Cannabis Can Kill!

Cannabis can kill without the influence of other drugs

The first full post-mortems of people who died after smoking cannabis suggest that the drug can kill unaided.

Cannabis has been known to cause death when laced with other substances, by triggering a heart condition or by causing respiratory cancers. But whether it can be directly lethal has remained unclear. A 2011 report from the UK Department of Health says no cases of fatal overdose have been associated with cannabis.

Read Full story here…  http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn25092-cannabis-can-kill-without-the-influence-of-other-drugs.html#.Uw7BjPmSya_

 

 

 

 

 

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What Are They Smoking?

Liberals want to ban trans fats and legalize marijuana. Does that make any sense to you?

By WILLIAM J. BENNETT and CHRISTOPHER BEACH

January, 2014

The national debate over marijuana legalization has caught many liberals in a confounding paradox. These liberals, who have fought vociferously for bans on cigarettes, super-sized sodas, trans fats and other unhealthy substances, now either advocate for the legalization of marijuana or stand unopposed to it. This is notable because, whatever else it is, marijuana is not healthy.

In his recent New Yorker interview, President Obama remarked , “I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life.” But then he added, “I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.” Of the legalization in Colorado and Washington—never mind the unresolved conflict between state and federal law—he said, “it’s important for it to go forward.”

Got that? The same president who signed into law a tough federal anti-cigarette smoking bill in 2009 now supports marijuana legalization.

The inconsistency and self-contradiction is obvious. In the name of public health, liberals wage political war against genetically modified organisms, french fries and tubby kids, yet stand idly by, or worse, support the legalization of a mind-impairing substance known to be addictive and have deleterious effects on the brain.

The very same year, for example, that Colorado legalized marijuana, the Colorado Senate passed (without a single Republican vote) a ban on trans fats in schools. Are we to believe eating a glazed donut is more harmful than smoking a joint? California has already banned trans fats in restaurants statewide, but now is on the brink of legalizing marijuana statewide come November. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg supported New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s effort to decriminalize marijuana in New York State, while at the same time supporting a ban on extra-large sodas. A 32-ounce Mountain Dew is bad for you, but pot isn’t?

The logic is dumbfounding. For many years, health-conscious liberals have waged a deafening, public war against cigarettes. Smoking bans in public places like restaurants and bars have been enacted in states all over the country.Recently, New York City, New Jersey and several other cities and states have extended those bans to include the newest tobacco fad—e-cigarettes. Yet, when it comes to smoking marijuana? Crickets.

What explains this obvious paradox? Do these liberals think that marijuana is somehow less harmful than a Big Gulp soda or a bucket of fried chicken? It’s hard to believe that’s the case, given the vast amount of social data and medical science on the dangers of marijuana.

William J. Bennett, former secretary of education and director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, is a fellow of the Claremont Institute and host of the nationally syndicated radio show, “Morning in America.”

 

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Cannabis and the Work Place?

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MISPLACED DEBATES CAN HARM OUR HEALTH

The debate about harmfulness of drugs of abuse in general and cannabis (marijuana) in particular continues to exhibit all the fervour of religious dissent on both sides of the Atlantic. Recently President Obama was moved to opine that marijuana is ‘no more dangerous than alcohol’ (So that clears things up, then). Soon after, US Deputy Drug Tsar Michael Botticelli, in front of a House Committee, found himself struck out by Congressman Gerry Connolly, who pitched him countless examples of drugs that had killed more than marijuana ever had. But Botticelli should have recognised Connolly was giving him the curve ball; death is not and never was the sole criterion of drug harm. This is a cynical misrepresentation frequently pitched by pot advocates. They might protest that they are only searchers of the truth, and that the truth is cannabis never killed anyone. This is actually being economical with said truth; what they mean is that no one ever died of toxic ingestion of the substance, and this is extended to imply that cannabis is jolly safe stuff.

