Don’t legalize recreational pot–Letter to Penn-Live Opinion
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is reporting that between 30,000 and 40,000 Americans are dying each year from opioid overdoses. Most of these are not suicides but, are the consequences of people using “stuff” which is profoundly more potent than they imagined. From our local communities, to the state, and federal government levels, we are alarmed and we should be.
Parallel to the “opioid epidemic” is the “cannabis epidemic” which is going unnoticed and unreported. We see weekly hype about so called “medical marijuana,” but, little about the tragic consequences of cannabis overdoses.
Why? One reason is that opioid overdoses kill and cannabis takes the lives of its victims in a less dramatic way. Cannabis induced psychosis robs the victims of their meaningful life.
The proverb says, “There are many ways to lose one’s life and dying is just one of them.
The parallel to opioids is that the “weed” of today has been hybridized (genetically engineered) to be 5 – 6 times more potent than the weed of 20 years ago (4% THC compared to 19% THC). In addition, the contemporary delivery systems (example- vaping) increase the amount of THC getting to the brain. These unexpectedly high “doses” of today may include manic psychosis and schizophrenia like symptoms. The victim didn’t understand what she/he was getting. What was expected to be a few hours of pleasure has become a life-changing psychosis.
I predict that our fascination with “medical marijuana” will only accelerate this tragic epidemic of THC induced psychosis.
If there is to be a place for “medical marijuana,” give it to the FDA where it can be studied by legitimate scientists who are not funded by the producers, distributors and charlatan practitioners. Clearly, the profits are huge and the costs to human lives are huge.
There may be a few serious conditions in which a small amount of cannabis helps to relieve suffering. Example: End stage cancer. Responsible physicians will use it wisely and compassionately just as they do with opioids.
The tragic hidden problem is aided by a very small number of “charlatan physicians” who will sell their souls to the callous industry. For a fee and without being seen, cannabis users can receive a “certificate of need.” This document allows the user to go into a retail cannabis dispensary and purchase whatever he/she wants from a large inventory of cannabis products.
Said again, opioids kill by suppressing respiration. Cannabinoids ruin lives by inducing psychosis. Both are tragic.
JOHN DOSSETT, MD, South Londonderry Township
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The Senate GOP bill will hurt working people.
SAM-Vermont member (Dean Whitlock) writes to Vermont Legislators
His views why legalizing H170 would endanger highway safety and make Vermont’s mental health burden worse.
Legalizing recreational marijuana in Vermont would not be a simple matter. Vermont has already decriminalized marijuana use. What we haven’t done is provide a mental health system that can deal with the thousands of cases of addiction, psychosis, and other mental illnesses that we already have in our state, nor have we done nearly enough to educate Vermonters about marijuana’s harms, in order to prevent such tragedies from happening.
Legalizing marijuana – whether like alcohol or tobacco – will only make our mental health burden worse, while it makes our highways far less safe.
Dean Whitlock: Legalized marijuana imperils highway safety, increases mental health burden – VTDigger
Editor’s note: This commentary is by Dean Whitlock, of Thetford, a freelance writer who has been researching the issues surrounding marijuana legalization for years. A former supporter of legalization, he is now opposed.
Where are 11th Graders in Oregon Getting Marijuana?
Local Sheriffs and Police Oppose Legalization
The following is a letter from local law enforcement official (and one educator) in opposition to Proposition 64, the initiative on the November ballot that would legalize marijuana for recreational use.
The letter is co-signed by the top brass of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, the Eureka Police Department and more. Full list of signatories at the bottom. Read more.
Scientist who Discovered THC is not Favorable to Legalization
When Raphael Mechoulam first asked the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a grant to research cannabis back in 1963, the top U.S. public health agency was quick to show him the door. “They told me, ‘Come back to us when you choose another subject—marijuana is not an American problem,’” the 84-year-old Israeli professor recalls. Read more.
NAMI Mass Opposes Recreational Marijuana Ballot Initiative
This fall, Massachusetts voters will likely have the opportunity to vote on whether the sale of marijuana for recreational use should be legalized in the Commonwealth. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Massachusetts states its strong opposition to this ballot question because the legalization of recreational marijuana will have detrimental effects for those with mental illness and for people predisposed to mental illness.
