USA: The Marijuana Legalisation Report – Timeline

THE STEALTHY PROGRESS OF MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION

MomsStrong.org recently reprinted the latest The Marijuana Report newsletter, which details the history of marijuana legalization in the U.S., and some of the negative outcomes identified by government surveys and reports. As politicians and citizens alike remain asleep and unaware on this issue, the steady rollout of the pot profiteers and their greedy plan continues. To understand history is to mount an adequate resistance. PopPot urges our readers to take the time to not only read, but disseminate this article!

The Timeline of Marijuana Rollout in the U.S. Exposed by the Marijuana Report

Reprinted with permission of Moms Strong and The Marijuana Report See original 9/15/2021 Newsletter here.

Are scientists missing the forest for the trees?

Last week, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study by DM Anderson and colleagues, scientists from universities in Montana, Spain, and San Diego, California. The study finds that legalization does not increase adolescent marijuana use. The researchers analyzed the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began conducting in 1991.

Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS)

YRBSS collects data from high school students every two years about behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence, sexual behaviors related to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, alcohol and other drug use, tobacco use, unhealthy dietary behaviors, and inadequate physical activity. Not all states participate in YRBSS, and those that do participate periodically, although in the 2019 YRBSS all but five states did so. Minnesota, Oregon, and Washington State have never participated in YRBSS. The survey asks three questions about marijuana: ever use, current use, and what age students were when they started using marijuana. It began asking about vapor product use in 2015, but never asks what students are vaping.

So far as these limited data are concerned, the researchers’ findings seem true. But two other national surveys show us something more…

Read the full article, The Timeline of Marijuana Rollout in the U.S. Exposed by the Marijuana Report on MomsStrong.org

Editors Note: The Marijuana Report is a project of National Families in Action. Visit their website at NationalFamilies.org.

 

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THE LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA IN COLORADO: THE IMPACT 2021 (Volume 8 September 2021)

Executive Summary

The Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (RMHIDTA) program has published annual reports every year since 2013 tracking the impact of legalizing recreational marijuana in Colorado. The purpose is to provide data and information so that policy makers and citizens can make informed decisions on the issue of marijuana legalization.

Section I: Traffic Fatalities & Impaired Driving

  • Since recreational marijuana was legalized in 2013, traffic deaths where drivers tested positive for marijuana increased 138% while all Colorado traffic deaths increased 29%.
  • Since recreational marijuana was legalized, traffic deaths involving drivers who tested positive for marijuana more than doubled from 55 in 2013 to 131 people killed in 2020.
  • Since recreational marijuana was legalized, the percentage of all Colorado traffic deaths involving drivers who tested positive for marijuana increased from 11% in 2013 to 20% in 2020.

Section II: Marijuana Use

Since recreational marijuana was legalized in 2013:

  • Past month marijuana use for ages 12 and older increased 26% and is 61% higher than the national average, currently ranked 3rd in the nation.
  • Past month adult marijuana use (ages 18 and older) increased 20% and is 62% higher than the national average, currently ranked 3rd in the nation.
  • Past month college age marijuana (ages 18-25) use increased 10% and is 53% higher than the national average, currently ranked 3rd in the nation.
  • Past month youth marijuana (ages 12-17) use decreased 22% and is 39% higher than the national average, currently ranked 7th in the nation.

Section III: Public Health

  • Marijuana only exposures increased 185% from 2013 when recreational marijuana was legalized compared to 2020.
  • Treatment for marijuana use for all ages decreased 34% from 2013 to 2020.
  • The percent of suicide incidents in which toxicology results were positive for marijuana has increased from 14% in 2013 to 29% in 2020.

Section IV: Black Market

  • RMHIDTA Colorado Drug Task Forces (10) conducted 294 investigations of black-market marijuana in Colorado resulting in:

o 168 felony arrests

o 5.54 tons of marijuana seized

o 86,502 marijuana plants seized

o 21 different states the marijuana was destined

  • Seizures of marijuana reported to the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) in Colorado increased 48% from an average of 174 parcels (2009-2012) when marijuana was commercialized to an average of 257 parcels (2013-2020) during the time recreational marijuana become legalized.

