Tag Archives: Pueblo

Home Grows Pose a Danger to Neighborhoods, Families

Parents Opposed to Pot asks Virginia and New York to amend their bills to ban homegrown marijuana.

Parents Opposed to Pot asks the states of New York and Virginia to amend their marijuana legalization bills to exclude home grows. Although both states are poised to legalize marijuana, there are two possible changes that could lessen the harms of marijuana legalization:  potency caps and eliminating home grows. Home grows are a major reason the black market does not go away but in fact grows stronger after legalization.

The New York bill, as it stands, allows six plants to be grown at home, and the Virginia bill allows for four. In Denver, a man tried to stop two teens from stealing the marijuana plants in his yard, killing one 14-year-old and paralyzing the other. 

Just last Saturday, March 27, six thieves broke into a home grow in Long Beach, California and two of them were shot by a man who lived at the home. When police executed a searched on the home, they seized “large quantities” of marijuana, firearms and cash.  Thieves consistently target home grows. 

However, law enforcement is generally restrained from doing a home search until after crimes are committed.  As people living in “legal marijuana” states have found, the appearance of drug sales in a home, a neighbor’s complaint of the stench of marijuana or careless overflow into the yards of others is not enough to mandate a search. Police ignore such complaints.

“After legalization, A home grower in my Pueblo, Colorado neighborhood was murdered by two men from out-of-state. They came to purchase marijuana and decided they would rather kill and steal the drugs. We also heard gunfire on our street after legalization,” says Aubree Adams, Assistant Director for Parents Opposed to Pot.

Eliminating home grows can lessen the crime associated with marijuana legalization states. 

New Yorkers should be especially concerned about the harms that will come in high-density living situations.  In the Bronx in 2015, Fire Captain Michael J. Fahy perished at a marijuana home grow. The fire appears to have started in a marijuana lab, a frequent occurrence in the first states to legalize. In Washington state and California, apartment residents lost their homes when their neighbors’ butane hash oil laboratories exploded, and in a few instances lost their lives. A Rancho Cordova explosion displaced 146 residents at once because of a butane hash oil explosion. Usually, the amateurs who make highly concentrated THC at home are trying to undercut the regulated marijuana market.

Home grows lead to more crime and there is no way to get around it.

Summary of Home Grow Dangers:

–Child access increases and it is impossible to keep away from children under age 21.

–Child & dog poisonings are occurring in the home, or at school when youth take the drug or edibles to school.

–Property crimes such as breaking and entering and personal injury/homicide crimes increase.

–Nuisance to neighbors is a problem (odor, people coming and going at all nights, drive by shootings).

–Squatter grows in rented units may make it harder to sell home after the growers leave.

–Landlords will be stuck with huge utility bills and drywall damage due to odor permeating drywall, requires expensive remediation.

–Hash oil manufacturing can cause explosions. At least two children died in hash oil explosions, one in Colorado and one in California.

–Every home grower is a potential drug dealer as they can turn into an illegal black market home-based seller.

— –Energy use is many times the normal household electricity consumption when growing indoors because of the extra lighting required.

Changing this aspect of the laws represents a chance to learn from other states. Colorado and Washington are now trying to put in THC potency caps on what is sold in cannabis shops. 

Parents Opposed to Pot is a 501c3 educational nonprofit based in northern Virginia. Contact at 773-322-7523 or visit the website, poppot.org, Facebook @poppotorg.

 

 

HS teacher tells truth about pot in Colorado schools

Teacher in Pueblo Describes the Problem

Defenders of marijuana such as Governor John Hickenlooper say youth use of pot did not go up after legalization.  When surveys don’t track the state’s largest schools, the information gets distorted. Many counties in the eastern plains and western slopes do not allow marijuana shops.  Interviews with teachers and administrators in Denver, Colorado Springs, Pueblo and the central part of the state tell another story.

We believe the evidence of teachers, counselors, parents and school administrators reveal more than any survey of students.   Please listen to this video:

Continue reading HS teacher tells truth about pot in Colorado schools

Libby Stuyt at Oregon Mental Health and Law Conference

(An advisor to Parents Opposed to Pot, Dr. Libby Stuyt, an addictions psychiatrist in Colorado, spoke at the Oregon Mental Health and the Law Conference in Portland.  The Mental Health Association of Portland published a blog about it on August 13.) Here it is:

Libby Stuyt, MD spoke at the Oregon Health Forum with Drs. Esther Choo of OHSU and Katrina Hedberg who is the State Epidemiologist and State Health Officer at the Oregon Public Health Division, and at the Oregon Law & Mental Health Conference in June 2017 on the unintended consequences of marijuana legalization. Continue reading Libby Stuyt at Oregon Mental Health and Law Conference

Dr. Randall’s Letter Exposes Truth of Pot Legalization

Dr. Karen Randall, an emergency physician of Pueblo, Colorado, sent a letter to the physicians of Vermont.  Their state legislature narrowly passed a bill that would legalize marijuana, but it’s hoped that Governor Phil Scott will veto it.  There was not enough time to read Dr. Randall’s at a Press Conference on May, 18, 2016.  Here’s the contents of that letter:

Firstly, I’d like to thank you all for the opportunity to share some of my experiences as a physician in a region with heavy legal marijuana use.

