U.S. Doctors Propose Female Genital ‘Alteration’ vs. ‘Mutilation’ as a ‘Compromise’

‘I am beyond horrified by [these] so called “ethicists” …There is NO compromise against the immorality and barbarism of FGM.’ — Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser.

Writing in the British Journal of Medial Ethics, two U.S.-based doctors have proposed that as a “compromise solution,” it would be better to adopt a “more nuanced position” on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) — one “that acknowledges a wide spectrum of procedures that alter female genitalia.”

The doctors think that the worldwide drive in recent years to completely eradicate the brutal practice, without allowing “minor” modifications is “culturally insensitive and supremacist and discriminatory towards women.”

They argue that criminalizing FGM in Western countries has pushed the practice underground in the U.K. and the U.S. and given rise to “vacation cutting,” a phenomena where girls are taken to their native countries during summer vacations for the harmful and traumatic procedure.

Doctors Kavita Shah Arora, director of quality, obstetrics and gynecology at the MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland and Dr. Allan Jacobs, professor of reproductive medicine at Stony Brook University, believe that minor alterations of the female genitalia do not “reach the threshold of a human rights violation” and should not be considered child abuse.

Although the doctors say that a “wide spectrum” of procedures that alter the female genitalia would be acceptable, they fail to delineate exactly what these alterations would entail, save for two specifically mentioned: a small cut to the external genitalia or the removal of the hood that covers the clitoris.

The faultiness of their arguments is many-fold. But first, let us own up to the facts.

FGM is a brutal, barbarian practice in which involves partial or complete removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

FGM ranges from the removal of the clitoral hood, the partial or total removal of the clitoris, the removal of part or all of the exterior female genitalia including the labia minora and labia majora to the stitching or narrowing of the vaginal opening, leaving a small opening for urine and menstrual blood.

The procedure, in its worst cases, can also involve burning the tissue, scraping of tissue surrounding the vaginal orifice, cutting inside of the vagina itself or introduction of corrosive substances into the vagina for the purpose of tightening.

Horrific and permanent side effects are associated with FGM.

Every year, it is estimated that 3 million girls undergo FGM, with over 200 million women in over 30 countries estimated to have endured the procedure.

The doctor’s claim that mutilating babies, girls and young women is “culturally insensitive” and “discriminatory towards women” is outrageous, when considering that the “minor” alterations proposed are both traumatic and life-changing.

A simple medical search of the purpose of the clitoral hood – which the doctors blithely propose removing – shows that this part of the body not only has tremendous immunological importance to a woman’s body but also greatly contributes to a woman’s sexual pleasure, without which, sexual relations may be painful.

As for a “simple” nick, “it’s a lie for anyone who thinks that a nick will reduce the harm,” says Mariama Diallo, a counselor and  African community specialist at Sanctuary for Families, a New York–based gender violence nonprofit organizations. “The effect on the survivor is the same. The psychological effect is exactly the same.”

The doctor’s argument that the West’s criminalization of FGM has pushed it underground in Western countries is not a defensible claim. Worldwide efforts to completely eradicate FGM – by educating communities in Africa and the Middle East (where the great prevalence occurs) have made tremendous strides.

Changing attitudes in these Third World countries has a tremendous influence on their natives who have immigrated to the West. The combination of changed attitudes and criminalization can be a powerful deterrent to an immigrant family’s decision not to have their daughter cut.

Voicing the criticism of anti-FGM campaigners who have said that this proposal would undermine the international push to completely eradicate the practice, Diallo asks, “How can we end FGM by a nick?”

Writing on his Facebook page, Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser says more bluntly, “Both as a bioethicist of 20 years and as a lifetime anti-Islamist Muslim dedicated to reform I am beyond horrified by the position of these so called “ethicists” based in the US (Cleveland and NYC). There is NO compromise against the immorality and barbarism of FGM. To give some utilitarian explanation or excuse gives the Islamist supremacists and theocrats a pass and sets the clock back hundreds of years upon the movement for women’s rights in Muslim communities.”

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org


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God–Damn It, or Praise Him? A Tribute to Science and Einstein By a Scientist

Science has been in the news because of the discovery of gravitational waves that Einstein, a century ago, said existed. Are we brilliant–or maybe retarded because of our unwillingness to admit something else Einstein said—that God is not a magician, but a scientist?

