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Marijuana Legalization is an Anti-Science Policy

Support for legalization is an anti-science position, because the policy works against what the science says.  The science clearly shows that the cannabinoids in marijuana are destructive to brain health, and that massive marijuana grows are terrible for the health of the planet.  Honest politicians who believe in science, or care about science, will not support the marijuana industry by getting behind the banner of marijuana legalization.

Not only is the science against legalization, but it’s also failed economic policy and fails in promises related to social justice

We’re running newspaper advertisements across the country to educate the public and support our new initiative, Every Brain Matters.  Please use the hashtag, #EveryBrainMatters and #MarijuanaLegalizationisAntiScience.   Here’s some documentation and resources for the public to read.      

1.Marijuana Legalization is an anti-science Public Health disaster.

It increases hospitalizations from psychosis, vomiting and vaping lung disease traced to vapes from state-regulated stores!

https://www.newsbreak.com/news/1578818483529/cases-of-cannabis-induced-psychosis-increase-during-covid-19-pandemic   (Illinois legalized marijuana 1/1/20)

https://www.theolympian.com/news/local/marijuana/article54985485.html (Washington legalized in mid-20140

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6625695/?fbclid=IwAR00OTBKqrL-IZvhKRs_zbcTo2w1YvbMCeFEcRlTZwg5WNs_iJda6DWYaIE

https://www.9news.com/article/news/health/local-teen-wants-more-people-to-know-about-a-rare-medical-condition-linked-to-marijuana-use/73-45dca14a-bf8d-4f9e-8f42-0cf3623b193d

Cyclic Vomiting Presentations Following Marijuana Liberalization in Colorado https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4469074/

https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/494992

The CDC says that 82% of vaping illnesses linked to THC, one sixth of them were bought at state-regulated marijuana stores.

https://learnaboutsam.org/marijuana-vaping-outbreak-not-just-a-black-market-issue/  

For a comprehensive view of marijuana and public health, check out the Missouri Medical Association’s website:  https://www.msma.org/marijuana-education-resources.html

Marijuana is the #1 substance involved in deaths from child abuse and neglect in the states that track the substances linked to child abuse. https://www.dfps.state.tx.us/About_DFPS/Reports_and_Presentations/PEI/documents/2019/2019-03-01_FY2018_Child_Fatality_and_Near_Fatality_Annual_Report.pdf

https://www.azdhs.gov/documents/prevention/womens-childrens-health/reports-fact-sheets/child-fatality-review-annual-reports/cfr-annual-report-2018.pdf

For a comprehensive view of the mental health impacts of marijuana, including the links to schizophrenia, Dr. Mary Cannon: https://youtu.be/6vcv-FjzMp8

  1. Marijuana Legalization is an anti-science environmental policy which increases fires, pesticides use, water shortages, and climate change harms. The logging industry was shut down in Northern California to save the sequoia trees which are necessary to sequester carbon and prevent global warming. Unfortunately, the marijuana industry moved in and cuts down sequoia trees indiscriminately. The result, as we have seen this year, is massive fires in the west and more destruction. Marijuana growers use 5 gallons of water per plant, per day and contribute to California’s water shortages and droughts.

http://www.takepart.com/feature/2016/04/18/greenrush                      https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/03/marijuana-weed-pot-farming-environmental-impacts/ https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/03/backcountry-drug-war/521352/    https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/03/marijuana-pot-weed-statistics-climate-change/

  1. Data shows that Marijuana Legalization is an Anti-Science assault on public safety.

In the first two states to legalize, crime rose significantly, and traffic fatalities involving THC-impaired drivers increased 50-100%.

file:///C:/Users/Owner/AppData/Local/Temp/19-0637_AAAFTS-WA-State-Cannabis-Use-Among-Drivers-in-Fatal-Crashes_r4.pdf

See pp. 88-96 about crime in the state of Washington: http://www.mfiles.org/docs/marijuanaimpact2017.pdf

Crime rate in Colorado increases much faster than rest of country: https://www.denverpost.com/2017/07/11/colorado-sees-big-increase-crime-10-percent-higher-murder-rate/

And there was an 18.6% increase in violent crime for 2017, retrieved 2019 https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cbi/colorado-crime-stats

  1. Marijuana Legalization increases the black market for all drugs, and overdose deaths. https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-gavin-newsom-crackdown-pot-black-market-20190219-story.html           https://mjbizdaily.com/californias-legal-marijuana-market-struggles-with-financial-woes-as-it-battles-illicit-market/   

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/how-colorados-marijuana-legalization-strengthened-the-drugs-black-market               

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/marijuana-in-california-black-market-weed-buzzkills-for-california-legal-weed-industry-60-minutes-2020-08-02/?fbclid=IwAR3GiH1JzNv5eVnctAq25405wWy-S1zZZbRKJzj31zQPU30J75rHyd0I_TY

Overdose deaths rise after legalization in Colorado. See p. 38. https://rmhidta.org/files/D2DF/RMHIDTA%20Marijuana%20Report%202020.pdf   

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/07/15/upshot/drug-overdose-deaths.html

  1. Youth and Marijuana, the problems with legalization

Problematic youth use rises after legalization, according to research from Columbia University. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/11/191113153049.htm

In states that have legal pot, teens are using mainly the most potent varieties available in marijuana stores, such as “vapes.” “dabs,” “wax”  or “shatter.” 