In 2012, Coloradans voted to pass Colorado Amendment 64 which led to the state-wide legalization of recreational marijuana beginning in January of 2014. Since then, the number of medical and recreational dispensaries in Colorado has grown to more than double the number of McDonald’s and Starbucks combined. While individual counties could and did choose to abstain from allowing recreational marijuana sales, my county, Pueblo, was one of many that embraced Amendment 64 and the projected benefits of recreational legalization, even unofficially rebranding itself the “Napa Valley of Pot”.

A homeless camp along the river in Pueblo, one of many makeshift residences

This led to an influx of people looking to smoke without the risk of legal consequences and to cash in on the burgeoning “pot economy”. Unfortunately, many of these people arrived only to find that the supply of marijuana-related jobs was far outweighed by the demand, and few had backup plans. Since 2014, Pueblo’s homeless population has tripled, and our low-income housing have occupancy rates of 98% or more. We have seen a drastic increase in the number of homeless camps, and social services and outreach programs are buckling under the strain.

Our medical infrastructure is also reaching critical mass. Out of the 160,000 residents of our community, roughly 115,000 are on Medicaid. As a result, we have been losing primary care providers at an alarming and unsustainable rate.  The largest local clinic has been looking to hire 15 new doctors, but has only been able to hire 1 in the past two and a half years. My emergency medical group has been able to fill less than half of our open positions. The average wait time to see a new primary care provider is months with the wait for a specialist even longer, and many primary care physicians in the area are no longer taking new Medicaid patients.

Additionally, the legalization of marijuana has led to normalization of behavior that in my professional opinion is strongly impacting our youth. Despite sales being legally restricted to those ages 21 and over, the Healthy Kids Survey of 2015 shows:  16% of Pueblo High School kids under the age of 13 have tried marijuana, 30% of high school kids had smoked within 30 days of the survey, 64% feel that it would be easy or very easy to get marijuana, and that 6.3 and 6.6% of respondents have used heroin and methamphetamines respectively, compared to 2% for the rest of Colorado. The number of ED visits for cannabis hyperemesis syndrome, accidental

Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome is an illness that is sending marijuana users to ER rooms.

pediatric ingestions, accidental adult ingestions and psychosis have sharply risen. There has been an increase in the number of babies testing positive for marijuana at birth (many internet and dispensaries are now recommending marijuana for nausea in pregnancy).

The potency of marijuana has risen tremendously since legalization, which is also a cause for significant concern. Almost all of what we do know about marijuana is based on studies where the marijuana was 1-3 mg of THC. Currently, dabbing provides 80-90 mg of THC; edibles provide 10 mg THC per bite and are frequently packaged in quantities to total 100 mg of THC.  Fortunately, legislation has passed so that edibles must be packaged in safety packages and can no longer be sold as appealing candy gummies, suckers, etc.  Currently, law requires that chocolate be labeled with a stamp and dose quantity but it still looks like a chocolate bar to a child.

Ads and claims to the health benefits of marijuana are rampant on the internet with reported cures for almost every ailment, yet there is very little research, if any to support those “health benefits” and frequently people come to the area with a disease process (for instance, Parkinson’s disease) and purchase marijuana.  Many of those looking for cures are seniors who are not toleratant to the dosage/strength of the current marijuana being marked and they come to the ED with side effects.

suicide-risk
Some people compare medical marijuana sellers to snake oil dealers of the 19th century. Certainly, the “snake bites” from the marijuana industry against those who disagree are brutal.

I deeply appreciate having been given a platform to share my experiences with you today, and I strongly encourage the physicians of Vermont to consider the broader medical, economic, and social ramifications of the legalization of marijuana.

Thank you for your attention,                                                                                 Dr. Karen Randall, FAAEM                                                                          Southern Colorado Emergency Medicine Associates                             Pueblo Colorado

Dr. Randall presented her experiences at a press conference in Pueblo on October 20, 2016.

To watch the Press Conference of May 18, Orca Media presents the proceedings of the entire Press Conference.