Since science put men on the moon, some scientists think they can escape the realities that seem inherent to the universe and ignore the Source of everything we see and so much we can’t see. How many of the following questions can my fellow scientists answer without God because we are too intellectual to believe a book of myths? This begs a hundred questions, and maybe a thousand–we start with the hundred elements on a chemistry chart–where did they come from?

It earth exploded off the sun, how did earth develop its spin so we have 24-hour days? How did earth come to orbit at just the right distance from the sun so we don’t cook (like summer) or freeze like winter? How did it get oxygen that we need so desperately every second? And in just the right proportion with nitrogen? What about carbon? Wouldn’t carbon and nitrogen have burned up on the sun so our atmosphere would be carbon dioxide or nitrous oxide (toxic) if the sun had oxygen, and if not, how did it get on our planet?

And how did hydrogen get here—so prevalent in the human body, but essential to water—we say H (2) O. Was there water on the sun? How did it get here?

How did the planets come to orbit around the sun at such varying distances—some huge, some small. Why didn’t the smaller ones fly off into space? Why aren’t the larger ones pulled back to the sun by gravity? How did Jupiter or Saturn get 60 some moons orbiting them? Why does our moon (and others) look so nicely rounded? Wouldn’t an explosion give jagged particles? Did the moon explode off earth? Where’s the gaping how where it came from?

How did life begin? It sounds simple, like the elements just got together in some primordial soup until one understands the complexity of a single molecule and far more so for a single living cell like an Ameba. It has a complexity that exceeds New York City. The city has to feed itself and dump the waste which it does poorly into the ocean. It has roads too narrow. Man’s evolution is worse than God’s creation. How could evolution work when we can’t even solve cholesterol problems without drugs that make us sick or kill us?

Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine was right–food should be our medicine, but modern man has DuPont’s slogan, “Better living through chemistry.”

Cell division would be a huge obstacle for evolution. Mitosis is so compex. Did it all happen just in time before the old cell died? How did sexual replication develop. Did the female develop at just the right time for her male counterpart’s evolution? Millions of years but finished the same year?

This is like building a mousetrap—it won’t work until you have all the parts together. The human eye is so wonderful, and it begs appreciation for dozens of processes which had to develop simultaneously or it wouldn’t work, and Darwin’s idea of natural selection and survival of the fittest would have doomed us without sight, or hearing or the ability of blood to clot if wounded—a complex cascade of reactions.

And what about the 2nd law of thermodynamics that says the energy systems of the universe tend to run down unless acted upon by some outsde source, or shouldn’t we say Source—God! If we try to avoid Him, we may be in trouble when we get to the end of life’s brief probationary period like Voltaire. Google “dying words of infidels”–we should avoid the fearful looking for of Judgment with curses as famous atheists have died. Before dying, it would be well to understand God’s love and a better plan for us.

Maybe dying peacefully like Christians martyred by Muslims who don’t have such peace (and who have trouble living with others of similar but different belief) should tell us something?

Shouldn’t “Back to Basics” in education require answers to the above questions before we teach evolution (science without God) because it is so stupidly impossible? This happens to be the opinion of thousands of scientists who also believe the Bible—they have the same Author. Science rightly understood and the Bible rightly understood (damn the bad translations) agree. One of the amazing things about God is His ability to read the future better than we can read the past as the book of Daniel shows.

EDITORS NOTE: Dr. Richard Ruhling has three science degrees and has authored some eBooks with five-star reviews on Amazon. For readers interested in geopolitical events, he recommends The Alpha & Omega Bible Code with its explanations from Daniel, Revelation and the wedding parables.

Former Cocaine Dealer Pulling Strings to Get Marijuana License?

State Democratic Majority Leader J. Kalani English, (a former cocaine dealer), is raising eyebrows at the state Capitol after he helped to pass the law to create medical marijuana dispensaries in Hawaii and then joined in a group that applied for one of the potentially lucrative dispensary licenses.

State employees and lawmakers are prohibited from using their positions to receive any unwarranted advantages, and cannot use confidential information obtained through their positions to benefit themselves….

