Tag Archives: Social Justice

Marijuana Legalization is an Anti-Science Policy

Support for legalization is an anti-science position, because the policy works against what the science says.  The science clearly shows that the cannabinoids in marijuana are destructive to brain health, and that massive marijuana grows are terrible for the health of the planet.  Honest politicians who believe in science, or care about science, will not support the marijuana industry by getting behind the banner of marijuana legalization.

Not only is the science against legalization, but it’s also failed economic policy and fails in promises related to social justice

We’re running newspaper advertisements across the country to educate the public and support our new initiative, Every Brain Matters.  Please use the hashtag, #EveryBrainMatters and #MarijuanaLegalizationisAntiScience.   Here’s some documentation and resources for the public to read.      

1.Marijuana Legalization is an anti-science Public Health disaster.

It increases hospitalizations from psychosis, vomiting and vaping lung disease traced to vapes from state-regulated stores!

https://www.newsbreak.com/news/1578818483529/cases-of-cannabis-induced-psychosis-increase-during-covid-19-pandemic   (Illinois legalized marijuana 1/1/20)

https://www.theolympian.com/news/local/marijuana/article54985485.html (Washington legalized in mid-20140

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6625695/?fbclid=IwAR00OTBKqrL-IZvhKRs_zbcTo2w1YvbMCeFEcRlTZwg5WNs_iJda6DWYaIE

https://www.9news.com/article/news/health/local-teen-wants-more-people-to-know-about-a-rare-medical-condition-linked-to-marijuana-use/73-45dca14a-bf8d-4f9e-8f42-0cf3623b193d

Cyclic Vomiting Presentations Following Marijuana Liberalization in Colorado https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4469074/

https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/494992

The CDC says that 82% of vaping illnesses linked to THC, one sixth of them were bought at state-regulated marijuana stores.

https://learnaboutsam.org/marijuana-vaping-outbreak-not-just-a-black-market-issue/  

For a comprehensive view of marijuana and public health, check out the Missouri Medical Association’s website:  https://www.msma.org/marijuana-education-resources.html

Marijuana is the #1 substance involved in deaths from child abuse and neglect in the states that track the substances linked to child abuse. https://www.dfps.state.tx.us/About_DFPS/Reports_and_Presentations/PEI/documents/2019/2019-03-01_FY2018_Child_Fatality_and_Near_Fatality_Annual_Report.pdf

https://www.azdhs.gov/documents/prevention/womens-childrens-health/reports-fact-sheets/child-fatality-review-annual-reports/cfr-annual-report-2018.pdf

For a comprehensive view of the mental health impacts of marijuana, including the links to schizophrenia, Dr. Mary Cannon: https://youtu.be/6vcv-FjzMp8

  1. Marijuana Legalization is an anti-science environmental policy which increases fires, pesticides use, water shortages, and climate change harms. The logging industry was shut down in Northern California to save the sequoia trees which are necessary to sequester carbon and prevent global warming. Unfortunately, the marijuana industry moved in and cuts down sequoia trees indiscriminately. The result, as we have seen this year, is massive fires in the west and more destruction. Marijuana growers use 5 gallons of water per plant, per day and contribute to California’s water shortages and droughts.

http://www.takepart.com/feature/2016/04/18/greenrush                      https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/03/marijuana-weed-pot-farming-environmental-impacts/ https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/03/backcountry-drug-war/521352/    https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/03/marijuana-pot-weed-statistics-climate-change/

  1. Data shows that Marijuana Legalization is an Anti-Science assault on public safety.

In the first two states to legalize, crime rose significantly, and traffic fatalities involving THC-impaired drivers increased 50-100%.

file:///C:/Users/Owner/AppData/Local/Temp/19-0637_AAAFTS-WA-State-Cannabis-Use-Among-Drivers-in-Fatal-Crashes_r4.pdf

See pp. 88-96 about crime in the state of Washington: http://www.mfiles.org/docs/marijuanaimpact2017.pdf

Crime rate in Colorado increases much faster than rest of country: https://www.denverpost.com/2017/07/11/colorado-sees-big-increase-crime-10-percent-higher-murder-rate/

And there was an 18.6% increase in violent crime for 2017, retrieved 2019 https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cbi/colorado-crime-stats

  1. Marijuana Legalization increases the black market for all drugs, and overdose deaths. https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-gavin-newsom-crackdown-pot-black-market-20190219-story.html           https://mjbizdaily.com/californias-legal-marijuana-market-struggles-with-financial-woes-as-it-battles-illicit-market/   

