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?

See Graph from Oregon Health Authority
 

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.

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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 COMES OUT AGAINST LEGALIZING RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA | NAMI Massachusetts

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.

White House drug czar: Legalized pot not OK

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.

Most Bay State employers oppose legal pot sales

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.

 

News from Senator Grassley’s Office April 4-5, 2015

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.
 

http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/news/2016/04/08/vt-pot-legalization-faces-hurdle/82813518/
 

MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION WILL COST TAXPAYERS (VERMONT)

Links to an increase in schizophrenia alone could wipe out any revenues from legalized pot, new study says

Legalization of marijuana would lead to an increase in mental illness, including schizophrenia, and thereby increase the tax burden on Vermonters by an estimated $4.9 to $11.1 million dollars, according to a white paper issued today by Smart Approaches to Marijuana in Vermont (SAM-VT). The costs would offset the estimated $7.4 million in revenue to be generated by the sales, based on the recreational marijuana revenue seen by Colorado in 2014.

 

http://sam-vt.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/White-Paper-Press-Release.pdf

 

How Georgia has avoided commercial medical marijuana thus far

National Families in Action | Atlanta, Georgia 2016

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