Section V: Societal Impact

  • Marijuana tax revenue represent approximately 0.98% of Colorado’s FY 2020 budget.
  • 66% of local jurisdictions in Colorado have banned medical and recreational marijuana businesses.

Complete Report 2021 RMHIDTA Marijuana Report

also Impacts of Marijuana Legalization in Colorado.July2021pdf

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Colorado: What Drug Crime Up! How Can This Be Under Legalization, All Such Issues are Supposed to Vanish!

The city of Denver plans to shut down Civic Center Park this week because of concerns over safety and sanitation, according to an official with Denver Parks and Recreation.

Scott Gilmore, deputy manager of parks and recreation, told CBS4 on Tuesday the park could be fenced off as early as Wednesday and that the closure would likely last for at least two months, if not longer.

“It’s not safe to walk through the park,” Gilmore told CBS4 of the national historical landmark between the City and County Building and the State Capitol. “We need to take back the park.”

Gilmore attributed the closure to violent incidents in the park. A triple shooting in the park left one man dead and two men seriously injured in the early evening of Aug. 6, the Denver Police Department said.

The city has been trying to tackle crime at the park for years. In 2018, Denver used its portion of $21.5 million in state aid to address low-level crime in and around the park after more than 2,400 drug arrests occurred in the area in 19 months, mostly among repeat offenders. (and this is UNDER LEGALIZATION!!!)

“Get Rid of Drugs So We Can Have Our Park Back!”

During the closure, Civic Center Park will be cleaned up, with plans including turf restoration, tree rehabilitation and upgrading the camera system to cover the whole park, Gilmore told CBS4. Once reopened, city officials plan to keep park rangers in the park “nonstop,” he said.

Gilmore and Denver Parks and Recreation did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

More information is expected to be released by Mayor Michael Hancock’s office on Tuesday.

For complete story go to ‘We need to take back the park’: Denver to shut down Civic Center Park over safety, sanitation concerns | OutThere Colorado

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USA: Careless Drug Policy Creating Cultural & Community Chaos – Time to Restore!

SO MUCH HOMELESSNESS IS TURNING THE TIDE OF PUBLIC OPINION ON DRUG POLICY

California Peace Coalition Forms

Concerned citizen groups rallied in Sacramento on August 16, 2021, They issued a press release as the California Peace Coalition, signaling a new alliance. A large and varied group of non-profits and individuals affected by the explosion of drugs united for this important cause.  They stand against drug dealers, bad policies and open drug markets, problems that fuel addiction, overdoses and California’s large homeless population.

Their objectives include ending the open drug markets. They wish to find workable solutions for the homelessness crisis and rehabilitation for addiction.  Many groups in the alliance were started by parents who lost children to addiction or drug poisoning deaths. Many of these families would prefer forced treatment for addiction over the policies that enable addiction.

Cities like San Francisco and Seattle make life easier for drug use, thus keeping people enslaved to their addictions.  Tom Wolf and many adults who survived and recovered from drug habits want to see a change.  That’s why they joined the coalition

Among the parents in the group are those whose children died of fentanyl, usually not knowing they were getting it.  Most of them object to letting drug dealers, who sell drugs and poison young people, off the hook.

A progressive changes his mind

On Substack a few weeks ago, Michael Shellenberger wrote his apology for progressive policies, “In the late 1990s and early 2000s, I worked with a group of friends and colleagues to advocate drug decriminalization, harm reduction, and criminal justice reform…. I fought for the treatment of drug addiction as a public health problem not a criminal justice one. And we demanded that housing be given to the homeless without regard for their own struggles with drugs.”