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/how-colorados-marijuana-legalization-strengthened-the-drugs-black-market               

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/marijuana-in-california-black-market-weed-buzzkills-for-california-legal-weed-industry-60-minutes-2020-08-02/?fbclid=IwAR3GiH1JzNv5eVnctAq25405wWy-S1zZZbRKJzj31zQPU30J75rHyd0I_TY

Overdose deaths rise after legalization in Colorado. See p. 38. https://rmhidta.org/files/D2DF/RMHIDTA%20Marijuana%20Report%202020.pdf   

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/07/15/upshot/drug-overdose-deaths.html

  1. Youth and Marijuana, the problems with legalization

Problematic youth use rises after legalization, according to research from Columbia University. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/11/191113153049.htm

In states that have legal pot, teens are using mainly the most potent varieties available in marijuana stores, such as “vapes.” “dabs,” “wax”  or “shatter.” 

Sources: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/healthy-kids-colorado-survey-data-tables-and-reports                      https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2020-01/2019-NDTA-final-01-14-2020_Low_Web-DIR-007-20_2019.pdf      

In 2019, the daily use of marijuana among 10th graders rose more than 41% from 2018 and rose almost 86% for 8th graders—to the highest rates in many years. 

In 2019, 6.4% of 12th graders used marijuana every day. By comparison, only 2.4% used cigarettes every day and 1.7% of 12th graders drank alcohol every day in 2019.

In 2019, 3.6% of teens vaped marijuana daily.

Colorado had the highest rate of teen vaping. (first state with legal pot sales)

Source: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/monitoring-future-survey  

Once you allow marijuana in a state, the industry fights all sensible regulation such as caps on THC potency.   

https://www.ganjapreneur.com/proposed-concentrates-ban-goes-down-in-flames-in-washington/

  1. Tax revenue disappoints. Legalization doesn’t get rid of black markets. In states with recreational pot, tax income from pot sales stays significantly below one percent of state revenue  https://mjbizdaily.com/california-recreational-marijuana-in-crisis-after-two-years/

https://learnaboutsam.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Revenues-vs-Reality-0520-4.

A Los Angeles Times article tries to explain why tax revenue comes in way lower than expected. https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2019-10-17/california-cannabis-taxes

Where there’s “medical” pot, too, big loopholes prevent states from getting the promised tax revenue on “recreational.” https://420intel.com/articles/2020/01/28/illinois-more-people-apply-medical-marijuana-avoid-paying-high-taxes          https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/04/01/marijuana/getting-medical-marijuana-card-is-easier-than-you-think/

  1. Legalization has not fulfilled the social and racial justice outcomes that were promised, in any states that legalized pot. Legalization unfairly causes more harm in low income neighborhoods; discrepancies in arrest rates don’t go down after legalization. https://learnaboutsam.org/marijuana-and-social-justice/

One article calls it the Marijuana Industry’s War on the Poor:

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/05/what-works-colorado-denver-marijuana-pot-industry-legalization-neighborhoods-dispensaries-negative-213906

Only a few players, mainly large corporations, some owned by Big Tobacco, are benefitting from the legalization of pot. By all other measures, it’s failed policy.

The time of COVID-19 is the worst time to add marijuana in the communities: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/04/health/covid-vaping-smoking.html 

On every measure marijuana legalization is failed policy.  No state has been successful at regulating marijuana. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAxotrdvWzI

Please consider a donation to combat our nation’s addiction epidemic:

https://poppot.org/stop-pot-join-pop/

Parents Opposed to Pot , PO Box 2462, Merrifield, VA  22116

 

Join our campaign, Every Brain Matters, an initiative of

Parents Opposed to Pot

 

 

Poppot’s positions on Legalization/Decriminalization of Marijuana

Parents Opposed to Pot does not support the legalization of marijuana. Six years of marijuana commercialization in Colorado and Washington gives us informed perspective, and the policy of legalization failed at all levels. 

We believe that states that have legalized adult use of marijuana need to repeal it. The tax money does not make the social costs worth it. States with legalization break federal law, even if the federal government does not enforce the law.  Legalizing and commercializing marijuana should not be a states’ rights issue.

We do not take a position on decriminalization, but ask our supporters to explore the position statements of SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana) and AALM (Americans Against Legalizing Marijuana) for education on this matter.