The fundamental dishonesty in all this is that drug use spifflicates people in all sorts of ways (and not just to the user themselves – see below) and to argue otherwise is specious in the extreme. The rational basis for comparing harms, either between one drug and another, or between using any drug and abstaining from it, has to be much wider than ‘death resulted’ – and yet there seems to a reluctance amongst the medical profession to engage to any significant extent. Anyone working with drug users should know there are many varieties of harm, other than death. One basis for defining and assessing harms is the WHO definition of Health, listed below. (The augmentations in brackets are this writer’s own, but in counselling sessions over more than 25 years have been found to be valid by clients). From this basis, ‘Health’ may be defined in terms of: • Physical (all degrees of physical damage, temporary or permanent, including but certainly not confined to death) • Mental (in two parts – how many of your brain cells have survived, and how well do you use the brain cells that you have) • Psychological (how ‘grounded’ or ‘messed up’ are you) • Spiritual (including but not confined to organised religion) • Social (how well do you inter-act with, or variously damage people and organisations around you) and • Societal (to what extent are you a ‘giver’ or a ‘taker’) Marijuana harms by this more rational definition can often equal , and arguably exceed the harms from other drugs.

Moreover, there is a further whole range of harms under these headings – the harms suffered by other people around the user – up to and including society as a whole. As any counselling of these others will show you, it can often be that people around the user (e.g. friends, family, colleagues) suffer more than the user themselves. For example, under the heading of ‘Societal’, death will certainly appear – deaths of other people caused by a pot-impaired driver. Another, often overlooked societal harm is the increase in crime by a user – not just the acquisitive crime to fund drug purchase, but also the crime committed downstream of regular use and which flows from the altered, more self-focused, rapid-gratification-driven attitude of the user.

Additionally, there continues to be an extensive advocacy of ‘The Two HRs’ in relation to drug misuse – Harm Reduction and Human Rights. Whilst both aspects have a valid place in our thinking, both, as applied, are almost totally ‘user-focused’ – confined to the harm and rights of the user, but saying nothing about the harm to and rights of the rest of humanity. This goes to the roots of this commentary.

The foundation of pro-drug argument is the ‘self’. Use of drugs, and consequences of drug use, are argued in terms of self. In contrast, any assessment of drug use in general and drug harm in particular which takes account of the true varieties of harm and the true range and numbers of ‘victims’ just blows pro-drugs pleading of ‘relative harmlessness’ away. It has about as much validity as the tendentious categorising of drug users as ‘otherwise law-abiding’ … in what other category of law-breaking would we countenance such dodgy footwork? Would we for example define burglars or rapists as ‘otherwise law-abiding? And whilst one can sympathise a little with an addicted user who takes this standpoint, there can only be less sympathy for users who are anything less than addicted, and no sympathy at all for the smooth-tongued advocates who make a living out of this scene. Balance is clearly called for on all the aspects covered in this note, but a greater degree of involvement by the medical profession – and the rest of us – in defining and disseminating the full range of drug harms – what they are, and to whom they apply – is long overdue.

Peter Stoker C. Eng. Director, National Drug Prevention Alliance.

www.drugprevent.org.uk

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Concerns From Brazil

Portuguese followed by English (Google Translated)

statísticas.

O governo do Estado de São Paulo, a SENAD,Secretaria Nacional de Políticas sobre Drogas, do Ministério de Justiça Federal, e a Prefeitura da Cidade de Campinas estão pagando algumas despesas dos residentes da Instituição do Padre Haroldo – Campinas/São Paulo.Sócios pagam o resto.

A praga de crack destrói rapidamente nosso povo e a juventude.  1.000 Brasileiros morrem diariamente por causa do Álcool, outras Drogas e especialmente o Crack.

No ano passado tivemos 38.000 homicídios.  Mais da metade dos desastres automobilísticos foram causados pelo uso de substâncias químicas. Desde 1990 o uso do crack se multiplicou por 166 vezes.  Muitos dependentes químicos são usuários de crack.  No Brasil existem 900 mil usuários de cocaína que é uma base do crack.

A OMS( Organização Mundial da Saúde) estima que 33 milhões de pessoas no mundo são infectadas pelo vírus HIV. No Brasil são 592.914.  O HIV,traz outras doenças como as cardiovasculares, depressão, baixa auto estima e é causa de suicídio.

No mundo,100 milhões de crianças e adolescentes vivem em situação de rua.  No Brasil 50 mil vivem assim nas ruas das Capitais. Uma das causas é o uso de drogas lícitas e ilícitas.  As mulheres aumentaram o uso de drogas em 30% nos últimos anos.  Algumas crianças começam com 09 anos. Geralmente o adolescente inicia o seu uso aos 13 anos.

Inicialmente, o crack estava sendo usado somente nas favelas e entre pessoas de baixa renda. Hoje todas as classes são vítimas do mesmo. É muito mais barato que a Cocaína e dá prazer mais rápido e intensamente. Como seu efeito dura apenas 5 minutos, ele é repetido continuamente.

