of Fish and Wildlife fined the growers for 26 water diversion violations ($8,000 per day, per violation) and seven water pollution violations (up to $20,000 fine per day, per violation). 2020 article.

Marijuana and the energy grid

As far back as 2014, indoor marijuana cultivation was 1% of U.S. energy consumption. In California, it accounted for 3% of the state’s energy usage.

In this report by the state of Massachusetts, the cannabis industry’s demand for energy will hinder the state from reaching it’s goal of conserving energy.

The Toronto Star reported in 2019 that energy demand by indoor marijuana cultivation will increase 1000% in the next 5 years.

Marijuana and Greenhouse Gases

The emissions from cannabis cultivation factories (CCFs) for recreational and medicinal use could strongly impact the regional air quality in Denver, Colorado, according to research from William Vizuete, PhD, associate professor of environmental sciences and engineering at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. Denver is already experiencing air quality problems, and researchers are questioning the role of marijuana terpenes on Denver’s Air Quality problems: VOC’s, terpenes, and ozone air pollution.

The 2019 study published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics shows “(t)he legal commercialization of cannabis for recreational and medical use has effectively created a new and almost unregulated cultivation industry. In 2018, within the Denver County limits, there were more than 600 registered cannabis cultivation facilities (CCFs) for recreational and medical use, mostly housed in commercial warehouses. Measurements have found concentrations of highly reactive terpenes from the headspace above cannabis plants that, when released in the atmosphere, could impact air quality. Here we developed the first emission inventory for cannabis emissions of terpenes. The range of possible emissions from these facilities was 66-657 metric tons/year of terpenes across the state of Colorado; half of the emissions are from Denver County.

MARIJUANA: 1 OUNCE (INDOOR) =280 POUNDS OF CO2 EMISSIONS.

BEER: 12 PACK = 14 POUNDS OF CO2 EMISSIONS

Marijuana, deforestation and fires

At least 2 large wildfires in California and one of the largest fires in Colorado were started by marijuana users or growers. See PopPot’s story, Global Warming, Fires and Marijuana. The destructive Soberanes fire in 2016 in California – the “hikers” rescued from fire turned out to be illegal marijuana growers, who as squatters living in the forest, may have been responsible for the fire. It is suspected that illegal marijuana growers sometimes start the fires when they fear detection and wish to erase evidence of their illegal activities.

Read article about University of Michigan Medical School Survey.

Marijuana and effect on flora and fauna

California’s rogue cannabis farming is threatening magnificent redwood forests. Illegal grows, and the environmental destruction they cause, have increased in California since voters ushered in legal marijuana. National Geographic magazine feature story describes the magnitude of the problem, Illegal Marijuana Growing Threatens California’s National Forests.

Dr. Gabriel Mourad decries the landcape scarring, energy sucking, wildlife killing illegal grows in this expose video by Mother Jones Magazine. See the corresponding article, here.

https://youtu.be/YIBonwj9olM

The spotted owl is being harmed by exposure to rat poison from illegal grow sites in Northern California.

“…cannabis is not an environmentally friendly plant. Marijuana is no longer being primarily grown in small batches by hippie-farmers who love nature and mother earth. Today’s marijuana is grown by large commercial agri-corporations with chemists and accountants at their beck and call. Remember, we have not legalized marijuana; instead, we have capitalized, monetized, commercialized and marketed THC.”


–James Avery, M.D.
Marijuana: An Honest Look at the World’s Most Misunderstood Weed”, page 127

Latest 2020 state impact reports for CA, CO, and MI:
https://www.thenmi.org/category/impact-reports/

Take Action

“Despite bucolic images of the hippie farmer, today’s marijuana is being produced by a sophisticated industrial complex and comes with a significant environmental cost. Marijuana, compared to hemp and other crops, requires a comparatively larger amount of water, fertilizer and pesticide. Indoor cultivation consumes an inordinate amount of electricity and produces excessive greenhouse gases. As a society considering legalization, we need to be asking if the benefits are worth the negative impact on our environment.” (ibid, page 128)

Take action now and write your Senators and Congressman, as well as local authorities, about these environmental concerns.  Marijuana grow sites can pop up anywhere, and allowing legal grows often leads to large-scale corporate sites (think tobacco) or illegal sites, which deplete valuable resources and poison the water, wildlife and land.

Find your Congressman or Senator here: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members

Sample Letter:

Dear [Representative or Senator in Congress]:

For the last 25 years, marijuana agriculture has proven to be an environmental disaster on many levels. We cannot be environmentally responsible and support the marijuana industry. Mother Jones Magazine wrote articles warning of these problems back in 2014, but politicians and climate change activists either ignored the news or chose not to speak up.

