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Massachusetts Group Donates Against Legal Pot, Promotes Healthy Drug Policy

Massachusetts Can Lead Nation in Healthy Drug Policy

A foundation dedicated to the health and well-being of people in central Massachusetts donated $100,000 to defeat commercial marijuana in Massachusetts this year.  The Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts is the official opposition effort against Question 4, which would legalize recreational pot.

The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts,  Worcester, formally voted to oppose Question 4 and to make a large contribution in opposition to the ballot.  Marijuana proponents  outspend anti-legalization campaigns by millions of dollars, so donations to the Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts would be greatly appreciated. (Donate here)

The Health Foundation is concerned that allowing the billion-dollar commercial marijuana industry to promote and sell its products would negatively impact public health. Pot edibles which include highly potent products like candy, chocolates, cookies, and sodas would be allowed. These products are particularly attractive to kids and look like popular sweets.  They account for 50% of the sales in Colorado.

Question 4 sets no limits on the number of pot shops statewide. In Colorado, that has resulted in more pot shops than McDonalds and Starbucks combined.

“The leadership of the Health Foundation of Central MA is exemplary of what all organizations, groups, associations and residents need to do in order to keep the Commonwealth from being snowed by the marijuana industry who wrote the law that completely protects their big profit interests,” said Heidi Heilman of Massachusetts Prevention Alliance. “The law was written by the industry for the industry. If it passes it’ll be the tax-payers who’ll be burdened with the shovel-up costs from all the negative outcomes,” she concluded.

Most Massachusetts Politicians Join Forces to Oppose Question 4

gov-baker
Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts.  Photo: The Boston Globe

The Commonwealth could lead the country into smart drug policy.  A strong bipartisan team of leaders is working to shut the door on promoting drug dependency and addiction for profit.

The Foundation joins a bi-partisan coalition of elected leaders as well as health care, public safety, business, anti-addiction, and child protection advocates who are opposing Question 4. Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Speaker Robert DeLeo, Attorney General Maura Healey, Sheriff Steve Tompkins, 120 legislators and many other elected leaders have come out in opposition to Question 4.

In fact, Governor Baker, Attorney General Healey, Mayor Walsh and Speaker DeLeo have been exemplary leaders in their ability to study all aspects of the issue, educate the voters and work across the aisle.  A group of legislators went to Colorado to study legalization and see if it legal pot could be implemented safely.

An interviewer recently asked Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts if she supports marijuana legalization.  Senator Warren did not give a “yes” or “no” answer.  She replied that marijuana is decriminalized in Massachusetts, putting the state in a difficult position.  She did not endorse Question 4, and probably knows that enacting it would be bad for the Commonwealth.  It’s clear from the video that Senator Warren does not think there’s enough regulation now.  She’s smarter than the legalizers who would love to trap her into supporting Question 4.  (Decriminalization of pot in 2008 resulted in a great increase of marijuana use, followed by a opiate and heroin crisis.)

A citizens group of 20 claimed that Question 4 doesn’t have a definitive standard for testing drivers and that it lacks transparency while leaving policy specifics unsettled until after the vote.

One of the state’s Congressional representatives, Rep. Stephen Lynch, just announced that he is against Question 4.    Lynch said that he has worked with recovering addicts, noting that “I haven’t met an addict who didn’t start with marijuana.”

Investigative Journalism Misses the Mark — for the Most Part

Lee Fang’s “investigative” article published in The Nation two years ago suggested that only those who lose profits are against legalizing marijuana. His predictions have turned out to be largely incorrect. The pharmaceutical industry–like the marijuana industry — spends money on lobbying and donating to politicians, but is not politically involved in the marijuana issue.  According to the Brookings Institution, “pharmaceutical companies have kept an arm’s-length distance from marijuana ballot initiatives.”

Fang’s investigation provides excellent insight into the marijuana industry — which suspects that everyone must have a profit motive.  Much of the giving to marijuana ballots comes directly from the pot industry.  Three of the largest donations to marijuana legalization in Massachusetts come from marijuana businesses, including one in Colorado looking to expand.

In Massachusetts, some of the groups that oppose Question 4 include:
· Massachusetts Hospital Association
· Massachusetts Medical Society
· Massachusetts Municipal Association                                                                               -Massachusetts School Nurses Association
· Conference of Boston Teaching Hospitals
· Associated Industries of Massachusetts
· Retailers Association of Massachusetts
· Association of School Superintendents
· Construction Industries of Massachusetts
· Action for Boston Community Development
· Association for Behavioral Healthcare
· National Association of Mental Illness (NAMI) – Massachusetts
· Massachusetts Chiefs of Police
· Massachusetts Sheriffs Association
· all Massachusetts District Attorneys

The NAMI chapter in Maine will also be coming out against legalization in that state, a clear indication that marijuana is toxic for those diagnosed with mental illnesses.

Only in the instance of law enforcement have investigative journalists been correct in predicting opposition to legalization. Police unions oppose legalization, but The Nation article doesn’t probe the deeper reason for their opposition.

Looking for Evidence-Based Solutions

In explaining the Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts,  President Jan Yost, Ed.D., said:  “The Foundation maintains that Massachusetts would be wise to wait for further evidence from research and other states’ experiences regarding the impact of the use of marijuana on health status, employee performance and public safety, before voting to allow recreational use. This position is consistent with the Foundation’s practice of advocating for public policy that is based on evidence.”

“In addition, the Foundation is concerned that sanctioning marijuana as a legal substance will likely normalize its use and create a commercial industry intent on spreading the use, like the tobacco industry.”   The Nation‘s 2014 article could have looked into why health organizations, hospitals, educators and doctors’ groups oppose marijuana legalization instead of promoting a preordained agenda set by financiers.

Health organizations have insights that a biased media does not have. Evidence-based solutions don’t support pot legalization.

Massachusetts is leading the country in wise drug polices. New England may be ahead of the rest of the country.  Vermont and Maine rejected legalization through their state legislators. These states realize that marijuana is not a solution to the opioid abuse that is rampant today.  Replacing one addiction with another addiction is a bad idea, and actually encourages multi-addiction, making recovery more difficult.   Please donate and vote against the addiction-for-profit industry in Massachusetts or in your state.

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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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