Scotland: ‘Medibles’ to utterly Mess up Our Minors!

Drug dealers selling chocolate treats like Mars and Smarties packed with high-strength cannabis to KIDS via Instagram

The so-called ‘medibles’ (Marijuana edibles) are the latest way to package drugs according to detectives and are being sold apparently to school pupils

By Paul Drury August 2018, 

DRUG dealers in Scotland are packing sweet treats like Mars bars and Smarties with high-strength cannabis and selling them to KIDS on Instagram, police have warned.

The so-called “medibles” (Marijuana edibles) are the latest way to package drugs according to detectives and are being sold apparently to school pupils.

The items look like a familiar chocolate treats from giant confectionery brands Mars or Smarties – but are full of high-strength cannabis, called ‘skunk’.

They contain the powerful THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), the main psychoactive constituent of cannabis.

Sales at the click of the button were uncovered by the Mail on Sunday, which spent hundreds of pounds on test purchases in Glasgow and Perth.

An undercover female reporter was warned the chocolate was “very strong” and only to eat a third of a cake to ensure she was not “knocked out.”

“Make no mistake, this is on our radar and we are actively monitoring social media sites. Anyone caught supplying medible products should know it could result in a prison sentence. It is a controlled drug and will be treated the same way as other controlled drugs

“Some of the dealers are now operating huge operations almost like multinational companies – with managing directors and distributors.”

For more


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Today’s Marijuana

Wednesday, October 3rd, 11:30am-1:00pm
Cable Center at University of Denver
2000 Buchtel Blvd. Denver, CO  80210 

Tickets starting at $125 – Includes Lunch

Table sponsorships are available and greatly appreciated.
Contact for more information.


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Global: Recovery Month – Nanny State and Recovery!

Recovery and the ‘Nanny State’ – A note to the ‘right to recreational drug use’ lobby!

Reprinted with permission!

When elements of a society (most always from the ‘grown-ups’) say, “I don’t want a nanny state, with laws and regulations keeping me from doing what I want”, then ‘movements’ emerge seeking to mandate the removal of prohibitions and prevention on that risky edge. This is no more apparent than with the vociferous minority seeking to normalize illicit drug use in our culture.

Of course, the lesser protections there are in place, the greater the incidences of harm will follow, and invariably for the most vulnerable – our young.

Besides the utter disregard for ‘others’, what is not only incongruent, but breath-takingly hypocritical, is that this decrying of the ‘Nanny State’ interference only works one way for the societal saboteur!

At the commencement of their campaigns, these egocentric self-indulgers demand to be left alone to do what they want but seem to have no repulsion in lining up quickly for free health care, welfare benefits and tax-payer funded reparations when their hedonism eventually fails them.

So, if we are to stop being a Nanny State, then that must work at every level and in all directions, right?  Let us permit all drug use, but also permit that only the user pays for both the harm to themselves and others, and without any burden or impost on society they chose to carelessly ignore!

Even the oft quoted anti-nanny state libertarian and 19th Century social commentator, John Stuart Mills insists some lines be drawn in society, and when it comes to drug use, his following statements couldn’t be more relevant or poignant.

“No person is an entirely isolated being; it is impossible for a person to do anything seriously or permanently hurtful to himself without mischief reaching at least to his near connections, and often far beyond them.” And, “If he deteriorates his bodily or mental faculties, he not only brings evil upon all who depended upon him for any portion of their happiness, but disqualifies himself for rendering the services which he owes to his fellow creatures generally, perhaps becomes a burden on their affection or benevolence; and if such conduct were very frequent hardly any offense that is committed would detract more from the general sum of good.

And even (it will be added) if the consequences of misconduct could be confined to the vicious or thoughtless individual, ought society to abandon to their own guidance those who are manifestly unfit for it? If protection against themselves is confessedly due to children and persons under age, is not society equally bound to afford it to persons of mature years who are equally incapable of self-government? If gambling, or drunkenness [we would add drug use, of course]… are as injurious to happiness, and as great a hindrance to improvement, as many or most of the acts prohibited by law, why (it may be asked) should not law, so far as is consistent with practicability and social convenience, endeavor to repress these also? …There is no question here (it may be said) about restricting individuality or impeding the trial of new and original experiments in living. The only things it is sought to prevent are things which have been tried and condemned from the beginning of the world until now; things which experience has shown not to be useful or suitable to any person’s individuality. There must be some length of time and amount of experience, after which a moral or prudential truth may be regarded as established, and it is merely desired to prevent generation after generation from falling over the same precipice which has been fatal to their predecessors.1

Of course, not all current drug users are of this epicurean ilk, and many are trapped in the tyranny of addiction and need support, care and empowerment to recover. However, make no mistake, the current lobby is all about engagement with illicit drugs for anything but trauma alleviation!

