Global: Drug Prevention Alliance Pummels Pot Promotion



By Peter Stoker, National Drug Prevention Alliance As members of the worldwide drug prevention movement, the National Drug Prevention Alliance (UK) has been greatly saddened to see how the United States of America has allowed marijuana to be available in so many places for so-called medical and recreational purposes.  This far from harmless substance causes pain and hardship to individuals, families and communities.

(Should you wish to inform yourself more on marijuana, may we respectfully suggest that you log-on where you will find many  scientific items about this harmful substance).

There is also research which shows that regular, heavy users of marijuana go on to use cocaine. (Journal of Clinical Psychiatry  Kleber, Herbert MD. (Suppl) pp3-6 1988)

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is an important international legal instrument that obligates  Parties to protect children and youth from involvement with illicit drugs and the drug trade.

Under the terms of the convention, governments are required to meet children’s basic needs and help them reach their full potential(Article 33). Since it was adopted by the United Nations in November 1989, 194 countries have signed up to the UNCRC.

The USA is a signatory to this UN convention and should therefore be passing legislation to prevent the enormous market in marijuana that has developed in America. The more children are exposed to stores that sell these harmful products, the more likely they will be to try them and the more young people will then go on to use cocaine and heroin, to the detriment of the individual and society.

Colorado has failed to meet the specific DOJ requirements on controlling recreational marijuana production, distribution and use. A report documents a significant increase in drugged driving crashes, youth marijuana use, a thriving illegal black market and unabated sales of alcohol, which supports the idea that people are not using marijuana instead of alcohol but rather in addition to alcohol.  Promises were made in Colorado in 2012, before legalized recreational marijuana, that the result would be a large amount in taxes for education and the elimination of the black market. Yet in the years since, Colorado has seen an increase in marijuana related traffic deaths, poison control calls, and emergency room visits. The marijuana black market has increased in Colorado, not decreased. And, numerous Colorado marijuana regulators have been indicted for corruption.

New reports out of Colorado indicate that legal marijuana is posing real risks to the safety of young people. As Colorado rethinks marijuana, the rest of the nation should watch carefully this failing experiment.

( 11th September 2017)

study was done recently a few weeks ago by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse and Addiction and it found that just in Canada alone, a much smaller country than the U.S. in population, marijuana-related car crashes cost a billion dollars. That’s just the car crashes, and those were directly related to marijuana. And the report came from a government think tank, not any kind of anti-drug group.

Seriously interested readers would also find it helpful to log on to: onto to read ‘Tracking the Money that’s Legalising Marijuana’.

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USA: Marijuana Bill Would Endanger SC Children, Public Safety

Laura Hudson: Marijuana Bill Would Endanger SC Children, Public Safety

“The collateral damage of legalizing marijuana is far-reaching …”

March 29, 2018  by LAURA HUDSON

After 33 years representing crime victims in the S.C. General Assembly, I remain astounded at the short sightedness of many Senators and Representatives; especially as exhibited by the so-called Compassionate Care Act, known as S.212 introduced by Senator Tom Davis of Beaufort.

Of course, the Compassionate Care bill is neither compassionate nor caring for the vast majority of South Carolina citizens, but is a poorly veiled attempt to legalize recreational marijuana.

The collateral damage of legalizing marijuana is far-reaching, as exhibited by the states that have passed such law: decreased productivity among workers, huge spikes in traffic deaths, increase in homeless populations, criminal activity, rise in drug cartels, loan sharking, social service burdens, suicides, job-related accidents, contaminated poisoned products, increase in ER and medical needs, decreased school attendance and younger and younger users. Marijuana is the #1 addiction in teens.

Scandalously, our state has remained at the top nationally in impaired driving fatalities – this past year rating sixth in the nation, regardless of population.

Why anyone would be so callous as to add to our highway statistics the recreational use of many forms of a federally illegal drug – marijuana – is inexcusable.

