USA: SAM – Legalize it and the Youth will Use! Customers for ‘life’???


Contact: SAM Press Office/Luke Niforatos          FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE; 303-335-7584            December 14, 2017 

Annual Survey of Students
Shows Marijuana Use Up Among Grades 8, 10, & 12 versus 2016; Virtually All Other Substances Decreasing

Monitoring the Future Survey Also Shows Twice the Percentage of Students in Medical Marijuana States Consume Pot Edibles; Vaping Also Higher

(December 14, 2017 – Alexandria, VA) – The Nation’s annual survey of studentsreported today marijuana use among all grades was higher than last year, signaling that marijuana use is rising in a growing culture of acceptability. The survey also found that students in medical marijuana law states vaped marijuana at higher rates than students in other states, and consumed pot edibles (that can come in candies, sodas, or ice-creams) at double the rate than in non-medical marijuana law states. Virtually all other substances are at their lowest point in the history of the survey. The survey does not include youth who drop out of school.
“The marijuana industry is today’s Big Tobacco. They are to blame for the fact that THC candies and vapes are becoming increasingly popular among young people at a time when almost every drug using behavior is steeply falling,” said SAM President Kevin A. Sabet, Ph.D. “Almost every drug other than marijuana is going down. Without lax laws and the massive commercialization of pot, it is likely we would also see a decrease in marijuana use too. These numbers are a wake-up call for the public and elected officials.”
Furthermore, the survey showed significantly fewer teens in
school now disapprove of regular marijuana use, with 64.7 percent of 12th graders voicing disapproval, compared to 68.5 percent last year.
T he survey also showed that daily marijuana use among 12th graders is at 5.9%, compared to a low of 1.9% in 1991. It is now more popular than daily cigarette use, which is down to 4.2% compared to its peak of 24.6% in 1997.
Just last week, other data from the federal government found that Colorado was the #1 state in the U.S. for first time marijuana users 12 and over. Young adult use also soared in legalized states at a much faster rate than in non-legal states. 

From MTF:
Overall, 43,703 students from 360 public and private schools participated in this year’s MTF survey. Since 1975, the survey has measured drug, alcohol, and cigarette use and related attitudes  in 12th graders nationwide. Eighth and 10th graders were added to the survey in 1991. Survey  participants generally report their drug use behaviors across three time periods: lifetime, past
year, and past month. Questions are also asked about daily cigarette and marijuana use. NIDA has provided funding for the survey since its inception by a team of investigators at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, currently led by Dr. Richard Miech. MTF is funded under grant number DA001411. Additional information on the MTF Survey can be found at The University of Michigan press release can be found at


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USA: DEA Bust on Venezuela Elites Cocaine Trafficking




Contact: DEA Public Affairs (202) 307-7977e

Press Release

Nephews of Venezuela first lady each sentenced to 18 years in prison for conspiring to import cocaine into the United States

Efrain Antonio Campo Flores and Franqui Francisco Flores de Freitas conspired to import over 800 kilograms of cocaine into the United States

MANHATTAN, N.Y. – Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Raymond Donovan, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Special Operations Division, announced today that Efrain Antonio Campo Flores (“Campo Flores”) and Franqui Francisco Flores De Freitas (“Flores De Freitas”) were each sentenced to 216 months in prison for conspiring to import cocaine into the United States.  A jury convicted Campo Flores and Flores De Freitas on November 18, 2016, following a two-week trial before U.S. District Judge Paul A. Crotty, who imposed today’s sentences.

Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said:  “In part to fund an election campaign for the first lady of Venezuela, Efrain Antonio Campo Flores and Franqui Francisco Flores de Freitas devised a plan to work with the FARC terrorist organization to send literally tons of cocaine to the United States.  At their trial last November, a unanimous jury saw their plot for what it was – a massive drug distribution conspiracy.  With today’s sentencing, for participating in this brazen cocaine trafficking scheme, they will spend many years in an American prison.”