“Our intentions were good.” he said, but concluded, “Everything we thought about the drugs was wrong.”   https://michaelshellenberger.substack.com/p/why-everything-we-thought-about-drugs

At the end of the article, he explained:

“Progressive advocates and policymakers alike blame the drug war, mass incarceration, and drug prohibition for the addiction and overdose crisis, even though the crisis resulted from liberalized attitudes and drug laws, first toward pharmaceutical opioids, and then toward all drugs”

In an article of August 26, Shellenberger proclaimed, “Finally the Media Are Starting to Tell the Truth About California, Drugs, & Homelessness[J1] ”  https://michaelshellenberger.substack.com/p/finally-the-media-are-starting-to

He concludes that bad policy drives homelessness more than anything else. We may read more about this topic in his book coming out on October 12.

Homelessness is largely a matter of drug addiction and mental illness.  Since drug abuse often precedes mental illness, many people would not need mental health care if they hadn’t used drugs. Although poverty and the high price of housing contribute to California’s problems, the excessive homelessness did not appear until after marijuana became legal.  Many people don’t see homelessness as we do, but an upcoming recall election in California signals widespread dissatisfaction in the state.

Shellenberger wrote a book about San Francisco.  Harper Collins will release it next month.  Will the rest of the country wake up?

Used with permission: Parents Opposed to Pot Platform 

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GLOBAL: LIBERTARIANS WERE WRONG ABOUT MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION

Oh so wrong!

By Aron Ravin  This article appeared in the National Review on August 14, 2021.

At the outset, I’d like to lay my cards out on the table: I despise weed.  I think that I reeks, that it’s a waste of money and time.  I dislike cheap euphoria, and I think getting high promotes escapism.  Forever a nudnik, I do not, and do not plan to, partake in the devil’s lettuce.

Nevertheless, many people whom I respect and consider my friends are more open to Miss Mary Jane than I. So I take their arguments seriously when we discuss the issue of legalization. Some of the most common ones, which I’ll discuss at more length below, appear tenable on the surface, if not particularly convincing. Others that have tended to exist on the periphery of the debate — e.g., concerns about a nanny state and the problems of disproportionate sentencing — are much more compelling.

That said, the old-fashioned, party-pooper folk with whom I find myself sympathizing tend to fall back on one point: Weed is unhealthy. Since 2002, the proportion of Americans twelve and older who reported having used marijuana in the last year has increased by over 60 percent. Recently, the American Lung Association has been trying to reduce the ever-increasing number of marijuana users, many of whom consume the drug via inhalation. Pot smoke can cause lung cancer in the same way tobacco can, and secondhand marijuana smoke may have even more carcinogens than cigarettes. Marijuana smoke can also compromise the immune system, and there’s a growing amount of scientific literature indicating a significant correlation between any form of cannabis consumption and psychosis.

To their credit, many marijuana users (both medicinal and recreational) are well aware of the risks. They simply believe they should be entitled to make their own health decisions. Unfortunately for them, however, not everyone can be swayed by appeals to liberty.

Generally speaking, things in the United States aren’t just legalized for laissez-faire reasons. The Leviathan is as slow as it is large, so those angling for major reforms usually can’t rely on ideological arguments alone to build political will; they need tangible benefits to point to, or at least evidence that the tangible harms can be mitigated, before politicians will risk supporting them. The support for ending Prohibition, to take one famous example, was sparked in part by antipathy toward the mobsters who had accumulated wealth and power from bootlegging.

The movement for recreational-marijuana legalization is fueled by much the same train of thought as the movement for the 21st Amendment was. Advocates claimed that legalization would cripple the black market and weaken Mexican cartels. They argued that legalizing weed would reduce children’s access to it, as licensed distributors would have a greater incentive to card than criminal dealers, and that users would actually be healthier, as the government would be better able to regulate and inspect the stuff they were smoking. The libertarians at the Drug Policy Alliance waved aside critics who said use would increase with legalization. Top that all off with the Cato Institute’s promises of billions of dollars in new tax revenue and billions more in law-enforcement expenses saved, and you’d have to be silly to disagree.