Is it ok to use pot?

We believe the message to youth must be that no amount of pot use is ok.  This message will save lives, preserve young brains, and lead to better short-term and long-term mental health. 

We strongly believe that use of marijuana is more dangerous than an arrest for marijuana. We acknowledge that damages from marijuana use on individuals are uneven and unpredictable.  Though the strength of the marijuana, the amount of use and starting age affect outcomes, no one can predict who will have a psychotic reaction from using it.  You do not need mental illness or addiction in the family to suffer extreme consequences from using marijuana.

We object to claims that marijuana is a “harmless herb,” “safer than alcohol,” or that it can be “regulated like alcohol.”  The industry targets youth through its advocacy in social media and advertising for marijuana.  The press fails at its duty to investigate false claims by the industry.  Drug education fails because it emphasizes harm reduction over primary prevention.

We don’t call people who use cannabis “criminals,” nor do we claim that people should go to jail if they use it.  There are all kinds of other variables that go into incarceration: plea bargaining down from other crimes; selling to youth; intent to sell, or if another person dies from drugs given or sold to them.  

 

Parents and children

We object strongly to any marijuana use by pregnant and lactating women. The medical evidence against its use, and potential for future damage to the children, are strong.

We strongly object to use of marijuana by parents who have children in the home, or by people in charge of minors.  Any marijuana use impairs judgement a great deal more than a glass of wine or beer, and the number of child abuse deaths related to marijuana use is staggering.

No age group is safe from the risks of this drug, which is not safer than alcohol or tobacco.  In fact, studies  show that: 1)the percentage of marijuana users who develop a cannabis use disorder is higher than the percentage of alcohol only users develop an alcohol use disorder.  2) Long-time heavy marijuana have more downward social mobility, job and relationship problems than long-time, heavy alcohol users. 

Social Justice Issues

Sometimes police have enforced laws against marijuana sporadically or arbitrarily, which leads to public confusion.

Legalizing drugs is the wrong way to address social justice problems. We acknowledge that arrests for this drug disproportionately affect black and brown youth.  In other words, blacks and Hispanics are arrested more frequently, relative to their rates of usage than whites. 

Inequities in our social justice system are not caused by drug laws and are not unique to drug laws.   

Problems of unequal justice should lead to criminal justice reform, not legalization of drugs.  Legalization enables more drugs, more drugs will cause more criminal behavior.  Other means of criminal justice reform are possible.

We don’t take a stand on expungement of records for marijuana, due to the great variation in states’ laws.

We need to rely on drug courts.  Until a different system is in place, drug courts can provide effective treatment for people with problematic drug use and no resources.  We concede that arresting people for possession of marijuana is not the best way to alert and educate the public about the true dangers of this drug.

Schedule I Designation

We believe marijuana must remain in a Schedule I classification, the same designation for heroin.  Schedule I is for drugs that have high potential for abuse. Several agencies of government reviewed the designation multiple times.  Scientists in these agencies keep coming to the same conclusion:  Marijuana is a Schedule I drug.

The schedule I category also stands for no acknowledged medical use.  For information, we recommend a recently-published medical book, Cannabis in Medicine, edited by Kenneth Finn, MD.  

Whole plant marijuana is not medicinal.  If components of the plant, or synthetic cannabinoids, are “medicinal,” the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) should make the determination. It must be regulated for purity, dosage and efficacy, and monitored by licensed medical doctors. For example, Epidiolex, a drug for seizures, went through FDA approval process and was approved to treat two types of childhood epilepsy.  

Because the industry avoids FDA approval, it’s harder to hold them accountable.  For example, many people who became sick or died from EVALI were using marijuana vapes for “medical” reasons.   We accuse many medical marijuana dispensaries of failing to warn their “patients” of the risks, such as driving under the influence of medical marijuana and causing traffic fatalities.

Contrary to popular belief, there are extensive studies on the medicinal properties of marijuana.

Normalization and promotion of drug use

Marijuana legalization contributes to the epidemic of addiction, because it normalizes the use of drugs.  Addiction today is mainly poly substance abuse.  We believe — in contrast to the Drug Policy Alliance — that it’s possible to have a rich and fulfilling life without drug use. Whether we’re children or adults, we’re better off if we negotiate the challenges of life without substance use.  Using the term “War on Drugs” is passe, since the government stopped using that term over a dozen years ago. 