“The sentencing of Campo-Flores and Flores-de Freitas serves as a strong reminder that anyone choosing to traffic drugs will be relentlessly pursued by the DEA and prosecuted for their involvement in such activities,” said DEA Special Operations Division Special Agent-in-Charge Raymond Donovan.  “Campo-Flores and Flores-de Freitas were involved in illegal drug trafficking practices that assisted in transporting drugs to the doorstep of thousands of people in the United States, contributing to their addictions and overdoses on illegal substances.”

According to the evidence presented at trial and in connection with sentencing proceedings:

Beginning in August 2015, Campo Flores and Flores De Freitas worked with others in Venezuela, Mexico, Honduras, and elsewhere – including at least one member of Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (“FARC”), a designated foreign terrorist organization – in an effort to dispatch large loads of cocaine via private aircraft from premises controlled by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro at Simón Bolívar International Airport in Maiquetia, Venezuela.  The defendants’ aunt, Cilia Flores, is the first lady of Venezuela, and during the investigation, Campo Flores and Flores De Freitas told individuals acting at the direction of the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) that they intended to use part of the proceeds of their drug trafficking to fund her December 2015 campaign for a position in the Venezuelan National Assembly.  Electronic communications seized from the defendants’ phones also demonstrated, among other things, that Campo Flores and Flores De Freitas had engaged in a scheme to solicit bribes from debtors of Venezuela’s state-run oil and natural gas company, Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (“PDVSA”), in exchange for promises that a cousin, Carlos Erik Malpica-Flores, would cause PDVSA to approve and make payments on certain debts.  Maduro, Malpica-Flores, and other current and former senior Venezuelan officials have been sanctioned by the U.S. Department of the Treasury pursuant to Executive Order (“E.O.”) 13692, which authorizes sanctions against officials of the Government of Venezuela and others undermining democracy there.

*                  *                  *

In addition to the prison terms, Campo Flores, 31, and Flores De Freitas, 33, was each ordered to pay a fine of $50,000.

Mr. Kim praised the outstanding investigative work of the DEA’s Special Operations Division, Bilateral Investigations Unit, and New York Strike Force.  Mr. Kim also thanked the DEA’s Port-au-Prince Country Office, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol’s National Targeting Center, DEA’s Airwing, the Government of the Republic of Haiti and the Haitian National Police, and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs for their assistance.

This government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Emil J. Bove III and Brendan F. Quigley are in charge of the prosecution.

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USA: Colorado SMART Co – Media Release

New federal data shows nearly half of Colo. young adults have used marijuana in past year
Increase in young adult use tempers optimism over decline in reported teen consumption 

Henny Lasley, executive director of Smart Colorado, today provided the following comments on the 2015-2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which was just released by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration:

“Smart Colorado is encouraged by a decrease in past year marijuana use for Colorado kids ages 12-17. But that optimism is offset by an increase among those ages 18-25, with nearly half reporting past year use, the third highest rate in the nation.

Research shows marijuana damages developing brains, which are still growing until age 25. Amendment 64 legalized recreational marijuana in Colorado only for those 21 or older.

The reported decrease for those ages 12-17 may reflect efforts supported by Smart Colorado and others to ensure youth prevention and education receive adequate attention and resources.

This year Smart Colorado supported a move by the Colorado Legislature to fund an additional 150 school behavioral health professionals to better support Colorado kids, families, and schools in addressing the growing challenges of substance use.

This is certainly not the time to let our guard down as the youth marijuana use rate in Colorado remains among the highest in the nation, and regular use by 18-25 year olds is stunningly high.

This is particularly of concern as today’s marijuana becomes increasingly potent, with THC rates far exceeding anything experienced in past decades.

It should also be noted that the new federal survey results are for the entire state of Colorado.  With the majority of Colorado jurisdictions opting out of marijuana commercialization, youth exposure and access has been thoughtfully limited.