…some of English’s colleagues are saying privately or publicly that his participation in a firm that applied to become one of Hawaii’s first marijuana retail centers gives the appearance of a conflict to the public.

“I wouldn’t do it,” said Sen. Sam Slom….

“Look, there’s already people that think that we’re self-dealing or we’re crooks or we’re jerks or whatever, so I think to the extent that we can show them that we are fair and we are open and we’re doing our job, I think that’s the most important thing,” said Slom (R, Diamond Head-Kahala-Hawaii Kai).

English is listed in state records as one of four members of Hawaii Medicinal Options LLC, which is one of 59 applicants for eight marijuana dispensary licenses….

Another of English’s colleagues, who asked not to be identified, said the public might believe that English, a key leader of the Senate’s ruling Democratic caucus, will somehow use his clout to influence the selection process….

“It’s the general perception of it, because there’s a general distrust anyway.”

And since bills are being considered this year to refine the dispensary law, the situation appears to be one where “you’re in the game, and now you’re making rules for it,” the lawmaker said.

Lawmakers this year are considering a number of possible changes to the law such as specifying that license holders can cultivate marijuana in greenhouses or shade houses, and English would normally participate in measures like those as the majority leader and a voting member of the Senate.

State Ethics Commission Executive Director Les Kondo said the Hawaii State Code of Ethics exempts lawmakers from the conflicts-of-interest restrictions when it comes to voting or participating in official matters as legislators…

Rep. Marcus Oshiro, who has been a supporter of medical marijuana but a critic of the new dispensaries law, said there are already questions about favoritism or undue influence in the process to decide who will get licenses, and that this doesn’t help.

“It leaves a bad taste in people’s mouths, and I wouldn’t want to touch this with a 10-foot pole,” said Oshiro (D, Wahiawa-Whitmore-Poamoho). “Perception counts for a lot in politics, and from most people’s perspective it doesn’t look good to amend the laws that could benefit you or your friends.”

  • J Kalani English Marijuana: 2016
  • J Kalani English Cocaine: 1996, 2005

read … Lawmaker’s pakalolo ties might provoke suspicion

Marijuana: Secrecy, Unknown Agendas, connected applicants and lobbyists pressuring friends

Shapiro: The state Health Department’s apparently aborted scheme to select Hawaii’s eight medical marijuana licensees in secrecy adds to a sinking feeling that this high-stakes program won’t go well.

Using a legislative exemption, the department dispensed with hearings and public comments in drafting rules for exclusive and potentially lucrative licenses to grow and sell medical pot.

Then the state tried to avoid disclosing who would serve on the panel that will select eight licensees from 59 applicants, reversing course only after the Honolulu Star-Advertiser threatened a lawsuit.

The plan was for secret judges with unknown agendas and vague criteria deciding which of the rich, famous and politically connected applicants get licenses to mint money.

What could go wrong?

The state now says it’ll release names of selectors, but claims they haven’t been chosen yet as signs of disorder abound.

The Ige administration initially defended the secrecy as necessary to avoid tainting the integrity of the process with outside public pressure on the selection committee.

They have it backward: The real worry isn’t outside pressure but inside pressure — connected applicants and lobbyists pressuring friends in the administration or Legislature to influence the process.

Prominent names tied to applications include former Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle, former state Attorney General David Louie, Honolulu rail director Ivan Lui-Kwan, actor Woody Harrelson, producer Shep Gordon, former St. Francis Healthcare CEO Eugene Tiwanak, tech entrepreneur Henk Rogers, Hawaii island farmer Richard Ha, Maui state Sen. J. Kalani English and Anthony Takitani, law partner of Senate Judiciary Chairman Gil Keith-Agaran.

Adding to the secrecy and potential for backdoor influence is that many pot license applicants are limited-liability companies, which aren’t required to publicly identify principals behind the front persons….

read … A-state-that-favors-secrecy

Utah Legislature’s Unanimous Committee Resolution Declares Pornography a Public Health Crisis

GREAT FALLS, VA–  On Friday February 5th, the Utah State Legislature’s resolution on the  public health crisis of pornography  passed unanimously through committee.