When it comes to the droughts, blame marijuana — not almonds — for California’s water woes.

As the logging industry began to leave Northern California in the 1990s, marijuana growers moved in and cleared giant trees as quickly as loggers left.  Hiding between the giant trees, many of these illegal growers went unnoticed until recently.   Old trees are fire resistant, while marijuana is not.

Because the huge, ancient trees sequester carbon and trap water, those concerned about climate change were justified to worry about the destructive logging practices of Pacific Lumber.  Giant redwoods absorb water into their leaves directly from the fogs of California’s north coast.  On the other hand, 15-foot marijuana plants need at least five gallons of water every day.
For years, marijuana growers have been diverting streams for irrigation, killing what was once an abundant, natural fish supply. Northern California used to be home to tons of wild salmon, but it’s no longer the case. The marijuana industry essentially killed the state’s vital fishing industry.

Furthermore, growers use banned pesticides and rodenticides which flow into the watershed, killing the rich ecosystem.  The existing marijuana industry threatens the eradication of several species.

Indoor growing is no more advantageous for the environment, because growth of the plants requires special lights that are kept on overnight.   In fact, marijuana growers in Colorado are straining the electrical grid in the region around Denver.

The United States cannot combat global warming while allowing marijuana agriculture to expand, as current marijuana bills under consideration by Congress would do. It’s possible that the marijuana industry fuels global warming more than strip mining, fracking, or any other agricultural industry.

Legalizing marijuana in any form, including rescheduling it away from Schedule I drug status, would truly be a disaster!
For more Is Marijuana eco-friendly? – Parents Opposed to Pot (poppot.org)

 

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GLOBAL: THE LINK BETWEEN CANNABIS CONCENTRATES AND PSYCHOSIS

GUEST VIEW

By Lauren Davis, published in the Edmonds Beacon, February 18, 2021

In 2012, Washington voters approved Initiative 502, legalizing cannabis. Back then, the black market was dominated by dried cannabis flower, with a potency of approximately 10%.

Dried cannabis flower is biologically limited to about 30% potency, and I-502 capped the potency of edibles at 10%.

But in an oversight of extraordinary proportions, there was no potency limit established for cannabis concentrates like THC-infused vape oils, shatter, and dab wax. Enter science, industry, business investors, and profit motivation and, today, concentrates with 99 percent potency are readily available at cannabis retailers.

According to researchers, these concentrates are “as close to the cannabis plant as strawberries are to Frosted Strawberry Pop-Tarts.” Cannabis concentrate sales have soared from 14% of the market share in 2015 to 37% in 2019.

I have devoted my professional and legislative career to mental health and substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery.

Spurred by reports of youth with cannabis-induced psychosis filling emergency departments and psychiatric wards and high school students having psychotic episodes after dabbing (inhaling), I began to delve into the research on cannabis and psychosis.

The literature is both definitive and damning. Washington’s leading cannabis experts at the University of Washington and Washington State University recently released a consensus statement summarizing the science:

“High potency cannabis use can have lifelong mental health consequences, which often manifest in adolescence or early adulthood. Daily cannabis use, particularly of high potency products, increases the risk of developing a psychotic disorder, like schizophrenia, and is related to an earlier onset of symptoms compared to people who do not use cannabis.”

During the 2020 legislative session, I introduced a bill to cap the potency of cannabis concentrates at 10%. This figure matched the limit for edibles and was a starting point for negotiation. The bill included an exemption for patients using high potency concentrates for medical purposes.

I had numerous meetings with cannabis industry representatives, and no one was aware of the psychosis link. Though they disagreed with my proposed solution, industry leaders were emphatic in their commitment to coming to the table as thoughtful partners to address this issue.

So, you can imagine my surprise when, instead of proposing more palatable policy solutions as promised, cannabis industry representatives testified before the House Commerce & Gaming committee that the research implicating cannabis in psychotic disorders is unfounded.

Borrowing from the well-worn playbooks of their forefathers, big tobacco and opioid manufacturers, cannabis business leaders attempted to poke holes in the science and offer alternative explanations.

In 1957, tobacco industry director Clarence Cook Little wrote: “No one has established that cigarette smoke, or any one of its known constituents, is cancer-causing to man.”

Sixty-three years later, cannabis industry leaders testified to our legislature that “cannabis use [is] not independently associated with psychosis.”

