Category Archives: Editorial

US Created Drug Problem by Overdoing ADHD, Drugs

As we hear of more and more drug overdoses, kids in addiction treatment, marijuana psychosis and sudden deaths with designer drugs, we need to ask how did the United States get itself into such a mess? How did we send our youth down this dangerous path?

Between 1979 and 1992 marijuana usage among American teens went down. The Parents Movement and “Just Say No” campaign had an impact. What has gone wrong since that time?
We can look to a few big changes in the 1990s:

1) In 1990, President George H. W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act, a landmark piece of legislation that encouraged inclusiveness and has made life better for a large number of people with disabilities. CHADD, a group representing people with Attention Deficit Disorder lobbied successfully Continue reading US Created Drug Problem by Overdoing ADHD, Drugs

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Cannabidiol or CBD is not Same as Medical Marijuana

(Please read other articles of our series on the Medical Marijuana Hoax, Part 1: Jail, Part 2: Mental HealthPart 3: The Strategy)   Our position on is that there is an overuse of ADD and other drugs which is ironic since pro-pot advocates think we’re tied to pharmaceutical companies.

CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta left the wrong impression on many Americans when discussing marijuana, which is why the media needs to stop saying medical marijuana when they mean cannabidiol or CBD.  Marijuana is very different from cannabidiol, the marijuana derivative which Dr. Gupta advocates for treating some types of epilepsy in children.

The marijuana plant has more than 400 compounds, and at least 60 different cannabinoids which bind to receptors in our body. Cannabidiol is one of those 60 cannabinoids. Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is a different cannabinoid, the main psychoactive component and the one responsible for the “high” of marijuana.

The medical marijuana advocates have intentionally confused the public about medical marijuana research at this time. Cannabidiol has been isolated by a company in Great Britain and is being fast-tracked for approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Continue reading Cannabidiol or CBD is not Same as Medical Marijuana

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Medical Marijuana Risks

Editor’s Note: There is much misunderstanding about “medical” marijuana.  National Families in Action explains when a controlled substance becomes medicine. NFIA has also published some helpful leaflet on the difference between marijuana and “medical” marijuana.   

It’s hard to protect kids when the names of medical marijuana dispensaries are so enticing.  The stores using “health,” “wellness,” “medicinal” and “candy” in their titles make pot very alluring.  Imagine if a liquor store, tobacco store, or pharmacies did the same.  (See our investigation into medi-pot dispensaries.)

In states with medical marijuana, 12-17 year-old teens use marijuana to a much greater degree than in states without medical marijuana.  States that voted down medical marijuana, Arkansas and South Dakota, have some of the lowest rates of youth marijuana usage. Before legalization in Colorado, a study showed that more than half the teen users surveyed said they had obtained pot from a medical marijuana ‘patient’.

Parents Opposed to Pot calls on those who support medical marijuana to address how to prevent substance abuse and secondary sales to children. The best laws have been adopted by state legislatures, as in New York and New Jersey.  Whenever there have been statewide votes, as in California, Oregon, Washington, and Colorado, the records for protecting children are poor.

Teen usage has been going up since 1996, when medical marijuana was voted upon in the 1st state, California.  Additionally, the teen perceptions of the risks in using marijuana have been going steadily downward since the 1991. Certain states with medical marijuana, especially  Vermont, Oregon and Colorado, also have some of the highest usage of opiate pills, cocaine and alcohol in children and adults.  It looks like marijuana is the gateway drug, when comparing state statistics for marijuana usage with all other drug usage.  Vermont has been having a heroin problem this year, and Oregon has had problems with pill abuse over the past several years.Marijuanausebystate

Testing and Approval of Drugs

As Americans have learned to expect easy, medicinal solutions to complex problems, the prescription drug and medical marijuana industries have grown.

While it is completely understandable that somebody that is sick, or the family of a patient, will want to use any means necessary to ease the pain and to cure, we would hope that there would be the correct information out there necessary to make a sound decision about the pros and cons of use.

Pharmaceutical drugs must undergo rigorous testing by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before approval.  During these tests, placebos can work almost as well as the drugs being tested.  Approved pharmaceutical drugs must warn of any and all potential side effects.

On the other hand, marijuana is recommended without warnings, and providers often do not need to prove their qualifications. Claims of cures by medical marijuana are promoted without testing.  The marijuana plant holds 480 chemical components.  If one component holds curative properties, another component could work against that property or have negative side effects.

