Tag Archives: Drug Policy

Dr. Hill on The World’s Most Popular Weed

By Sally Schindel, Treasurer,  Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy

Dr. Kevin P. Hill’s book, Marijuana: The Unbiased Truth About the World’s Most Popular Weed covers a vast amount of ground in 206 pages. The Harvard—McLean Hospital physician sets out to explain three big myths:  that marijuana’s not harmful, that marijuana is not addictive and that quitting marijuana involves no withdrawal.  The book is easy to read. It was published in 2015.

An addictions specialist, Dr. Hill provides an unbiased, honest and factual report.  He makes the complex issues associated with decriminalization and legalization understandable.   Dr. Hill concludes that legalizing “medical” and recreational Continue reading Dr. Hill on The World’s Most Popular Weed

A Coloradan Questions the State Report

(Editor’s note: In Colorado, marijuana was fully legalized since 2013. Commercialization began in 2014.  It was expected to be difficult to regulate an industry based on a plant that grows like a “weed.”  Colorado and Washington state represent the first time in the world this has happened.  The Gazette, newspaper in Colorado Springs, is publishing a 4-day series issues regarding Colorado’s experiment in commercializing marijuana. Other states such as Alaska and Oregon are facing that challenge this year and need to look at Colorado.  Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division has issued its report. ) 

By Jennifer Yates, Parents for a Healthy Colorado.  Colorado Citizens need to start asking questions of the reports Continue reading A Coloradan Questions the State Report

Seven Amazing Reasons to Legalize Marijuana Now

(Edited commentary from two of our followers who insisted we share both sides of the issue.)             

Dear Friend — The reasons for the rest of America to follow the states of Washington and Colorado, and to legalize marijuana, are overwhelming. Even if you’re not with the program yet, read on and then … FORWARD this MESSAGE!

(7)TAX and REGULATE To enable cities, counties and states to siphon all that revenue from the criminals, enough marijuana users will be happy to pay twice the street price to eliminate the underground market.  During that stretch, fire departments will get new trucks hospital emergency teams will get overtime pay to deal with amateur chemists making butane hash oil in hotels, homes and apartments buildings.  Forget the surge in tax money for  mental health and addiction treatment.

(6) DISCOURAGE TEEN USE. Never mind that teen use of marijuana plunged by 33% from 1980 to 1992. We still say the War on Drugs is responsible for making our youth want to light up, and try pot brownies. Obviously, when you tell kids to avoid something, they go after it. Therefore, the best way to discourage teen use of pot is to have competition. The street price will drop by 50% and we can let Phillip Morris put marijuana cigarettes and snacks in convenience stores. When marijuana is all over the place, kids won’t want it. Only mature adults will want it and maturity is automatic when a person turns 21.

(5) GET TOUGH WITH DRUG LORDS. When 20 million of my fellow stokers, jokers and midnight tokers can get their marijuana legally, the cartels are likely to shift into something respectable. Those guys will soon be up against an economic wall. Nobody understands ADDICTION better than some of this country’s great corporations, especially the pharmaceutical, tobacco and alcohol.

We need Big Business to take charge, enhance the potency of the plant, nail down the distribution system, and build good vending machines. Mom & Pop growers can’t do that.  Let Phillip Morris and Miracle Gro show the way. The answer to Big Booze and Big Cigs is … jeez, what would it be called? Maybe … BIG DOPE.

(4) SAFER ROADS Marijuana users don’t drive fast and get angry like those drunks. If anything, they have to be more careful when they’re baked.  Besides, the Marijuana Policy Project tells us that Marijuana is SAFER than Alcohol.  In October 2012, Joseph Beer crashed his new sports car into a tree on a Long Island highway. Four of his friends died, his own injuries were minor, and he got 5 to 15 years. Court testimony found Joe to be a chronic marijuana smoker, and wired with weed during this wild ride. Okay, bad break for Beer’s friends. What can anyone conclude from a single accident? –It’s not safe to drive at 100 miles per hour. (Of course the weed has nothing to do with that, since that makes you drive slowly.)

(3) POLICE FREE FOR SERIOUS CRIMES. Making marijuana cheaper, common, and not such a big deal will free up law enforcement officials to concentrate on real crime. Marijuana will be in all 50 states, in every city, with home delivery like happens with pizza, and vending machines close to schools, and candy sellers walking up and down the bleachers during ball games, and snacks with kiddish labels — all of this will also guarantee that the cops have “more serious problems” to address!

(2) REDUCE CRIME BY REMOVING LABELS  Things that have been criminal for decades can become legal. After pot-use becomes a street-corner norm, we can carry that lesson over to neighborhood speed limits, shoplifting, insider trading, and software piracy. There will still be burglaries but so what, we’ll have our freedom. When enough people DO IT, the law should just say SCREW IT, except for

(1) DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, and we will save police for domestic abuse cases.
Doing away with criminality of marijuana, our police forces can focus on domestic violence, child abuse and pedophilia, since those guys are bad anyways, and it has nothing to do with drugs. Their addictions are sex, bullying and fighting.  With those guys locked locked up, the rest of us will be totally free and dancing in the streets. It’ll be 420 every day and that’s our America!