The twisting of facts to try to foster this scourge on our citizens has surpassed comprehension.  Some folks think if you tell a lie loud enough and often enough it becomes some sort of truth.

Proponents of the bill have repeatedly misrepresented the Winthrop Poll results.  In a poll conducted by Winthrop and reported by The (Columbia, S.C.) State October 1, 2016, the public resoundingly (77 percent) expressed that medical marijuana should be under the authority of the FDA just as other drugs, with researched dose levels and the ability to be prescribed by physicians, not just recommended as Senator Davis’s bill condones.

Desiring to help those whose medical conditions might be relieved by Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC – a component of marijuana), is a worthy goal but not at the peril of hundreds of other citizens, especially our children.

Having served on the S.C. Child Fatality Advisory Committee for 19 years, I have reviewed thousands of suspicious, unexplained and violent deaths of children aged seventeen and under. Many of the cases reviewed reveal “parenting under the influence” of a myriad of drugs, both legal and illegal: alcohol, marijuana, meth, opioids, heroin, cocaine, over the counter drugs, etc. leading to the deaths of the children in their care.

Many of these deaths are directly linked to marijuana use by a caregiver.  In some of these cases a child is born to a “using” caregiver fails to thrive.  In others, they are suffocated by a parent so high or so impaired that they roll over on a child or place the child in unsafe sleeping conditions.  Some neglect critical medical needs or basic food or allow the child access to marijuana to ingest.

Legalizing marijuana will lull our citizenry into the false belief that marijuana is harmless.

For complete story


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USA: Kansas House Don’t Make ‘Law-breakers’, Weed Warriors Do That!

‘Don’t make us lawbreakers’: Effort to legalize medical marijuana fails in Kansas House

By Sherman Smith Posted Mar 26, 2018

Rep. Abraham Rafie, R-Overland Park, spoke against an amendment in the House Monday that would have legalized medical marijuana. The amendment failed 54-69. [Thad Allton/The Capital-Journal]

In this June 23, 2016, photo, plants mature on a hemp farm in Pueblo, Colo. A proposal from Rep. Cindy Holscher, an Olathe Democrat, would have amended Senate Bill 282, which would legalize hemp oil with no THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis. [AP Photo/Kristen Wyatt]

Rep. Troy Waymaster, R-Bunker Hill, and others shared emotional stories during debate on an amendment, Monday, offered by Rep. Cindy Holscher, back, D-Olathe, in the House, that would have legalized medical marijuana. The amendment failed 54-69.[Thad Allton/The Capital-Journal]

An amendment by Rep. Cindy Holscher, in the House to legalize medical marijuana failed on a 54-69 vote Monday.. [Thad Allton/The Capital-Journal]


Rep. Abraham Rafie, R-Overland Park, spoke against an amendment in the House Monday that would have legalized medical marijuana. The amendment failed 54-69. [Thad Allton/The Capital-Journal]


In this June 23, 2016, photo, plants mature on a hemp farm in Pueblo, Colo. A proposal from Rep. Cindy Holscher, an Olathe Democrat, would have amended Senate Bill 282, which would legalize hemp oil with no THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis. [AP Photo/Kristen Wyatt]


Rep. Troy Waymaster, R-Bunker Hill, and others shared emotional stories during debate on an amendment, Monday, offered by Rep. Cindy Holscher, back, D-Olathe, in the House, that would have legalized medical marijuana. The amendment failed 54-69.[Thad Allton/The Capital-Journal]


An amendment by Rep. Cindy Holscher, in the House to legalize medical marijuana failed on a 54-69 vote Monday.. [Thad Allton/The Capital-Journal]


Rep. Abraham Rafie, R-Overland Park, spoke against an amendment in the House Monday that would have legalized medical marijuana. The amendment failed 54-69. [Thad Allton/The Capital-Journal]


By Sherman Smith

Posted Mar 26, 2018 at 2:15 PMUpdated Mar 26, 2018 at 2:51 PM


An effort in the House to legalize medical marijuana failed on a 54-69 vote Monday after Rep. Cindy Holscher’s amendment met resistance for not going through a committee first.