But the libertarians got it wrong.

Most of the predicted benefits rested on one assumption: that legal weed would render criminal dealers obsolete much in the same way that repealing prohibition weakened bootlegging mobsters. But that has not happened. It has been nearly a decade since Colorado became the first state to legalize recreational marijuana, and the state is dealing with a larger black market than ever before. Drought-plagued California, never to be beaten, has over 5.4 million gallons of water stolen by illegal growers every day. (For perspective, that’s enough to cover the daily needs of almost 70,000 people.) Upwards of 80 percent of all of California’s marijuana sales go through the black market. Massachusetts (70 percent) isn’t faring much better, and Nevada is growing desperate.

Other predictions have also fallen flat. As this chart from the Cato Institute shows, states that have legalized recreational marijuana have experienced major spikes in usage, far outpacing national trends. (For context, the proportion of Americans who reported having used marijuana in the previous year increased from 17.8 percent in 2015 to 20.8 percent in 2019.)

This does not seem to be mere coincidence. Life has gotten easier for illegal growers, not harder, as legalization has spread. Riana Durrett, a Nevada cannabis regulator, explains that legalization has prompted law enforcement to deprioritize marijuana crimes, which has allowed the problem to spiral out of control. Legalization bills have also permitted individuals to grow cannabis on their own, which in turn allows for the creation of far more potential unlicensed sellers, and makes it harder for police officers to be able to tell who is breaking the law and who isn’t.

In hindsight, the fact that legalization would backfire so spectacularly is almost obvious. Both the data and my joint-friendly peers admit that the chill ganja of the hippie era was replaced by new, harder-hitting strains a long time ago. THC levels in pot today are anywhere from five to 50 times as high as they were in the ’70s. Young people increasingly just want to get high on the cheap, and illegal weed in a legal market is as cheap as it gets. The combination of greater potency than ever before and greater access than ever before is an obviously dangerous one.

Of course, libertarians are nothing if not willing to stick to their guns. Legal dispensaries simply cannot match the low prices offered by their criminal competition when they’re being stifled by so much regulation and taxation, legalization advocates say. Yet weren’t generating tax revenue and protecting users major arguments for legalization in the first place?

Again, I take my libertarian, pot-smoking friends seriously. Their anti-paternalistic arguments can often be persuasive. But they got this one wrong.

Source Parents Opposed to Pot 

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European Drug Report 2021 – Trends and Developments

“To ensure we are well-prepared to meet the future consequences of this hyper-availability, we need urgently to recognise that not only is a wider variety of people now personally experiencing drug problems, but drug problems are impacting on our communities in a wider variety of ways. This is why I believe it is crucial, across the areas of social, health and security policy, to develop the evidence-based and integrated responses envisioned by the new EU drugs strategy.”

Alexis Goosdeel, EMCDDA Director

Drug use prevalence and trends Drug use in Europe encompasses a wide range of substances. Among people who use drugs, polydrug consumption is common but challenging to measure, and individual patterns of use range from experimental to habitual and dependent consumption. Cannabis is the most commonly used drug – the prevalence of use is about five times that of other substances. While the use of heroin and other opioids remains relatively rare, these continue to be the drugs most commonly associated with the more harmful forms of use, including injecting. The extent of stimulant use and the types that are most common vary across countries, and evidence is growing of a potential increase in stimulant injecting. Use of all drugs is generally higher among males, and this difference is often accentuated for more intensive or regular patterns of use.