Yours for a Healthy America,
NORMA  L. NOSTRUMS and NORM  L. SAFER

The Pot Piper Leads, Children, Teens Follow

“I’ve seen far more examples of propaganda and unfair marketing practices than I have of reasoned arguments. Worst of all, this kind of marketing targets kids, teenagers, and college students. If we want to make progress in substance use issues, we will need facts and reason, not ploys to grab the attention of our nation’s youth.”  Wharton School of Business student research analyst Theodore Caputi,  recently wrote in an article,  Is Pro-Marijuana Pro-Propaganda?  He’d like to hear more true debate without hype.

Social Media Uses Kids, Teens, Young Adults

How did the push for marijuana legalization come about so rapidly?  The answer lies in a social media campaign by a rich  pro-marijuana lobby aimed at changing opinion.  The Pied Piper has become the Pot Piper.  Young people use social media much more than middle-aged adults and senior citizens.  The largest pro-marijuana Twitter site sends out  an average of 11 pro-marijuana messages per day, according to a study by Washington University psychiatry professor, Patricia Cavazo-Rehg.  Cavazo-Rehg also found that the tweeters targeted Black and Hispanic youth disproportionately, much more frequently than Caucasians.

While Twitter and Facebook have been growing so much over the last decade, the federal government’s funding for substance abuse education and prevention programs has been reduced by 48% during the same time period.  It doesn’t help that a national merchant, Urban Outfitters, has continuously made clothing to glorify marijuana, pill abuse, drinking and now depression.

Surveys of teens indicate they would use more frequently, if marijuana is legalized.  Marijuana lobbyists say they do not advocate for  usage under age 21.  There’s never been a marijuana legalization initiative that would allow users under age 21.  Yet, while NORML and the Marijuana Policy Project “officially” declare it’s not for children, they’ve targeted the youth who wouldn’t be allowed usage under their laws.

Studies show that children and teens have gained the false perception that pot is harmless; this change of perception began in 2005 and grew stronger after 2009,  corresponding to the growth in social media  over that time.

 As the perceived risk in marijuana goes down, teen usage goes up, according to recently-published findings from 2013.  Only Adderall, an ADHD medication, is also trending upward, and it’s being used by those without a prescription.  Cigarette smoking is going down, as is adult smoking, and alcohol use is declining among teens.

Souce: National Institute of Drug Addiction and Abuse, released Dec. 2013
Souce: National Institute of Drug Abuse, released Dec. 2013

Marijuana usage by children and teens has steadily grown along with the push to legalize marijuana and/or expand medical marijuana into more states.  College students use more than ever, probably reflecting this trend, also.

According to the 2013 Monitoring the Future Survey findings, five-year trends show a significant increase in current marijuana use among 8th, 10th and 12th graders.  For example, from 2008 to 2013, reported past-month use increased from 5.8% to 7.0% among 8th graders, from 13.8% to 18.0% among 10th graders, and from 19.4 % to 22.7% among 12th graders surveyed.  Alarmingly, the survey noted that this trend coincides with a decrease in the perceived risk of harm of marijuana use among the same group of students. The annual Monitoring the Future study surveys 6th, 8th 10th and 12th grade students for daily marijuana use, past month use and lifetime use.PiedPiper(13)

Of the top 23 states for teen marijuana usage, 21 of them were in states that had legalized medical marijuana.

How ironic legalization advocates would use ideas like building schools or funding early childhood education by legalizing and taxing a bad habit and dangerous substance like marijuana.   As Washington and Colorado are learning, their states suddenly need to spend money to offset a new problem set of problems.  Taxpayers have to pay for the unnecessary hash oil explosions that have gotten out of hand this year.

Colorado found it necessary to fund public service announcements to warn against stoned driving and against marijuana usage by those under age 21.  The state has decided to spend $2 million on the “Don’t be a Lab Rat” campaign.

Create a Problem to Solve a Problem

Legalizing marijuana to collect taxes and fund drug prevention is the way to create a problem — or make a problem worse — in order to solve the problem. Taxes collected from Washington’s legalization program are supposed to go fund drug prevention programs.   Already taxes in Colorado run far behind what was expected.

States that have had recent problems with pill addiction, cocaine and  heroin, had greater percentages of marijuana usage in youth, in 2010-2011.  They tend to have higher alcohol usage, too.  When asked,  Barbara Cimiglio, deputy commissioner for substance abuse in Vermont’s health department linked the heroin epidemic in Vermont to higher youth usage of marijuana.   “I think what drives this up tends to be the higher use of marijuana, and if you look at the states [with high illicit drug use], they tend to be the states that have decriminalized or have more favorable attitudes toward use of marijuana,” she said.

Marijuana use in the young often creates a-motivational syndrome and apathy, in addition to and apart from the affects of addiction.  It becomes more challenging for many students to keep their educational options open, get jobs and achieve their goals.

There is a connection to regular marijuana usage, gaps in college education and dropping out of high school, which often hinders future success.  “Chronic/heavy marijuana users are twice as likely to experience gaps in college enrollment as minimal users, ” according to  Dr. Robert DuPont, Director of the Institute for Behavior and Health,  in Rockville, MD.

Researchers at Northwestern University recently published their studies indicating the changes on specific parts of the brain, and the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) has written about some of those findings.

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry  warns about  marijuana and young minds:  “Marijuana’s deleterious effects on adolescent brain development, cognition, and social functioning may have immediate and long-term implications, including increased risk of motor vehicle accidents, sexual victimization, academic failure, lasting decline in intelligence measures, psychopathology, addiction, and psychosocial and occupational impairment.”

Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell should speak out against the growing usage of marijuana at younger ages. The current spike in middle school and high school students using marijuana means that the time is now!