Legalization up – usage up! An IBH Commentary

With Marijuana Legalization There Is More Marijuana Use and More Addiction While the Illegal Market Continues to Thrive

With Marijuana Legalization There Is More Marijuana Use and More Addiction While the Illegal Market Continues to Thrive. It comes as no surprise that the prevalence of marijuana use has significantly increased over the last decade.1 With marijuana legal for recreational use in four states and the District of Columbia and for medical use in an additional 31 states, the public perception about marijuana has shifted, with more people reporting that they support legalization.2 However, there is little public awareness, and close to zero media attention to the near-doubling of past year marijuana use nationally among adults age 18 and older and the corresponding increase in problems related to its use.3 Because the addiction rates for marijuana have remained stable, with about one in three past year marijuana users experiencing a marijuana use disorder, the total number of Americans with marijuana use disorders also significantly increased.1

It is particularly disturbing that the public is unaware of the fact that of all Americans with substance use disorders due to drugs other than alcohol, nearly 60 percent are due to marijuana.4 That means that more Americans are addicted to marijuana than any other drug including heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and the non-medical use of prescription drugs.

Stores in Colorado and Washington with flourishing commercialized marijuana sell innovative marijuana products offering users record-high levels of THC potency. Enticing forms of marijuana, including hash oil used in discreet vaporizer pens and edibles like cookies, candy and soda are attractive to users of all ages, particularly those underage. The legal marijuana producers are creatively and avidly embracing these new trends in marijuana product development, all of which encourage not only more users, but more intense marijuana use.

Despite the expansion of state legal marijuana markets, the illegal market for marijuana remains robust, leaving state regulators two uncomfortable choices: either a ban can be placed on the highest potency – and most enticing – marijuana products which will push the legal market back to products with more moderate levels of THC, or the current evolution to ever-more potent and more attractive products can be considered acceptable despite its considerable negative health and safety consequences. If tighter regulations are the chosen option, the illegal market will continue to exploit the desire of marijuana users to consume more potent and attractive products. If state governments let the market have its way, there will be no limit to the potency of legally marketed addicting marijuana products.

The illegal marijuana market thrives in competition with the legal market by offering products at considerably lower prices because it neither complies with regulations on growth and sale, nor pays taxes on sales or their profits. Unsurprisingly, much of the illegal marijuana in the states with legalized marijuana is diverted from the local legal marijuana supply. It is troubling that in response to the decline in demand for Mexican marijuana, Mexican cartels are increasing the production of heroin, a more lucrative drug.

When alcohol prohibition ended in 1933, bootlegged alcohol gradually and almost completely disappeared. Those who favor drug legalization are confident that the same will occur in the market for drugs; they argue that legalizing drugs will eliminate the illegal market with all its negative characteristics including violence and corruption. The initial experience with marijuana legalization shows that this is dangerous, wishful thinking. Why doesn’t legalization now work for marijuana as it did for alcohol 80 years ago? One obvious reason is that there is little similarity between the bootleg industry of alcohol production that existed during prohibition and contemporary drug trafficking organizations. Today’s illegal drug production and distribution system is deeply entrenched, highly sophisticated and powerfully globalized. Traffickers are resourceful and able to rapidly to adjust to changes in the market, including competing with legal drugs.

The legalization of marijuana or any other drug is making a bargain with the devil. All drugs of abuse, legal and illegal, including marijuana, produce intense brain reward that users value highly – so highly that they are willing to pay high prices and suffer serious negative consequences for their use. Marijuana users’ brains do not know the difference between legal and illegal marijuana, but as with other drugs, the brain prefers higher potency products. Drug suppliers, legal and illegal, are eager to provide the drugs that users prefer.

The challenge of drug policy today is to find better ways to reduce drug use by using strategies that are cost-effective and compatible with modern values. Legalization fails this test because it encourages drug use. Most of the costs of drug use are the result of the drug use itself and not from efforts to curb that use. It is hard to imagine a drug user who would be better off with having more drugs available at cheaper prices. Supply matters. More supply means more use. Drug legalization enhances drug supply and reduces social disapproval of drugs.Our nation must prepare itself for the serious negative consequences both to public health and safety from the growth of marijuana use fueled by both the legal and the illegal marijuana markets.

Robert L. DuPont, M.D.President, Institute for Behavior and Health, Inc.Former Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse (1973-1978)Former White House Drug Chief (1973-1977)Established in 1978, the Institute for Behavior and Health, Inc. (IBH) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization working to reduce illegal drug use through the power of good ideas. IBH websites include:,,, and



1 Hasin, D. S., Saha, T. D., Kerridge, B. T., Goldstein, R. B., Chou, S. P., et al. (2015). Prevalence of marijuana use disorders in the United States between 2001-2002 and 2012-2013. JAMA Psychiatry. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.1858

2 PEW Research Center. (2015, April 14). 6 facts about marijuana. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from

3 Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. (2015). The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact. Denver, CO: Author. Available:

4 Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2015). Behavioral health trends in the United States: Results from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. SMA 15-4927, NSDUH Series H-50). Retrieved from

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Victory in Congress!