Drug use exiting recovery is best practice for the well-being and restoration of those currently living with the consequences of decisions to enter the world of drug use – motivators/invitations from everything from uninvited trauma, to the careless and reckless decisions ‘to smash as many drugs as I can and party hard!’. This Recovery Month we encourage all in such situations to seek out and at least commence that journey to drug use exiting recovery.

However, the adage remains irrevocably true – “Prevention is ALWAYS better than cure!” When it comes to illicit drug use, and the misuse of the legal and most damaging drug, Alcohol, please think not only of yourself, but of those nearest to you. The life you enrich may not just be your own!

L’chaim – To life, not instead of it!

Shane Varcoe – The Dalgarno Institute.

  1. 1. Mill J.S.  (1859) On Liberty London: Parker & Son, West Strand  Ch 4 Of the limits to the authority of society over the individual:


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September is National Recovery Month. We at SAM celebrate this month with the whole country. It is a time to remind everyone that marijuana use disorder is real, and recovery happens.
SAM is proud to release this toolkit to help in your work.
Some key facts to share on social media:
  • Big Pharma is eyeing marijuana- The former CEO of the drug companybehind OxyContin is now a co-founder of a medical marijuana company based in Canada.
  • Pot use is exploding- A recent study finds college-age people are using marijuana more now than in the last 30 years.
  • Invisible addicts are everywhere- The Atlantic reported that the drug is becoming so commonplace and so abused the reporter of the story said: “users lost jobs, lost marriages, lost houses, lost money, lost time…foreclosures and divorces… weight gain and mental-health problems.”
Stories of recovery to share:
Here is an inspirational blog post written by Justin Luke Riley, who heads up the Marijuana Accountability Coalition:…ustin-luke-riley/

Sample tweets:
  • Marijuana addiction is real. Let’s put public health over profit.
  • More kids are in treatment for pot today than all drugs combined. #TheMoreYouKnow #PeopleBeforeProfit
  • As we celebrate recovery month, a reminder that pot addiction is real.
  • For recovery month, a reminder that pot addiction often accompanies psychiatric disorders.
Sample Facebook post:
  • As we celebrate National Recovery Month, let us not ignore the fact that marijuana addiction is real. More youth today are in recovery for marijuana than all other drugs combined. It is time to put public health over the profits of the next Big Tobacco.
Today’s genetically bred weed is nothing like the days of Woodstock. In many cases, pot is made up of more than 99 percent  THC, the compound that makes the user high.
Big Pot is employing the playbook of Big Tobacco- the last addiction-for-profit industry we had to contend with. The use of  gummies, candies, and sodascolorfully packaged attracts youth, while  dispensaries are set up in low-income  neighborhoods in an effort to lure unsuspecting populations.
The message they send is that marijuana is safe, fun, and harmless. Millions of people in recovery know that isn’t true.
Please use the above information to promote the message that marijuana use is on the rise, and recovery is possible with the right tools.
About SAM
Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) is a nonpartisan, non-profit alliance of physicians, policy makers, prevention workers, treatment and recovery professionals, scientists, and other concerned citizens opposed to marijuana legalization who want health and scientific evidence to guide marijuana policies. SAM has affiliates in more than 30 states. For more information about marijuana use and its effects, visit


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USA: America’s Invisible Pot Addicts – Business Profiting Off Addiction!

