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Kennedy Forum Report Speaks Against Marijuana in Mental Health Report

Super Bowl Ad Makes the Message Clear and Relevant

The Kennedy Forum report on mental health and addiction was released to  the 115th Congress three weeks ago. In the report Patrick Kennedy clearly indicates that marijuana legalization is detrimental to public health. Parents Opposed to Pot maintains that by preventing the initiation of drug use, the United States could cut its mental health care needs by 30 percent.  Marijuana promotion is contributing to our current crisis.  The Kennedy Forum published the following in its report to the 115th Congress:

“In the absence of such a campaign, social media and other channels are inundated with dangerous and incorrect information about drugs of initiation, including alcohol and marijuana. A fact-based campaign reiterating the emerging science, and reinforcing other efforts in schools and communities, is imperative.”

“This is especially needed in the current environment which is legitimizing misuse of certain substances, particularly alcohol and marijuana. It is impossible to grapple with substance use and mental health disorders without tackling drugs of initiation, like alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana. Congress should resist efforts to legalize and further legitimize marijuana. Our nation cannot afford to make the same mistakes with marijuana that we made with legal opioids or tobacco in the past. Congress should put a stop to efforts to legitimize marijuana businesses (for example, by strictly regulating the capacity at which banks can have financial dealings with marijuana businesses), lest we inadvertently support and encourage another entity whose profit motivates conflict with the public health interest of preventing substance misuse and addiction.

“We also need increased accountability from the transnational corporations that generate over $200 billion in revenue each year from the sale of beer, wine and liquor in the United States. Alcohol marketing is ubiquitous in our society, seen everywhere from Super Bowl television commercials to 10-second vertical video ads on Snapchat Live stories………..”

Stop Marketing Addiction to Children

Patrick Kennedy’s observations were also true about marijuana during the recent Super Bowl featuring a T-Mobile commercial with Martha Stewart and Snoop Dog joking about marijuana.  Millions of children watched the program and saw this attempt to normalize and promote cannabis use.  Yet a Columbia University case study presents the fact that using marijuana only once or twice can precipitate mental illness.

Those who have lost loved ones to addiction and psychotic disorders are deeply offended by T-Mobile, Martha Stewart and Snoop Dog.   Such joking disguises the real dangers of using pot.  In Anatomy of an Epidemic, Robert Whitaker cites three studies indicating that bipolar disorder can be triggered by marijuana use.  Many psychiatrists even need re-training in addictive and psychotic disorders due to the popularity and increased potency of today’s marijuana.

Download the entire PDF here: Navigating The New Frontier of Mental Health and Addiction a guide for the 115th Congress

What is “Dabbing” and Why Parents Need to Worry

Part 1 of 2 (Part 2: Extreme Marijuana–Dabbing and Vaping)

“Dabbing” is a way to get the quickest, long-lasting high with a single inhale.  In fact, a single puff from a pipe or vaping pen can give the effect of smoking many joints.  Unfortunately for parents, the new vaping pens make it extremely difficult to see, smell or detect.

“Dabbing is to marijuana, as crack is to cocaine,” is a way it’s been explained.   No one should ever try it, because the psychosis can be immediate, and, as a habit, it is nearly impossible to get unhooked.

Why, should parents worry?  Because the pens go undetected and, secondly, because children are getting into pot at younger ages. Wheat Ridge, Colorado,  is the site of Three Kings Dab Supply, a club where users bring their own dabs and party.  According to a mom in Wheat Ridge,  “Since legalization, marijuana has become a problem in the middle schools and has shown up in the elementary schools twice.”

Marijuana users suggest that kids use dabs, precisely because it can go undetected.  Dabbing is actually more popular with the young users than with middle-aged adults, who often find it too strong.

How Dabs are Made

Dabbers take a tiny bit of butane hash oil, BHO  — hardened or buttery, and quickly light it up in a small compartment.  BHO is to marijuana, as crack is to cocaine.

Users have extracted the THC (the component in the marijuana plant that causes a high) from the plant to get maximum strength, usually using butane gas in some type of glass tube.    When it first comes out it is an oil, but the oil becomes waxy or buttery before hardening into the bits.  Hardened, it can be broken into tiny bits and give a high that last all day.

Butane has oil, a highly potent distillation of marijuana, is so potent that a single hit can last more than a day. (Photo: ABC News)
Butane has oil, a highly potent distillation of marijuana, is so potent that a single hit can last more than a day. (Photo: ABC News)  Photo above: Humboldt Sentinel

There are many nicknames for butane hash oil: “Wax,” “Honey oil,” “earwax,” “dabs” “shatter” and more.   It could be smoked, vaped or infused into the edibles.   Vaping is a concern, since the vape pens,  meant for tobacco, are adapted to be used with concentrates or dabs of marijuana.  It is  a way that teens may be using marijuana without detection.

Dabbing is Growing in Popularity Especially Among Teens

In short, hash oil offers a quick and lasting high for users.   A single hit can last more than a day.   By making it, it costs a user about 50% less than it would by buying it from a licensed dispensary or maker.

One may think that experienced, middle-aged users would be most likely to dab.  On the contrary, it is often the teens who go for the quick high, as well as the ease of use.

Dabbing packs such a wallop, it has been known to cause blackouts. Even  insiders warn that injury and death are possible.

Police in California would like to see marijuana concentrates banned.

See part 2 of this article, Extreme Marijuana-Dangers of Dabbing and Vaping.