Click image for Video Summary

LATEST DATA

  • Around 83 million or 28.9 % of adults (aged 15- 64) in the European Union are estimated to have used illicit drugs at least once in their lifetime. This should be regarded as a minimum estimate due to reporting biases.
  • Experience of drug use is more frequently reported by males (50.6 million) than females (32.8 million).
  • The most commonly tried drug is cannabis (47.6 million males and 30.9 million females).
  • Much lower estimates are reported for the lifetime use of cocaine (9.6 million males and 4.3 million females), MDMA (6.8 million males and 3.5 million females) and amphetamines (5.9 million males and 2.7 million females).
  • Levels of lifetime use of cannabis differ considerably between countries, ranging from around 4 % of adults in Malta to 45 % in France.
  • Last year drug use provides a measure of recent drug use and is largely concentrated among young adults. An estimated 17.4 million young adults (aged 15-34) used drugs in the last year (16.9 %), with about twice as many males (21.6 %) as females (12.1 %) reporting doing so.
  • The prevalence of high-risk opioid use among adults (15-64) is estimated at 0.35 % of the EU population, equivalent to 1 million high-risk opioid users in 2019.
  • There were 510 000 clients in opioid substitution treatment in 2019 in the European Union. Opioid users accounted for 26 % of drug treatment requests.
  • Opioids were involved in 76 % of the fatal overdoses reported in the European Union for 2019

For complete report go to European Drug Report 2021 | International Society of Substance Use Professionals (issup.net)

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UK: Name and Shame Drug Users to Reduce Organised Crime

To Start, Win or End the ‘War on Drugs’?

A crack-down on recreational drug users could help take the money and guns out of the hands of Irish gangs, according to commentator John McGuirk.

He was speaking after the UK Home Secretary Priti Patel urged senior police to “name and shame” middle-class drug users as part of a crack-down on recreational drug use.

She asked police to target cocaine use at universities and “make an example” out of recreational users to drive home the message that there are consequences for taking drugs.

On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Gript Editor John McGuirk said he was in favour of taking things “a little bit further.”

‘Name And Shame’ Drug Users To Reduce Organised Crime – John McGuirk

   “I think if you look at so-called middle-class drug use which is really just commercial drug use – the end-user of drugs, whether they be middle class, upper class or lower class – that person is essentially paying and providing the funding that places the weapons into the hands of people who shoot and kill in gangland and other murders that cause mayhem in parts of Ireland and parts of society that these users never reach,” he said.

“If you look at, say the gangland killings we have had in Ireland over the last five to ten years and you want to find out who is responsible, well, the first people who are responsible are obviously the people who pull the trigger – but the second tier of responsibility for that goes to the people who are funding it.

“The people who are funding it are the sons and daughters often of very wealthy middle-class bankers and judges and lawyers and politicians and there has to be some responsibility for that.”

He suggested drug users should be targeted in the same manner as drug smugglers.

“Ultimately the problem here is that we have one standard for the people supplying the drugs and an entirely different standard for the people using them,” he said.

For complete interview go to ‘Name and shame’ drug users to reduce organised crime – John McGuirk | Newstalk

This #DemandReduction strategy is a just and equitable one. Journalist and Author Peter Hitchens as back as 2013 made this exact complaint in his book, ‘The War We Never Fought – Drugs’.

The notion of going after ‘dealers’ whilst essentially giving a free pass to the users who are driving the demand is counterproductive and, Hitchens rightly claims, specious in its motive. The real culprits in all this are those creating the demand for supply. This Hitchens posits brilliantly in his lecture at Festival of Dangerous Ideas 2013: Peter Hitchens – There is No War on Drugs

In 2015 the U.K’s National Crime Agency put together a brilliant three minute video title ‘How to Make Cocaine’. The parody was not only clever and poignant in its humour, but very challenging in its message – it both calls out and calls to, the cocaine (and any other recreational user of drugs) to think how their ‘personal choice’ is not a ‘victimless crime’, and in reality is fuelling greater and greater community, family, environmental and economic harms to our nation.

It is time again, to Name and Shame! Our nations, communities, families, and most of all, children – all deserve much better than this.