Dear friend,
Annie Lowrey wrote the illuminating piece below in the Atlantic that highlights the growing marijuana problem we face in our country- and how Big Pot puts profit over public health. I wanted to make sure you got the chance to read it.  If there’s one piece on this issue you read all year, this should be it.
Dr. Kevin Sabet
President and Founder
Smart Approaches to Marijuana
The proliferation of retail boutiques in California did not really bother him, Evan told me, but the billboards did. Advertisements for delivery, advertisements promoting the substance for relaxation, for fun, for health. “Shop. It’s legal.” “Hello marijuana, goodbye hangover.” “It’s not a trigger,” he told me. “But it is in your face.”
When we spoke, he had been sober for a hard-fought seven weeks: seven weeks of sleepless nights, intermittent nausea, irritability, trouble focusing, and psychological turmoil. There were upsides, he said, in terms of reduced mental fog, a fatter wallet, and a growing sense of confidence that he could quit. “I don’t think it’s a ‘can’ as much as a ‘must,’” he said.
Evan, who asked that his full name not be used for fear of the professional repercussions, has a self-described cannabis-use disorder. If not necessarily because of legalization, but alongside legalization, such problems are becoming more common: The share of adults with one has doubled since the early aughts, as the share of cannabis users who consume it daily or near-daily has jumped nearly 50 percent-all “in the context of increasingly permissive cannabis legislation, attitudes, and lower risk perception,” as the National Institutes of Health put it.
Public-health experts worry about the increasingly potent options available, and the striking number of constant users. “Cannabis is potentially a real public-health problem,” said Mark A. R. Kleiman, a professor of public policy at New York University. “It wasn’t obvious to me 25 years ago, when 9 percent of self-reported cannabis users over the last month reported daily or near-daily use. I always was prepared to say, ‘No, it’s not a very abusable drug. Nine percent of anybody will do something stupid.’ But that number is now [something like] 40 percent.” They argue that state and local governments are setting up legal regimes without sufficient public-health protection, with some even warning that the country is replacing one form of reefer madness with another, careening from treating cannabis as if it were as dangerous as heroin to treating it as if it were as benign as kombucha.
But cannabis is not benign, even if it is relatively benign, compared with alcohol, opiates, and cigarettes, among other substances. Thousands of Americans are finding their own use problematic-in a climate where pot products are getting more potent, more socially acceptable to use, and yet easier to come by, not that it was particularly hard before.
For Keith Humphreys, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University, the most compelling evidence of the deleterious effects comes from users themselves. “In large national surveys, about one in 10 people who smoke it say they have a lot of problems. They say things like, ‘I have trouble quitting. I think a lot about quitting and I can’t do it. I smoked more than I intended to. I neglect responsibilities.’ There are plenty of people who have problems with it, in terms of things like concentration, short-term memory, and motivation,” he said. “People will say, ‘Oh, that’s just you fuddy-duddy doctors.’ Actually, no. It’s millions of people who use the drug who say that it causes problems.”
Users or former users I spoke with described lost jobs, lost marriages, lost houses, lost money, lost time. Foreclosures and divorces. Weight gain and mental-health problems. And one other thing: the problem of convincing other people that what they were experiencing was real. A few mentioned jokes about Doritos, and comments implying that the real issue was that they were lazy stoners. Others mentioned the common belief that you can be “psychologically” addicted to pot, but not “physically” or “really” addicted. The condition remains misunderstood, discounted, and strangely invisible, even as legalization and white-marketization pitches ahead.
The country is in the midst of a volte-face on marijuana. The federal government still classifies cannabis as Schedule I drug, with no accepted medical use. (Meth and PCP, among other drugs, are Schedule II.) Politicians still argue it is a gateway to the use of things like heroin and cocaine. The country still spends billions of dollars fighting it in a bloody and futile drug war, and still arrests more people for offenses related to cannabis than it does for all violent crimes combined.
Yet dozens of states have pushed ahead with legalization for medical or recreational purposes, given that for decades physicians have argued that marijuana’s health risks have been overstated and its medical uses overlooked; activists have stressed prohibition’s tremendous fiscal cost and far worse human cost; and researchers have convincingly argued that cannabis is far less dangerous than alcohol. A solid majority of Americans support legalization nowadays.
Academics and public-health officials, though, have raised the concern that cannabis’s real risks have been overlooked or underplayed-perhaps as part of a counter-reaction to federal prohibition, and perhaps because millions and millions cannabis users have no problems controlling their use. “Part of how legalization was sold was with this assumption that there was no harm, in reaction to the message that everyone has smoked marijuana was going to ruin their whole life,” Humphreys told me. It was a point Kleiman agreed with. “I do think that not legalization, but the legalization movement, does have a lot on its conscience now,” he said. “The mantra about how this is a harmless, natural, and non-addictive substance-it’s now known by everybody. And it’s a lie.”
Thousands of businesses, as well as local governments earning tax money off of sales, are now literally invested in that lie. “The liquor companies are salivating,” Matt Karnes of GreenWave Advisors told me. “They can’t wait to come in full force.” He added that Big Pharma was targeting the medical market, with Wall Street, Silicon Valley, food businesses, and tobacco companies aiming at the recreational market.
Sellers are targeting broad swaths of the consumer market-soccer moms, recent retirees, folks looking to replace their nightly glass of chardonnay with a precisely dosed, low-calorie, and hangover-free mint. Many have consciously played up cannabis as a lifestyle product, a gift to give yourself, like a nice crystal or an antioxidant face cream. “This is not about marijuana,” one executive at the California retailer MedMen recently argued. “This is about the people who use cannabis for all the reasons people have used cannabis for hundreds of years. Yes for recreation, just like alcohol, but also for wellness.”
Evan started off smoking with his friends when they were playing sports or video games, lighting up to chill out after his nine-to-five as a paralegal at a law office. But that soon became couch-lock, and he lost interest in working out, going out, doing anything with his roommates. Then came a lack of motivation and the slow erosion of ambition, and law school moving further out of reach. He started smoking before work and after work. Eventually, he realized it was impossible to get through the day without it. “I was smoking anytime I had to do anything boring, and it took a long time before I realized that I wasn’t doing anything without getting stoned,” he said.
