Tag Archives: MAPS

Foodies, Don’t be Fooled if Michael Pollan Writes About Psychedelics

Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma

Foodies who admire Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma include parents opposed to marijuana and its manipulation into an increasingly potent, dangerous drug.

Pollan is writing a book about possible medical applications for psychedelics, which would fit nicely into an agenda promoted by the Drug Policy Alliance, MAPS and Erowid.  Surreptitiously, these pro-drug lobbyists and groups are trying to legalize all drugs. If they get popular writers on board, it will be so much easier.

Psychedelic drugs lead to altered consciousness, changes in heart rate and hallucinations.  In some regards, marijuana is a psychedelic, but not in the same way that LSD, MDMA and others.

MAPS pushes pot as treatment for PTSD, even though an important study from Yale suggests that pot worsens PTSD in veterans.  Bad psychiatric treatments are nothing new.  At one time, the public also believed in lobotomies as a treatment for mental illness.

Drug Policy Alliance uses “social justice” reasons to push for legalization of all drugs, first through decriminalization.*  The social justice angle isn’t a good argument, because drug dealers, legal and illegal, target minorities and poor communities.  Dig a little deeper and social justice appears to be the excuse, not the true reason the DPA argues for drug legalization.

Psychedelics, Alternative Reality and Psychosis

Drug advocates are promoting many psychedelics as medicine: psilocybin mushrooms, LSD, marijuana, MDMA (Ecstasy) and ketamine.  Psychiatrists of the ’50s and ’60s experimented with these drugs as psychiatric treatments. The most famous one, Scottish Psychiatrist R.D. Laing, experimented with LSD to treat some patients.  Although he had genuine empathy towards the patients, Laing’s methods and those of his followers are often considered worse than failure.  (Psychiatrist Isidora Ranjit-Singh explains: Laing “didn’t understand the interaction between illicit substances such as LSD and cannabis and mental health: illicit drugs are a contributory factor in psychosis. LSD is an awful drug that can result in seemingly psychotic flashbacks which can continue after the patient has stopped using it.”)

As long as we do not know the cause of many psychological issues, using psychedelics is like playing with fire.  Emil Kraepelin, father of modern Psychiatry, maintained that catatonia and schizophrenia wouldn’t be solved until we know their cause.  It doesn’t always boil down to genetics.  When the root cause of a mental issue is trauma, there are successful therapeutic models and we don’t need new experimental drugs.

As for schizophrenia, marijuana is the one known trigger which can lead to this condition of permanent psychosis.

Psychedelics Study is Chance to Learn from Past Mistakes

Movers and shakers behind “medical” marijuana use the term “compassion” as a marketing scheme.  To avoid FDA scrutiny, they devised a scam, recorded on videotapes, to bring about full legalization.  Perhaps they’re pushing new “medicinal” uses for hallucinogenic drugs  for similar reasons.

Ethan Nadelmann, formerly executive director of Drug Policy Alliance, explained the underlying plan on Reddit.   “Michael Pollan’s forthcoming book on psychedelics and medicine will take media interest to yet another level. The more people know about this, the faster psychedelics will be legally accepted as medicines.”  Nadelmann engages his followers with wishful thinking.  In a TED talk, he said: “Our desire to alter our consciousness may be as fundamental as our desire for food, companionship, and sex.”

When Pollan has spoken to the press, he mentions psychedelics as  “palliative” care in people facing the end of life.  It sounds familiar, because the pot lobbyists initially promoted medical marijuana for end-of-life care.  In reality, it’s mostly young men with pain who use “medical” marijuana, not the cancer and AIDs patients for whom it was intended.  More recently pot advocates promote it to treat psychiatric disorders.

If hallucinogens can be used help in controlled settings, would those who become “caregivers” practice snake oil medicine? Would they set up they type of shams that plague “medical” marijuana?  Again the public could be tricked, since everyone has compassion for the terminally ill.

There are strong ethical reasons not to endorse psychedelics, or to give so much power to psychiatrists and gurus. It would entail knowingly utilizing drugs that can make certain people worse.  Furthermore, it would put incredible power into the hands of “caregivers”  and psychiatrists. If teens get the idea that a drug is “medicinal,” they will think it safe to use –by anyone on any occasion.

When the US Government Has been “Right”

Although the US government gave some bad dietary advice over the past decades, it has revised some of the mistakes.  Diet dictocrats now recommend eating eggs, the right kind of fats and fewer grains. Americans are eating better because they listened to critics such as Michael Pollan and many others.

The US government’s historical evaluation of and classification of marijuana in 1970 was never wrong.   Judges and the FDA have consistently rejected the reclassification of marijuana.

 

Pollan didn’t really discuss the negative consequences of marijuana while writing an earlier book, The Botany of Desire. Hopefully, he has read the recent information about marijuana as a trigger for psychosis, which is plentiful.  Many new academic studies have been published since his book came out in 2001.

Too often, therapies used in psychiatry are not as effective as people initially believe.   We need take a skeptical view of psychedelics, also. While Nadelmann wants the book to bring acceptance to psychedelics, Pollan has given interviews which don’t suggest that goal.  His book sounds more informational than promotional.

