Tag Archives: Debbie Wasserman Schultz

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

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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.

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