Modeling after Purdue Pharma, the opioid maker that wrote that addiction “is not caused by drugs … it is triggered in a susceptible individual by exposure to drugs,” the cannabis industry tried to offer a counter theory – that it is people who have a genetic predisposition for psychotic disorders who are developing them and then using cannabis to self-medicate.

That theory has been debunked by studies that account for family history and still show a significant increase in psychotic disorders from cannabis use.

I never anticipated the cannabis industry would enthusiastically agree to a low potency limit. I only expected them to make good on their word – to show up as earnest partners in addressing their product’s role in one of the largest emerging health crises of our time.

When the industry’s opening move is to spit on the consensus of the scientific community in the spirit of climate deniers, it’s difficult not to question the sincerity of their espoused commitment to public health.

I’ve introduced House Bill 1463, which caps the potency of cannabis concentrates at 30% and raises the age of purchase for concentrates from 21 to 25. Washington’s cannabis industry now has a second chance to act with integrity and come to the table as problem solvers.

It is only the fate of our children with which we are gambling.

Rep. Lauren Davis (D-Shoreline) serves northern King County and a portion of Edmonds in the 32nd Legislative District. She was the founding executive director of the Washington Recovery Alliance and taught UW’s graduate mental health policy course.

For more The link between cannabis concentrates and psychosis | Guest View – Parents Opposed to Pot (poppot.org)

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USA: Stop Drug Driving – National Virtual Event

The Problem of Driving Under the Influence of Drugs:

The Views of Four Former “Drug Czars”


Drug-impaired driving is a threat to public health and public safety on par with the better-known problem of alcohol-impaired driving. Reducing drugged driving is a critical nonpartisan issue facing the nation — one that remains a core priority for the Institute for Behavior and Health. IBH is pleased to co-host a virtual event with The Heritage Foundation to bring a renewed focus on this issue with the help of former White House Drug Czars.

Join us on February 24, 2021 from 12:00-1:00 PM ET.

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USA: Pot and Political Corruption – Cannabis Cronyism

The Government Accountability Institute (GAI) published a “Cannabis Croynism” investigation on Friday detailing potential political corruption surrounding the $21 billion marijuana industry, including conflicts of interest involving former Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY).

The 75 page report is well documented and should be used to call out the motives of politicians who have elevated the legalization of pot to one of the nation’s highest priorities. The pot industry has become a major political player pushing elected officials to prioritize pot profits and pot industry donations over public health, safety and science.

What else explains the rapid march towards legalization by both Democrats and many Republicans? For two parties that can’t even agree on the time of day, how does pot become the ONE ISSUE that unites them?

“When organized crime victimizes individuals, communities and cities it is considered abhorrent and criminal. But when elected officials do the same (for the same reasons – money and power) it is considered a part of their ‘public service.’ Who knew there was corruption associated with the marijuana industry and government officials? Everyone. It is about time someone documented it and laid it out plainly for all to see.”  Scott Chipman

The timing is important as Congress and many additional states are sprinting towards the edge of a public health and safety abyss like lemmings. Only the government lemmings actually benefit while consigning the death and injuries to young people, the mentally ill, their families and the innocent – children of pot users, victims of psychotic violence, and crash victims.

IT’S NOT ABOUT THE SCIENCE, IT’S ABOUT THE MONEY & POWER

“For decades the science has pointed plainly to the serious harms of this drug and the dangers of normalizing the use, increasing the psychotropic potency, and commercializing it. That science has largely been ignored by the media and elected officials. It is clear pro-pot officials are ignoring the science for personal and political financial gain and power.” Carla Lowe – President of AALM

The rationale for this unholy alliance with the pot industry includes the following examples starting at the bottom of page two of the GAI Report

And while most cannabis-related regulatory and legislative action is happening at the state level, some national level political figures have leveraged their positions to make money from cannabis legalization.

For example, in 2017, Paul Pelosi Jr., the son of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, was named Chairman of the Board of Directors of Freedom Leaf, Inc., a consulting firm advising the budding marijuana industry. The following year, the company entered the CBD distribution business, while Pelosi purchased more than $100,000 in company stock.

House speaker Nancy Pelosi recently defended a provision of the Democratic coronavirus relief bill tied to marijuana, calling it “a therapy.” “I don’t agree with you that cannabis is not related to this,” Pelosi said during a press briefing, according to The Hill. “This is a therapy that has proven successful.” The science indicates that pot use increases the risk of contracting COVID-19, impairs the lungs and pot users who contract the virus have more serious COVID-19 cases.

