Category Archives: Politics

Marijuana Lobby Plays Retribution and Slander to the Max

The Power and Deception of the Marijuana Lobby

Since the marijuana industry bought off ALL of the companies authorized to collect petition signatures in Colorado, it’s not surprising how deep corruption runs through that industry.   Some dirty  tactics have been going on for years.   (Please read Part 1 and Part 2 of exposing the deceptive tactics of the marijuana industry.)

In 2012, Oregon Attorney General candidate Dwight Holton was defeated in the Democratic primary, because he had inspired the wrath of the marijuana industry.   Only 25% of Oregon’s Democrats voted, but that success gave marijuana lobby the boost it needed to threaten anyone who would dare go against them.

Pro-pot groups also claimed that they defeated California Attorney General candidate Steve Cooley in 2010.  Cooley was no friend to medical marijuana violators in southern California.  He lost in a very close race that took weeks to count.

2012: “The Wrath of the Weed Vote”

The Oregon Attorney General’s race shows how vindictive the marijuana lobbyists really are.  Dwight Holton, former acting US Attorney for Oregon, was highly regarded as a prosecutor (pictured below). But he also prosecuted marijuana violations, while opponent Ellen Rosenblum promised to go lightly on “medical” marijuana, and even courted the marijuana businesses.  She won.  The biggest contributors to her campaign were Drug Policy Action and John Sperling, founder of University of Phoenix and a billionaire marijuana contributor.  Citizens for Sensible Law Enforcement, a marijuana legalization group, spent more $53,000 in radio ads against Holton.  The political reason to oppose Holton was that he was a relative newcomer to the state of Oregon, but the true reason he lost was that the marijuana  forces came out to defeat him.

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Dwight Holton ran for Attorney General in Oregon, but lost because he faced “the wrath of the weed vote.:”  He is now CEO of Lines of Life, a non-profit committed to the prevention of suicide.

In fact, a headline earlier this year reminded politicians of Dwight Holton’s fate and warned that lists will be kept of those who support local marijuana bans in Oregon.  There’s much written about the corruption in the state’s marijuana businesses, both in the past and in the present.

Carmen Trutanich also “was one of a number of politicians to suffer the wrath of the weed vote” in the California primary on June 5, 2012.  In California, Los Angeles City Attorney Trutanich lost his bid for District Attorney because of his stance towards marijuana businesses, according to one of the marijuana blogs.

Since 2012, the marijuana lobby has promised backlash against politicians who aren’t with them.  By 2012, financiers such as Peter Lewis and George Soros were giving big donations to the legalization campaigns in Colorado and Washington.   This year Sean Parker has already given more than $2 million to the legalization effort in California.

Politicians who don’t support the marijuana industry’s agenda — using “medical” marijuana as a backdoor to full legalization — are accused of wanting people to die or wanting to send innocent people to jail. Those who are skeptical of the efficacy of “medical” marijuana are painted as individuals lacking compassion in well- orchestrated smear campaigns. In 2014, some politicians felt the backlash through dishonest television ads.  Using the word “compassion” helps initiatives pass, although in reality it’s about corruption and full of entirely different motives.

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Will politicians stop calling out graft and corruption in the marijuana industry because they face slander and revenge from the pot lobby?

The Television Ads

In 2014, Americans for Safe Access, a “medical” marijuana lobbying group (funded by Soros?), ran television advertisements on  MSNBC in Maryland and South Florida.  They targeted two members of Congress who voted “no” to the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment in their districts, Republican Andy Harris of MD and Democrat Debbie Wasserman Schultz of FL. The Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment was the first major victory for the heavily-funded marijuana lobby.*

The ad that ran against Rep. Wasserman Schultz alleged that the Congresswomen thinks it’s ok for medical marijuana users to go to federal prison. It flashed an image across the screen of an elderly man and his wife, who has Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a fatal neurological disease.  It is well understood in legal circles that “patients” who use  “medical” marijuana for their own illnesses have never gone to jail.

Has anyone ever investigated how much the marijuana lobby pays “patients” to advertise and go on TV on behalf of medical marijuana?

The ad in Maryland claimed that Rep. Harris’ vote would result in sending Maryland’s patients to prison.  A voice said: “Congressman Andy Harris thinks it’s OK for medical marijuana patients to go to federal prison.” The ad was juxtaposed with the image of a 4-year-old boy who suffers from epilepsy and his mother.

Since that time, both Harris and Wasserman Schultz have made made some concessions in how they vote for medical marijuana.  The industry must be congratulating itself.  

We need more politicians who are brave and who stand up to this political corruption to protect the children.  The bravery of Steve Cooley, Dwight Holton, Carmen Trutanich, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Andy Harris, and Linda Newell in Colorado, is much appreciated.