“Enough Is Enough® applauds the leadership of the Utah State Legislature’s committee resolution declaring the public health crisis caused by pornography. This unanimous landmark decision shows the courage and conviction of a legislative body to deal with unpopular and often misunderstood  social justice issues such as pornography.

Unfortunately, deviant and extreme Internet pornography has become increasingly more mainstream due to few barriers of entry since 1994 when EIE launched the national movement for prevention solutions to protect children from prosecutable content online.

Since that time, numerous  peer-reviewed research studies continue to reveal that Internet pornography use is a  fueling factor in  the sexual exploitation of children, violence against women, sex trafficking, sexual  and erectile dysfunction and  physiological and chemical changes in the brain. A shared responsibility between the public, Corporate America and government is necessary to curb the continuous flood of Internet pornography in our nation. Now that science backs up the reality of Internet pornography’s harm to children, adults and cultures, we are hopeful that other states will address this serious issue very soon.”

For more information on the issue, please see “The Internet Pornography Pandemic: The Largest Unregulated Social Experiment in Human History” by Donna Rice Hughes. 

enough is enough logoAbout Enough Is Enough®

Enough Is Enough® (EIE) is a 501(c) 3 national, non-partisan non-profit with a mission to make the Internet safer for children and families by advancing solutions that promote equality, fairness and respect for human dignity with shared responsibility between the public, technology and the law. www.enough.org; www.internetsafety101.org;www.friendlywifi.org

EDITORS NOTE: The features image is courtesy of Reuters.

Zika Virus Shows It’s Time to Bring Back DDT by Diana Furchtgott-Roth

The Zika virus is spreading by mosquitoes northward through Latin America, possibly correlated with birth defects such as microcephaly in infants. Stories and photos of their abnormally small skulls are making headlines. The World Health Organization reports that four million people could be infected by the end of 2016.

On Monday, the WHO is meeting to decide how to address the crisis. The international body should recommend that the ban on DDT should be reversed, in order to kill the mosquitoes that carry Zika and malaria, a protistan parasite that has no cure.

Zika is in the news, but it is dwarfed by malaria. About 300 million to 600 million people suffer each year from malaria, and it kills about 1 million annually, 90 percent in sub-Saharan Africa. We have the means to reduce Zika and malaria — and we are not using it.

Under the Global Malaria Eradication Program, which started in 1955, DDT was used to kill the mosquitoes that carried the parasite, and malaria was practically eliminated. Some countries such as Sri Lanka, which started using DDT in the late 1940s, saw profound improvements. Reported cases fell from nearly 3 million a year to just 17 cases in 1963. In Venezuela, cases fell from over 8 million in 1943 to 800 in 1958. India saw a dramatic drop from 75 million cases a year to 75,000 in 1961.

This changed with the publication of Rachel Carson’s 1962 book, Silent Spring, which claimed that DDT was hazardous. After lengthy hearings between August 1971 and March 1972, Judge Edmund Sweeney, the EPA hearing examiner, decided that there was insufficient evidence to ban DDT and that its benefits outweighed any adverse effects. Yet, two months afterwards, then-EPA Administrator William D. Ruckelshaus overruled him and banned DDT, effective December 31, 1972.

Other countries followed, and DDT was banned in 2001 for agriculture by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. This was a big win for the mosquitoes, but a big loss for people who lived in Latin America, Asia, and Africa.

Carson claimed that DDT, because it is fat soluble, accumulated in the fatty tissues of animals and humans as the compound moved through the food chain, causing cancer and other genetic damage. Carson’s concerns and the EPA action halted the program in its tracks, and malaria deaths started to rise again, reaching 600,000 in 1970, 900,000 in 1990 and over 1,000,000 in 1997 — back to pre-DDT levels.

Some continue to say that DDT is harmful, but others say that DDT was banned in vain. There remains no compelling evidence that the chemical has produced any ill public health effects. According to an article in the British medical journal the Lancet by Professor A.G. Smith of Leicester University,

The early toxicological information on DDT was reassuring; it seemed that acute risks to health were small. If the huge amounts of DDT used are taken into account, the safety record for human beings is extremely good. In the 1940s many people were deliberately exposed to high concentrations of DDT thorough dusting programmes or impregnation of clothes, without any apparent ill effect… In summary, DDT can cause toxicological effects but the effects on human beings at likely exposure are very slight.