O tratamento deve ser por um período adequado. Especialmente Amor Exigente, Espiritualidade, Clínicas e Comunidades Terapêuticas dão resultados. O tratamento deve ser multidisciplinar, bem planejado em um processo longo.

Haroldo J. Rahm,SJ – Presidente de Honra Amor Exigente Instituto Padre Haroldo  hrahmsj@yahoo.com.br

Statistics .
The state government of São Paulo , SENAD , National Policy on Drugs , the Federal Ministry of Justice , and the City Hall of Campinas are paying some expenses of the residents of the Institution of Father Harold – Campinas / São Paulo.Sócios pay rest .
The plague of crack quickly destroys our people and youth . 1,000 Brazilians die every day because of alcohol , other drugs and especially the Crack .
Last year we had 38,000 homicides . More than half of automobile disasters were caused by the use of chemicals . Since 1990 crack use has multiplied 166 times . Many addicts are crack users . In Brazil there are 900,000 cocaine users which is a base of the crack .
The WHO ( World Health Organization ) estimates that 33 million people worldwide are infected with HIV . In Brazil there are 592,914 . HIV brings other diseases such as cardiovascular disease, depression, low self esteem and is a cause of suicide.
Worldwide, 100 million children and adolescents living on the streets . In Brazil 50 000 thus living on the streets of the Capital . One cause is the use of licit and illicit drugs . Women increased drug use by 30% in recent years . Some children start at 09 years . Usually the teen starts its use after 13 years.
Initially , the crack was being used only in the slums and among the poor . Today all classes are victims of it. It is much cheaper than cocaine and gives pleasure faster and intensely . As its effect lasts only 5 minutes, it is repeated continuously.
Treatment should be for an appropriate period . Especially Demanding Love , Spirituality , Clinical and Therapeutic Communities give results . Treatment should be multidisciplinary, well planned in a long process .

Harold J. Rahm , SJ
President of Honour
Demanding love Institute

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Cannabis of the Chain! An interview with Dr Bob DuPont

Dr Bob DuPont Discusses Marijuana Legalization on Bill Bennetts Show Jan 2014

For more information about IBH visit www.ibhinc.org.


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Open Letter to President Barack Obama – I.O.G.T

For immediate release: January 29, 2014 

Contact: Maik Dünnbier
Policy and Communication Officer
E-mail: maik.duennbier@iogt.org
Twitter: @maikduennbier

Open Letter to President Barack Obama

The notorious comparison of alcohol and marijuana, and the most important aspect that is conspicuously absent
Dear President Obama,

It is with great interest that I have read your recent interview with David Remnick of The New Yorker. This article has initiated a myriad of emails and messages from IOGT International members from the USA and around the world reacting to your statements on alcohol and marijuana. As a result, I feel compelled to write to you to address the following as a matter of urgency.

IOGT International was founded more than 160 years ago, in 1851 in Utica, New York in the USA. We are a global movement with more than 120 Member Organizations in more than 60 countries around the world. Through the work of all these members (the vast majority of them volunteers), we undertake prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and advocacy work to control and reduce the harms caused by alcohol and other drugs. It is no exaggeration to say that we are heart-driven experts in this field.

In The New Yorker article you state clearly that you ”don’t think [marijuana] is more dangerous than alcohol.”
You follow that by saying using marijuana ”is not something I encourage, and I’ve told my daughters I think it’s a bad idea, a waste of time, [and] not very healthy.”
As you surely anticipated, the media jumped on these statements, exploiting your puzzling and contradictory messages about the legalization of marijuana and the comparison to alcohol. Headlines, articles and news pieces were largely omitting your critical remarks and concerns about marijuana legalization. These statements are deeply troubling. Please allow us, Mr. President, to explain why, in three concise points:

  1. I believe you agree with the basic assumption that what is good for your daughters Malia and Sasha is good for all other children, too. All children in the USA have the right to grow up drug free. From this fundamental and heart-driven assumption follows that all children have a right to grow up free from drugs and associated harm. The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) calls that “the right of every child to a standard of living adequate for the child’s physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development.” (CRC, Art. 27.1)

With this in mind, I would have wished for a much clearer statement that could not be misused by the legalization advocates, as has happened in the wake of your interview in The New Yorker. The members of IOGT International and many people around the world would have wished for a clear and concise commitment to making sure that the best interest principle enshrined in the CRC is held high: ”In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.” (CRC, Art. 3.1)
I´m sure this is what you do as a father, and when it comes to harmful substances in society, I encourage you to also do this as the President of the USA.