Others blasted the legislative process, saying committee leaders have refused for years to allow hearings on the bill.

Rep. Troy Waymaster, R-Bunker Hill, and others shared emotional stories during debate on the amendment, recalling the relief marijuana brought to loved ones suffering from cancer, epilepsy, migraines and other illnesses. Waymaster said he supported a dying companion’s efforts to seek marijuana in Colorado as she battled ovarian cancer, but he couldn’t support the amendment.

“I don’t think this is the right time to bring this forward,” Waymaster said. “I know there is a benefit to it. I’ve seen it. I saw what it did to her. But as the previous representatives who spoke before me, a 116-page amendment is not the right process.”

The proposal from Holscher, an Olathe Democrat, would have amended Senate Bill 282, which would legalize hemp oil with no THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis. The House advanced the hemp oil bill on a voice vote.

Modeled on legislation that has passed in other states, Holscher defended her amendment by saying the dependency rate for marijuana is equal to caffeine and lower than more serious drugs. Legalizing marijuana for medicinal use is the answer to the opioid crisis, she said, and has support from doctors.

Marijuana is a gateway to health, not other drugs, she said.

“The question,” Holscher said, “is do we want to help our people or send them potentially to other states?”

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Global: Cannabis & Initiation into Cigarettes – Who new right???

Cannabis use linked to increased initiation of cigarette smoking among non-smokers

Download PDF Copy March 27, 2018

While cigarette smoking has long been on the decline, marijuana use is on the rise and, disproportionately, marijuana users also smoke cigarettes. A new study by researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the City University of New York reports that cannabis use was associated with an increased initiation of cigarette smoking among non-cigarette smokers. They also found adults who smoke cigarettes and use cannabis are less likely to quit smoking cigarettes than those who do not use cannabis. Former smokers who use cannabis are also more likely to relapse to cigarette smoking. Results are published online in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

The analyses were based on data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions in 2001-2002 and 2004-2005, and responses from 34,639 individuals to questions about cannabis use and smoking status.

“Developing a better understanding of the relationship between marijuana use and cigarette use transitions is critical and timely as cigarette smoking remains the leading preventable cause of premature death and disease, and use of cannabis is on the rise in the U.S.,” said Renee Goodwin, PhD, in the Department of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health, and senior author.

The study suggests that marijuana use–even in the absence of cannabis use disorder (characterized by problematic use of cannabis due to impairment in functioning or difficulty quitting or cutting down on use)–is associated with increased odds of smoking onset, relapse, and persistence. As cannabis use is much more common than cannabis use disorder, its potential impact on cigarette use in the general community may be greater than estimates based on studies of cannabis use disorder alone, according to the researchers.

An earlier study by Goodwin and colleagues showed that the use of cannabis by cigarette smokers had increased dramatically over the past two decades to the point where smokers are more than 5 times as likely as non-smokers to use marijuana daily. For complete article



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UK: He Uses Drugs – And the Whole Family Suffers From it!

Changing Lives Using peer support to promote access to services for family members affected by someone else’s drug or alcohol use

Whole Family Recovery Introduction: In 2009, the UK Drug Policy Commission estimated that there are at least 1.5 million people in the UK affected by someone else’s drug use. However, this figure only includes those family members and carers living with someone using drugs, and only when the drug use is at the extreme end of the spectrum. Other estimates, based on the assumption that every substance misuser will negatively affect at least two close family members, suggest that the true number is nearer 8 million. Family members affected by a relative’s alcohol use are likely to be far more numerous, given the greater prevalence of alcohol misuse in the general population



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Canada: Worker Compensation Weed Worries!

Why total bans on workplace pot won’t be easy under Cannabis Act

March 23, 2018   by David Gambrill

Employers may be hard-pressed to ban marijuana outright from the workplace once The Cannabis Act is implemented in Canada, a lawyer told delegates attending the Ontario Mutual Insurance Association (OMIA) Thursday.