Even though nothing is as cheap and effective as DDT, it is not a cure-all for malaria. But a study by the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences concluded that spraying huts in Africa with DDT reduces the number of mosquitoes by 97 percent compared with huts sprayed with an alternative pesticide. Those mosquitoes that do enter the huts are less likely to bite.

By forbidding DDT and relying on more expensive, less effective methods of prevention, we are causing immense hardship. Small environmental losses are inferior to saving thousands of human lives and potentially increasing economic growth in developing nations.

We do not yet have data on the economic effects of the Zika virus, but we know that countries with a high incidence of malaria can suffer a 1.3 percent annual loss of economic growth. According to a Harvard/WHO study, sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP could be $100 billion greater if malaria had been eliminated 35 years ago.

Rachel Carson died in 1964, but the legacy of Silent Spring and its recommended ban on DDT live with us today. Millions are suffering from malaria and countless others are contracting the Zika virus as a result of the DDT ban. They were never given the choice of living with DDT or dying without it. The World Health Organization should recognize that DDT has benefits, and encourage its use in combating today’s diseases.

This article first appeared at E21, a project of the Manhattan Institute.

Diana Furchtgott-RothDiana Furchtgott-Roth

Diana Furchtgott-Roth, former chief economist of the U.S. Department of Labor, is director of Economics21 and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

No, the Rest of the World Doesn’t Use ‘Single Payer’ by Eli Lehrer

There’s plenty of reason for free marketers to be skeptical of proposals, like the ones emanating from Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and hinted at by Republican Donald Trump, that would create a single-payer healthcare coverage system in the United States.

But, if only because these proposals have resonance with the public, they’re certainly worth debating. A rational debate depends on getting the facts straight and there’s one fact that both left and right often get wrong: “single payer” healthcare of the sort Bernie Sanders proposes isn’t universal in the developed world and the US system isn’t particularly free-market by the standards of peer nations.

Although definitions vary slightly, a single payer healthcare system is one where a single entity — a government-run insurance plan — pays all bills for a variety of medical care, and private payment for these same services is more-or-less banned.

Among the G-7 countries, only one nation, Canada, actually maintains such a system. One other, Italy, has a pretty similar system but allows much more private payment, and, because of the low standards of public hospitals, nearly everyone who can afford private insurance carries it.

Japan maintains a government-run healthcare plan, but it has so many gaps that most families find a need to carry private insurance to cover things like cancer-treatment related costs the public system excludes.

Germany, like the United States, has an employer-state hybrid system with heavy regulation of insurance companies.

France has a “dominant payer” system, where one quasi-governmental entity (CNAMTS) pays many bills, but about 90 percent of the population maintains private coverage as well, and most people pay something out of pocket each year.

The United Kingdom, finally, directly administers almost all medical personnel and facilities through a single governmental entity in each of the home countries. This is a “single provider” system.

Except in the United Kingdom, furthermore, there are significant numbers of people in all of these countries who report problems paying for needed medical care. This percentage is higher in the United States and Germany, intermediate in France, and lower in Canada. The UK only achieves its apparently enviable results because of long waiting lists for many procedures and health care rationing systems that are pretty close to the fictional “death panels” some conservatives claimed were part of Obamacare.

The American system as it exists isn’t unusually free market either. The German, French, and Japanese systems — where consumers much more frequently shop around for insurance plans they like rather than having the government or an employer chose — offer more consumer choices than most Americans enjoy. Even though taxpayers pick up a very large portion of the bills, the French practice of publically providing the prices of medical procedures makes that system feel a lot more like a free market than anything most Americans see day-to-day.

There are lots of valid criticisms of the United States’ healthcare system. The difficulty the poor or uninsured sometimes have in getting needed medical care is one of them. Some problems of the US health care system stem from lifestyle and cultural factors that organization and payment mechanisms can’t impact. But the lack of a single-payer system in the United States isn’t unusual in the slightest nor is the system we have particularly free-market.

Any debate should start by acknowledging both of those facts.

Eli LehrerEli Lehrer

Eli Lehrer is president and co-founder of the R Street Institute, a free-market think tank.