His first attempts to reduce his use went miserably, as the consequences on his health and his life piled up. He gained nearly 40 pounds, he said, when he stopped working out and cooking his own food at home. He recognized that he was just barely getting by at work, and was continually worried about getting fired. Worse, his friends were unsympathetic to the idea that he was struggling and needed help. “[You have to] try to convince someone that something that is hurting you is hurting you,” he said.
Other people who found their use problematic or had managed to quit, none of whom wanted to use their names, described similar struggles and consequences. “I was running two companies at the time, and fitting smoking in between running those companies. Then, we sold those companies and I had a whole lot of time on my hands,” one other former cannabis user told me. “I just started sitting around smoking all the time. And things just came to a halt. I was in terrible shape. I was depressed.”
Lax regulatory standards and aggressive commercialization in some states have compounded some existing public-health risks, raised new ones, and failed to tamp down on others, experts argue. In terms of compounding risks, many cite the availability of hyper-potent marijuana products. “We’re seeing these increases in the strength of cannabis, as we are also seeing an emergence of new types of products,” such as edibles, tinctures, vape pens, sublingual sprays, and concentrates, Ziva Cooper, an associate professor of clinical neurobiology in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center, told me. “A lot of these concentrates can have up to 90 percent THC,” she said, whereas the kind of flower you could get 30 years ago was far, far weaker. Scientists are not sure how such high-octane products affect people’s bodies, she said, but worry that they might have more potential for raising tolerance, introducing brain damage, and inculcating dependence.
As for new risks: In many stores, budtenders are providing medical advice with no licensing or training whatsoever. “I’m most scared of the advice to smoke marijuana during pregnancy for cramps,” said Humphreys, arguing that sellers were providing recommendations with no scientific backing, good or bad, at all.
In terms of long-standing risks, the lack of federal involvement in legalization has meant that marijuana products are not being safety-tested like pharmaceuticals; measured and dosed like food products; subjected to agricultural-safety and pesticide standards like crops; and held to labeling standards like alcohol. (Different states have different rules and testing regimes, complicating things further.)
Health experts also cited an uncomfortable truth about allowing a vice product to be widely available, loosely regulated, and fully commercialized: Heavy users will make up a huge share of sales, with businesses wanting them to buy more and spend more and use more, despite any health consequences.
“The reckless way that we are legalizing marijuana so far is mind-boggling from a public-health perspective,” Kevin Sabet, an Obama administration official and a founder of the nonprofit Smart Approaches to Marijuana, told me. “The issue now is that we have lobbyists, special interests, and people whose motivation is to make money that are writing all of these laws and taking control of the conversation.”
This is not to say that prohibition is a more attractive policy, or that legalization has proven a public-health disaster. “The big-picture view is that the vast majority of people who use cannabis are not going to be problematic users,” said Jolene Forman, an attorney at the Drug Policy Alliance. “They’re not going to have a cannabis-use disorder. They’re going to have a healthy relationship with it. And criminalization actually increases the harms related to cannabis, and so having like a strictly regulated market where there can be limits on advertising, where only adults can purchase cannabis, and where you’re going to get a wide variety of products makes sense.”
Still, strictly regulated might mean more strictly regulated than today, at least in some places, drug-policy experts argue. “Here, what we’ve done is we’ve copied the alcohol industry fully formed, and then on steroids with very minimal regulation,” Humphreys said. “The oversight boards of a number of states are the industry themselves. We’ve learned enough about capitalism to know that’s very dangerous.”
A number of policy reforms might tamp down on problem use and protect consumers, without quashing the legal market or pivoting back to prohibition and all its harms. One extreme option would be to require markets to be noncommercial: The District of Columbia, for instance, does not allow recreational sales, but does allow home cultivation and the gifting of marijuana products among adults. “If I got to pick a policy, that would probably be it,” Kleiman told me. “That would be a fine place to be if we were starting from prohibition, but we are starting from patchwork legalization. As the Vermont farmer says, I don’t think you can get there from here. I fear its time has passed. It’s generally true that the drug warriors have never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”
There’s no shortage of other reasonable proposals, many already in place or under consideration in some states. The government could run marijuana stores, as in Canada. States could require budtenders to have some training or to refrain from making medical claims. They could ask users to set a monthly THC purchase cap and remain under it. They could cap the amount of THC in products, and bar producers from making edibles that are attractive to kids, like candies. A ban or limits on marijuana advertising are also options, as is requiring cannabis dispensaries to post public-health information.
Then, there are THC taxes, designed to hit heavy users the hardest. Some drug-policy experts argue that such levies would just push people from marijuana to alcohol, with dangerous health consequences. “It would be like saying, ‘Let’s let the beef and pork industries market and do whatever they wish, but let’s have much tougher restrictions on tofu and seitan,’” said Mason Tvert of the Marijuana Policy Project. “In light of the current system, where alcohol is so prevalent and is a more harmful substance, it is bad policy to steer people toward that.” Yet reducing the commercial appeal of all vice products-cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana-is an option, if not necessarily a popular one.
Perhaps most important might be reintroducing some reasonable skepticism about cannabis, especially until scientists have a better sense of the health effects of high-potency products, used frequently. Until then, listening to and believing the hundreds of thousands of users who argue marijuana is not always benign might be a good start.
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UK: ‘SPICE’ (N.P.S) ‘Zombie’ Drug only adding to Homelessness!