Former Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner, who staunchly opposed legalizing marijuana in Congress, is now bullish on the industry. “This is one of the most exciting opportunities you’ll ever be part of,” he says in a video announcing his new National Institute for Cannabis Investors. “Frankly, we can help you make a potential fortune.” Boehner stands to earn an estimated $20 million if his group succeeds in persuading the federal government to legitimize marijuana.

For example, in 2017, Paul Pelosi Jr., the son of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, was named Chairman of the Board of Directors of Freedom Leaf, Inc., a consulting firm advising the budding marijuana industry. The following year, the company entered the CBD distribution business, while Pelosi purchased more than $100,000 in company stock.

House speaker Nancy Pelosi recently defended a provision of the Democratic coronavirus relief bill tied to marijuana on, calling it “a therapy.”   “I don’t agree with you that cannabis is not related to this,” Pelosi said during a press briefing, according to The Hill. “This is a therapy that has proven successful.” The science indicates that pot use increases the risk of contracting COVID-19, impairs the lungs and pot users who contract the virus have more serious COVID-19 cases.

Former Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner, who staunchly opposed legalizing marijuana in Congress, is now bullish on the industry. “This is one of the most exciting opportunities you’ll ever be part of,” he says in a video announcing his new National Institute for Cannabis Investors. “Frankly, we can help you make a potential fortune.” Boehner stands to earn an estimated $20 million if his group succeeds in persuading the federal government to legitimize marijuana.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was staunchly against legalizing marijuana in 2017 but after receiving over one million dollars in donations from pro-pot interests he has now seen a new light.

Now we will see where the priorities and loyalties of elected officials are – to pot industry donors or to public health and the welfare of our young people?

 Contact AALM   E: [email protected]

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USA: Pot Propaganda Put in Place by Parents Group

FALSEHOODS ABOUT LEGAL MARIJUANA EXPOSED BY PARENTS GROUP

Warns Virginia Legislators Not to Ignore the True Costs and Harms

Merrifield, VA—February 8, 2021–Opponents to the Virginia bills which will permit 400 retail marijuana shops and home grows in neighborhoods around the state, are hearing some alarming arguments in favor of the idea. Parents Opposed to Pot (PopPot), a drug prevention campaign, responds to the erroneous information currently being accepted by some legislators.

The reasons constituents are being given for supporting the legislation (SB 1406 and HB 2312) are in bold. What follows are the PopPot rebuttals:

There has not been an increase in the use of marijuana in states with legalization.

The recently released SAMHSA National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH 2018-2019) shows that drug use doubles when a state legalizes. MomsStrong.org recently published a helpful chart of this data.[1] In the state of Colorado about 20% of teens use marijuana regularly, and half of those teens have progressed to the more dangerous high THC concentrates. These psychoactive drug products manufactured and sold by the marijuana industry include vapes and edibles.[2] In jurisdictions where there is a high density of marijuana shops the rate is even higher. In Pueblo, Colorado, known as the Napa Valley of marijuana, the youth rate is 35%, and in Denver the rate is 25% for teens.[3]  Teens were not using these products before legalization.

Legalization has been shown to grow the economy and add jobs to our communities

A known marijuana side effect, Amotivational Syndrome, leads to low productivity, job loss and dependency and will be a drag on the economy. The growers hire trimmers, and “dispensaries” hire budtenders, but these are low paying jobs, with bad working conditions. Other businesses may leave the state for health and safety reasons, or if their operations require a drug free workplace.[4] The costs to the state will far exceed the tax revenues brought into state coffers.

Crime goes down in the area around a marijuana store

In a study published in the Justice Evaluation Journal, researchers say they discovered that crime increases in the neighborhoods surrounding a marijuana sales outlet. Property crimes like theft and burglary rose 18% and drug crimes by 28%. Disorder crimes like criminal mischief and graffiti rose 17%.[5]

Marijuana legalization is also driving down alcohol consumption.

According to the NSDUH report, last month alcohol use is trending down among ages 12-17 and ages 18-25, since 2002. But, for those ages 26 and older, alcohol use is remaining relatively stable.[6] This data tells us that youth and young adults are falling prey to the drug lobby’s claim that marijuana is safer than alcohol. It is important to note, for 12-20 year olds, neither substance is legal. For those young adults 21 to 25, it is not uncommon for them to mix alcohol and marijuana, something budtenders call “cross-fading.”[7] Using both substances together is more dangerous, as the cognitive impairment is magnified.

It is reducing the associated risks of driving while intoxicated.