Team @NoDecriminalize

 

 

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Global: Opioid Overdoses and Drug Deaths

Severe Opioid Overdoses Rose by Nearly a Third During Pandemic

Opioid overdose-related visits to U.S. emergency departments rose by nearly one-third during the COVID-19 pandemic last year.

That’s the key finding in a new analysis of data from 25 emergency departments in Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, North Carolina, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

“COVID-19, and the disruptions in every part of our social and work lives, made this situation even harder by increasing the risk of opioid misuse and relapse because people were separated from their social support and normal routines,” said senior study author Molly Jeffery, a researcher at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

The study revealed that opioid overdose-related emergency department visits rose 28.5% last year, compared to 2018 and 2019. The raw numbers in the study were 3,486 in 2020; 3,285 in 2019; and 3,020 in 2018.

The researchers tied opioid overdoses to one in every 313 ER visits last year, compared with one in 400 in the previous two years.

For complete article go to Web MD

Drug deaths in Scotland up for seventh year

Deaths from drug misuse in Scotland have risen for the seventh year in a row, hitting a new high and confirming that the nation has the biggest addiction problem in Europe.

Last year 1,339 people died directly as a result of taking drugs, up by 75 from 2019 and three times the death toll a decade ago.

Opioids remained the most deadly substance last year, but one in three drug deaths involved cocaine, up from one in 20 eight years ago.

For more got to TIMES UK

 

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Let’s Unleash Another Sanctioned Toxin into the Culture – Legalize Weed???

Let’s not let facts get in the way of a good propaganda juggernaut!

The ‘War on Drugs Has Failed’ mantra, like all well-worn memes got traction, and whilst there may be a modicum of truth in some cultural contexts, for most of the western world, there has been no ‘war on drugs’ – In reality, the last 10 years we have seen an ever increasing ramping up with a War FOR Drugs!

Decriminalization, Legalization and/or Medicalization are all aims and outcomes of pro-drug advocates and their ‘normalization’ agenda.

Time in this post will not permit a complete foray into this long standing and relentless strategy, and who is behind it, suffice to say these actors are key proponents…

More than that, it is important to remember when manipulating a culture, relentless bombardment with propaganda is only one aspect of a culture seducing or intimidating action. Another core strategy is the ignoring, denying or rewriting of history to suit the new narrative. When it comes to legal drug use we need to take a long hard look at what has been.

The following clip is just one short foray into that dark history, of a legalisation experiment that was run and done, and with awful consequences – The current opioid crisis is a ‘pharmaceutical’ version of an opiate industry that crippled one entire nation and made another rich. When it comes to the addiction for profit sector, a small group reap all financial benefits, whilst the majority either suffer the harms of drug use, or have to carry the fiscal burden for the inevitable and growing short and long-term harms.

The current Cannabis Industry cash grab and the ensuing chaos unleashed onto the largely pot-propaganda blind-sided public, has been disturbing to say the least. The idea that legalizing this so utterly ‘unnatural’ product was going to reduce crime, make money, and not increase social, community of health harms was a fairy tale sold as ‘reality’ to the unwitting majority non-drug using public.

Co-Founder & President of Smart Approaches to Marijuana shares some insights into just a couple of the key issues of deep concern surrounding the legalization push in the following video vignettes.

Kevin hits one of the classis ‘old chestnuts’ of the juxtapose between alcohol and weed – the notion that parity needs to be created, ‘because alcohol is legal, why not weed?’ Again, the through answer to that poorly thought through suggestion is long, but the following snapshot gives us all a clear answer as to why that is a bad idea – unless of course you’re living in the SMOKESCREEN of toxic Cannabinoid Combustion.

If #ScienceMatters and you want to get facts, not the pot-propaganda, then you can’t use ‘stoner logic’, you must use non-intoxicated reason and diligence to find what is best-practice for your children, family and community.

Team @ Dont Legalize Drugs

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Global: Fentanyl Crisis – Harm Reduction ONLY Models Fail Everyone!