But if you don’t walk by, if you ask them what it’s like, there’s a message everyone we speak to repeats: spice is worse than heroin. It hits you with the physical addiction of heroin and the mental need of crack or cocaine.

“You don’t know what you’re taking, to be honest,” says one spice user, who says she’s been off the drug for six days.

“And when you do take it, it just makes you trip out and sometimes you get this scary feeling. But then it’ll just wipe you out completely, like stronger than heroin for a good, like, 20 minutes. And then you’ll come round without even realising you’ve been under for the last 20 minutes. Then you spark up another spliff and just go on and on and on.

“Do not take it. It’s the worst drug ever. It’s worse than heroin. Once you’re hooked on it, you’re f***ed basically.”



Spice is a man-made drug, usually a mix of herbs or shredded plant material with mind-altering chemicals sprayed on to them. Although it is sold in packets to look like cannabis, the effects come from the chemicals and can vary massively depending on what’s been used in its production.

It’s smoked, like a rolled cigarette, is highly addictive and effects can vary between feelings of relaxation and euphoria. However, it also causes a significant reduction in the respiratory system, which causes the body to shut down due to low oxygen levels – hence the zombie-like state. One user said their heart was beating so hard it felt like it was going to come out of their chest.

But it doesn’t just send users into a dazed state. Harry Shapiro, director of DrugWise and a drug information and policy analyst, said one user was taken to A&E in that state, only to go berserk once they came out of it.

Outside the medical centre in Butetown, the woman who’s been off it for six days – and started smoking it a year and a half before it was made illegal – describes the effect on her behaviour.

“It’s affected me big-time with my paranoia”, she says.

“I get angry a lot quicker. I’m not an angry person but it’s turned me, not violent, but I get really irate within seconds.

“It’s not good to come off, it has the same effects as heroin when withdrawing. It’s psychologically addictive. With crack, it’s not a physical withdrawal, it’s psychosis. You see things that aren’t there, you hear things, people talking to you when they’re not, you’re constantly wary and paranoid. I’ve accused my own friends of robbing me when they haven’t.”

In Swansea, Lisa, a heroin user living on the streets, says spice is rife. She tried it once but “it scared the life out of me”.

“Spice is dangerous to me”, she says. Then she says it too: “it is worse than heroin”.

Barrie, a 34-year-old from Port Talbot who struggles with heroin addiction, said he tried spice a couple of times while in prison – where he would be offered the drug on a daily basis – and that all it took was a couple of drags to “knock you out for six”.