Cannabis impairs motor and cognitive skills in much the same way alcohol does. AAA recently issued a stark warning that commercial marijuana will increase auto fatalities in Virginia. “After legalization in Washington state, fatal crashes involving drivers who recently used cannabis doubled, according to research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Data from the Colorado Division of Criminal Justice shows the number of fatalities with cannabinoid‐only or cannabinoid‐in‐combination (with other drugs and alcohol) positive drivers increased 153 percent, from 55 in 2013 to 139 in 2017.”[8]

Marijuana consumption is a victimless crime here in Virginia.

Two years ago, after taking marijuana plus other drugs, a Radford University student stabbed and killed her roommate.[9] In 2007, an 18-year-old marijuana addict drove into a Chantilly, Virginia police station and shot and killed two police officers.[10]

Driving intoxicated by a drug, like alcohol, is a crime. Marijuana DUI arrests in Colorado are up 48% in the past year.[11] Driving high poses a risk to the life and property of others, and it causes car crash victims.

Parents Opposed to Pot is tracking news reports of child deaths related to adult marijuana use. Just since Colorado voters ushered in commercial marijuana, PopPot finds at least 250 child victims of abuse and neglect.[12] Three of those deaths were in the state of Virginia. Two of the deaths were passengers in the car of a cannabis impaired driver, the third was a child left to die in a hot car.

Last week, PopPot sent every Virginia legislator several stories from Virginia parents who have children currently suffering with marijuana-related mental illness, or who lost their child to a drug overdose. Cannabis can trigger psychosis, schizophrenia and violence, so PopPot asserts any business that sells this drug is going to create victims.

Aubree Adams, Assistant Director of PopPot, asks the Virginia legislators, “You talk about money, but you don’t talk about the costs. Why?”

Parents Opposed to Pot is a 501c3 educational nonprofit based in northern Virginia. Contact at 773-322-7523 or visit the website, poppot.org, Facebook @poppotorg.


[1] https://momsstrong.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Past-Month-Marijuana-Use-2018-19.pdf

[2] https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/op-eds/new-colorado-data-serves-as-warning-of-risks-of-ultra-potent-pot-to-children

[3] https://cdphe.colorado.gov/center-for-health-and-environmental-data/survey-research/healthy-kids-colorado-survey-data

[4] https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/04/23/props-company-moves/26256079/

[5] https://sum.cuny.edu/marijuana-dispensariesdenver-nonviolent-crime-increase/

[6] https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/reports/rpt29393/2019NSDUHFFRBriefSlides082120.pdf, p. 7

[7] https://poppot.org/2015/06/08/medical-marijuana-dispensaries-investigated/

[8] https://augustafreepress.com/aaa-opposes-legalized-marijuana-in-virginia-citing-negative-traffic-safety-implications/

[9] https://roanoke.com/news/local/luisa-cutting-pleads-guilty-to-radford-murder-of-alexa-cannon/article_aa5b3284-409e-51cd-bde6-2073d51cd69a.html

[10] https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/07/AR2007080700885.html

[11] https://denver.cbslocal.com/2021/01/29/marijuana-dui-colorado-arrests-alcohol/

[12] https://poppot.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/09142020-Child-dangers-fact-sheet-FINAL.pdf

For more go to Parents Opposed to Pot

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USA: Drug Use & Lawlessness! Who Knew? Any non-drug user, that’s who!

LEGALIZATION INVITES BLACK MARKET, LAWLESSNESS INTO STATE

Black market growers of marijuana destroyed my Colorado retreat

Whenever you listen to or read dialog from the pro-marijuana crowd, they say that legalizing marijuana will make the black market go away.  This statement is a blatant lie.  Rather, legalizing marijuana invites criminal organizations into your state and allows them to grow pot illegally under the guise of running a legal operation.

I am the owner of a summer home in rural Colorado with beautiful mountain views.  In the midst of this beauty, a Chinese group purchased a ten-acre parcel with a house near my home.  Within a year, they had cleared a section of the indigenous vegetation, which is so important to the survival of the local wildlife, and illegally grew thousands of marijuana plants.

These marijuana plants are not even native to Colorado or North America; in fact, they had to grow them in plastic pots because the rocky soil would not support their growth.  These growers also typically plant only hybrid female plants that produce unnaturally high and toxic levels of THC.  Such an operation so close to my home and being manned by illegal Chinese nationals made me and my family feel completely violated and endangered.  In fact,  this is when I first decided to purchase a firearm for protection, because local law enforcement was at least one hour away.

The story doesn’t end after drug bust

Luckily, this operation was busted by the DEA just before the autumn harvest occurred.  What is important to know is that after a drug bust, the plants are taken away, but the collateral damage, in the form of left over containers, pesticides, herbicides, and trash remained.

