Category Archives: Mental Health

US Public Broadcasters Cannabis Program Decried by Drug Prevention Advocates

NOVA PBS The Cannabis Question Fraught with Conflict of Interests – Soros and Koch influences over program downplay the harms of cannabis.

MERRIFIELD, VIRGINIA, USA, October 14, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — Parents Opposed to Pot (PopPot.org) calls out PBS’s science program NOVA, The Cannabis Question, for using Koch funding and Soros-funded sources when claiming to objectively explore cannabis science. NOVA’s documentary film aired on September 29, downplaying the major risks of marijuana, without mentioning the conflicts of interests of several featured “experts.”

This bias breaches the public trust in PBS and NOVA. “It is well established that marijuana can cause psychosis, ” explains Aubree Adams, Director of EveryBrainMatters.org, a project of PopPot.org.

Continue reading US Public Broadcasters Cannabis Program Decried by Drug Prevention Advocates

Poppot.org launches new website: Every Brain Matters

Can we tell our youth that, once they’re an adult, it’s ok to have a joint once every week,  just as drinking a glass of wine or beer once a week can be done without lasting harm?

The answer is no, particularly in regards to psychotic outcomes. Every Brain Matters, our new website, addresses all aspects of the drug policy, with a special emphasis on saving brains. Some individuals experience acute psychosis after their first use.   

A substantial percentage of the population cannot use marijuana without major adverse consequences.

The biggest risks from marijuana use are psychological risks, and these risks greatly increase if a person begins use when the brain is developing. Unfortunately, most North American youth have the wrong information and believe marijuana is relatively harmless.

The frequency of psychotic outcomes has increased exponentially during the 21st century. Stronger, more potent forms of marijuana have become the common forms sold in dispensaries and all efforts to cap the THC in commercial stores have failed in states with legal pot shops. The marijuana of the 1960s, 70s and 80s also triggered psychosis in some individuals, but less frequently. (For example, see two of our multi-part testimonies: A tale of two friends and Years of pot, drug addiction and homelessness.)

How the misconceptions affect drug policy

We shouldn’t make a policy based on the very few people who appear to use marijuana with impunity.  Family history and genetic testing cannot determine who will face adverse consequences.

We must reject all attempts to accept and normalize pot use, to open stores, and to legalize in the name of generating tax money, because every brain matters.  

Most of us think we shouldn’t control what people do in the privacy of the home. That belief doesn’t square off with the fact that most people have no idea how dangerous marijuana is.  They have no idea of the risks they’re taking when they’re starting and continuing to smoke pot, and Every Brain Matters corrects the misconceptions.    Keeping drugs illegal is a “harm reduction” policy.

Groups like Parents Opposed to Pot, Parent Movement 2.0  and One Chance to Grow up (Smart Colorado) have reached out to youth, warning of the dangers of early pot use. Many teens have come to the new idea of not using before age 18. They get the notion that marijuana can wait and then wait until senior year or age 19 or 20. This delayed use also comes with great risk, and marijuana actually is not safe for any age.

The Mission of Every Brain Matters

Every Brain Matters is a community and a unifying alliance of organizations and individuals that educate about the dangers of marijuana and the drug culture expansion.

We work together to bring about a cultural movement through advocacy, support/recovery, science, visual public awareness by encouraging the use of the EBM merchandise, and by promoting optimal brain and environmental health.

Please check out the website, everybrainmatters.org, and help us spread the message. There are numerous ways you can donate.

The link between cannabis concentrates and psychosis | Guest View

By Lauren Davis, published in the Edmonds Beacon, February 18, 2021

In 2012, Washington voters approved Initiative 502, legalizing cannabis. Back then, the black market was dominated by dried cannabis flower, with a potency of approximately 10%.

Dried cannabis flower is biologically limited to about 30% potency, and I-502 capped the potency of edibles at 10%.

But in an oversight of extraordinary proportions, there was no potency limit established for cannabis concentrates like THC-infused vape oils, shatter, and dab wax. Enter science, industry, business investors, and profit motivation and, today, concentrates with 99 percent potency are readily available at cannabis retailers.