NAMI Mass Opposes Recreational Marijuana Ballot Initiative This fall, Massachusetts voters will likely have the opportunity to vote on whether the sale of marijuana for recreational use should be legalized in the Commonwealth.
White House drug czar: Legalized pot not okay
By Peter Urban, GateHouse Media Washington Bureau, 3/25/2016
Michael Botticelli, the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, this week reiterated the administration’s opposition to state efforts to legalize marijuana. He testified before a House panel examining federal and state responses to the heroin and opioid crisis. “I do believe that when you look at the data in terms of the high levels of marijuana use that we have among youth in the country … that we are in for more significant problems in the United States,” he said.
WASHINGTON – The White House’s focus on treatment for drug addiction instead of criminal prosecution of addicts has not altered the Obama administration’s stance on legalization of marijuana. Michael Botticelli, the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, this week reiterated the administration’s opposition to state efforts to legalize marijuana.
Most Bay State Employers Oppose Legal Pot Sales
By Kara Bettis, March 28, 2016
BOSTON – Almost two-thirds of Bay State employers oppose legalizing retail marijuana sales, according to the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, one of the largest business advocacy groups in the region.
“How will an employer respond to a worker operating heavy equipment on a job site under the influence of marijuana? Many jobs, particularly those in safety-sensitive fields like transportation or manufacturing, must adhere to federal regulations that still prohibit the use of any substance that creates impairment,” Regan wrote.The organization opposes legalization.
Printed from: http://newbostonpost.com/2016/03/28/most-bay-state-employers-oppose-legal-pot-sales/ Marijuana plant in the wild. (Photo courtesy of Flickr.com) BOSTON – Almost two-thirds of Bay State employers oppose legalizing retail marijuana sales, according to the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, one of the largest business advocacy groups in the region.
U.S. Senate Held Bipartisan Hearing on Obama Administration’s Failure to Monitor Impact of Marijuana Legalization
On April 5th, 2016 Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Diane Feinstein (D-CA) held a bipartisan hearing to explore the findings of a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report documenting the Obama Administration’s failure to monitor the impact of state marijuana legalization.
The pro-marijuana lobby claims today’s hearing on the Justice Department’s enforcement priorities on marijuana lacked data and relied on anecdotes. But there was a lot of data. In Colorado, from 2012 to 2014, the number of hospitalizations related to marijuana increased 70%, the number of traffic deaths related to marijuana rose 20%, and interdiction seizures of Colorado marijuana destined for other states jumped 31%. This is all in just two years. Senator Grassley cited these data points in his statement and in charts he used to question witnesses.
The pro-marijuana lobby claims today’s hearing on the Justice Department’s enforcement priorities on marijuana lacked data and relied on anecdotes. But there was a lot of data. In Colorado, from 2012 to 2014, the number of hospitalizations related to marijuana increased 70%, the number of traffic deaths related to marijuana rose 20%, and interdiction seizures of Colorado marijuana destined for other states jumped 31%.
Vermont pot legalization sees a slowdown
By DAVE GRAM | April 8, 2016 Burlington Free Press
MONTPELIER, Vt. – Efforts to legalize marijuana in Vermont this year may have gone up in smoke Friday, as a House committee passed a measure that calls for more study after it stripped out Senate-passed provisions that would tax and license pot growers and retailers.
Measures left in the bill the House committee passed include enhancing education and prevention programs for young people; giving $350,000 to the Health Department for anti-drug education efforts; spending more than $650,000 on a new forensic laboratory, equipment and training for the Department of Public Safety; and raising the threshold between a misdemeanor and a felony for sale of pot from half an ounce to an ounce. It lowers the blood-alcohol content that triggers a drunken driving charge from 0.08 to 0.05 if the person has any of marijuana’s active ingredient in his or her body.
MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION WILL COST TAXPAYERS (VERMONT)
Links to an increase in schizophrenia alone could wipe out any revenues from legalized pot, new study says
How Georgia has avoided commercial medical marijuana thus far
National Families in Action | Atlanta, Georgia 2016