Raid on a black market marijuana grower in Colorado

But the story does not stop here.  I found out from federal law enforcement that this type of operation is similar to “thousands” of other illegal operations located throughout Colorado.  This large number of illegal operations did not exist before legalization.  Because of logistical issues caused by the great distance away from federal law enforcement’s home base along with limited funding and manpower, federal law enforcement usually focuses on the illegal pot operations along the nearby front-range leaving rural areas of Colorado woefully unprotected.  Sadly, the criminals are aware of these limitations, and therefore rural areas have become a prime attraction for illegal marijuana operations and the many associated criminal activities such as human trafficking.

After experiencing this drug bust, I did my own investigation of this issue and found many suspect marijuana operations in rural Colorado.  What was discovered is a strong connection to Chinese, Cuban, or Eastern European groups along with many out-of-state individuals.  In some cases, the Asian operations have direct ties to mainland China through people working for a “state-owned” entity.  Further, some operations were setup such that the “legal” licensee is a Colorado resident while the “new” landowner is either from another state or even another country.

Local governments cave

What is equally troubling is the way that local government officials (LGO) cater to marijuana operations, both legal and illegal operations.  The LGO’s ignored all the concerns and pleas from local long-term residents, while approving the majority of marijuana applicants. Most of the approved growers were not even people from the local area.  Additionally, the LGO’s basically did nothing about the illegal operations.  Or, if the operation was busted, the consequence for operating without a license(s) and permit(s) was basically a slap on the wrists by the local judicial system.

All states that have legalized marijuana have seen the same infiltration of foreign drug dealers who grow on the black market.  California’s black market remains much larger than its legal market for marijuana.

Law enforcement is crippled

In closing, one definition of anarchy is simply lawlessness.   The truth of the matter is that the roots of lawlessness begin as soon as marijuana is legalized in a state, whether medical or recreational.  Further, once the roots of anarchy take hold, extreme violence, destruction, and homelessness occur within just a few years.  Basically, any state that legalizes marijuana can expect the exact same sequence of events to occur.

We can also expect the anarchy to be national, as it has been in Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis and Chicago, for months.  A number of the recent rioters at the Capitol were marijuana users, including “Baked Alaska” who takes his name from his habit.  A podcast of Jake Angeli, who wore horns to the Capitol, reveals  that he began getting high at age 11.

for more State Gone Completely to POT!

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Global: The Toxicity of Intoxication – No serious ‘planet warrior’ would EVER use an Illicit Drug.

The Environmental Costs of drug use and addiction

Most of us have some awareness of the cost of our various drug problems in terms of the deaths and ruined lives among individuals, the impact on their families and communities, and on society in general. Those broader societal costs include those arising from law enforcement, health and social care expenditure and higher insurance premiums linked to drug-related crime. Less-well understood or known are the environmental costs of the human quest for chemical intoxication. Such costs are in fact considerable.

Most readers are likely to assume that the main culprits when it comes to damage to our environment are synthetic drugs and it is true that the manufacture of such products results in significant pollution, not only of land, but also water resources because of the nature of the chemical reagents involved. Most of the evidence for such damage relates to amphetamines, including MDMA (ecstasy) because the Netherlands and Belgium are home to the main sites of synthesis and EUROPOL has been proactive in highlighting the dangers and costs involved.

In 2015, four Belgian children were hospitalised with chemical burns after cycling through a pool of liquid caustic waste. The figures above do not include waste generated in the production of precursor and pre-precursor chemicals, leading to one source estimating a total waste generation of up to 9,000 tons, most of which has been found to be harmful to soil fauna such as worms, to aquatic life when it leaches into water sources, and to cattle.

The estimated cost of dismantling and cleaning up these production sites was €5.76 million, the bulk of which was accounted for by 322 Dutch sites. Similar problems have been reported by the UN from the Golden Triangle of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar, where ‘Yabba’ (amphetamine) synthesis is replacing opium processing, but those countries lack the resources for adequate clean-up, adding to the ecological damage.

You might be forgiven for thinking that the production of natural intoxicants from plant sources might be more eco-friendly, given that said plants use atmospheric CO2 in those photosynthetic reactions that lead to the biosynthesis of drug molecules such as morphine, cocaine and THC. You could not be more wrong, as the cultivation of these plants results in massive destruction of habitats, depletion of often-scarce water resources and toxification of waterways by agro-chemicals, including unapproved anticoagulant rodenticides and herbicides.