*The Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment prohibits funds to the Drug Enforcement Agency (FDA) to be used for “medical” marijuana in states that have authorized state “medical” marijuana programs.

Marijuana Moguls Succeed in Buying Off Colorado Ballot

Big Marijuana, Big Victory……..Temporarily

It’s Democracy at it’s worst when Big Marijuana buys off the process for gathering signatures in Colorado. Today, supporters of proposed initiative 139, a measure aimed to place reasonable controls on the sale of recreational marijuana in Colorado, announced that they will withdraw their initiative from potential consideration on the November 2016 general election ballot.

“I witnessed the buy off of the voting process this week, ” explained Jo McGuire, Five Minutes of Courage, Colorado Springs.

The marijuana industry has made it too expensive to move forward.  The Cannabist reported that marijuana businesses raised more than $300,000 within a few days.  The initiative would have capped the level of THC in marijuana at 16%.   Since marijuana was much weaker in the 1970s, 2-4% THC,  it’s hard to understand why 16% limit would anger the industry.   Amendment 139 was a health and safety plan to bring the number of emergency room hospitalizations down and possibly avoid at least some of the deaths caused by psychotic shooting sprees and other reactions to marijuana.   There is no money to be made in harm reduction, so supporters were not trying to make a profit.

“The Marijuana Moguls put a pile of campaign cash on the table and won. Our kids, and our communities are in crisis, for now,”  lamented Ron Castagno, a former Jefferson County high school principal one of the initiative’s designated representatives.

The move comes on the heels of a successful effort by the marijuana industry to stall the process and buy off signature gatherers to keep the initiative from moving forward.  After a two month delay, the Colorado Supreme Court unanimously rejected the claims concocted by the marijuana industry.

In addition to Castagno, the other mover behind the ballot was Denver mother Ali Pruitt.   She said: “As disappointed as I am to shelve these critical public safety reforms for now, we simply couldn’t go toe-to-toe with the Marijuana Moguls who committed tens of millions to defeat our common-sense controls on the sale of recreational marijuana.”

Supporters who developed Amendment 139 are also announcing that a new coalition is forming to hold Big Marijuana accountable. “We are not done,” emphasized Sue Anderson of the Healthy Colorado Coalition.

“With the initiative option off the table for 2016, it’s time for our elected leaders to stand with men like Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and recognize the harm that legalized pot has had on our state, and more importantly, to end their excuses and rein in an out-of-control marijuana industry.”    Denver has been forced to pay a security firm $650,000 in addition to its police force to keep it’s streets and malls safe.

“The commercialized marijuana industry once again showed that they are willing to put their profits ahead of the safety of our children and our communities,”  Castagna concluded.

For more information, contact: info@healthycoloradocoalition.org 720-931-3700

Coalition of Health Organizations Urges DNC to Reject Marijuana

Smart Approaches to Marijuana and a broad coalition of organizations working to prevent and treat substance abuse sent a letter today to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) ahead of their decision on their party platform, including marijuana policy.  Former Representative Patrick Kennedy , Honorary Chair of SAM, who once chaired the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, signed the letter.

Faces and Voices of Recovery (FAVOR), the National Alliance of Alcohol and Drug Counselors (NAADAC), Treatment Alternatives for Safer Communities (TASC), Phoenix House, CeDAR and The Hills Treatment Center represented the recovery community in urging politicians not to legalize drugs.

“The DNC should resist any calls to legalize drugs,” said Kevin Sabet, a former advisor to the Obama Administration and current President of SAM, a bipartisan organization dedicated to implementing science-based marijuana-policies. “The legalization of marijuana is about one thing: the creation of the next Big Tobacco.

The letter details how legalization has resulted in huge spikes in arrests of Colorado youth from communities of color-up 29 percent among Hispanics from 2012 (pre-legalization) to 2014 (post-legalization), and up 58 percent among Black youth in the same timeframe-while arrests of White children fell.  Additionally, there has been a doubling of the percentage of marijuana-related traffic fatalities in Washington in just one year after legalization (2013 to 2014). Emergency poison control calls related to marijuana from 2013 to 2014 in both Colorado and Washington rose, by 72 percent and 56 percent, respectively, and there has been a 15 percent average annual increase in drug and narcotics crime in Denver since 2014.

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Kevin Sabet was interviewed by Arizona radio host Seth Leibsohn on June 21, when he compared the health effects of marijuana to the worst of alcohol and tobacco combined. Arizona is another state targeted for legalization by the marijuana industry in 2016.