According to researchers, these concentrates are “as close to the cannabis plant as strawberries are to Frosted Strawberry Pop-Tarts.” Cannabis concentrate sales have soared from 14% of the market share in 2015 to 37% in 2019.

I have devoted my professional and legislative career to mental health and substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery.

Spurred by reports of youth with cannabis-induced psychosis filling emergency departments and psychiatric wards and high school students having psychotic episodes after dabbing (inhaling), I began to delve into the research on cannabis and psychosis.

The literature is both definitive and damning. Washington’s leading cannabis experts at the University of Washington and Washington State University recently released a consensus statement summarizing the science:

“High potency cannabis use can have lifelong mental health consequences, which often manifest in adolescence or early adulthood. Daily cannabis use, particularly of high potency products, increases the risk of developing a psychotic disorder, like schizophrenia, and is related to an earlier onset of symptoms compared to people who do not use cannabis.”

During the 2020 legislative session, I introduced a bill to cap the potency of cannabis concentrates at 10%. This figure matched the limit for edibles and was a starting point for negotiation. The bill included an exemption for patients using high potency concentrates for medical purposes.

I had numerous meetings with cannabis industry representatives, and no one was aware of the psychosis link. Though they disagreed with my proposed solution, industry leaders were emphatic in their commitment to coming to the table as thoughtful partners to address this issue.

So, you can imagine my surprise when, instead of proposing more palatable policy solutions as promised, cannabis industry representatives testified before the House Commerce & Gaming committee that the research implicating cannabis in psychotic disorders is unfounded.

Borrowing from the well-worn playbooks of their forefathers, big tobacco and opioid manufacturers, cannabis business leaders attempted to poke holes in the science and offer alternative explanations.

In 1957, tobacco industry director Clarence Cook Little wrote: “No one has established that cigarette smoke, or any one of its known constituents, is cancer-causing to man.”

Sixty-three years later, cannabis industry leaders testified to our legislature that “cannabis use [is] not independently associated with psychosis.”

Modeling after Purdue Pharma, the opioid maker that wrote that addiction “is not caused by drugs … it is triggered in a susceptible individual by exposure to drugs,” the cannabis industry tried to offer a counter theory – that it is people who have a genetic predisposition for psychotic disorders who are developing them and then using cannabis to self-medicate.

That theory has been debunked by studies that account for family history and still show a significant increase in psychotic disorders from cannabis use.

I never anticipated the cannabis industry would enthusiastically agree to a low potency limit. I only expected them to make good on their word – to show up as earnest partners in addressing their product’s role in one of the largest emerging health crises of our time.

When the industry’s opening move is to spit on the consensus of the scientific community in the spirit of climate deniers, it’s difficult not to question the sincerity of their espoused commitment to public health.

I’ve introduced House Bill 1463, which caps the potency of cannabis concentrates at 30% and raises the age of purchase for concentrates from 21 to 25. Washington’s cannabis industry now has a second chance to act with integrity and come to the table as problem solvers.

It is only the fate of our children with which we are gambling.

Rep. Lauren Davis (D-Shoreline) serves northern King County and a portion of Edmonds in the 32nd Legislative District. She was the founding executive director of the Washington Recovery Alliance and taught UW’s graduate mental health policy course.

Fix What You Can: A Letter to My Granddaughter

Young Brains & Marijuana

Originally written for Mindy Greiling’s blog,

A Letter to my fifteen-year-old granddaughter

Dear Taylor,

I learned a lot about marijuana and mental illness at a recent National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Conference. I want to share some of it with you while it’s still fresh on my mind, because it scared me. I don’t want you to get schizophrenia like your Uncle Jim.

When I was young, I pooh-poohed scare tactics about marijuana. I only used it once, however, because I didn’t want to get in legal trouble. The information we have now is much more based in science and much more dire than what we were told as kids.  Marijuana is three times stronger than it was then, according to University of Minnesota and hospital doctors who presented at the conference. Apparently it’s not as harmless as I thought either, especially for young people. They said that marijuana use hijacks normal brain development Continue reading Fix What You Can: A Letter to My Granddaughter