Tag Archives: Drug Policy Alliance

Our Growing Problem of Traumatized Children

Photos of passed out parents with toddlers have surfaced everywhere — the images of our addiction epidemic.  (Above photo is from the East Liverpool, Ohio, Police Department.) Though it’s often heroin, fentanyl or opiates that kill, most of the young people dying today began their illicit drug use with pot.  (Read Part 1,   Part 2 and Part 3. )  We have created a new generation of traumatized children.

“All of the parents I know who use marijuana are terrible parents,” a  fan of poppot.org’s, who is in her 20s, wrote to us recently.  Many newspapers have written about the children of the opioid crisis, but pot-using parents also contribute to the crisis.  We’ve tracked 80 child deaths related to caregivers’ marijuana use since November, 2012.

When those who were traumatized children put their own children in abusive situations, it’s easy to understand their failings.  Selena Hitt’s boyfriend accidentally shot her baby, after both of them had smoked pot. Selena had been raised in foster care.  Her mother died when she was very young, and most of the time her father was not available to care for her.

Policy More than other Factors Creates Problem of Drug Use

However, there’s a group of non-traumatized adults abusing their children because the United States has normalized the use of marijuana.  Because marijuana users can be detached from life and are susceptible to psychosis, it’s important not to use pot if you have children.

Up to eighty percent of child abuse and neglect involves substance abuse, a fact that violence prevention groups  often ignore.*  The denial is helpful to the strategy of making drug use socially acceptable.  NORML, Marijuana Policy Project and Drug Policy Alliance wish to normalize drug use.

The same groups that promote legalization suggest that harm reduction strategies work.  Policy based on harm reduction promotes “responsible use” of drugs, which doesn’t work.  Recently, a five-year-old drowned, because her babysitter used pot at 8:30 a.m. and stopped watching her.

The Widespread Problem of Traumatized Children

One of our Parents Opposed to Pot members in Colorado has a 13-year-old son who suffers from PTSD.   His older brother threatened and terrified him while in a marijuana-induced psychosis.   (The older son, now 17, is in recovery, while the younger son is being treated with EMDR for PTSD. )

Genetic and environmental factors that influence drug use are compounded by a society that normalizes drug use.    Our blog on suicides tells of teens and young adults who lived in environments that normalized marijuana use.  For the most part, they did not use marijuana because of trauma, although one was a veteran.

Many parents of these suffering children use drugs only because it’s social and considered harmless. Michael Goldsby, addictions instructor at College of the Redwoods said, “Risk factors for drug problems include availability of drugs, positive peer attitudes towards drug use [and] community norms that accept drug misuse. Drug and alcohol use is accepted and even encouraged in our community”  Goldsby teaches college in the Emerald Triangle region.

Drug-Related Deaths far Outnumber Deaths by Cars or Guns

The Center for Disease Control recently released statistics about accidental deaths:

52,404 drug-related deaths, up 11%.

37,757 died in car crashes, an increase of 12%.

36,252  gun deaths, including homicides and suicides

As we try to cope with a growing number of children affected by ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences), the United States is embarking on a program to legalize all drugs.  Little children are losing their parents at an alarming rate, adding to the trauma and ACE scores of the future.

Instead of protecting the people, politicians are allowing marijuana lobbyists to dictate policy.  (Billionaires, marijuana companies and pro-legalization groups donated more than $30 million to legalize marijuana in California.)   Professionals need to counter the media bias and bias in polls which favors drug legalization.

Taking away children from drug-using mothers is not the answer, because separation from the moms also creates traumatized children. Child protection workers are in a Catch 22 situation. Techniques described in Part 2 can perhaps help the children traumatized by parents’ drug use.

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*Our information is mainly from CASA Columbia.  A good current reference Ed Gogek’s book, Marijuana Debunked.  Several studies are mentioned in our six-part series on child abuse deaths related to pot.   Parents Opposed to Pot has tried to share stories with Futures Without Violence, but they banned us from posting on their Facebook page.

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Social Justice is a Pretext Legalizers Use to Get Support

Social Justice is a pretext, the handy catch phrase to get people to support the legalization of pot.  The idea doesn’t come from disadvantaged minorities.  “Marijuana legalization is the worst way forward to reforming drug policy for the minority community,” claims Will Jones, founder of Two is Enough D.C.

Jones, whose family has always been involved in the Civil Rights movement, is enraged by the social justice message. “If you aren’t a minority, maybe legalization does look ok because you’re not going to have the deluge of (pot) stores in your community,”  Liquor shops are on every block in his neighborhood.  Jones admonishes the marijuana industry for “cherry picking criminal justice issues to conveniently pick a statistic that helps them.”  Of the places that voted to legalize pot, only Washington DC has managed to stay free of commercial pot stores.

It was easy to cut through the illusion by watching Ethan Nadelmann at the Democratic National Convention last summer.  Nadelmann, director of Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), was bragging to his supporters about how profitable the marijuana industry is.  At the end of the video, when the cameras was on him, he added “and don’t forget social justice.”  It was an afterthought.  He must have been joking.

The Reality Where Pot is Legalized

In Denver, the pot businesses have located mainly in low-income minority neighborhoods, taking advantage of those with the least amount of political clout.  Buzz Feed reports that black people are being shut out of America’s weed boom.  Blacks own only about one percent of the 3,600 storefront marijuana dispensaries in the United States.  Hispanics may own even less. For the most part, whites alone have benefited from the huge profits in the weed industry.

Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey recently explained that crime shot up after legalization in Colorado.  In fact, the homicide rate was higher in 2015 than it had ever been.    (Marijuana is the drug most likely to trigger crime.)    Homelessness as a result of legalization has also skyrocketed.  Denver’s Mayor Michael Hancock blamed marijuana legalization on a violent rampage in the mall last summer.  

Where’s the Real Social Justice in a Mind-Destroying Drug?

We question the sincerity of those who promote “social justice” as a reason to legalize marijuana.   What is the “social justice” in promoting a substance that lowers your IQ, weakens memory and directly contributes to the mental illness as a causal factor?   Even without drug testing, using pot makes some people lazy and less likely to get a job or hold onto it.

CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America) has always  encouraged communities to find youth ambassadors who are black or brown, because preventing drug use among minorities was a primary concern.  Impoverished youth–who are often Black or Hispanic – have the most to lose if they use drugs.  Youth who frequently use marijuana are 60 percent more likely to drop out of school and 7x more likely to attempt suicide.

A recent study out of the University of California, Davis, showed that marijuana users are much inclined to experience more downward mobility than their non-using peers.   Even compared to alcohol abusers, the hardcore marijuana users are less affluent than their parents.

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Government duty is to protect citizens. There’s no social justice in promoting a dangerous drug, Those who profit from legalizing pot say it’s “social justice,” but minorities see it differently.

 

It’s unfortunate that blacks and Hispanics are arrested more frequently for pot than whites.  Complex social problems like police bias never have simplistic solutions.

Alternatives that don’t involve Legalization

Convincing people that hundreds of thousands of people are in prison for marijuana use is one of the false narratives of the legalization movement.  The Sacramento Bee recently investigated and couldn’t find a single low level marijuana offender in California prisons.

Those who believe in social justice, should look into policies to reduce drug-related crimes and its ugly bedfellow, drug addiction.      Even if the “war on drugs didn’t work,” it’s false to claim legalization and incarceration are the only options.  Those trying to legalize marijuana intentionally scramble the messages so the public confuses decriminalization with legalization.

At the time Chicago decriminalized pot, 87 percent of the time cases were dismissed for those arrested in Chicago for marijuana.

There are plenty of ways to revise and improve criminal justice without harming people, and drug use harms people.  Drug courts and treatment have been criminal justice options for more than 20 years.

Criminal justice experts agree that loosening drug possession laws would have little effect on the total numbers in prison.

The Clearest Motivation of the Marijuana Legalization Ballots

Kevin Sabet, President of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), said: “An exploitative new industry, reminiscent of Big Tobacco, has hoisted the banner of “Ending the War on Drugs” for an ulterior, but far more straightforward motive—making a lot of money at the expense of public health.   He explains that marijuana legalization ballots are written and advertised entirely for the benefit the industry’s bottom line.

Since legalization, the number of actual marijuana users has increased to 13% of people ages 12 and older.   Thirty percent of those users, or 6 million people have Cannabis Use Disorder.  The business model of increasing addiction and making money off of those who are addicted is working.

Legalization is a scheme of those in the top one percent to enhance their bottom lines.  Many who invested in the California legalization ballot actually hoped to make a whole lot more money from it.   A recent headline claimed that the marijuana industry is a 25 billion dollar opportunity.

Investors and politicians claim that legalization can end the black market.   Evidence from Colorado and Washington shows that cartels are emboldened by legalization and the black market still thrives.

Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) promotes a falsehood that marijuana is safer than alcohol, another delusion.  Instead of encouraging less drug use,  MPP, DPA, NORML and the ACLU manipulate opinion.  Financial opportunists connected to these lobbies pretend pot is harmless and that arrest discrepancies will be solved by legalization.  This marijuana industry and drug promotion organizations are devious, not compassionate.

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How Media Misleads the Parents to Get Votes

“More than any other demographic, seniors are poised to be the biggest pot users in America should cannabis be legalized. It’s law-abiding adults who will begin using pot in greater numbers, and the associated lameness of watching their parents ripping a bong will, if anything, probably decrease teen use.”  Columnist John Michael made this claim in an article for Huffington Post.

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Here’s a problem from Washington, which has high acceptance of pot use. A Centralia mom was dared by friends to share bong with her toddler.

Did this writer grow up inside a bubble? In Colorado, two different fourth graders were selling pot on the playground, just three to four months after commercial marijuana made a debut Continue reading How Media Misleads the Parents to Get Votes

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Time to Recognize Pot as Part of Mental Health Problem

H.R. 2646 Calls for Mental Health Care Reform

Eddie Bernice Johnson
Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas

Former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, Congressman Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas and Virginia State Senator Creigh Deeds held a press hearing on June 16, 2015, to announce a comprehensive new mental health bill, H.R. 2646.   Patrick Kennedy, son of Senator Ted Kennedy, is a co-founder of Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana), with Kevin Sabet.

Our criminal justice system is under fire.  The lack of adequate mental health care is in the news.  The mistreatment of the mentally ill who are incarcerated is also coming under scrutiny. Prevention through a comprehensive school drug education program in the United States could greatly diminish all three of these problems. Continue reading Time to Recognize Pot as Part of Mental Health Problem

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