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Marijuana Vs. Alcohol

The marijuana lobbyists want to “mainstream” marijuana and call for its regulation to be like alcohol.  Let’s make it equal to alcohol, they say.   Why are they asking for addiction equality?

When they compare its illegal status to alcohol, they don’t mention that Alcoholics Anonymous was founded in 1935, the year after a 13-year Prohibition era ended.  When the marijuana community decries the nationwide prohibition of marijuana in 1937, they forget to mention that it happened much earlier, state-by-state, 1911 in MA, 1913 in CA, 1914 in NY, etc.

These same marijuana lobbyists keep suggesting that people who drink too much booze or take pain pills should switch to marijuana.   As much as addiction is hard to overcome, the suggestion of substituting one addiction or bad habit for another can just get you back to square one.

Why are we making a second vice, pot, totally legit for those 21 and over while keeping it illegal for those under 21? The minimum age for alcohol purchase is 21, yet the US already has a problem with underage drinking. Why duplicate this problem with marijuana?

The only obvious reason is that there is a business and a marijuana industry that wants to make profits.  Like with alcohol and tobacco, 80% of those profits will come from those who are addicted or over-indulgent.  The growing industry wants and needs to get young users to keep a steady stream of buyers; the younger they start, the greater likelihood of getting hooked.

An experiment with lowering the beer and wine age to 18 in much of the US in the 1970s did not work.  The national law needed to be changed back to age 21.  Elsewhere teens do not go to the extremes that are common to American culture.  We simply are not a modest or temperate culture, like the Netherlands.

The sales pitch of the marijuana lobby:

“Wouldn’t you rather have your teenage son driving stoned, rather than drunk?”  Both practices are very dangerous, and even more dangerous when stoned and drunk at the same time.

“I support legalization so marijuana can be on equal footing with alcohol.”   Pot users don’t have addiction equality yet, but statistics and studies show that 9% of marijuana users will be come addicted (approximately same rate as drinkers) and that rate jumps to 17% if they begin before age 17.

“No one has ever died from marijuana.”  The advocates claimed in the campaign for legalization in Colorado and Washington.  There have since been 2 deaths in Colorado this year directly attributed edible marijuana and many child-abuse deaths caused by the parents’ usage of marijuana.

Simplistic soundbites don’t tell the whole story.   Marijuana is not safer than alcohol, but it is used less frequently by Americans than pot.   Leah Allen’s account of growing up with a marijuana-addicted father is similar to what it would be like having a chronic alcoholic dad: negligent, irresponsible, violent to the mom and prone to anger when he could not have it.

Pot users could be 7% of adult Americans, vs. at about 66% who drink.  They’re asking us to change a law for the 7%, and Parents Opposed to Pot disagrees.  More people die from alcohol because it is and has been a larger part in society.

We’re better at recognizing who might be  susceptible to alcoholism.  We have little idea who is most at risk for mental illness and other negative effects from marijuana.   Certain teens haven’t thought about it, either.  Tobacco cannot affect brain function, memory and mental health the same way marijuana can.

The risk for mental illness caused by marijuana alone is too great not to be noticed.

 

Edible Pot Tricks Children

In Colorado and California, marijuana entrepreneurs have used deceptive packaging which is enticing to youngsters.  Many candies look like children’s favorites, such Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Gummy Bears.  At least nine incidences of marijuana poisoning in children have occurred in Colorado this year.  The problem of pot candy is expanding to other states, as the word is out and a “ganja-preneurial” spirit spreads.

There’s a huge business behind pushing cookies, candies and edible forms of marijuana, considered to be safer than smoked or vaporized pot, but these products take longer to have an effect and often lead people to ingest larger amounts to get their “high.” Continue reading Edible Pot Tricks Children

Let’s Not Support More Addiction

Thanks to the banning of cigarettes in public places, fewer US teens smoke cigarettes, which is safer for all of us.  Now that we don’t have as much second-hand tobacco smoke, why should we put up with second-hand marijuana smoke?  It’s probably because we’re bamboozled by propagandists who worship pot as if it’s a god, and evangelize as if it’s a religion.

Let’s Not Support Another Addictive Substance

Let’s not add one more addictive, dangerous substance to the drugs that are already legal.   We have many legal addictive substances — alcohol, tobacco, Ambien, Xanax, Percocet, OxyContin, Vicodin, Adderall.  More options only add to addiction rather than substitute for other choices.   The majority of teens who are in substance abuse treatment use marijuana more frequently than alcohol, other drugs and addictive substances. Continue reading Let’s Not Support More Addiction

A Look Inside Colorado’s Pot Industry

By Ben Cort, Board Member, Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM); Director of Business Development/CeDAR at the University of Colorado Hospital. The original article is from CADCA’s  website.

Last month I was honored to speak at CADCA’s National Leadership Forum about marijuana legalization in my home state of Colorado. I wish I could say that I was caught off guard by the reaction I received but I wasn’t. It’s the same everywhere. When people hear what is going on, when they see the pictures and advertisements, the reactions are inevitable; shock, outrage, anger, even fear.

I live in Colorado, work inside of substance abuse treatment, am in recovery myself and I have three young children in public school, that’s my platform.

Make no mistake about it, we did not just legalize weed in Colorado we christened the commercialization and industrialization of the marijuana industry in Colorado.  We welcomed in a new industry that knowingly promotes an addictive and harmful substance SO THAT PEOPLE COULD MAKE MONEY. The business of business is to make money and when there is money to be made people will signup no matter how messed up the means are.  Let’s take a quick look at how the money is and will be made inside of this industry.

As of this writing there are 47 stores in Colorado that can sell recreational weed, there are about another 300 in the queue. Already the competition is fierce and the marketing wars are heating up, imagine what will come next. Right now we have everything from free T-shirts with your weed purchase and take-out orders to home delivery and a $1 joint when you show your ski pass for the day. For these businesses to continue making the huge money they are making they will need to do two things: 1) engage new users, 2) convert current users to more frequent users.

To differentiate themselves from the competition they will offer the most amount of THC they can for the lowest price possible, sound like some potential for trouble? Our weed in Colorado is so strong (20-30 percent THC in its smoked form) that we have a strain called “green crack.” We also have a full range of edibles and concentrates, these businesses are diversifying and engaging with new (and younger) customers through new products.

Our concentrates, which are advertised aggressively, are 80-90 percent THC, and are often smoked on a super-heated needle and puts the smoker on their back with one hit.  Our edibles come in gummies, fruit sodas, suckers, candy and yummy looking baked goods that are so potent that a single pot brownie in Colorado comes with a warning that it has to be cut into fourths before consuming.

I’m guessing the 2-year-old child who ended up in the ER a few miles from my house last month didn’t read the label on the weed cookie she found before eating it.

A smart man learns from his mistakes, a wise man from the mistakes of others. Consider that old saying and the plight of Colorado when considering legalization in your home state.

Three people were shot at Denver’s first 420 celebration after legalization in 2013, and chaos followed. This year more police took precaution. Photo: Joe Amon/ The Denver Post
Three people were shot at Denver’s first 420 celebration after legalization in 2013, and chaos followed. This year more police took precaution. Photo: Joe Amon/ The Denver Post