A doctors’ group is taking on cannabis education. On May 20, 2021, the International Academy on the Science and Impact of Cannabis (IASIC) officially launched with a press conference held in San Diego and live streamed across the country.
President of the newly-launched group IASIC, Dr. Eric Voth, is no stranger to addiction and drug policy work. In his forty years involved in the fields of Internal Medicine, Pain Medicine and Addiction Medicine, he confidently asserts, “…We’ve seen marijuana become a serious public health problem…Today, as a direct result of rigorous efforts to legalize and normalize marijauna, it is responsible for a host of medical problems.”
Colorado State Representative Judy Amabile of Boulder gave riveting personal testimony of her son on May 26. Along with many others, she spoke in favor House Bill 21-1317, “Regulating Marijuana Concentrates.”
She described how her son began using Colorado marijuana in 8th grade. He had his first psychotic break at 18. He now has schizoaffective disorder. “Let’s not talk about him today. It’s too late for him. Let’s talk instead about your children and thousands of other children who are negatively being impacted by the use of marijuana,” she said.
Speaking for all families affected by today’s high potency pot, she continued, “We are done being shamed and blamed into silence.”
Finally, a parent in a position to make a difference gave a story comparable to those told on Parents Opposed to Pot, Moms Strong and Johnny’s Ambassadors. Many parents testified in favor of the House bill. Some of their children survived marijuana, but others, such as Johnny Stack, did not.
The bill passed in the committee and then the Colorado House last week. Rep. Yadera Caraveo of Thornton, Rep. Tim Geitner of Falcon and House Speaker Alec Garnett of Denver co-sponsored the legislation.
The Denver Gazette wrote an article about the bill’s content and Rep. Judy Amabile’s remarkable speech. The bill passed the entire Colorado House of Representatives and a version is currently being debated in the Senate.
In the Senate testimony, Kirk Quitter, principal of a Boulder Valley High Schoo, said that he’s witnessed several psychotic breaks in school. “We’re gambling away our kids for money,” he exclaimed. Let’s hope the Senate uses its conscience and rubberstamps this bill.
A summary of the bill.
“The bill requires the Colorado School of Public Health to do a systematic review of the scientific research related to the physical and mental health effects of high-potency THC marijuana and concentrates. The bill creates a scientific review council to review the report and make recommendations to the general assembly. Based on the research and findings, the Colorado School of Public Health shall produce a public education campaign for the general public, to be approved by the council, regarding the effect of high-potency THC marijuana on the developing brain and mental health.”
The good news comes from a study finding that the inequality in sentencing between blacks and white drug offenders has gone down to zero. That conclusion was published March 15, 2021, by Oxford University Press on behalf of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The study covers the years between 2009 and 2018, and it studied the federal court, rather than state court, system.
Warns Virginia Legislators Not to Ignore the True Costs and Harms
Merrifield, VA—February 8, 2021–Opponents to the Virginia bills which will permit 400 retail marijuana shops and home grows in neighborhoods around the state, are hearing some alarming arguments in favor of the idea. Parents Opposed to Pot (PopPot), a drug prevention campaign, responds to the erroneous information currently being accepted by some legislators.
The reasons constituents are being given for supporting the legislation (SB 1406 and HB 2312) are in bold. What follows are the PopPot rebuttals:
There has not been an increase in the use of marijuana in states with legalization.
The recently released SAMHSA National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH 2018-2019) shows that drug use doubles when a state legalizes. MomsStrong.org recently published a helpful chart of this data. In the state of Colorado about 20% of teens use marijuana regularly, and half of those teens have progressed to the more dangerous high THC concentrates. These psychoactive drug products manufactured and sold by the marijuana industry include vapes and edibles. In jurisdictions where there is a high density of marijuana shops the rate is even higher. In Pueblo, Colorado, known as the Napa Valley of marijuana, the youth rate is 35%, and in Denver the rate is 25% for teens. Teens were not using these products before legalization.