But the latest Healthy Kids Colorado Survey showed significantly higher teen marijuana use in Denver and Pueblo, two centers of commercialization, compared to the state as a whole.

Smart Colorado calls on the General Assembly to continue to direct much-needed revenue towards education, prevention and promoting positive and healthy youth behaviors, while ensuring that state education efforts focus on the realities of today’s new high-THC products and intake methods.  Full public disclosure of potential risks and harms at point of sale also remains critically important.”



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USA: Legalization = More moms at the Marijuana, and it’s not for the better

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE; 303-335-7584      December 13, 2017

New Peer-Reviewed Study: 

Marijuana Use After Legalization in

Washington State Increased Significantly Among Pregnant and Parenting Women

Marijuana use at exit from the Parent-Child Assistance Program (PCAP) increased significantly after marijuana legalization in WA

(December 13, 2017 – Alexandria, VA) – A new peer-reviewed study about to be published in the January 2018 issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs found that marijuana use at exit from a 3-year case management intervention program for pregnant and parenting women increased significantly after marijuana legalization in Washington state.
“This study adds to the data we have about legalization driving up use and negatively impacting society,” said SAM President Kevin A. Sabet, Ph.D. “States should slow down and realize that their actions have real consequences, especially among populations highlighted in this study — parents and children.”
The researchers divided the study sample into two cohorts based on whether participants had completed the program before or after legalization.
Researchers reported the following results:
“Most study participants reported complete abstinence from alcohol and nonprescription drugs at program exit. Among those who were still using substances, women who completed the intervention after marijuana legalization were significantly more likely to report marijuana use at program exit compared with women who completed the intervention before marijuana legalization. Across both cohorts (pre- and post-legalization), we found a positive association of exit marijuana use with alcohol, illegal methadone, other opioids, amphetamines, and cocaine use; even when we controlled for historical period, the association with some of these substances with marijuana use remained evident. Independent of marijuana use, we saw increased use during the post-legalization period of alcohol, illicit methadone, and other opioids.”
The study concluded that “Women who were not abstinent from marijuana at program exit were likely to report use of other substances as well. Our study design demonstrates an association but does not allow us to conclude that marijuana use leads to other substance use among this sample of women with a history of polysubstance use.”


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USA: Legalized States Show Higher Marijuana Use Versus U.S. As A Whole


Legalized States Show Higher Marijuana Use Versus U.S. As A Whole

NEW POLL REPORTED IN WASHINGTON POST:Support for Legalization Falls When Voters Have More Choices

Statement on NSDUH State Estimates 2015-2016
New Federal Data Show Legalized States’ Marijuana Use At Alarming Rates; Colorado Now Top State in US for First-Time Marijuana Users
Other legal states also show alarming increases in use
The average rate of regular teen marijuana use in the legalized states of Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington is 30% higher than the U.S. rate as a whole, according to new data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Almost a third of all 18 to 25 year olds in legal states used marijuana in the past month, up from around one-fifth ten years ago.
New data released last week show Colorado as the top state in the Nation for first time marijuana users, and its rate of first time users has more than doubled in the last decade. In that state, use among people 18 and over has also skyrocketed,  as well as use among young adults aged 18-25.
Use among 12-17 year olds is slightly higher than 10 years ago (though lower versus last year).
Monthly use has also gone up in Washington by 10% since last year, and in virtually all legal marijuana states since before legalization, among household residents 12 and older.
Young adult use skyrocketing

Of particular concern was the fact that the use rate among 18 to 25 year olds has increased across the board. In Colorado, almost half of young adults used marijuana at least once in the past year, up from 37% in 2005. Washington DC’s number is 51%, up from 30% in 2005 – representing a more than 50% increase in users. In Oregon, use is up in this category more than 10% versus last year, and it is up 50% in the past ten years.