Even if marijuana helps Multiple Sclerosis (MS), it also increases the brain fog in MS in patients.  Why aren’t we discussing side effects when we talk medical marijuana?   According to former Congressman Patrick Kennedy of Project SAM, the Institute of Medicine has concluded that if there is a future for marijuana as medicine, it lies in isolated components.

Epidiolex, a derivative of CBD in liquid form, is available to children with epilepsy in 10 states.  It  is being fast-tracked for FDA-approval, along with Sativex for Multiple Sclerosis.  Sativex, a derivative of marijuana will be used for as a tongue spray.  Both products were developed by GW Pharmaceuticals of Great Britain.

Conventional and Alternative Medicine

Getting a dog has been shown to be a very good solution for those who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress-Syndrome (PTSD).   Both yoga and dogs can bring back connectivity, open up energy and free blocked emotions.  Quite the opposite could occur with use of marijuana.  It may bring relief by numbing feelings even more, but it is known to harm memory and may not allow PTSD survivors a recovery back to their prior state of functioning.

There are problems with conventional treatments for cancer, but there are also problems with alternative treatments for cancer. The marijuana lobby has yet to explain why marijuana is often not the drug of choice for cancer patients in medical marijuana states.   Is it because there are better drugs out there?  Marinol, a synthetic marijuana, has been available to address the nausea and vomiting from cancer treatments and AIDs.

In Montana a few years ago, Cashy Hyde’s father claimed to have cured his son of cancer using cannabis oil.  Sadly,  the boy eventually died, after dramatic announcements that he had been cured.  The constant nurture and love from his parents probably helped to extend his life.  Any parent may have tried the same thing, maybe preferring it over harsh chemotherapy treatments.

When reading about the remarkable claims advocates of medical marijuana propose, please remember the placebo effect.  We don’t know why placebos cure some people and not others.   It could be the power of belief, or the result of a person’s own immune system having the ability to fight the disease.

Diet change can treat many of the autoimmune diseases which medical marijuana advocates list as conditions to be treated with marijuana: Crohn’s Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Multiple Sclerosis.  Medical marijuana treatments address the symptoms of disease, rather than the underlying causes.  Diet and environmental changes can bring us closer to addressing the root causes of autism, autoimmune disease and epilepsy.

The ketogenic diet is a very successful means of controlling Dravet’s Syndrome and other types of epilepsy in children, a fact not discussed by those advancing medical marijuana.

Sometimes psychiatric medications are blamed for the actions of disturbed mass killers, such as Adam Lanza.   However,  James Holmes, Jared Loughner and Johar Tsarnaev were heavy marijuana users.  Even the recent Santa Barbara killer, Elliot Rodger, had made a video about using marijuana every day.

We do not know the extent to which marijuana or pharmaceutical drugs contribute to teen violence.  While the pharmaceutical industry has flaws, at least rigorous testing is required.  The government has the ability to take a drug off the market.

Where’s the Expertise?

In this day and age, when people want miracles and pharmaceutical drugs can fall short of expectations, the marijuana industry looks for potential openings.

All claims of marvelous, miraculous cures need to be viewed with skepticism, whether considering pharmaceutical medicine or marijuana as medicine.

The push to reschedule marijuana from a schedule I to schedule II drug comes from Rick Doblin, the same person who wanted the FDA to approve MDMA (Ecstasy) as medicine.  Doblin holds a  PhD in Political Science.  He doesn’t have the credentials you’d expect from someone making medical judgments.

The designation of marijuana as a Schedule I drug, meaning “high probability of abuse,”  was upheld by the Federal Appeals Court for the DC Circuit, on January 22, 2013.  Three pot advocacy groups had appealed a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ruling of July 8, 2011, a ruling backed up by evidence by the Department of Health and Human Services.   Previous reviews were in 1972 and 1986.  Pot has become more potent since that time.  There were 455,000 hospital emergency room visits for marijuana in 2011, a reason the FDA  and Health and Human Services are reluctant to change.

The decision-making should come from the health and medical professions, using their expertise, not from political advocates.

Most doctors don’t agree with medical marijuana, but some see isolated components of the plant most helpful . The Pro-Con website lists 105 double-blind studies, and the conclusions from these studies are inconclusive: 40% suggest it can be helpful, 30% find no possible medical usage and 30% find it neither favorable or unfavorable.

If your state has a referendum, study the details.  How does it protect children and prevent profiteering in the secondary markets?

