Tag Archives: Vermont

SAM Defeats marijuana in nine states

Efforts by Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) and SAM’s allies defeated marijuana legalization and commercialization in 9 state legislatures: New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont and Hawaii.  When legislators listen to experts, as well as doctors, they reject marijuana legalization, a failure in every other state.

This year, only the Illinois rejected experts’ opinions and positioned itself as an outlier.  Continue reading SAM Defeats marijuana in nine states

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Four States decline to legalize pot through legislatures this year

Marijuana legalization hit stone walls in New York and New Jersey this week and another effort died in New Hampshire.   In Vermont, legislation to establish a commercial marijuana market faltered, too.  Four states failed.  Tiny windows of opportunity may still be open, but passing bills doesn’t appear possible before the end of this year’s legislative session.

It was the second year New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy tried to implement marijuana legalization through the legislature.  In New Jersey, Continue reading Four States decline to legalize pot through legislatures this year

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Horrible child abuse death in Texas highlights links to marijuana

A Texas man fatally stabbed his 16-month-old son, yelling “Jesus is coming,” in Lewisville, outside of Dallas, on August 19. Authorities say 27-year-old Blair Ness is charged in the death of his toddler son Ashton Ness.

Photo from Dallas News, Ashley Landis, Staff Photographer

Police say they found “fresh burnt marijuana as well as a haze of smoke in the apartment,” and blood in multiple areas of the apartment.  Ness started his attack inside and then continued outside in a courtyard.  A neighbor shot the father in his leg to stop the killing.

The man told police, “I know everyone’s mad, I’m mad. I killed my son.”   A caller to 911  expresses the disbelief and absurdity of the situation.  We send our condolences to the mother and the family.

Blair Ness, the father accused of stabbing his son, had no previous child abuse incidents or problems with the law

The incident suggests a marijuana-induced psychosis, a problem that figures in about 10% of the child abuse deaths Parents Opposed to Pot has tracked.

In Vermont last year, a father – in the midst of psychosis — jumped four stories with his 6-year-old son.  Anxious and suicidal, Tyler Denning had been smoking marijuana that morning, and claimed that God made him do it.  Fortunately, both father and son survived.

Death Highlights Cannabis’ role in Texas child-abuse death

In March, Texas released its report on child abuse deaths, finding half the 172 child abuse deaths in 2017 coupled with substance abuse.  Marijuana was the most-used substance connected to child abuse and neglect deaths, followed by alcohol, cocaine and methamphetamine.  In one terrible case last year, Cynthia Randolph left her 1-year old and 2-year-old in the car while she smoked pot.  Both children died.

According to the report, of the deaths caused by parent or caregiver substance abuse, 56 used marijuana; 23 used alcohol; 16 involved cocaine; 14 were linked to methamphetamine, 2 involved opiates and 1 was connected to heroin.   Many abusers were co-abusing substances, such as combining marijuana and cocaine.

In 2017, Arizona also published a report showing that marijuana was the substance most often linked to child abuse deaths in 2016.

When will the public wake up?

Those who say that marijuana makes people calm misunderstand how cannabis works on their brain.   People who advocate for “responsible” use of marijuana need to cut out the delusion and misrepresentation. Popular magazines such as Oprah, Allure and Cosmopolitan present marijuana use as glamorous or at the cutting edge of our culture.  A California company MedMen, aka The Mad Men of Marijuana, aggressively tries to rebrand the stoner image.

In Atlantic Magazine last week, Annie Lowrey wrote an article  exposing the truth about marijuana addiction.  While the author tells the truth about addiction, she opines that marijuana is relatively benign compared to alcohol and tobacco. She may be basing her belief on old information, when 3 or 4% of the population used weed, vs. 65% using alcohol.  Marijuana is far more toxic to the brain than tobacco.

Meanwhile, our country focuses on opiate addiction, instead of  poly-drug  abuse.

In Pennsylvania, a child died because her mom gave her a drink laced with fentanyl and then smoked marijuana.  Although the fentanyl killed the girl, the mom’s marijuana use is loosely related to the death, although Poppot is not counting it in its total of 115 deaths.

 

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Aggravated assault in Vermont Highlights marijuana-psychosis link

Assault, psychosis and marijuana

On Thursday, July 26 a man believed to be high on marijuana was arrested for aggravated assault with a knife, the Rutland Herald reported July 27. Fortunately no one was injured.  Physicians, Families & Friends for a Better Vermont issued a press release today, saying “the scene of a screaming, knife-wielding, apparently psychotic man whose lawyer suggested he had been smoking marijuana should give pause to Vermont legislators and other policy leaders who are considering regulated sale of marijuana, .

Although the event happened in Vermont, the 19-year-old perpetrator was from California.  Marijuana does not have to be “laced” with other drugs when acute psychosis occurs.

Once again events are linking marijuana to mental illness and violence in Vermont. The worst such event happened in October 2016, when a suicidal man with high levels of THC (the psycho-active ingredient of marijuana) allegedly drove his vehicle into another car, killing five teenagers, including four Harwood Union High School students.  Like last week’s assailant, the perpetrator of Vermont’s largest mass criminal homicide ever may also have had other drugs in his system. Regardless, the connection between high-potency marijuana, psychosis and violence is strong and must be understood and acknowledged.

Three physicians weigh in on issue

The following statements are from three eminent physicians and researchers on the advisory board of Physicians, Families & Friends for a Better Vermont, an organization formed in 2017 to oppose legalization of marijuana:

 ‘I don’t think any serious researcher or psychiatrist would now dispute that cannabis consumption is a component cause of psychosis.’

–          Professor Dr. Robin Murray, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, London,  March 24, 2018 Daily Mail

“I think it’s very similar to asking if tobacco causes cancer. I think there is sufficient evidence to say it causes psychosis.  Remember, we use “evidence- based medicine” in which one does not have to have 100% certainty to act but rather weighs the surety vs. the risks/benefits.   Another way is to ask the “my kid” question – i.e. what would you recommend if it were your kid.  Finally, I cannot help but say to legislators that the weight of the evidence that MJ causes psychosis is several times greater than the weight of evidence for most medical marijuana indications.”

–          Dr. John Hughes, MD, psychiatrist and Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Vermont, nationally-recognized expert on addiction, in December, 2017 statement

“The evidence that, for many people, cannabis use plays a causal role in the development of psychotic disorders grows stronger by the month.  At this point, much of the effort to discredit research on the link between cannabis and psychosis comes not from scientific rationales but from political and financial motivations.  It is time to move past false politically-driven debates and put into action efforts to reduce the negative impacts of cannabis on developing brains.”

–          Dr. David Rettew, MD, author, Burlington child psychiatrist and associate professor of psychiatry and pediatrics

For more information, contact Guy Page, 802-505-0448, Physicians, Families & Friends for a Better Vermont

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