Teen use still a concern

In Colorado, 7.6% of 12 to 17 year olds used marijuana in the past month in 2005-2006, compared to 9.1% currently. While that number is lower than in recent years, we do not know how many of these users are heavy users. National estimates have reported significant increases in the number of heavy marijuana users in the U.S. Medical marijuana became commercialized around 2009, and that is when use started to rise. In Oregon, youth monthly use is up since last year, and in Washington it is up since 2008-2009.
Adult use is a major problem

For adults, many of whom drive regularly and are in the U.S. workplace, marijuana use can be a public health and safety hazard. Adult monthly use has increased in Colorado and Oregon almost 40% since legalization, and yearly use has also increased across all legal states since laws have changed.

NEW POLL REPORTED IN WASHINGTON POST: Support for Legalization Falls When Voters Have More Choices

As reported today in the Washington Post:

By  Keith Humphreys December 12 at 6:30 AM
The proportion of Americans who express support for marijuana legalization in opinion polls has  risen sharply over the past decade from the low 30s to as high as 60 percent. But a new poll shows that what Americans who support “marijuana legalization” actually want is more nuanced than it might appear.

The anti-legalization advocacy organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) commissioned Emerson College pollsters to ask 600 registered voters in New York State about marijuana policy. The proportion who agreed that “the use of marijuana should be made legal for adults aged 21 and older”  was 60 percent, virtually identical to the 62 percent who answered the same question affirmatively in a  prior Emerson College poll of New York State voters commissioned by legalization advocacy organizations. Respondents don’t know the views of the organization that has commissioned the poll, so it is unsurprising that the results were so similar across polls despite the opposing views of their sponsors.

However, the SAM poll included a second question, which took into account the fact that New York State has already legalized medical marijuana and has removed criminal penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana (a policy known as “decriminalization”). This more detailed question was “Knowing that personal marijuana possession is already decriminalized and medicalized in New York, which one of the following policies do you prefer?”

Given more options from which to choose, respondents’ support for legalization dropped by a third, from 60 percent to 40 percent. Apparently, some of the poll respondents who had previously expressed support for legalization assumed they were being asked about the legality of medical marijuana or of personal marijuana possession. The “60 percent support” was thus actually a mix of people who supported legalization and those who opposed it but wanted marijuana to be accessible to severely ill people, opposed criminal penalties for personal consumption, or both.

The influence of question wording is often overlooked when marijuana-related polls are discussed, but has been familiar to drug policy scholars for many years. In their 2001 book  Drug War Heresies, Professors Rob MacCoun and Peter Reuter, noted that survey responses vary depending on whether full legalization, decriminalization and prohibition are all included as response alternatives, and that posing stark choices at the extremes might even understate the public’s support for more modest reform options.

Substantively, the New York data shows that a strong majority of voters do not want anyone arrested for using marijuana (i.e., they support either legalization or decriminalization) and do want sick people to have access to medical marijuana (i.e., they support either legalization or medical marijuana).
But full legalization – corporate farms, marijuana processing companies, advertising, lobbying and the like – is considered desirable by a minority of New York voters.
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Portugal: Whoops, there goes yet another ‘poster person’ for drug liberalization!

Alcohol, tobacco and drug consumption rise over last five years

BY TPN/ LUSA, IN NEWS · 20-09-2017

Consumption of alcohol, tobacco and illegal psychoactive substances, mainly cannabis, have increased in the last five years in Portugal, according to a study by the Intervention Service for Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies (SICAD).

“We have seen a rise in the prevalence of alcohol and tobacco consumption and of every illicit psychoactive substance (essentially affected by the weight of cannabis use in the population aged 15-74) between 2012 and 2016/17, according to the 4thNational Survey on the Use of Psychoactive Substances in the General Population, Portugal 2016/17.

The study focused on the use of legal psychoactive substance (alcohol, tobacco, sedatives, tranquilizers and/or hypnotics, and anabolic steroids), and illegal drugs (cannabis, ecstasy, amphetamines, cocaine, heroin, LSD, magic mushrooms and of new psychoactive substances), as well as gambling practices.