“Both bills [related to The Cannabis Act, Bills C-45 and C-46] are actually silent when it comes to employment and occupational safety,” said Sandra Gogal, practice leader at Miller Thomson LLP. “At present, there is no Canadian law that regulates mandatory drug testing of employees, so when the recreational market opens up, it creates a number of interesting issues.”

For one, employers will be challenged to uphold outright prohibitions on marijuana in the workplace, based on the difference between recreational and medicinal forms of cannabis. While proposed bills allowing recreational use are still up for debate, medical use of marijuana has been legal in Canada since 1999.

“I had a call from a company the other day that said one of their employees was injured on the job, and as a matter of standard practice, they get drug-tested,” Gogal recounted. “The results came back positive, and they said, ‘Can we fire him?’ And I just said, ‘We don’t know yet whether that was for medical purposes or not.’”

The issue promises to get murkier once recreational drug use is legalized.

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Scotland: Therapeutic Community Good to Go!

First ever drug rehabilitation village opens its doors

Scotland’s first ever long-term “drug rehabilitation village” opens its doors today.

The River Garden Auchincruive project, near Ayr, is a groundbreaking residential project to help those recovering from drug and alcohol addiction.

Run by charity Independence from Drugs and Alcohol Scotland (IFDAS), the programme is inspired by a number of radical rehab programmes from around the world.

It will initially provide accommodation, training and support for up to 40 former addicts who will live there for up to three years.

Director of Development at IFDAS, Mark Bitel said the three year programme was unlike any other type of service currently available in the UK.

The 48-acre site acts as a residential training and social enterprise development where the community will grow food to supply an onsite shop and café, and run a bakery.

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UK: Private School Students Self Medicate at Alarming Rates!

Head of private school warns about the ‘rising tide’ of drug abuse in schools including pupils hooked on the highly addictive tranquilliser Xanax

  • Head of King’s College School, Wimbledon says drugs are cheaper than tobacco
  • Andrew Halls says pupils have asked teachers to help break ‘dangerous’ habit
  • Students are tested for drugs and are offered counselling if results are positive

By David Churchill For The Daily Mail PUBLISHED: 26 March 2018

There is a ‘rising tide’ of drug abuse in schools as tranquillisers and ‘new psychoactive substances’ become more readily available, the head of a leading private school has warned.

Andrew Halls, head of King’s College School in Wimbledon, South-West London, says substances such as Xanax, a highly addictive tranquilliser, have become cheaper than tobacco and easier to get hold of than alcohol.

In a strongly worded letter to parents he revealed a number of his pupils have asked teachers to help break a ‘dangerous habit’.

Mr Halls said that in more than one case they have had to deal with children ‘so affected by the impact of drugs on their lives that remaining had become impossible for them’.

King’s pupils are given drugs tests if suspected of taking substances and offered counselling if they test positive. If they fail subsequent tests, they could be expelled.

Andrew Halls, head of King’s College School in Wimbledon, South-West London, says substances such as Xanax, a highly addictive tranquilliser, have become cheaper than tobacco and easier to get hold of than alcohol

It is not the first time Mr Halls has raised concerns about drug-taking in schools.

At a meeting of head teachers earlier this month, he said that ‘every single head around the table felt that drug abuse by young people was a central concern for schools and parents’.

He was joined by Helen Pike, master of Magdalen College School, Oxford, who promised to send parents a letter warning of the risks of Modafinil, a ‘smart drug’ taken to improve alertness during exams.

Figures show a sharp rise in numbers of children admitting to taking drugs, with 37 per cent of 15-year-olds saying they had over the previous 12 months in 2016 – compared with 24 per cent in 2015.

Xanax, used to treat anxiety disorders, has become a particular concern among youth workers after it was reported this month that children were able to buy the pills illegally via dealers on Facebook and Instagram for as little as 89p.

