Tag Archives: Pennsylvania

Washington State Teens Murder over Marijuana

State has teen violence problem, or is it just legalization of pot?

On December 7, in Everett, Washington, 5 teens killed a boy’s mother when she tried to defend her son.   The violent 16- and 17-year-olds who were trying to steal the son’s marijuana and meth. In Alaska, another state where pot is legal for adults, 5 teens murdered another teen over marijuana.  Allegedly, it was because the victim smoked his friend’s joint.

What other substance makes people so greedy and barbarous that they often kill for it?  Only meth can  inspire so much, but meth use has gone way down.  Marijuana, or cannabis, inspires a cult-like  following, with some advocates worshiping the plant as a god.  Several recent incidents back up the scholarly research on marijuana’s deleterious effects on the teen brain, promoting violent behavior and even murder. Continue reading Washington State Teens Murder over Marijuana

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Pot’s Downside Clear in Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October Can Shed Light on the Role of Drugs Like Pot in Domestic Violence

Few people dispute that alcohol contributes to domestic violence. They probably don’t flinch if you say methamphetamine is a cause. But they viciously attack anyone who blames the sacred marijuana plant.

A 14-year-old boy who killed his father and injured three others at a South Carolina school came from a home domestic violence and pot. It should be no surprise by now with the number of violent marijuana users in the news lately.  (A report shows his father had convictions for marijuana and domestic violence.)  Perhaps Jesse Osborne’s attack on his dad and others is a reflection of the trauma his dad — a pot user — had inflicted upon him and his mother.  Jesse had been asked to leave school for bringing a hatchet there.

Despite widespread denial among pot users, the following studies show a strong connection between marijuana and domestic violence.  (October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.)

Effects of marijuana use on impulsivity and hostility in daily life, by Emily B. Ansell, Holly B. Laws, Michael J. Roche, Rajita Sinha, Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 148 (2015) 136-142. January 6, 2015.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep. 2014.12.029/   (Study of 43 subject found marijuana, but not alcohol, use increased interpersonal hostility and impulsivity in daily life, day of use and next day, Smartphone assessments)

The Relationship Between Marijuana Use and Intimate Partner Violence in a Nationally Representative, Longitudinal Sample,”  by Jennifer M. Reingle, Stephanie A.S. Staras, Wesley G. Jennings, Jennifer Branchini, Mildred M. Maldonado-Molina, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, May, 2012.  (Consistent use of marijuana during adolescence was predictive of committing intimate partner violence in early adulthood and being a victim, 2 x more likely.  Sample of 9,400)

Examining the relationship between marijuana use, medical marijuana dispensaries, and abusive and neglectful parenting, by Bridget Freishler, Paul J. Gruenewald, Jennifer Price Wolf,  Child Abuse & Neglect  (2015)  http://dx.doi.org/10/1016/j.chiabu.2015.07/008/  (Telephone survey of 3,023 in California cities concludes current marijuana use correlates to child physical abuse but not neglect, abuse more widespread closer to dispensaries.)

Alcohol and drug disorders among physically abusive and neglectful parents in a community-based sample, by K Kelleher, M Chaffin, J Hollenberg, and E Fischer. American Journal of Public Health, 84 (10) pp. 15861590, (11,000 people with substance abuse problems: abuse-3x more likely, neglect-4x. Substance abuse is involved in 50-80% of child abuse according to this study.) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1615078/

Violent Behavior as Related to Marijuana and Other Drugs, by Albert Friedman, Kimberly Glassman, Arlene Terras, Journal of Addictive Diseases, Vol 20(1), 2001,pp. 49-72. (Marijuana users nearly as likely to engage in violent behaviors as crack users)
As a nation, we are turning a blind eye to the damage marijuana users may present to women and children.  We need to stop underestimating the poor judgment and the warped sense of time that marijuana users have, which often combined with fires and hot cars, have been lethal.

The Need to Stop Multigenerational Violence and Substance Abuse

For groups advocating to stop violence against women, it’s recommended that “marijuana use should be considered as a target of early intimate partner violence intervention and treatment programming.”  Treating problems at their source is best.

We also must do this to avoid child abuse, because studies show that  “abused children are at special risk to become heavy pot users in adolescence. ” from   Characteristics of Child Maltreatment and Adolescent marijuana Use: A Prospective Study, by Howard Dubowitz, Richard Thompson, Amelia M. Arria, Diana English, Richard Metzger and Jonathan Kotch, Child Maltreatment.    

The Emerald Triangle of Northern California is a reflection of a society with widespread acceptance of marijuana use. There’s  multi-generational drug abuse woven into to the culture, and with it comes addiction and violence.

Prevent Child Abuse America was formed in 1974 and has made little progress.   We’ll only make progress if we make progress with “the war on drugs,” which Drug Policy Alliance mocks and calls a failure.  The alternative is chronic drug abuse and family violence which gives the drug abusers their freedoms but at what cost?   Consider some recent events: Two babies died in Pennsylvania shortly after parents whose children have seizures forced the state legislature to pass a medical marijuana bill. *  In May, a man in Pennsylvania, killed his 5-month old daughter while high on marijuana.  Yet marijuana advocates try to tell us that marijuana is harmless.  In April, a mother who smoked throughout pregnancy smothered her three-week old daughter who died through asphyxiation.  She admitted to smoking marijuana which made her fall asleep with the daughter in her arms.