  1. To address the issue of marijuana in the way you did, by using the notorious comparison to alcohol is indeed very dangerous. There are two reasons for this: firstly, marijuana is highly dangerous, especially for the brain, for the mental health and well-being of the user but also for the community around the user and for society at large; you ran for President twice carried by a strong grass-roots movement of active, engaged citizens. Marijuana is evidently a huge obstacle for active participation in society. And secondly, we live in an alcohol culture that glamorizes alcohol and perpetuates myths about its effects; people are not even aware of all the health hazards and risks associated with alcohol, nor are they aware of all the damage to society, economy, community, and the health system.

This adds up to a toxic mix of misinformation, perpetuated myths and the general assumption that it could be possible to regulate marijuana in the same way as alcohol. It is in this context that I think your quotes in The New Yorker are harmful because the fact is that the USA is failing in regulating alcohol and preventing alcohol harm. It is also failing in protecting children and young people from alcohol harm.

  1. Alcohol is the socially most harmful drug. It is a toxic, teratogen and carcinogenic substance that causes tremendous harm to individuals, families, communities and society at large, because it’s aggressively marketed, easily available and comparatively affordable. Alcohol is so harmful because we live in an intoxicating culture where it is available and affordable almost at any time, at any place and to anyone. Additionally it is aggressively being marketed to children and young people and other vulnerable groups.

Mr. President, it is this aspect that gets lost when comparing marijuana to alcohol: a society thrives when there are fewer drugs, not more. The most fundamental task of any government is to protect its citizens from harm, especially the most vulnerable ones. Thus, it should be your task to make sure there is less alcohol use in the USA, instead of blowing wind under the wings of the marijuana (and other drugs) legalization advocates. It is thanks to the international conventions on drugs and the CRC that marijuana is a lesser burden on society in terms of harm. Mr. President, this surely means we should not conduct experiments with human lives by legalizing more drugs. And we have to find ways to regulate alcohol more cost-effectively and with higher-impact measures because the current policies are failing.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just released evidence that alcohol harm is directly responsible for about 88,000 deaths and 2.5 million years of potential life lost in the United States each year. This amounts to a staggering burden on the US economy of $223.5 billion.

Alcohol harm in the USA poses a disproportionate burden on young Americans.

Mr. President, consider the youngest and most vulnerable ones: there are 7.5 million children under the age of 18 living with at least one alcohol addicted parent. In America fathers convicted of child abuse are 10 times more likely to be alcoholics.

The alcohol industry plays its unethical role, too. Just recently researchers of CAMY (the Centre of Alcohol Marketing and Youth) have found evidence that the alcohol industry is using advertising to directly target under-age viewers aged 18 to 20.

Alcohol is a major risk factor for Non-communicable diseases, including mental health problems and disorders. As was recently shown for college students, alcohol use exacerbates students’ post-traumatic stress disorder and those students with post-traumatic stress disorder are likely to use more alcohol than their peers without the psychological condition. It creates a vicious circle really.

Mr. President, I congratulate you for your latest effort to tackle the epidemic of gender-based violence, including rape and sexual assault, on American university campuses. Anyone who spends some time at university and college campuses understands that this problem will not be solved without addressing alcohol.

We know that the costs of intimate partner violence in the USA exceed $8.3 billion yearly. In more than 55% of the cases, the perpetrators had consumed alcohol.
Just looking at this snapshot, it is clear that the USA has an alcohol problem – an alcohol problem burdening the youngest and the most vulnerable; an alcohol problem putting tremendous pressures on the health care system; an alcohol problem undermining the economy; an alcohol problem threatening the future of so many women and girls, of entire families and communities.

Comparing alcohol and marijuana in the way you did and in the way it can be picked up by marijuana (and other drugs) legalization advocates for their purposes is dangerous because it fails to take into account the Human Rights, for instance those of our children, and it misses the most fundamental questions that the entire debate should be about.
Alcohol, together with tobacco, is among the largest causes of ill health in the world, while at the same time this is preventable with the right kind of policies. It is a mistake of gigantic dimensions to legalize one more drug, marijuana, which will lead to increase in use and damages at levels beyond control.

We think the issue of drug and alcohol policy will be a big part of your legacy as President, potentially undermining your goals of building a sustainable health care system, of putting the economy on track towards sustainability and of giving every young American a fair shot at the American dream.