Lawmakers reject Big Marijuana’s agenda

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December 16, 2015
1:00 p.m.

Contact: Jeffrey Zinsmeister
+1 (415) 680-3993

[WASHINGTON, DC] – The Omnibus spending bill passed early this morning in Congress did not include some key provisions pushed by Big Marijuana —signaling a major victory for drug prevention advocates. The bill omitted four out of six provisions heavily lobbied for by legalization and industry forces.
Despite the rhetoric, legalization is not inevitable, and it’s clear this Congress doesn’t have an appetite for it. Our hard work this session has paid off,” said Dr. Kevin A. Sabet, a former White House drug policy advisor who now serves as President of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM).
Provisions allowing the marijuana industry to leverage the U.S. financial and banking system — key to mass-marketing pot like Big Tobacco mass-marketed cigarettes — failed, as did a provision disallowing the Department of Justice from enforcing federal marijuana laws with respect to “recreational” marijuana use.
A provision allowing the Veterans’ Administration to recommend marijuana to treat PTSD also failed, a major victory for science-based policy.  Earlier this month, Yale University researchers found that “marijuana is not associated with improvement in PTSD and that initiating marijuana was associated with worsening outcomes in a number of measures.”

The omnibus bill also includes language that prevents the District of Columbia from continuing with its legalization “experiment” — a well-intentioned but misguided attempt to address disparities in arrests and incarcerations through legalizing drug use.
“The District of Columbia can resolve these very real and worrisome disparities through criminal law and sentencing reform without exposing District residents, especially children, to the addictive and harmful effects of marijuana,” commented Dr. Sabet.  “And ironically, legalized marijuana is likely to harm disadvantaged communities disproportionately — just as liquor stores are far more prevalent in African-American neighborhoods.”
Two riders did pass, as expected — one disallowing the Department of Justice to enforce medical marijuana laws and one allowing hemp for research purposes. Both of these also passed last year.
This news come on the heels of today’s national school survey release, findingdeclines in use of almost every drug except marijuana. One in 17 high school seniors use marijuana daily — near a historic high.
According to statements from the American Medical Association, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Society of Addiction Medicine, and the American Psychiatric Association, marijuana use, especially among youth, should be avoided, and legalization efforts opposed.
Meanwhile, the toll of legalized marijuana continues to climb in Colorado and Washington. For example, a 2015 report indicated that the percentage of DUIs linked to marijuana use in Washington state has almost doubled since legalization,from 18.6% in 2012 to 33% in early 2015. That same report indicated that a full 85% of drivers involved in fatal accidents in Washington tested positive for recent marijuana use. Similarly, marijuana poisonings in Colorado rose 147% from legalization in 2012 to 2014, and was up 52% in Washington during that same timeframe.
“This is great news — the powerful marijuana industry lobby that has emerged is certainly not indestructible,” commented Jeffrey Zinsmeister, SAM’s Executive Vice President. “Like Big Tobacco, marijuana companies put their bottom line before public health. But common sense can still prevail.”
For more information about marijuana use and its effects, see
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 31 states.


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HOW TO MAKE COCAINE! Let’s Join in!!

How to make cocaine


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2015 National Drug Threat Assessment – D.E.A

No surprises on Cartel activity, but then again, the real culprits are the the Demand Drivers over the border. Drug laws aren’t the enemy recalcitrant hedonists are!

But hey! Health care and Welfare will cover the damage…won’t they?

2015 DEA National Drug Threat Assessment Summary

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The Colorado TRUTH about Marijuana Legalization and its impact on our youth.



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Doctors Aren’t behind ‘Medical’ Marijuana Laws

What doctors say

By DR. ED GOGEK In the Philadelphia Inquirer

This article was published June 5, 2015

State legislatures across the country are legalizing medical marijuana, but the nation’s physicians aren’t requesting these laws. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Society of Addiction Medicine are both against medical marijuana laws. The American Medical Association doesn’t support them, either.

Groups representing patients aren’t behind these laws. The American Cancer Society hasn’t demanded them, and the Glaucoma Foundation even warns patients against using the drug.

Instead, the demand comes from groups like the Drug Policy Alliance and Marijuana Policy Project. These are not medical organizations. They are part of a pro-legalization lobby supported by pro-marijuana billionaires. And they’ve apparently convinced state legislators to ignore some very serious problems.

The biggest problem is that medical marijuana laws are responsible for most of the growth in adolescent use. According to the University of Michigan’s “Monitoring the Future” survey, teen use in the United States surged between 2005 and 2011. But it didn’t surge equally in all states.

Data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows that the number of teens who smoked pot increased by 33 percent in medical marijuana states but only by 6 percent in the rest of the country. In 2005 only about 20 percent of the U.S. population lived in medical marijuana states, yet those states accounted for more than two-thirds of the increase in adolescent use between 2005 and 2011. If it weren’t for states with medical marijuana laws, teen use would have barely increased at all.