Drugs charity Addaction warned children as young as 13 were buying them online. Neil Coles of the charity said: ‘There’s a lot of use in grammar schools, a lot in those high-pressure environments.’
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USA: Weed Lethal, for different reasons?

Jeff Sessions Has Found A Way To Make Marijuana Lethal

By James McClure |  Mar 27, 2018  |

Nobody has ever died of a marijuana overdose – even the DEA admits that. But Attorney General Jeff Sessions can make marijuana lethal by enforcing capital punishment for drug traffickers (which Sessions is already threatening to do).

Under federal law, there is a provision allowing capital punishment in drug trafficking cases that involve “extremely large quantities of drugs,” regardless of whether any violent crimes took place as part of the illegal trade. According to the law, you could face the death penalty if you get caught with 60 kilograms of heroin, 24 kilograms of fentanyl or a mere 600 grams of LSD.

For marijuana, the amount that would trigger capital punishment is 60,000 kilograms. That might seem like a lot, but keep in mind that some legal states allow licensed cultivators to grow over 60,000 plants. So the 60,000 kg threshold isn’t unrealistic for them to cross.

But while state-licensed growers are susceptible to capital punishment, they probably won’t be given the death penalty, according to Tamar Todd – Director of the Office of Legal Affairs at the Drug Policy Alliance.

“The Supreme Court has never upheld the death penalty for a crime that did not involve death,” Todd recently told Christopher Ingraham of The Washington Post.

For more Deadly Dope

Weed never killed anyone – Really???

Study Claims to Find First Two Deaths Caused by Marijuana

A recent German study claims to have documented the first known deaths resulting from marijuana use.

While researchers studied 15 people whose deaths were allegedly linked to marijuana use, 13 of those deaths were confirmed to be caused by other factors. Researchers said, however, that the drug was to blame in two isolated cases of two seemingly healthy people, one 23 years old and another 28. Autopsies found that younger had a serious undetected heart problem, suggesting that people with cardiological issues should be aware of marijuana risks, and the older had a history of alcohol and drug use.

“To our knowledge, these are the first cases of suspected fatal cannabis intoxications where full post-mortem investigations… were carried out,” researchers said in the study, published in Forensic Science International this month. “After exclusion of other causes of death we assume that the young men experienced fatal cardiovascular complications evoked by smoking cannabis.”

The new study cuts against many others showing pot use does not have serious medical repercussions. The German Association for Drugs and Addiction criticized the study on Wednesday, The Local reports.

“Cannabis does not paralyze the breathing or the heart,” said Jost Leune, who heads the group. He said the dangers of marijuana are “exaggerated” and that “deaths due to cannabis use are usually accidents that are not caused by the substance, but to the circumstances of use.”

Cannabis ‘kills 30,000 a year’

by JENNY HOPE, Daily Mail

More than 30,000 cannabis smokers could die every year, doctors warn today.

Medical experts blame the Home Secretary for creating confusion about the risks posed by the drug – leading young people wrongly to believe it is harmless.

They claim David Blunkett’s decision to reclassify cannabis as a class C drug – putting it on a level with anabolic steroids and prescription painkillers – sent out the wrong message and played down the devastating health effects of its regular use.

Professor John Henry, a leading authority on the drug, said the change – due to take place this summer – had undermined doctors’ efforts to highlight the risks.

He said: “Cannabis is as dangerous as cigarette smoking – in fact, it may be even worse – and downgrading its legal status has simply confused people.

“We have a clear public message about cigarette smoking. Every year, the number of smokers gets smaller and the message on packets about the dangers gets bigger.

“At present, there is no battle against cannabis and no clear public health message.”

In today’s issue of the British Medical Journal, Prof Henry and other doctors from Imperial College, and St Mary’s Hospital, both in London, say cannabis could be a major contributor to UK deaths.

Researchers calculate that if 120,000 deaths are caused among 13million smokers, the corresponding figure among 3.2million cannabis smokers would be 30,000.

The drug can cause cancer, lung disease and abnormalities associated with serious mental illness.

