The growth of the Drug Policy Alliance’s influence and emphasis contributes to the staggering increase in overdose deaths. * DPA gets political mileage from using the term “war on drugs,” and turning it into a negative term. However, the USA officially abandoned the term eight years ago, and then the death rate began to rise.
Social Justice is a pretext, the handy catch phrase to get people to support the legalization of pot. The idea doesn’t come from disadvantaged minorities. “Marijuana legalization is the worst way forward to reforming drug policy for the minority community,” claims Will Jones, founder of Two is Enough D.C.
Jones, whose family has always been involved in the Civil Rights movement, is enraged by the social justice message. “If you aren’t a minority, maybe legalization does look ok because you’re not going to have the deluge of (pot) stores in your community,” Liquor shops are on every block in his neighborhood. Jones admonishes the marijuana industry for “cherry picking criminal justice issues to conveniently pick a statistic that helps them.” Of the places that voted to legalize pot, only Washington DC has managed to stay free of commercial pot stores.
It was easy to cut through the illusion by watching Ethan Nadelmann at the Democratic National Convention last summer. Nadelmann, director of Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), was bragging to his supporters about how profitable the marijuana industry is. At the end of the video, when the cameras was on him, he added “and don’t forget social justice.” It was an afterthought. He must have been joking.
Where’s the Real Social Justice in a Mind-Destroying Drug?
We question the sincerity of those who promote “social justice” as a reason to legalize marijuana. What is the “social justice” in promoting a substance that lowers your IQ, weakens memory and directly contributes to the mental illness as a causal factor? Even without drug testing, using pot makes some people lazy and less likely to get a job or hold onto it.
It’s unfortunate that blacks and Hispanics are arrested more frequently for pot than whites. Complex social problems like police bias never have simplistic solutions.
Alternatives that don’t involve Legalization
Convincing people that hundreds of thousands of people are in prison for marijuana use is one of the false narratives of the legalization movement. The Sacramento Bee recently investigated and couldn’t find a single low level marijuana offender in California prisons.
Those who believe in social justice, should look into policies to reduce drug-related crimes and its ugly bedfellow, drug addiction. Even if the “war on drugs didn’t work,” it’s false to claim legalization and incarceration are the only options. Those trying to legalize marijuana intentionally scramble the messages so the public confuses decriminalization with legalization.
Since legalization, the number of actual marijuana users has increased to 13% of people ages 12 and older. Thirty percent of those users, or 6 million people have Cannabis Use Disorder. The business model of increasing addiction and making money off of those who are addicted is working.
Investors and politicians claim that legalization can end the black market. Evidence from Colorado and Washington shows that cartels are emboldened by legalization and the black market still thrives.
Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) promotes a falsehood that marijuana is safer than alcohol, another delusion. Instead of encouraging less drug use, MPP, DPA, NORML and the ACLU manipulate opinion. Financial opportunists connected to these lobbies pretend pot is harmless and that arrest discrepancies will be solved by legalization. This marijuana industry and drug promotion organizations are devious, not compassionate.
Photo of Richard Tom by John Matrix. It originally appeared on another website, Bike List
The number of bicyclists hit and killed by stoned drivers, or critically injured, is growing. Of course it happens most frequently where marijuana is legalized or where there is medical marijuana. Congressman Earl Blumenauer is a big advocate for bicycling, a healthy activity at odds with the marijuana businesses he supports.
There were at least two fatal bicycling accidents in the Portland area involving impaired drivers this spring. Articles mention that the drivers were under influence but don’t reveal what substances caused the impairment. Stoned drivers are more common in the day while drunk drivers are usually out in the dark.
Kalamazoo, Michigan, June 7
The driver who killed five bicyclists near near Kalamazoo, Michigan on June 6, was high on drugs, legal drugs according to the prosecutors. It may have been “medical” marijuana which is legal in Michigan. Four more bicyclists were injured. MADD warns that “drugged” driving will overtake drunk driving as a cause of accidents by 2020. Marijuana is the most common drug found with drugged drivers.