“You can be out of your mind,” he says, adding that people in that so-called zombie state can see what is going on but they can’t move.

In general, spice seems to be a problem among the homeless and prison communities. Users describe how they wake up to several texts from dealers, so they rarely have to go looking. In prison, they say it’s even easier. Inside, the problem has been described as an “epidemic” which is putting nurses and inmates at serious risk. People living in Butetown say seeing drug deals outside their homes in broad daylight is now the norm, despite the fact Cardiff’s biggest police station is a neighbour.

“We know people who sell it. You can get it in £5 bags, £10 bags,” says the woman.

“We get judged for everything but believe it or not, it’s people who are not homeless who have introduced us to this. Everything is blamed on homeless people. I don’t want to smoke it. I’ve been off it for six days. You can’t just come off it with nothing, though,” she says, adding that valium and diazepam help.

Another man tells a painful story of how he got addicted. He says he worked a normal job and had his own home but after falling out with his family and becoming addicted to drugs he became another of the city’s homeless, who have tripled in number in the last ten years, according to an addiction charity. He stands there in his dark tracksuit waiting for his methadone, a 60ml dose.


You think it’s all fun and games. The first time I smoked it, two drags and I was in Llandough (hospital). Do not, at any cost, smoke it. It’s bad stuff, you don’t know what’s in it, it’s not a drug to smoke and not for human consumption.

“I’m off it now and I hope to stay off it. I’ve got my focus set. I’m going to do my utmost best to stay off it because I know what it does and I’ve seen good friends die.”



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Global: You legalize WEED and Black Market Will Finish??? S

Huge surge in blackmarket cannabis trade and organised crime in California DESPITE drug being legalised, cops reveal in warning to UK

After calls for cannabis to be legalised in the UK police chiefs in Los Angeles – the state’s largest legal weed market – say there’s been a rise in illegal cannabis market even though recreational marijuana was legalised back in January….

But there are hundreds of illegal cannabis stores where customers can buy the drug at cheaper prices than at the heavily regulated and taxed legal dispensaries.

California regulators sent out almost 1,000 cease and desist letters to marijuana businesses they suspected were illegal in April alone.

And in May 142 people were charged in a massive crackdown on the illegal shops.

Lt Spell, who oversees the division’s cannabis unit, said there had been much more “illicit activity” in the past few months.

And he said one of the biggest falsehoods about legalising marijuana is that it will curb illegal activities.

He told Sun Online: “Here in Los Angeles we see a large number of illegal retail stores.

“But we also come across a lot of illegal grows – places where people are growing the cannabis.

“And oftentimes it’s to export out of state into places where it’s still illegal because the marijuana that might cost, let’s say $3,000-a-pound here, may cost as much as $4,000- to $6,000-a-pound somewhere else.

“Probably one of the biggest fallacies about the regulation or the legalisation of recreational marijuana is that the illegal activities will go away when in fact, when you look at all of the states – and we’ve done comparative analysis with other places – all of the places that have allowed recreational marijuana, have seen increases in the illegal activities.

For Complete article



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GLOBAL: Cannabis as ‘Medicine’ is…???


Bottom of Form

The Marijuana Policy Project promotes their drug as a substitute for opiate pain pills.  Like the worst offenders in the opiate industry, the cannabis lobby follows an addiction-for-profit business model. Their master plan needs 80% of the demand to be met by 20% of the users.  Science shows no evidence for using medical marijuana as a substitute for pain pills.

Governor David Ige of Hawaii wisely refused to cave to lobbyists, and he vetoed a measure that would have allowed medical marijuana to treat opiate addiction.

large-scale, major study from Australia demonstrates that cannabis doesn’t work as a substitute for opiate pills in instances of chronic, non-cancer pain.  The study came out in July, 2018 and it supports the findings of an American study published in September, 2017.

The three-year research  study by Olfson, Wall et. al., Cannabis use and the Risk of Prescription Opioid Use Disorder, 2018, concluded: “Cannabis use appears to increase rather than decrease the risk of developing nonmedical prescription opioid use and opioid use disorder.”   More than a year ago, Dr. Ken Finn, professional advisorto Parents Opposed to Pot, published Current Research on Marijuana in Pain is lacking.