Sources: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/healthy-kids-colorado-survey-data-tables-and-reports                      https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2020-01/2019-NDTA-final-01-14-2020_Low_Web-DIR-007-20_2019.pdf      

In 2019, the daily use of marijuana among 10th graders rose more than 41% from 2018 and rose almost 86% for 8th graders—to the highest rates in many years. 

In 2019, 6.4% of 12th graders used marijuana every day. By comparison, only 2.4% used cigarettes every day and 1.7% of 12th graders drank alcohol every day in 2019.

In 2019, 3.6% of teens vaped marijuana daily.

Colorado had the highest rate of teen vaping. (first state with legal pot sales)

Source: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/monitoring-future-survey  

Once you allow marijuana in a state, the industry fights all sensible regulation such as caps on THC potency.   

https://www.ganjapreneur.com/proposed-concentrates-ban-goes-down-in-flames-in-washington/

  1. Tax revenue disappoints. Legalization doesn’t get rid of black markets. In states with recreational pot, tax income from pot sales stays significantly below one percent of state revenue  https://mjbizdaily.com/california-recreational-marijuana-in-crisis-after-two-years/

https://learnaboutsam.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Revenues-vs-Reality-0520-4.

A Los Angeles Times article tries to explain why tax revenue comes in way lower than expected. https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2019-10-17/california-cannabis-taxes

Where there’s “medical” pot, too, big loopholes prevent states from getting the promised tax revenue on “recreational.” https://420intel.com/articles/2020/01/28/illinois-more-people-apply-medical-marijuana-avoid-paying-high-taxes          https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/04/01/marijuana/getting-medical-marijuana-card-is-easier-than-you-think/

  1. Legalization has not fulfilled the social and racial justice outcomes that were promised, in any states that legalized pot. Legalization unfairly causes more harm in low income neighborhoods; discrepancies in arrest rates don’t go down after legalization. https://learnaboutsam.org/marijuana-and-social-justice/

One article calls it the Marijuana Industry’s War on the Poor:

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/05/what-works-colorado-denver-marijuana-pot-industry-legalization-neighborhoods-dispensaries-negative-213906

Only a few players, mainly large corporations, some owned by Big Tobacco, are benefitting from the legalization of pot. By all other measures, it’s failed policy.

The time of COVID-19 is the worst time to add marijuana in the communities: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/04/health/covid-vaping-smoking.html 

On every measure marijuana legalization is failed policy.  No state has been successful at regulating marijuana. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAxotrdvWzI

Please consider a donation to combat our nation’s addiction epidemic:

https://poppot.org/stop-pot-join-pop/

Parents Opposed to Pot , PO Box 2462, Merrifield, VA  22116

 

Join our campaign, Every Brain Matters, an initiative of

Parents Opposed to Pot

 

 

Is Marijuana a Risk Factor for Domestic Violence?

*Reader discretion is advised, content describes details of violent crimes.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month.  Despite the public perception of pot users being laid back and too lazy for anger, the evidence suggests otherwise.  Most people perceive alcohol as the substance most often connected to domestic violence. But other drugs, like marijuana, contribute handily to the mix. 

We’ve failed to stem domestic violence in the US, despite strong efforts to provide services and numerous shelters for women. Many advocates against domestic violence assert that unequal power and control are the only driving forces involved in violence.  Actually, substance abusers perpetrate more than 80 percent of domestic violence, according to estimates. Some studies put the rate at 94% of domestic violence.

A Thought Provoking Video by PopPot.org
Continue reading Is Marijuana a Risk Factor for Domestic Violence?

Is Marijuana A Gateway Drug?

The marijuana activists get very upset at any suggestion of marijuana being called a gateway drug.  Of course not everyone who starts using marijuana uses other drugs; some just go on to stronger versions of marijuana, such as “wax,” “dabs” or vapes.  Others may not use anything stronger than the old-fashioned weed of the last century.   

Yet the scientific evidence suggests it is a gateway drug which can open the doors to other addictions, including alcohol. Studies show that marijuana affects dopamine receptors and our brain’s reward system which may lead to the use of many other drugs. In one study done by the University of Michigan Medical School, researchers found a negative correlation between the amount of marijuana consumed over time and the amount of dopamine that was released in the brain in response. Smokers will then seek other drugs in order to achieve the high they used to experience with pot.

Continue reading Is Marijuana A Gateway Drug?

Poppot’s positions on Legalization/Decriminalization of Marijuana

Parents Opposed to Pot does not support the legalization of marijuana. Six years of marijuana commercialization in Colorado and Washington gives us informed perspective, and the policy of legalization failed at all levels. 