A case that happened in West Virginia on October 3 is even more shocking.  At 4:30 a.m., a mother awoke to find her baby covered in blood in the basement with her boyfriend.  The man had sexually assaulted the baby who was brain dead.   It turns out that both she and the boyfriend had smoked pot the previous night.   Under the influence of both marijuana and alcohol, he had a psychotic break.

Instead of arguing that another drug or that alcohol creates more domestic violence, we need to acknowledge that all drug use in interconnected.   Multi-substance abuse is the rule rather than an exception.  Marijuana, however, is most likely to contribute to psychosis, as described above or in other brutal murders.

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On Marijuana Oils and Misleading Promises

Is the Marijuana Lobby Trying to Buy Your Legislature and Your Votes?

If marijuana has a medical application that can be proven, Merck and Pfizer will probably see the benefit of getting into the 4.2 billion dollar business.   Marijuana companies, like pharmaceutical companies,  contribute heavily to politicians and lobbying efforts.  Unlike the pharmaceutical industry, they don’t go through a rigorous testing and approval process.  The marijuana industry uses pesticides, even banned pesticides, but it promotes itself as organic and natural.

Medical marijuana “caregivers” have no accountability and liability, and their lobbyists know it.  We think it is wrong when the marijuana industry lobbyists give parents with very sick children false hope.

Marijuana lobbyists should not be seen as having pure and “compassionate” motives, as they pretend.*   The public has a right to know that CBD for epilepsy does not always work.

The Press should investigate how much the marijuana lobby spends to advertise and go on TV on behalf of passing “medical” marijuana laws.

Treating Cancer with Marijuana Oils?

A few of the children treated with an artisanal CBD (cannabidiol, the derivative of marijuana used for epilepsy) have died,  and some of the children treated with cannabis oil for cancer also died.

In Montana a few years ago, Cashy Hyde’s father was featured on TV, saying his son had been cured of cancer using cannabis oil.  Sadly,  the boy eventually died, sometime after the startling announcement that he had been cured.  The constant nurture and love from his parents probably helped to extend his life.

A man in Iowa who advocated for marijuana also died of cancer.   In Australia, a little girl whose father had been treating her neuroblastoma with cannabis oil died in May.   Receiving constant love, attention and kind wishes from others sent good vibes into the world, but no medical professional thought it had an effect on the cancer.

It is understandable why some parents with little hope for their child would prefer such oils over harsh chemotherapy.

We do not criticize the parents for trying alternative treatments. However, advocacy for these parents should not be used to further the agenda of legalization.

When reading about the remarkable claims advocates of medical marijuana propose, please remember the placebo effect.  We don’t know why placebos cure some people and not others.   It could be the power of belief, or the result of a person’s own immune system having the ability to fight the disease.

Parents Opposed to Pot objects to the tactics of marijuana lobbyists because:

  • They give partial truths, attempt to sway public opinion while hiding essential facts.
  • They engage in unfair defamation of character and advertising. Two years ago Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Rep. Andy Harris were targeted with cruel and slanderous attacks because of their votes regarding medical marijuana.  Rep. Wasserman Schultz recently voted to allow veterans to be allowed marijuana — although it makes PTSD worse.
  • They outpsend the opposition to marijuana legalization and target youth with their advocacy, while pretending to be grass roots.  Smart Approaches to Marijuana was founded after the vote to legalize in Washington and Colorado.
  • They intentionally use the term “medical marijuana” when they mean cannabidiol (CBD), which lacks the psychoactive qualities of regular marijuana.  The confusion justifies teens who “dab” with highly potent Butane Hash Oil BHO) because they believe it’s harmless and even medicinal.

(Read Part 1)

*The 1996 ballot in legalizing marijuana in California was called the Compassionate Use Act and people were led to believe it was only for terminally ill people with cancer and AIDS.   In reality, only 3-5% of the marijuana has been used for these conditions.

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Campaign for Compassion Leads Pennsylvania Legislature

Is CBD from Marijuana for Epilepsy Really About Compassion?

Parents Opposed to Pot supports every effort to find cures for children who suffer, but it’s unclear if Pennsylvania legislators who passed a medical marijuana bill on April 13 really understood the subject.   Dr. Michael Privitera, President of the Epilepsy Society urged legislators to vote “no” on SB-3, but the legislators voted to follow anecdotal evidence rather than the science.  (Portions of the letter are below.)

Cannabidiol
Compassion should lead to testing all medicines. GW Pharmaceuticals had 3rd phase trials for Epidiolex, a marijuana extract that could help for seizures.

The manipulations of the marijuana lobby are typical: give people false hope, play the “compassion” card to manipulate public opinion and shame people into adopting their view.  Because there is so much drama behind the people who advocate for marijuana use to treat epilepsy, many parents are expecting miraculous cures that are not always forthcoming.  The pro-marijuana advocates need to warn that any relief CBD oil gives for epilepsy is not necessarily permanent.