In Berkeley, California, a terrible crash happened when a driver had just come from a medical marijuana dispensary. The woman was dragged and badly injured but she survived. It should be mentioned that Berkeley gives out marijuana to homeless residents, a program which makes it more difficult for them to get back on their feet.
California’s Proposition 64 is called the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. Anyone who believes that legalizing marijuana will keep it out of the hands of teenagers is nuts. At least three of these fatal crashes were caused by 17-year-old drivers. Sanctioning adult use of the substance means the children will use it more often and think it’s harmless.
A reporter for Parents Opposed to Pot did some investigating of medical marijuana dispensaries in the West. Here’s the report.
You don’t need a card to visit a medical marijuana dispensary, but I did obtain certification for the program. It’s easy. Anyone can obtain one. Just say you have pain, no proof required; headaches qualified me. Visits to more than 20 marijuana dispensaries in the West have been revealing, even a bit horrifying.
I asked them to educate me about marijuana. They are happy to comply and worked diligently to sell me their drugs. However, I brought up my concern about its addictive nature. They tell me I am wrong, it is not addictive, just a little bit psychologically addictive.
Wait a minute. That is exactly what addiction is –- psychological, a brain disease.
Asked if they are familiar with the diagnosis of “severe cannabis-use disorder, they tell me no, never heard of it, no such thing. Or they rationalize:
“That is just anti-cannabis lobby talk.”
“It’s just a medical billing code for a doctor to be reimbursed by health insurance.”
I ask if a user has to use more of the drug all the time to achieve the same “medical” results and they answer me yes sometimes, but that does not mean it is addictive or that tolerance is being built. They just like it more. I was told by one young man that he can quit any day but that he won’t because he just doesn’t like being “NOT stoned all day long.”
One young receptionist told me she has her program card for pain but she really uses pot for studying because she has never before studied as well as she does when stoned. The truth is that marijuana is known to harm the brain, not help it. Is she really studying better, or just thinking that?
I’ve been told that the doctor who oversees dispensaries has assured all of the staff and the patients that the drug is not addictive. I know current studies show otherwise and some state programs require the dispensary to give the customer a printed disclosure of the risks of addiction. Still they deny it.
In Colorado, the only requirement to be a medical marijuana provider must be age 21 or older. What other “professions” require no qualifications, no training?
The Arizona Medical Marijuana Program issues an annual report each year with revealing statistics. In 2014 71% of the cardholders used the drug for severe and chronic pain as their only need. 90% claimed chronic pain as one of their needs. The largest category of cardholders are males under the age of 30. It is sad that there is so much severe and chronic pain in young males.
In a medical marijuana clinic in Telluride, Colorado, a young woman became irritated with my questions and began discourse about alcohol being more dangerous than marijuana. I asked if their customers replace their alcohol use with marijuana. Here is when it got really shocking. She answered that she advised them to do the same thing she does: eat a marijuana edible before going to a bar, then drink. The name for that is cross-fading. Each substance magnifies the effect of the other.
I asked one dispensary manager why the Arizona Program has a high limit for the amount that can be purchased, roughly the equivalent of 10 joints per day. He answered “Some people are so sick they need that much”. He showed me a small bud that had been treated with extracts resulting in THC equivalent of 10 joints. Turbo pot. The state program limit is in grams, not in potency. He was showing me I can purchase FAR more than the equivalent of 10 joints per day. No one uses that much; the program has much potential for those who resell to others. A user can support drug habits of several within the limits of this program.
My investigation gave me some insight into why the marijuana industry has worked so hard to increase the potency of pot. A little bit goes a long way and the addiction potential is so much stronger.
My opinion? Medical marijuana programs in the West are recreational marijuana programs. Each expansion of marijuana laws invites more young people into addictive activity. Is that what you want for our children and grandchildren? Remember, when they enter a dispensary, they will not be cautioned about addiction. They will be encouraged to buy excessive quantities of pot. That’s what dispensaries do – sell drugs.