According to the study, alcohol consumption shows increases in lifetime prevalence, both among the total population (15-74 years) and among the young adult population (15-34 years), and among both men and women.

The study also saw an increase from 8.3% in 2012, to 10.2% in 2016/17, in the prevalence of illegal psychoactive substance use.

“These are the trends found for cannabis,” the most popular illegal substance, according to the provisional results of the study.

Compared to 2012, there is a later average onset age of consumption for alcohol, tobacco, drugs, amphetamines, heroin, LSD and hallucinogenic mushrooms.

For complete article (


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USA: Second hand Marijuana Smoke can lead to failed drug tests!

Second-hand WEED Wafting Will impact you – like it or not!



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CANADA: Cannabis & Cancer – Testicular

Research finds link between marijuana use and testicular cancer

University of Northern British Columbia

November 8, 2017

“At this time, surprisingly little is known about the impacts of cannabis on the development of cancer in humans,” said Dr. Callaghan, the study’s lead author. “With Canada and other countries currently experimenting with the decriminalization or legalization of recreational cannabis use, it is critically important to understand the potential harms of this type of substance use.”

The results from the recent study, as well as three prior case-control studies in this area, suggest that cannabis use may facilitate later onset of testicular cancer.

“Our study is the first longitudinal study showing that cannabis use, as measured in late adolescence, is significantly associated with the subsequent development of testicular cancer. My hope is that these findings will help medical professionals, public health officials and cannabis users to more accurately assess the possible risks and benefits of cannabis use.”

For more


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US: San Francisco weighs health risks of legal pot

SF report weighs health risks raised by legal pot

By Erin Allday: November 26, 2017

Just weeks before recreational pot becomes legal in California, San Francisco public health officials have published a report on their best guesses for problems that could arise from widespread marijuana use, including abuse of the drug by young people and unforeseen health risks among adults.

The challenge, authors of the report noted, will be warning new users about the hazards of cannabis consumption — like the possibility of overdosing or driving under the influence — without straying into fearmongering…The report also discusses public health hazards associated with clustering pot dispensaries in certain neighborhoods; already, medical marijuana shops are largely located in lower-income areas with more black, Asian and Latino residents. But in interviews, public health officials said they make no recommendations on the issue and are leaving decisions about where dispensaries should be allowed to policymakers…Drug and public health experts praised the report, but some said it’s not strong enough in warning of possible hazards of regular marijuana consumption, including addiction. For more


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CANADA: Pediatricians call to carefully consider carnage of cannabis!

Children at risk after Marijuana legalization

NEWS PROVIDED BY  Pediatrician’s Alliance of Ontario Nov 17, 2017, 10:32 ET

Pediatricians:  Ontario not ready

Call for Public Education, Study of Effects

TORONTO, Nov. 17, 2017 /CNW/ - Ontario’s Pediatricians warned today that the upcoming legalization of marijuana poses potentially serious health risks for children and adolescents—and the province is not ready to cope.  The Pediatricians Alliance of Ontario (PAO) noted that when Colorado legalized recreational marijuana in 2014, a children’s hospital saw a fourfold increase in the number of teenagers coming to emergency rooms or urgent care centres with marijuana intoxication.

While the government of Ontario proposes a public education campaign for young adults, it is equally important to warn children and their parents of the risks of marijuana use, said PAO President Dr. Hirotaka Yamashiro.

“The public needs to understand that marijuana use has been proven to cause serious damage to the developing brains of children,” said Dr. Yamashiro.  ”Parents and caregivers should be taking precautions.”

The PAO is calling upon the Minister of Health to develop a targeted public education campaign on the effects of marijuana on children and also to commission studies to explore the impacts after legalization.  As preeminent experts in children’s health, pediatricians are offering their assistance.

“I already regularly treat children with serious health problems because of marijuana use,” said Dr. Sharon Burey, a Windsor pediatrician and Vice President of PAO.  “With legalization, many more kids may potentially be exposed in their homes.” For complete article Fighting For Children’s Brains!


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