(For more detail, please utilize the search function on this website, for example “drug policy,” “schedule I” “mental health,” etc.  We refer the public to a detailed article from USA Today for the problems presented by legalization. )

 

Is marijuana good for social justice?

It is popular to say that marijuana was made illegal because of racism. The truth is marijuana was first banned in a military hospital in Mexico City in 1882, where it was used to treat pain, in an effort to prevent violence and disorder. Mexico then banned all production, sales and recreational use in 1920, and export in 1927. This was a result of Egyptian officials asking the international community to join in a treaty to make it illegal around the globe in 1925. It wasn’t until 1985, some 60 years later, that a book by a U.S. author referred to marijuana laws as racist.

Any claims that marijuana is illegal in America because of racism are in conflict with history.

Will more pot shops in our neighborhoods and marijuana in our homes really reduce incarceration rates and improve the quality of life for minorities? We don’t think so. Every brain matters, and marijuana is an equal opportunity destroyer.


Thought Provoking Facts

The facts show that even under legalized marijuana, the poor and minority communities suffer the worst outcomes. For instance, after Colorado legalized recreational marijuana, minority teens were arrested in greater numbers for marijuanaviolations. Pot shops are disproportionately situated in impoverished communities, in Colorado, also. Clearly, making the residents more susceptible to high use rates and addiction. In Denver, as an example, pot shops are heavily concentrated in Hispanic communities. This sends the message to the youth that drugs are harmless, which we know is not the case. Combine struggling schools with drug abuse and student grades are sure to plummet. We know that amotivational syndrome, a harmful side effect of pot, will cause poor educational outcomes and lead to more school dropouts. More access to this psychoactive drug will increase violence, addiction and theft, all of which have high arrest rates.

The link between marijuana use and crime is also downplayed by those who promote legalization. Industry lobbyists also tell us the the black market will disappear when marijuana is legally available. However, in legalized states, we are seeing an increase in gang activity, crime and black market sales.

What Does the Evidence Show?

Contrary to the social justice claims of the legalization activists, prison populations are rising in states where marijuana is legal and sanctioned for recreational use. Project SAM depicts these trends very clearly in these illustrated graphs for Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and the District of Columbia.

William Jones III fought against legalization in his hometown of Washington, D.C. He writes a compelling opinion piece to the Philadelphia Inquirer about why marijuana legalization will harm our inner city communities. Calling marijuana toxic and addictive, he makes a strong case that pot shops will destablize communities already suffering from education and health disparities.

Other Voices on Marijuana and Social Justice

Abu Edwards, Director of State Affairs for Project SAM says state legalization will be a disaster for black communities. He clearly lays out how minorities are being used to further profit motives of big business rather than social justice. Of particular concern is how the children in his community are going to be led into a drug lifestyle by the aggressive advertising of this industry.

So, is it as the marijuana activists say, a choice between legal weed and social injustice? Dr. Kevin Sabet discusses the false dichotomy of legalization and criminalization in his TEDx PrincetonU talk. It is not a black and white issue, he advises there are many dimensions to consider, as this is an important social and public health discussion.

Take Action

You can equip yourself to debate the finer points of marijuana and social justice. We recommend taking the time to downloand and read these excellent materials.

First, take a look at this easy to navigate fact sheet, a downloadable one pager on Social Justice by Smart Approaches to Marijuana.

Read also this important PopPot perspective about the disingenuous social justice argument for pot, Social Justice, the Pretext Legalizers Use to Get Support.

Once again, we rely on the great work of Project SAM on this issue. Kevin Sabet and Will Jones, III co-authored this excellent article on Marijuana Legalization, The Social Injustice which debunks many of the racially based arguments for legalization.

Now that you know, take some time and help educate 5 people you think need to know.


A Victory over Marijuana, a Rally and a March

Parents Opposed to Pot enjoys a victory over the marijuana hype now that both major party candidates for the presidency oppose the legalization of marijuana.  Neither former Vice-President Joe Biden nor President Trump support nationwide legalization.

It ‘s a triumph of sorts, since nearly all the presidential candidates who dropped out are on record for supporting nationwide legalization.  We’ll celebrate this fact and other triumphs at the Voices of Truth: A Rally for Victory over Marijuana on October 3.  As a result of the COVID 19, we rescheduled our events from May to October 1 – 3.  People from all over the country will attend the rally, culminating with a march to the Martin Luther King Memorial. Continue reading A Victory over Marijuana, a Rally and a March