There’s also evidence that even among adults nearly all the “medical” marijuana goes to drug abuse. The largest survey of medical marijuana patients, published in 2014 in the Journal of Global Drug Policy and Practice, found that only 6 percent reported using marijuana for cancer, AIDS, glaucoma, Alzheimer’s, Crohn’s, hepatitis C, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The vast majority–91 percent–got their marijuana for pain.

Not only are these laws harmful, but they’re completely unnecessary. While some seriously ill patients are helped by marijuana, there are four prescription cannabinoid medications that are just as helpful. So there’s no reason to use marijuana itself as medicine.

Two of these medicines, Marinol and Cesamet, are available by prescription in the United States. A third, Epidiolex, or pure cannabidiol, is available for children with seizures through a special Food and Drug Administration program. The fourth, Sativex, is in the last stages of approval.

Some of these medicines have fewer side effects than marijuana and are longer-acting, which means they are better for genuine patients who don’t want to be stoned all the time. However, the biggest advantage of prescription cannabinoids is that they’re much less likely to be abused or diverted to teenage use than medical marijuana is.

State legislators who want what’s best for the country should ignore the pro-marijuana lobbyists and instead listen to the AMA, the Academy of Pediatrics, and the Society of Addiction Medicine. If we want to rein in teenage marijuana use and prevent widespread abuse of the drug, instead of passing new state medical marijuana laws, we should get rid of the ones we already have.


Dr. Ed Gogek is an addiction psychiatrist. He wrote this for the Philadelphia Inquirer.Editorial on 06/05/2015


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Portuguese ‘evaluation’ evidence-short junket?

Report of visit by a Committee delegation to examine the impact of Portuguese approach to the possession of certain drugs!—Lisbon-2015.pdf


“Such reports are a joke. A three day visit to hear reports from those with a vested interest in a good outcome. No evidence sited. Instead of a junket tour of Portugal a review of the literature might have been more informative.

The “dramatic fall” in HIV cases has no relationship to any policy regarding drugs. Firstly, as at 2011 Portugal had the highest prevalence of any Western European country at .7% compared to .2 to .3%. If the drug policy had any impact one would have thought that 15 years would have been long enough to reduce HIV to European average levels. Moreover only 4.2% of infections were considered to be due to injecting drugs. Put these two stats together and if all injecting drug use was eliminated the best result would be less than a 4% decline among drug users. That is an overall drop of 0.02%. If it has declined then other factors must be responsible.

Also with 13.5% unemployment and much higher among youth it is doubtful if the subsidised job scheme for addicts has had any impact despite the positive spin.

Stats such as average price for drugs may indicate a shift in demand, but crime still exists to supply the drugs. So what use the delegations visit if their aim was to deal with drug selling crime gangs…Utter nonsense. “

Dr C. (Australia)

“Interesting!  I wonder why they did not tell us how many addicts are still experiencing death due to drugs or how many are no longer willing to go to treatment or improve their living conditions.”

Dr. C.F.  (U.S.A)

“Our Portuguese colleagues say this is a complete crock – it has been a dismal failure.”

Dr A.R. (Australia)

For a look at the evidence go to





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Prevention Messages Are Working – But you wouldn’t know in all the pro-drug Hype!

It’s Time to Re-Think Prevention: Increasing Percentages of Adolescents Understand They Should Not Use Any Addicting Substances

“These data have been there all along but the analysis resulting in this finding is completely new. Among 12th graders, the percentage of students who never used alcohol, tobacco, marijuana or other drugs in their lifetimes rose from 2.9% in 1983 to 25% in 2014. The percentage of 12th graders who did not use any alcohol, tobacco, marijuana or other drugs in the prior 30 days rose from 16.1% in 1982 to 49.6% in 2013. Similar sizeable positive changes are reported for 8th and 10th graders who were first surveyed in 1991. Problems with alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs remain gravely serious. However, this new evidence of an increasing percentage of American youth who choose not to use any of these addicting substances gives new hope for the future.”

For complete article download

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The Journal of Global Drug Policy & Practice

Volume 9, Issue 2, Summer 2015

Journal Of Global Drug Policy & Practice





Volume 9, Issue 2 – Summer 2015:

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CHICAGO (AP) — Medical marijuana has not been proven to work for many illnesses that state laws have approved it for, according to the first comprehensive analysis of research on its potential benefits.

The strongest evidence is for chronic pain and for muscle stiffness in multiple sclerosis, according to the review, which evaluated 79 studies involving more than 6,000 patients. Evidence was weak for many other conditions, including anxiety, sleep disorders, and Tourette’s syndrome and the authors recommend more research.

The analysis is among several medical marijuana articles published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. They include a small study suggesting that many brand labels for edible marijuana products list inaccurate amounts of active ingredients. More than half of brands tested had much lower amounts than labeled, meaning users might get no effect.

BY LINDSEY TANNER : AP MEDICAL WRITER Jun 23, 12:01 PM EDT (for full article go to….




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