According to a paper in the Global Societies Journal and a report by Germany’s international broadcaster, Deutsche Welle, in October last year, more than 300,000 hectares, or 741 million acres, of forest have been cleared in Colombia since 2001 to grow coca bushes.

Some 50,000 hectares of that has been in the precious Amazon region. During the same period, 292,000 hectares of Peruvian Amazon rainforest has been lost to coca cultivation. How much carbon sequestering has been lost as a result is unknown. The subsequent extraction of coca paste and its processing into cocaine means that several million litres of ammonia, acetone, and HCl end up in soils and rivers each year, leading to further losses of aquatic plants and animals. Therefore, you cannot blame all of the devastation in the Amazon on greedy Brazilian beef farmers. Everyone who uses cocaine has to share the blame for the loss of biodiversity and ability to absorb CO2.

In the case of heroin, the UN estimates that the equivalent of 337,000 football pitches, or an area 23 times the size of Paris, is used to grow opium poppies, mainly in Afghanistan. Thanks to the intensive irrigation needed that uses 50,000 solar-powered pumps, ground water levels in Afghanistan are lowered by three metres a year. Wells now have to be drilled to a depth of 130 metres. In Yemen, 60 per cent of arable land is devoted to the growing of the amphetamine-like Khat plant, and up to 30 per cent of the ground- water supply goes into irrigating the trees. One cannot help feeling that growing food crops might be a better option in a country beset by famine, civil war and Covid-19.

Similar heavy demands on water supplies arise from the large-scale growing of cannabis. According to a 2018 report from Swansea University for the Global Drug Policy Observatory, titled The environmental impacts of the legalisation of Cannabis in California, one cannabis plant requires 23 litres of water per day, which is double that needed by grapes or tomatoes, and this in a state that suffers from chronic droughts and devastating forest fires. Light and heat used to grow legal cannabis in commercial indoor plantations involves an enormous energy requirement at 1 per cent of total US energy consumption, at a cost of $6 billion and resulting in 15 million metric tons of CO2 being emitted. This is the equivalent of emissions from three million cars!

The additional carbon footprint and water utilisation by the still-thriving illicit cannabis industry is unknown. One joint has the same footprint as three kilos of potatoes. In terms of CO2, that means the average joint involves around 2.5kg of CO2 emissions. Those who smoke or eat edible cannabis concentrates and who believe that because they are using ‘natural’ weed that they are respecting the planet need to be informed that such a delusion is a drug-fuelled fallacy.

for complete article go to The Environmental Costs of drug use and addiction – Irish Pharmacist January 2021

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USA: Toxic Policy Around Toxic Weed, by (it would appear) In-toxic-ated Policy Makers

PROVOCATIONS: SUPPRESSED MARIJUANA STORY (DAVID NEESE COLUMN)

New Jersey’s state government routinely ignores its complaining citizens. But can it ignore itself?

Published in The Trentonian, December 27, 2020.   A lawsuit challenging the legality of the recent state ballot question legalizing marijuana may answer that question.

The lawsuit declares that the state misled the public with the wording of the ballot question and ignored scientific evidence on the harmfulness of marijuana. It seeks to have the legalization declared “null and void.”

Whatever the outcome of the lawsuit, this much is clear beyond any dispute: New Jersey’s state government takes flagrantly contradictory positions on marijuana.

While the state aggressively presses on for legalization of marijuana, it continues to warn on its own drug-abuse website of marijuana’s serious health hazards.

The state’s drug-abuse website highlights studies raising doubts about marijuana by the Surgeon General, the Federal Drug Administration, the American Psychiatric Association, the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Academy of Sciences and others.

The lawsuit is pending before Superior Court Judge Mary C. Jacobson in Trenton. It was filed by Flemington attorney David Evans, a national adversary of marijuana legalization.

Among the lawsuit’s complainants are conservative gadfly Richard W. Smith of Ewing, an attorney and former N.J. Health Department official, and unnamed “victims” of marijuana use.

What are the lawsuit’s legal prospects?

New Jersey’s judiciary is widely regarded as inclined toward liberal jurisprudence when addressing controversies that have become major public issues. The judiciary’s defenders as well as its detractors say so.

Accordingly, the lawsuit may seem to be a long shot, especially taking into account the acceptance marijuana has attained in widening social and political circles and considering the trend of expanding legalization across the country, state by state.

While pressing onward for legalization, however, New Jersey’s own official state website continues to highlight studies linking marijuana use to mental problems, including depression, anxiety disorders and potential triggering or aggravation of schizophrenia.