Yours sincerely,

Sven-Olov Carlsson,
International President
IOGT International
Stockholm, January 29, 2014

 

Some Key Quotes

President Barack Obama, in The New Yorker:

“As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life. I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.”

“It’s not something I encourage, and I’ve told my daughters I think it’s a bad idea, a waste of time, not very healthy.”

IOGT International President Sven-Olov Carlsson, in the Open Letter:
“I believe you agree with the basic assumption that what is good for your daughters Malia and Sasha is good for all other children, too. All children in the USA have the right to grow up drug free.”

“The fact is that the USA is failing in regulating alcohol and preventing alcohol harm. It is also failing in protecting children and young people from alcohol harm.”

“We think the issue of drug and alcohol policy will be a big part of your legacy as President, potentially undermining your goals of building a sustainable health care system, of putting the economy on track towards sustainability and of giving every young American a fair shot at the American dream.”


Some Key Evidence 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
Evidence shows, alcohol harm is directly responsible for about 88,000 deaths and 2.5 million years of potential life lost in the United States each year. This amounts to a staggering burden on the US economy of $223.5 billion.

SAMHSA:
There are 7.5 million children under the age of 18 living with at least one alcohol addicted parent. In America fathers convicted of child abuse are 10 times more likely to be alcoholics.

The alcohol industry plays its unethical role, too.
For example shown by Evidence of underage targeting of alcohol advertising on TV in the USA: Lessons from Lockyer v Reynolds decisions, by Ross, Ostroff, Jernigan, in Journal for Public Health Policy

Study finds troubling relationship between alcohol use and PTSD, from University of Buffalo

Washington Post: Obama targets college sexual assault epidemic
And the costs of intimate partner violence in the USA exceed $8.3 billion yearly. In more than 55% of the cases, the perpetrators had consumed alcohol.

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Open Letter to President Barack Obama 

IOGT International |2014|

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DEA’s Speaking Out Against Drug Legalization

Drug Enforcement Administration lead agency on Drug Control

Fact 1: Significant progress has been made in fighting drug use and drug trafficking in America.

Fact 2: A balanced approach of prevention, enforcement, and treatment are the keys in the fight against drug abuse.

Fact 3: Drug use is regulated and access to drugs is controlled because drugs can be harmful.

Fact 4: Smoked marijuana has never been and will never be scientifically approved medicine.

Fact 5: Drug control spending is a minor portion of the U.S. budget. Compared to the social costs of drug abuse and addiction, government spending on drug control is minimal.

Fact 6: Legalization of drugs will lead to increased use and increased levels of addiction.

Fact 7: Crime, violence, and drug use go hand-in-hand.

Fact 8: Alcohol and tobacco have caused significant health, social, and crime problems, and legalized drugs would only make the situation worse.

Fact 9: Europe’s more liberal drug policies are not the right model for America.

Fact 10: Most non-violent drug users get treatment, not jail time.

Six times as many homicides are committed by people under the influence of drugs than by those who are looking for money to buy drugs.

Most drug crimes aren’t committed by people trying to pay for drugs; they’re committed by people on drugs.

Drunk driving is one of the primary killers of Americans. Do we want our bus drivers, nurses, and airline pilots to be able to take drugs one evening, and operate freely at work the next day? Do we want to make “drugged” driving another primary killer?

In reality, a vast majority of inmates in state and federal prison for marijuana have been found guilty of much more than simple possession, and many of those serving time for marijuana possession pled down to possession in order to avoid prosecution on more serious charges.  0.1% No prior Trafficker level, Bureau of Justice statistics 2004, updated 2008

*In resource file DEA Position Paper on Marijuana Mental Health Issues, 15 pages

 

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Uruguay is breaking the International Conventions on Drug Control

Uruguay is breaking the International Conventions on Drug Control with the Cannabis Legislation approved by its Congress 11 December 2013

VIENNA, 11 December 2013 (UN Information Service) – The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) regrets that the legislation to legalize production, sale and consumption of cannabis for non-medical purposes approved yesterday in Uruguay contravenes the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, to which Uruguay is a party.

The President of the INCB, Raymond Yans said he was “surprised that a legislative body that has endorsed an international law and agreements, and a Government that is an active partner in international cooperation and in the maintenance of the international rule of law, knowingly decided to break the universally agreed and internationally endorsed legal provisions of the treaty”.