It seems we should NOT be encouraging “medical” marijuana use if our goal is to stop  addiction. Theodore Caputi and Keith Humphreys recently published in the Journal of Addiction: Medical marijuana users are more likely to use prescription drugs medically and nonmedically.  They concluded: “Medical marijuana users should be a target population in efforts to combat nonmedical prescription drug use.”   See our page on Marijuana vs. Pain Pills.

The Canadian Family Physicians wrote an editorial about Medical Marijuana in February, 2018, p. 87, after devoting an entire issue to the journal on medical marijuana.  Like the NAS report in the United States, the Canadian physicians reviewed hundreds of relevant studies. In the editorial, they concluded:

“Evidence indicates the most consistent effects of medical cannabinoids are adverse events.  A variety of adverse events have a greater magnitude of effect than the potential benefits for the conditions targeted.

Read the Clinical Conundrum of Medical Marijuana for more information. Dr. Ken Finn treats pain patients at of Springs Rehab in Colorado Springs.  He advises that there are more than 600 drug interactions with medical marijuana.   Are any medical marijuana dispensaries giving these warnings?  Another Colorado doctor who advocates marijuana for pain recently stated that marijuana edibles and concentrates should be banned.


For complete article


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Thinking About Dropping Marijuana From Your Drug Test?

Some employers may be thinking about dropping marijuana from their drug testing panel as a way to address legalization. Learn about what to consider before making any changes to your drug-free workplace program in a short video produced by our friends at Drug Free Business.

Thinking About Dropping Marijuana From Your Drug Test?


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USA: Overdose Deaths – What Drugs are Killing People?

Drug overdoses
killed 72,306 Americans last year

The US government does not track death rates for every drug, but the National Center for Health Statistics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention collect information on many commonly used drugs. CDC has a searchable database, Wonder, from which these numbers come. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has graphed them to help the public see what a serious problem our nation faces. We reproduce them here to help spread the word.

Not all of these deaths are due to opioids, as later graphs below will show. Each graph contains a yellow and orange line indicating female (yellow) and male (orange) deaths. The lines end in 2016 because 2017 data are provisional. They will be finalized later this year.

Total drug-related deaths have increased 3.1-fold since 2002.

See total series here.

Opioid overdoses
killed 49,068 Americans last year

Some 49,068 Americans died from opioid overdoses last year. These numbers include opioid painkillers, heroin, and illicit opioid synthetics, primarily fentanyl.

Note: These charts are not mutually exclusive so they cannot be summed.

See total series here.

Overdoses from synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl, killed 29,406 Americans last year.

These overdose deaths are up by one-third in just one year (from 2016 to 2027). There has been a 22-fold increase in synthetic opioid deaths since 2002.

Note: These charts are not mutually exclusive so they cannot be summed.

See total series here.

Heroin overdoses
killed 15,958 Americans last year

This is a 7.6-fold increase since 2002.

Note: These charts are not mutually exclusive so they cannot be summed.

See total series here.

Cocaine overdoses
killed 14,556 Americans last year

Since 2010, cocaine deaths have increased 3.5-fold.

Note: These charts are not mutually exclusive so they cannot be summed.

See total series here.

Benzodiazepine overdoses
killed 10,684 Americans last year.

From 2002 to 2016 there was an 8-fold increase in benzodiazepine overdose deaths.

Note: These charts are not mutually exclusive so they cannot be summed.

See total series here.

New wave of complex street drugs
puzzles emergency doctors.
Study may fuel need for
more comprehensive drug testing in hospitals.
Researchers set out in 2016 to identify the kinds of illicit drugs causing overdoses in patients presenting at the University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus in Baltimore and the University of Maryland Prince George’s Hospital Center in Cheverly, a suburb of Washington. The researchers, from the Center for Substance Abuse Research (CESAR), were generating reports about patterns of drug use in the criminal justice system and they decided to apply their technique to hospitals.

At the time, emergency department physicians at the two hospitals were dealing with an increase in accidental overdoses and deaths they thought were caused by the synthetic marijuana product called K2 or Spice. Working with these doctors, the researchers analyzed de-identified urine specimens and linked them to de-identified patient medical records at the two hospitals. The urine specimens were tested for 26 synthetic cannabinoids, 59 designer drugs, and 84 other illicit and prescription drugs.
“’We were thoroughly amazed that in a study where we thought everyone was having a synthetic cannabinoid-related problem, only one specimen tested positive for synthetic cannabinoids,’ says principal investigator Eric Wish, PhD, Director of CESAR at the University of Maryland, College Park, College of Behavioral & Social Sciences.”