Gateway effects

And the state’s website continues to describe marijuana as often a precursor to harder drug use.

A National Institute of Drug Abuse report cited by the state says research indicates that 17 percent of marijuana users who start young “become addicted,” and that among those who use daily the percentage rises to as high as 50 percent.

In addition to citing such studies, the N.J. Department of Human Services’ Division of Drug Abuse and Addiction Services says the state struggles to cope with some 11,000 marijuana “treatment admissions” annually.

These cases occur on top of 65,000 alcohol and heroin cases and are often intermingled with them, i.e., alcoholics and heroin addicts also frequently use marijuana, the state’s Substance Abuse Monitoring System (SAMS) database indicates.

According to that database, the troublesome and baffling dynamics of addictive behavior are such that only half of those admitted for drug treatment complete the programs, and even completed programs are not always successful.

The SAMS database further indicates that the state has more than 80,000 “unmet treatment needs” annually for all drug-abuse cases, meaning that 37 percent of total needs go unaddressed.

An extensive study in New Zealand, the state’s website further notes, found that marijuana use “reduces connectivity” in brain areas governing learning and memory.

State website questions medicinal use of marijuana

The state’s drug abuse website also singles out a National Institutes of Health report questioning the medicinal use of marijuana, previously legalized in New Jersey.

Marijuana’s supposed medicinal effectiveness “is difficult to evaluate,” says NIH, due to its hundreds of chemical substances and the varying strength of marijuana plants, plus individual differences in how the chemical components of marijuana are absorbed via smoking.

Other studies highlighted on the state’s website note that marijuana contains many of the same harmful respiratory substances tobacco does.

But such information failed to penetrate the ballot question debate, to the extent there was any debate at all. The ballot question won approval with wide media endorsement and a resounding 67 percent public margin.

The lawsuit argues that legislators behind the ballot question misleadingly promoted legalization as an economic windfall while minimizing health concerns.

And, the suit adds, Gov. Murphy contributed his own “negligent and deficient public messaging” to the issue.

Murphy and state Attorney Gen. Gurbir S. Grewal are named defendants in the case, as are Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Sen. Nick Scutari of Linden. The two legislators played lead roles in New Jersey’s legalization effort.

Ballot was misleading

The lawsuit contends that an explanatory statement accompanying the ballot question only further obscured the far-reaching public health and other harmful implications of legalizing marijuana.

“Unlike heroin and other opiates, whose risks are widely disseminated and known by the public,” says Evans, “the hazards of today’s marijuana are both insidious and minimized.”

Although the ballot question stipulated that sales are to be limited to adults, the lawsuit contends that the very act of legalization suggests to minors that marijuana, contrary to scientific evidence, must not be harmful after all.

The lawsuit notes research on the harmful effects of heavy marijuana use especially among young people, these effects reportedly including loss of motivation and damage to memory, possibly permanently.

Evans says the lawsuit seeks to remind state officials of their “duty to safeguard public health and safety and especially that of children” — a responsibility that seems to have been abandoned in the legalization campaign.

The courts ultimately will decide whether the ballot question lawsuit raises what lawyers call a legal cause of action. Evans says the lawsuit has science and “good legal theory” on its side.

Meanwhile, whatever the ultimate outcome of the litigation, the case raises nagging questions beyond the strictly legal issues.

Why didn’t New Jersey’s state government make a greater effort during the legalization campaign to draw attention to the dire warnings on its own website?

Why did the state contradict itself before the ballot?

Why did the state government all but remain silent on research it says, itself, raises grave doubts about marijuana use?

Is the next step to remove that information from the state’s website?

In effect, to suppress it?

If the website information is not worthy of even considering, much less heeding, why was it posted by leading state and federal governmental agencies in the first place?

If scientifically baseless, as legalization advocates insist, how is it that such worrisome findings on marijuana came to be reported by reputable individual scientists and leading research institutes around the world?

Will appropriations for the N.J. Division of Drug Abuse and Addiction Services,’ along with appropriations for the N.J. Substance Abuse Monitoring System, now be defunded to reflect the new, politically anointed status of marijuana?

Will the Division of Drug Abuse and Addiction Services and the Substance Abuse Monitoring System now “get with the program”?

Will they begin to evince a more positive attitude toward marijuana, or at least a less negative one?

Can state agencies realistically be expected to have any objectivity regarding marijuana once the marijuana market is tapped into as a source of revenue for the state government?

Yes, nagging questions. Or they should be.  Here is a video we made to show the money spent on legalizing marijuana.

http://https://youtu.be/1JjdKHWyMVQ

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