Mr. Yans also recalled that “the main aim of the 1961 Single Convention is to protect the health and welfare of humankind. Cannabis is controlled under the 1961 Convention, which requires States Parties to limit its use to medical and scientific purposes, due to its dependence-producing potential.”

According to the President, “the decision of the Uruguayan legislature fails to consider its negative impacts  on health since scientific studies confirm that cannabis is an addictive substance with serious consequences for people’s health. In particular, the use and abuse of cannabis by young people can seriously affect their development.”

Cannabis is not only addictive but may also affect some fundamental brain functions, IQ potential, and academic and job performance and impair driving skills. Smoking cannabis is more carcinogenic than smoking tobacco. The President of INCB is therefore surprised that “available scientific evidence, including that presented to the parliamentary committees by Uruguay’s own scientific community, was not taken into consideration by the legislators” and that the stated aim of the legislation, to reduce crime, “relied on rather precarious and unsubstantiated assumptions”.

Such a decision “will not protect young people but rather have the perverse effect of encouraging early experimentation, lowering the age of first use, and thus contributing to developmental problems and earlier onset of addiction and other disorders,” Mr. Yans said.

The international drug control conventions recognize that drug dependent people need to be assisted with appropriate services and not be penalized. In fact, the Conventions recommend treatment, rehabilitation and social reintegration as an alternative to imprisonment.

The Board regrets that the Government of Uruguay did not respond to INCB to engage in a dialogue prior to further consideration of the law. In discharging its mandate, the Board is committed to an ongoing dialogue with all governments, including the Government of Uruguay, to ensure universal application of the three international drug control conventions. INCB reiterates its call to the Government of Uruguay to engage with the Board with a view to ensure that Uruguay continues to respect and implement the treaties to which it is a Party.

* *** *

INCB is the independent, quasi-judicial body charged with promoting and monitoring Government compliance with the three international drug control conventions: the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.

INCB Secretariat
Telephone for media inquiries: (+43-1) 26060 4163
Email: secretariat[at]incb.org
Website: www.incb.org

Vienna International Centre

PO Box 500, 1400 Vienna, Austria Tel: (+43-1) 26060-4666 Fax: (+43-1) 26060-5899 E: unis@unvienna.org W: http://www.unis.unvienna.org

 

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New Research Concludes Marijuana Legalization May Hurt U.S. Economy

January 10, 2014

(St. Petersburg, FL)  A paper recently published in the Journal for Global Drug Policy and Practice (www.globaldrugpolicy.org) entitled, The Economic Impacts of Marijuana Legalization, provided an extensive review of research and uncovered significant public health and public safety risks that could greatly outweigh economic gain.

The author, David Evans, an attorney and former research scientist at the New Jersey Department of Health, was surprised by some of the findings of the research. He said, “This research shows that the alleged financial gains of marijuana legalization cannot be gauged currently because tax revenue projections are inherently uncertain and they rely on questionable assumptions about markets. The proposed financial gains of legalization depend on various factors that cannot be assessed at this time. There may be significant and questionable disparities between projected and actual tax revenues due to variation in regional demand for marijuana, future demand for taxable marijuana, revenue allocation among levels of government, and regulatory compliance and enforcement. Invoking fiscal rhetoric to show a cost-benefit to legalization is used to advance the legalization agenda. In effect, it misdirects public debate, and belies a corporate purpose to privatize profits and make society pay for the losses, subordinating the interests of taxpayers to those of the marijuana industry.

Dr. Eric Voth, Chair of the Institute on Global Drug Policy and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal also remarked on the paper. He said, “This piece included a comprehensive look at a myriad of different variables that could impact a bottom line assessment of the economic gains purported about marijuana legalization.  I was happy we were able to publish the piece because it will give our readers a very well rounded accounting of this issue.”

If you would like to set up an interview about this issue with David Evans or Dr. Voth please contact Lana Beck at (727) 828-0211 ext. 102 or (727) 403-7571

The Journal of Global Drug Policy and Practice, a joint effort of the Institute on Global Drug Policy and the International Scientific and Medical Forum on Drug Abuse, is an international, open access, peer-reviewed, online journal with the goal of bridging the information gap on drug policy issues between the medical/scientific community, policymakers and the concerned lay public. Edited by Eric A. Voth, MD, FACP and David A. Gross, MD, DFAPA, our intended readership includes clinicians, clinical researchers, policymakers, prevention specialists and the interested public. www.globaldrugpolicy.org

 

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