About a year later, the lab expanded its tests for synthetic cannabinoids from 26 to 46 metabolites, but only a quarter of the samples tested positive for synthetic cannabinoids, much smaller than anticipated.

Marijuana was the most common individual drug detected in the urine specimens. From a fifth to a third of specimens at each hospital also tested positive for a new substance other than synthetic cannabinoids. Two thirds of patients at both hospitals tested positive for multiple substances; some specimens contained as many as six different kinds. After marijuana, fentanyl was the drug most frequently present in Baltimore specimens while PCP was the second-most frequent substance in specimens in Cheverly.

The researchers conclude that drug use is a much more complex problem than previously thought.

Read Science Daily article here. Download full report here.

America’s Invisible Pot Addicts
More and more Americans are reporting near-constant
cannabis use, as  legalization forges ahead.

The number of adults with a marijuana-use disorder has doubled since the early 2000s, and the number who consume pot daily or near-daily has increased nearly 50 percent. This worries public health officials concerned about “increasingly permissive cannabis legislation, attitudes, and lower risk of perception,” as well as “increasingly potent options available, and the striking number of constant users.”

Users or former users describe “lost jobs, lost marriages, lost houses, lost money, lost time. Foreclosures and divorces. Weight gain and mental-health problems,” writes the author of this article in The Atlantic. Perhaps the biggest problem for such users is having to convince others that the problems they are suffering result from their marijuana-use disorders.

Experts worry that the way states are regulating legal marijuana invites such problems. Says Keith Humphreys, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University, “’Here, what we’ve done is we’ve copied the alcohol industry fully formed, and then on steroids with very minimal regulation. The oversight boards of a number of states are the industry themselves. We’ve learned enough about capitalism to know that’s very dangerous.”

Many improvements could be made, including most importantly “listening to and believing the hundreds of thousands of users who argue marijuana use is not always benign.”

Read The Atlantic article here.

More women are using pot during pregnancy.
Here’s one reason why.

Pregnant women with severe nausea and vomiting in their first trimester were nearly four times more likely to use marijuana than those without morning sickness. Those with milder symptoms were twice as likely to use the drug as those with no symptoms.

More than 220,000 pregnant women in northern California completed surveys and submitted urine samples for drug screening in their first trimester. Researchers analyzed these data and also examined the participants’ medical records, looking for diagnoses of mild to severe morning sickness.

Some 2.3 percent of the women had severe nausea and vomiting; another 15.3 percent had milder symptoms. The rest experienced none. Among those with severe symptoms, 11.3 percent used marijuana and among those with mild symptoms, 8.4 percent used the drug compared to 4.5 percent who used marijuana but had no symptoms.

The researchers say they hope their study will encourage clinicians to provide safe and effective medicines to treat morning sickness. They also encourage clinicians to educate pregnant women about the negative effects that using marijuana during pregnancy may have on their babies, noting that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that women use no marijuana during pregnancy and lactation.

Read Live Science article here. Read JAMA Internal Medicine abstract here.

The Marijuana Report is a weekly e-newsletter published by National Families in Action in partnership with SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana).

Visit National Families in Action’s website, The Marijuana Report.Org, to learn more about the marijuana story unfolding across the nation.

Subscribe to The Marijuana Report.

Our mission is to protect children from addictive drugs
by shining light on the science that underlies their effects.

Addictive drugs harm children, families, and communities.
Legalizing them creates commercial industries that make drugs more available,
increase use, and expand harms.

Science shows that addiction begins in childhood.
It is a pediatric disease that is preventable.

We work to prevent the emergence of commercial
addictive drug industries that will target children.

We support FDA approved medicines.

We support the assessment, treatment, and/or social and educational services
for users and low-level dealers as alternatives to incarceration.

About SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana)
SAM is a nonpartisan alliance of lawmakers, scientists and other concerned citizens who want to move beyond simplistic discussions of “incarceration versus legalization” when discussing marijuana use and instead focus on practical changes in marijuana policy that neither demonizes users nor legalizes the drug. SAM supports a treatment, health-first marijuana policy.  SAM has four main goals:
  • To inform public policy with the science of today’s marijuana.
  • To reduce the unintended consequences of current marijuana policies, such as lifelong stigma due to arrest.
  • To prevent the establishment of “Big Marijuana” – and a 21st-Century tobacco industry that would market marijuana to children.
  • To promote research of marijuana’s medical properties and produce, non-smoked, non-psychoactive pharmacy-attainable medications.


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