Drug advocates wish to normalize drug use in order to capitalize on it.  By using drugs, they hope to bypass the hard work it takes to obtain true spiritual growth. Modern America is not comparable to the ancient, ritualistic and shamanistic cultures that traditionally used psychedelics.  We need our food to keep us alive, but we don’t need intoxicating, hallucinogenic drugs to sustain us.

* Drug Policy Alliance recently put out a paper on decriminalizing all drugs, a first step towards legalization.  This group often talks about Portugal’s decriminalization of drugs while suggesting the country has legalized which is false.  Portugal does drug assessments and treatment, which DPA does not want.   Please fight against the current attempt to legalize marijuana — through the backdoor.

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Marijuana Will be Held Accountable After Mixed Election Results

Anti-Pot Movement Starts New Project After More States Vote to Legalize

After spending more  than $20 million, the deep pocketed pro-marijuana investors prevailed in California.  They also won in Nevada and Massachusetts, with the votes much closer.   Arizona fended off the attempt to legalize marijuana.    Vermont elected a governor who said he is against marijuana legalization.  Several Oregon cities rejected marijuana sales.
In Colorado, the products with a high amount of THC (the psychoactive quality that brings the high) have been responsible for most of the hospitalizations and deaths.  However,  the marijuana businesses bought out an attempt to put a ballot that would cap the THC at 16%.   So far the marijuana industry has not been held accountable for its deceptive political and marketing tactics.

SAM Project Will Make Pot Accountable

Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) and its partners are spearheading a new initiative called the Marijuana Accountability Project (MAP). Our objective is to be a credible resource for the oversight of the recreational marijuana industry as it begins to take hold in states.   There will be more ballots.  SAM hopes that some states will defeat these ballot measures, but acknowledges that some are likely to pass. Regardless of outcome, SAM and the Marijuana Accountability Project will continue pushing back against the abusive practices of the marijuana industry in the states that have already legalized marijuana.

In their announcement SAM said:  “We cannot let another industry dead-set on hooking a new generation gain an unfettered foothold in society without a watchdog at their back. We intend to launch the initiative in late 2016 with a press conference in Washington, D.C., where we will outline our objectives, year one activities, and a new research report that shows the true cost of marijuana legalization on the health of states.

MAP will include the following activities in 2017:

Congressional Outreach: SAM will boost federal lobbying efforts to stop legalization on the federal level.
State Report Card Tracking Project: Evaluate the states with legal recreational marijuana across the following metrics: Public health (incidence rates of poisonings across age and demos), public safety (car crashes, ER visits), marketing (evaluate and compare based on other legal drugs), political influence (track lobbying and spending), and economic impact (promises made on funding, promises kept?)
Community Roundtables: We anticipate holding up to five community roundtables, open to the media, in select states in the first year. At these events, we will release the results of the tracking project, and hear from citizens who have been impacted by legalization and the industry as a whole. These roundtables will serve two purposes: show the real life impact of legalization, and promote MAP as a critical oversight voice.
Public Education/PSA Campaign: SAM will launch a media campaign called “Are We Sure?” that asks localities if they really want marijuana stores in their neighborhoods. The campaign will also be used in non-legalization states, and will educate the public on today’s high THC marijuana and its impacts.
Earned Media: Earned media will be a critical component to ensure the accountability messaging and approach is well understood in our target states, and pushes the agenda forward. Our tactics will include op-eds, rapid response, editorial board visits, press conferences, and reporter briefings.
Organization of Municipalities Concerned about Marijuana (OMCM): OMCM will consist of officials from localities that have implemented strict controls on marijuana, including those that have banned marijuana stores altogether, and officials from other jurisdictions interested in promoting public health-based marijuana laws. Through OMCM, these localities will share best practices, model ordinances, and other strategies.
SAM Legal Initiative: SAM will launch an initiative to hold marijuana businesses accountable to the law of the land, and research legal compliance issues.
SAM State Legislative Caucus: The SAM State Legislative Caucus will bring together like-minded state legislators who want to stop legalization and commercialization, and share best practices on marijuana policy.
Model laws: MAP will also develop copies of model state laws and local ordinances to control the marijuana industry, incorporating best practices from existing laws and input from scientific and legal experts.   MAP needs founding partners.

Kevin Sabet, President of SAM said that we can change the trajectory of marijuana legalization.  SAM released a statement at 3 a.m. : “Tonight’s results were disappointing overall, but given how we were outspent by 15 to 1, not wholly unsurprising,” said SAM President Kevin Sabet, who also served as a White House drug advisor. “There are several bright spots: Arizona resisted legalization and their campaign will be a blueprint for other states in the future. Vermont Governor-elect Phil Scott will be replacing the most pro-legalization governor in our history (Peter Shumlin), and a pushback is starting in Oregon.  No matter what happens in Maine, we will be in a strong position when the legislature meets. We will redouble our efforts with this new Congress. And we won’t abandon the legalized states, where much work remains to be done.”

For more information, contact info@learnaboutsam.org.

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