The Children Given Marijuana for Seizures who Died

(GW Pharmaceuticals Epidiolex is for Dravet Syndrome, and for Lennox-Gestaut Syndrome   The question is wheter or not a

A family in Arizona who was part of a lawsuit to get the extracts for their son saw a dramatic difference in the boy, an improvement in all levels of functioning.  Yet the poor boy died. The family still advocates for marijuana extracts.  We understand the view of the parents — they saw their son have a better life for a brief period before his death.

A girl who had been the poster child for medical marijuana recently died. She no longer needed a wheelchair after moving from Connecticut to Maine for CBD.   It is estimated that 85% of patients with Dravet Syndrome survive to adulthood, although life expectancy is not well understood.

At the end of Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s Weed 3, it was mentioned that Vivian, the little girl whose family moved to Colorado because to have extracts of marijuana not available in New Jersey, was no longer being helped as much as she had been at first.

We are sorry for the parents who must go through so much to help their children.   We would hope they can be assured of purity — free from mold, fungi and pesticides.

How Marijuana Passed in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania passed its bill on April 13 after legions of people worked tirelessly to emphasize that medical marijuana offers hope for epilepsy.  One of the moms who was part of the PA grass-roots movement, Campaign for Compassion, is Cara Salemme.  She has a 9-year-old son who has been suffering from seizures since age 5.  Salemme’s passion is understandable.  We hope that Salemme and other moms are not let down.

Lori Robinson, co-founder of Moms Strong said, “Apparently, only young kids who have disorders that break the heart can move mountains because parents whose kids are suffering egregious consequences from this plant really don’t garner any attention by legislatures.”  Compassionate Pennsylvanians should learn both sides of an issue.

So, MIchael Privitera MD, President of the American Epilepsy Society, who wrote a heartfelt letter on March 15, 2016, to Rep Matt Baker and the Pennsylvania Legislature, noting scientific studies and warning of the dangers of making law on such scant evidenceLegislators voted against Dr Privitera’s pleading of a “no” vote on SB-3. There are those kids  who develop the adverse condition like status epilepticus.  Here are excerpts from Dr. Privitera’s letter:

“Additionally, in 13% of cases reviewed seizures worsened with use of cannabis and in some patients there were significant adverse events. These are not the stories that you have likely heard in your public hearings or have read in popular press, but they are the reality of AES members who are practitioners at Children’s Hospital Colorado who have cared for the largest number of cases of children with epilepsy treated with cannabis in the U.S.

Unlike the product used in the GW Pharmaceutical study, the families and children moving to Colorado are receiving unregulated, highly variable artisanal preparations of cannabis oil prescribed, in most cases, by physicians with no training in pediatrics, neurology or epilepsy. As a result, the epilepsy specialists in Colorado have been at the bedside of children having severe dystonic reactions and other movement disorders, developmental regression, intractable vomiting and worsening seizures that can be so severe they have to put the child into a coma to get the seizures to stop.”    (GW Pharmaceuticals is a British Company)

The Dark Side of Marijuana and the Money

Rep Matt Baker
Rep Matt Baker is a legislator from Pennsylvania with compassion. Before serving in the House, he worked for a law firm where he specialized in serving people with disabilities, helping them obtain disability benefits before federal administrative law judges.

Rep. Matt Baker, Head of the House Health Committee had studied marijuana’s effects on various health conditions for a long period of time.  He expressed very reasonable concerns about the horrible side effects of marijuana and what can happen if medical marijuana is diverted to children and teens, as has happened in so many states.

(An 18-year-old in Washington state who had been given medical marijuana for a digestive issue experienced numerous psychotic symptoms which killed him in September of last year. Washington state has experienced an uptick in psychotic patients since legalizing marijuana.  The boy in Pennsylvania who recently died had a combination of marijuana wax and Xanax in his body which contributed to cardiac arrest.  He had a prescription for Xanax but not the marijuana wax.  His marijuana use probably preceded the anxiety, since marijuana is known to cause anxiety.)

Lori Robinson stated: “Now that we have medicinal marijuana in 24 states, why is it that the federal government not demanding disclosure of marijuana’s adverse effects on mental health, particularly for those ages 25 and under?”   Recently, Arizona’s governor signed a law stating that medical marijuana dispensaries must post prominent signs warning pregnant and breastfeeding women not to use.

She added, “I wish I believed this was more about compassion, but I don’t.   More likely it’s about the money.”

It should be noted that the marijuana industry donates heavily to state legislators with the hope of getting state-by-state medical marijuana in advance of legalization, using Colorado as a model.  If there is a silver lining in Pennsylvania’s program, it is that smoked forms of marijuana are banned.  However, this program will allow for vaporized marijuana, and it foolishly added PTSD and autism to allowed conditions that may be treated with marijuana.

We believe that presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who supports marijuana legalization, is disingenuous when he criticizes the Koch Brothers and Wall Street bankers while not calling out the fact that George Soros and Peter Lewis have given millions and millions of dollars for the legalization of marijuana.  The marijuana lobby also donates to Congress.

 

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