We believe that states that have legalized adult use of marijuana need to repeal it. The tax money does not make the social costs worth it. States with legalization break federal law, even if the federal government does not enforce the law.  Legalizing and commercializing marijuana should not be a states’ rights issue.

We do not take a position on decriminalization, but ask our supporters to explore the position statements of SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana) and AALM (Americans Against Legalizing Marijuana) for education on this matter.

Is it ok to use pot?

We believe the message to youth must be that no amount of pot use is ok.  This message will save lives, preserve young brains, and lead to better short-term and long-term mental health. 

We strongly believe that use of marijuana is more dangerous than an arrest for marijuana. We acknowledge that damages from marijuana use on individuals are uneven and unpredictable.  Though the strength of the marijuana, the amount of use and starting age affect outcomes, no one can predict who will have a psychotic reaction from using it.  You do not need mental illness or addiction in the family to suffer extreme consequences from using marijuana.

We object to claims that marijuana is a “harmless herb,” “safer than alcohol,” or that it can be “regulated like alcohol.”  The industry targets youth through its advocacy in social media and advertising for marijuana.  The press fails at its duty to investigate false claims by the industry.  Drug education fails because it emphasizes harm reduction over primary prevention.

We don’t call people who use cannabis “criminals,” nor do we claim that people should go to jail if they use it.  There are all kinds of other variables that go into incarceration: plea bargaining down from other crimes; selling to youth; intent to sell, or if another person dies from drugs given or sold to them.  

 

Parents and children

We object strongly to any marijuana use by pregnant and lactating women. The medical evidence against its use, and potential for future damage to the children, are strong.

We strongly object to use of marijuana by parents who have children in the home, or by people in charge of minors.  Any marijuana use impairs judgement a great deal more than a glass of wine or beer, and the number of child abuse deaths related to marijuana use is staggering.

No age group is safe from the risks of this drug, which is not safer than alcohol or tobacco.  In fact, studies  show that: 1)the percentage of marijuana users who develop a cannabis use disorder is higher than the percentage of alcohol only users develop an alcohol use disorder.  2) Long-time heavy marijuana have more downward social mobility, job and relationship problems than long-time, heavy alcohol users. 

Social Justice Issues

Sometimes police have enforced laws against marijuana sporadically or arbitrarily, which leads to public confusion.

Legalizing drugs is the wrong way to address social justice problems. We acknowledge that arrests for this drug disproportionately affect black and brown youth.  In other words, blacks and Hispanics are arrested more frequently, relative to their rates of usage than whites. 

Inequities in our social justice system are not caused by drug laws and are not unique to drug laws.   

Problems of unequal justice should lead to criminal justice reform, not legalization of drugs.  Legalization enables more drugs, more drugs will cause more criminal behavior.  Other means of criminal justice reform are possible.

We don’t take a stand on expungement of records for marijuana, due to the great variation in states’ laws.

We need to rely on drug courts.  Until a different system is in place, drug courts can provide effective treatment for people with problematic drug use and no resources.  We concede that arresting people for possession of marijuana is not the best way to alert and educate the public about the true dangers of this drug.

Schedule I Designation

We believe marijuana must remain in a Schedule I classification, the same designation for heroin.  Schedule I is for drugs that have high potential for abuse. Several agencies of government reviewed the designation multiple times.  Scientists in these agencies keep coming to the same conclusion:  Marijuana is a Schedule I drug.

The schedule I category also stands for no acknowledged medical use.  For information, we recommend a recently-published medical book, Cannabis in Medicine, edited by Kenneth Finn, MD.  

Whole plant marijuana is not medicinal.  If components of the plant, or synthetic cannabinoids, are “medicinal,” the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) should make the determination. It must be regulated for purity, dosage and efficacy, and monitored by licensed medical doctors. For example, Epidiolex, a drug for seizures, went through FDA approval process and was approved to treat two types of childhood epilepsy.  

Because the industry avoids FDA approval, it’s harder to hold them accountable.  For example, many people who became sick or died from EVALI were using marijuana vapes for “medical” reasons.   We accuse many medical marijuana dispensaries of failing to warn their “patients” of the risks, such as driving under the influence of medical marijuana and causing traffic fatalities.

Contrary to popular belief, there are extensive studies on the medicinal properties of marijuana.

Normalization and promotion of drug use

Marijuana legalization contributes to the epidemic of addiction, because it normalizes the use of drugs.  Addiction today is mainly poly substance abuse.  We believe — in contrast to the Drug Policy Alliance — that it’s possible to have a rich and fulfilling life without drug use. Whether we’re children or adults, we’re better off if we negotiate the challenges of life without substance use.  Using the term “War on Drugs” is passe, since the government stopped using that term over a dozen years ago. 

(For more detail, please utilize the search function on this website, for example “drug policy,” “schedule I” “mental health,” etc.  We refer the public to a detailed article from USA Today for the problems presented by legalization. )