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The Real Reason Pot is Illegal is Not Simple

Some supporters of legalized marijuana say the opposition has a financial incentive.   Should we assume those who support marijuana legalization are only inspired by the idea of making money from it?  “Where Commerce Meets Revolution” was the title of the Cannabis Industry Association’s meeting in Denver June 24-25.

Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow, blames drug laws for the incarceration of too many black men.  However, now she is blaming the middle-aged white men who stand to make all the money off of marijuana legalization.  (George Soros’ Open Society Foundations funded Alexander’s book. )   The marijuana industry which started as a hippie, outsider, counterculture idea is now a dream of the gray-suited businessmen.

On Sunday, July 6 The Nation printed an article entitled “The Real Reason Pot is Still Illegal,” which suggested that the national prevention and treatment groups want marijuana illegal simply because they are taking corporate donations and entering into partnerships with pharmaceutical companies.  (Soros’ Open Society Foundation also funds The Nation in part.  Since Soros believes in marijuana legalization, one wonders if groups who take his money are expected to advocate for his views.)

It is amazing that a journalist would analyze a story from only one perspective and not realize that all issues are multi-dimensional.   Previously, the same author, Lee Fang, had written an article about the money given to oppose marijuana legalization in Colorado, suggesting that most of it had come from a donor who was involved with a rehabilitation group which was operating more than 20 years ago.   The New York Times or Washington Post would not use 20-year old stories to discuss current issues.

CADCA Responds

The chairman of Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA )sent a letter to its members to address the slanderous article.  In his words:

“The author compares prescription drugs, particularly opioid pain medications, and marijuana, suggesting that pharmaceutical companies are supporting our work because the medicalization of pot represents a threat to their bottom line. The author also suggests that CADCA is not doing enough to battle opioid abuse, because we receive some funding from pharmaceutical companies. In fact, just the opposite is the case – our funding from the industry allows us to help offset the costs of our two major training events and to develop a number of products and initiatives designed to prevent and reduce medicine abuse. In total, support from the over-the-counter and pharmaceutical medicine industries combined is less than 7 percent of CADCA’s revenue. CADCA believes that the industry has a responsibility to help address and mitigate the complex issues surrounding our nation’s tragic prescription drug abuse crisis.

However, CADCA’s positions are not influenced by any outside organization. CADCA takes its direction from our Board of Directors, our Coalition Advisory Committee, and our membership base. Each group has asked CADCA to provide community leaders with tools to address both medicine abuse and marijuana.

We believe prescription drug abuse is a major epidemic, a point for which we have been sounding the alarm since 2001. More than a decade ago, CADCA published its first prescription drug abuse prevention toolkit to help community leaders address this problem. Every October, we ask our coalitions and partners to join us in a solutions-oriented national dialogue about OTC and Rx drug abuse through National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month.

In the Nation article, the reporter makes a bizarre leap, attempting to connect resources received from pharmaceutical companies to our efforts to reduce youth marijuana use. CADCA believes that the U.S. “experiment” with medical and retail marijuana is a grave concern, particularly in that these efforts will increase youth marijuana use, which is damaging to the adolescent brain. The fact is CADCA receives no outside funding to do our marijuana-related policy work.

The reporter conveniently failed to mention the extensive prescription drug abuse training CADCA provides or the significant policy work we do. Omitted from the article is mention of the times CADCA has testified at Congressional hearings about ways to comprehensively prevent prescription drug diversion, abuse and addiction, as well as the various instances CADCA has supported legislation aimed at reducing medicine abuse.

The title of this article alone tells you where the real agenda lies. Sadly, we know many of you have faced the same kind of attacks at the local level. We stand by our positions and our prevention work on both fronts. In this instance, we take this article as a badge of honor that what we are doing is right and is having an impact.”

Poppot’s Position

Since an epidemic of prescription pain pill abuse in the 21st century came from over-prescribing these medications, it is correct to address the problem and work on prevention.  CADCA, which works in communities, provides many ways to address the abuse of opioid pills.  We applaud the pharmaceutical industry for addressing pain-pill abuse, a problem that is an outgrowth of their business.  We don’t deny they want to make money, too.  We believe they have been more responsible than the marijuana industry.

Parents Opposed to Pot warns against becoming a culture of pain, and a culture of escapism, which can be caused by both marijuana and too many pain pills.

Parents Opposed to Pot believes that a legalized marijuana industry would prey on the most vulnerable–children, teens and minorities –while adding to the problem of addiction today.

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