 

“The pot lobby has successfully fought off Colorado’s attempts to regulate advertising targeting children, rules restricting the use of pesticides, and rules to limit marijuana potency. This same lobby is now exporting these tactics to other states in November,” said Jeffrey Zinsmeister, Executive Vice President of SAM. “This assault on health and safety regulations is no less than a repeat of Big Tobacco’s tactics from t he 1960s and 1970s.  Parents Opposed to Pot is concerned that the Democratic Party’s platform (as worded) will protect marijuana businesses and their profits at the expense of children and teens.  Legalization policies in Colorado and Washington reveal that businesses can be quite unscrupulous in the way they advertise and locate.  For example, a medical marijuana dispensary in Colorado is currently operating next door to an “alternative” high school for students with special needs.

 

A draft of the platform could be interpreted by some as an endorsement of marijuana legalization and/or expansion.  The specific wording, as shown in the letter to the DNC Chair and platform committee, is vague.  (Although decriminalization and legalization are not the same thing, many people use these terms interchangeably.)

Parents Opposed to Pot wonders why marijuana, a major drug of abuse, would be promoted during the time of a drug epidemic.  Another section of the platform addressed the opioid drug abuse, but refused to deal with the gateway effects of marijuana and alcohol and to educate accordingly. US government statistics show that at least 66% who overdose began their illicit drug use with marijuana.

Kevin Sabet explains the marijuana industry, “Marketers cleverly package pot candies to make them attractive to kids, and pot shops do nothing to improve neighborhoods and communities. Moreover, there are other, more effective ways to address questions of racial justice and incarceration. So does the DNC want to be known for fostering the next tobacco industry, or will it stand with the scientific community, parents, and public health?”

 

Major anti-drug organizations stand in unity with SAM and against all drug abuse and addiction. Executive officers of the Drug Free America Foundation (DFAF), National Families in Action (NFIA), Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA, Community Alliances for Drug-Free Youth (CADFY), the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), National Association of Addiction Professionals co-signed the letter, as did Dr. Robert DuPont, Founding Director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) and President of the Institute of Behavior and Health

On Marijuana Oils and Misleading Promises

Is the Marijuana Lobby Trying to Buy Your Legislature and Your Votes?

If marijuana has a medical application that can be proven, Merck and Pfizer will probably see the benefit of getting into the 4.2 billion dollar business.   Marijuana companies, like pharmaceutical companies,  contribute heavily to politicians and lobbying efforts.  Unlike the pharmaceutical industry, they don’t go through a rigorous testing and approval process.  The marijuana industry uses pesticides, even banned pesticides, but it promotes itself as organic and natural.

Medical marijuana “caregivers” have no accountability and liability, and their lobbyists know it.  We think it is wrong when the marijuana industry lobbyists give parents with very sick children false hope.

Marijuana lobbyists should not be seen as having pure and “compassionate” motives, as they pretend.*   The public has a right to know that CBD for epilepsy does not always work.

The Press should investigate how much the marijuana lobby spends to advertise and go on TV on behalf of passing “medical” marijuana laws.

Treating Cancer with Marijuana Oils?

A few of the children treated with an artisanal CBD (cannabidiol, the derivative of marijuana used for epilepsy) have died,  and some of the children treated with cannabis oil for cancer also died.

In Montana a few years ago, Cashy Hyde’s father was featured on TV, saying his son had been cured of cancer using cannabis oil.  Sadly,  the boy eventually died, sometime after the startling announcement that he had been cured.  The constant nurture and love from his parents probably helped to extend his life.

A man in Iowa who advocated for marijuana also died of cancer.   In Australia, a little girl whose father had been treating her neuroblastoma with cannabis oil died in May.   Receiving constant love, attention and kind wishes from others sent good vibes into the world, but no medical professional thought it had an effect on the cancer.

It is understandable why some parents with little hope for their child would prefer such oils over harsh chemotherapy.

We do not criticize the parents for trying alternative treatments. However, advocacy for these parents should not be used to further the agenda of legalization.

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.

Parents Opposed to Pot objects to the tactics of marijuana lobbyists because:

  • They give partial truths, attempt to sway public opinion while hiding essential facts.
  • They engage in unfair defamation of character and advertising. Two years ago Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Rep. Andy Harris were targeted with cruel and slanderous attacks because of their votes regarding medical marijuana.  Rep. Wasserman Schultz recently voted to allow veterans to be allowed marijuana — although it makes PTSD worse.
  • They outpsend the opposition to marijuana legalization and target youth with their advocacy, while pretending to be grass roots.  Smart Approaches to Marijuana was founded after the vote to legalize in Washington and Colorado.
  • They intentionally use the term “medical marijuana” when they mean cannabidiol (CBD), which lacks the psychoactive qualities of regular marijuana.  The confusion justifies teens who “dab” with highly potent Butane Hash Oil BHO) because they believe it’s harmless and even medicinal.

(Read Part 1)

*The 1996 ballot in legalizing marijuana in California was called the Compassionate Use Act and people were led to believe it was only for terminally ill people with cancer and AIDS.   In reality, only 3-5% of the marijuana has been used for these conditions.