Fentanyl addiction is killing my son. But California drug laws enable him instead of helping.

Jacqui Berlinn – July 28, 2021,

Fentanyl is killing my son, Corey. There was a time when I wouldn’t admit that. Shame kept me silent. But things have changed. I am desperate now.

For years he suffered addiction to opiates, including heroin. More recently, my adult son has started to use fentanyl. He has deteriorated more in a few months on fentanyl than he ever did in 10 years on heroin. I’m scared I will lose him. He tells me that so many of his street friends have died of overdoses. My son has overdosed numerous times. Narcan saved his life. He says he doesn’t want to die. He says his friends didn’t want to die, either.

Corey has been stabbed twice – once his lung was punctured so badly, he nearly died. Drug dealers sometimes carry machetes. He was assaulted with a machete.

My son gets his drugs in San Francisco. Specifically, in the Tenderloin area. Harm reduction combined with the open-air drug market makes it incredibly easy to remain addicted to drugs. Needles, foil and fentanyl are available. Is it an addicted person’s heaven or an addicted person’s hell? My son says it’s the latter.

My son is in bondage

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 times more potent than heroin. It’s cheap to manufacture and goes a long way. Drug overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids like fentanyl more than doubled from 2015 to 2016 alone.

Dealers add it to drugs on the street. They added it to my son’s heroin without his knowledge. Now they have chained him to his death if he doesn’t break free.

Some would say that my son needs to have the will to get well, that he needs to choose to take the steps to sobriety. They have no idea just how difficult that is. For many people with drug addictions, it takes only a few hours of sobriety before they get dope sick – a severe, sometimes fatal condition of opiate withdrawal. During that two-hour window, he would have to navigate getting to a program with an open bed. He can’t call because his phone has been stolen. He has no car, nor funds to get to the clinic – if he even knew or remembered where one might be.

When Corey isn’t sober, he isn’t clear-headed enough to make a choice for his own well-being. He is sick in body and in mind. Asking him to choose sobriety when he is in the stupor of a fentanyl high is like asking an infant to choose not to suckle. My son is in bondage, but there is a way out for him. He just isn’t well enough to see it let alone navigate through it.

The only way my son will escape his addiction is if he is coerced or mandated to get treatment. My hope is that he will be arrested and offered rehabilitation as an alternative to jail, but laws passed in California make that highly unlikely.

California laws downplay addiction

Passed in 2014, Proposition 47 downgraded drug possession to a misdemeanor instead of a felony. It also cut jail sentences for people who shoplift less than $950.

Many big-city district attorneys, including San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin, will rarely prosecute drug crimes. Removing these pressures allows open-air drug scenes to flourish while dealers peddle their poisons with near impunity.

I know that a single protest won’t bring the change I hope for. I continue to raise my voice, along with others. Last month we protested in Venice Beach. In August we head to Sacramento. I started StopFentanylDeaths.org so others can gather more information and get involved.

My son is kind and bright and funny. He can recite most of “The Princess Bride” while imitating the characters. He played saxophone and was in his high school marching band. He participated in the swim team and loved to read.

If you saw Corey today, you wouldn’t see that person. You would see a “junkie” or you would try not to see him at all. He tells me most people ignore him or look at him in disgust. It was after high school graduation that he made some bad choices and took a few risks, but having a drug addiction doesn’t mean he deserves to die in the streets. He is sick and needs help. It’s only a matter of time before he takes the one fatal dose that will take him from me forever.

Jacqui Berlinn is the co-founder of Stop Fentanyl Deaths. Berlinn’s son knows she speaks up publicly on his behalf, hoping to prompt him to come home and enter a treatment plan toward sobriety.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: San Francisco drug laws keep people addicted to fentanyl in bondage

For complete story Fentanyl addiction is killing my son. But California drug laws enable him instead of helping. (yahoo.com)

Also read…

Open Drug Use Has Exploded in San Francisco

San Francisco Major Wants Answers )

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