Users are up to six times more likely to develop schizophrenia.

The British Lung Foundation says smoking three joints a day can cause the same damage to the airways as a pack of 20 cigarettes.

Prof Henry added: “Even if the number of deaths turned out to be only a fraction of the 30,000 we believe possible, cannabis smoking would still be described as a major health hazard.

“If we add in the likely mental health burden to that of medical illnesses and premature death, the potential effects of cannabis cannot be ignored.”

Dr William Oldfield, from St Mary’s Hospital and one of the authors of the article, said: “Cannabis and nicotine cigarettes have a different mode of inhalation. The puff taken by cannabis smokers is two-thirds larger, they inhale a third more and hold down the smoke four times longer.

“All these factors could contribute to illnesses of the heart and respiratory system, particularly as the chemicals in cannabis smoke are retained in the body to a much higher degree.”

He said the cannabis used today – especially that bought in the Netherlands – was up to 40 times stronger than that used by Flower Power hippies in the 1960s.

The level of active ingredient in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has increased from around 0.5 per cent 20 years ago to almost five per cent today. THC affects the heart and blood vessels and many sudden deaths have been attributed to cannabis smoking.

In Britain, about eight million people admit to smoking cannabis, with at least one-third of youngsters claiming to have used it at some time. They include Prince Harry, who admitted smoking the drug while a pupil at Eton. (cited 26/9/14)


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USA: Coerced Rehab Works – People telling you otherwise want people to ‘die with their rights on’!

Allowing drug addicts to ‘die with the rights on’ is the real ‘disease’ in the drug crisis!

It is my opinion that involuntary treatment must have a prominent place in the treatment of addictive disorders. Generations in the future will look back on our response to the addiction epidemic and say, “What were they thinking”? Allowing addicted individuals to “die with their rights on” is the true iatrogenic disease of our time. Lawyers and advocates lobby for individual rights while individuals are dying by the thousands.

We as a society are allowing patients with “diseases of their brains” to make poor decisions with the very same brains that are diseased in order to protect their free will. We know forced treatment and contingent treatment works especially while the individual is recovering from short- and long-term drug effects.

Most aggressive patients are playing out a script of violence that has happened over and over in their lives. If you know the script, you are way ahead of the game when planning treatment options. The dance of aggression is specific to each patient and the drug is merely a catalyst that speeds up or disinhibits the process. Most drugs of abuse increase aggressive behavior, including THC intoxication and withdrawal, which is commonly present in the patients we evaluate who have been charged with serious crimes of violence.

Are some drug related crimes ever considered in an insanity defense or not? Why? Some examples of drug-related paranoid psychotic homicides include the Manson family. What makes one murderer, who committed their crime under-the-influence, not guilty by reason of insanity and another guilty with mitigating factors?

Most state statutes and federal law look down on insanity pleas that are associated with chronic substance use. Exceptions can include “involuntary intoxication” that is out of the defendants control. The horrific story of the Manson family and routine heavy LSD and alcohol use is one example. The Manson Girls and Tex could not sell an insanity defense because of their chronic voluntary use. If the murders had occurred after a single or first use of LSD, they might have had a chance at insanity as a defense. Historically, voluntary intoxication has been frowned upon by most cultures since recorded history.

Lord Chief Justice Matthew Hale in 1736 wrote, “ A person who commits an offense while he or she is afflicted with dementia affectata (intoxication), shall have no privilege by the voluntary contracted madness, but shall have the same judgment as if he were in his right senses.” This dictum has become know as the voluntary intoxication exclusion.

Narcan is no substitute for a good psychiatric assessment to include a suicide risk assessment. Narcan wakes the patient up to the same reality they were experiencing before they overdosed. A psychiatric assessment and suicide risk assessment gives the treatment team the tools they need to design a program of resilience and recovery.

John Thompson, MD – Professor, Chair, and Director, Division of Forensic Neuropsychiatry
Founding Director, Fellowship in Forensic Psychiatry; Tulane University School of Medicine

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