Teens Who Use Marijuana at Risk of Schizophrenia

In a pre-clinical study, researchers from Western University in Ontario, Canada, studied the effects of long-term exposure to THC in both adolescent and adult rats.

They found changes in behavior as well as in brain cells in the adolescent rats that were identical to those found in schizophrenia. These changes lasted into early adulthood long after the initial THC exposure.

The young rats were “socially withdrawn and demonstrated increased anxiety, cognitive disorganization, and abnormal levels of dopamine, all of which are features of schizophrenia,” according to the article. The same effects were not seen in the adult rats.

“With the current rise in cannabis use and the increase in THC content, it is critically important to highlight the risk factors associated with exposure to marijuana, particularly during adolescence,” the researchers warn.

Read Medical News Today story here. Read study abstract in the journal Cerebral Cortex here.

New Biological Data Measures Issues that Divide American Voters

CHICAGO. IL /PRNewswire/ — Obamacare and immigration are the two issues on which Republicans and Democrats are the most divided, according to research by research and insights agency Shapiro+Raj, the company announced. Republican and Democratic respondents differed in their reactions to different candidates’ positions on these issues.

Researchers at Shapiro+Raj, led by Associate Manager Mike Winograd, Ph.D., used traditional survey methods complemented by biometrics to better measure respondents’ in-the-moment opinions about eight issues using video statements by some of the leading candidates from both parties in the 2016 presidential race.

Of the eight issues covered—abortion, climate change, gay marriage, gun control, immigration, Obamacare, Social Security and taxes—Obamacare, gun control and abortion elicited the strongest responses from both sides in terms of support or opposition. The majority of respondents also ranked gay marriage and climate change among the least important issues in the upcoming election.

For each issue, Shapiro+Raj used five video clips of Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and undeclared candidate Joe Biden. Republican candidates included Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Donald Trump. All of the clips lasted between 10 and 33 seconds. Clips for each issue were shown in serial with 15-second blank screens between each video clip.

In this study, Shapiro+Raj used a biometric measure known as galvanic skin response (GSR), to measure respondents’ perspiration levels, which are an indicator of arousal and emotional reactivity, and applied the results alongside facial coding to determine not only the strength of viewers’ responses, but also their comparative reactions.

The findings overall showed that the biometric analysis did not fully align with the survey responses.

“Biometrics have huge implications for the ad-marketing industry because they can be applied to extract more detailed and actionable consumer insights on behalf of brands,” Winograd said. “Traditional researchers have known for a long time that what people say doesn’t always align with their true beliefs or how they might behave.”

For example, aside from his image as Washington outsider, Trump has more moderate, or even liberal, views on some issues. While Democratic voters’ ratings of Trump were strongly negative, the biometric findings indicated that when the content of his messages aligned with their beliefs, Democratic voters do not necessarily dislike Trump.

A 2013 clip of Ben Carson referring to Obamacare as, “the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery,” evoked the strongest negative reaction among some Democratic respondents, according to the biometric analysis. By contrast, Republicans’ responses to the Carson clip indicated that they did not find his statement provocative.

“Using biometrics, we can get nuanced perspectives on the emotions of voters and consumers,” Winograd added.

For more information about these findings, click here.


Shapiro+Raj is a new strategy and research company for the Insight Economy™, connecting Shapiro’s 60-year leadership in research, insights and analytics with new world brand strategy, innovation and ideation capabilities. Shapiro+Raj delivers deep, enduring insights and inspired ideas to help its Fortune 500 clients improve the value of their brands while driving profitable growth of their business. Headquartered in Chicago, the independent firm also has an office in New York.

RELATED ARTICLE: North Carolina: Craven County considering resolution to block some refugees from the county

Devastating Impact of Marijuana Legalization on Colorado’s Children

National Families in Action reports:

colorado marijuana use youth coverPast-month marijuana use among Colorado’s adolescents, ages 12-17, was 74 percent higher (12.56% vs. 7.22% nationwide) than the national average for the two years following legalization in the state, according to a new report from the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.

Further, the average usage rate in states that have not legalized marijuana for medical use is lower (5.99%) than the average in states that have (8.52%) and far lower than the states that have fully legalized pot (11.31%).

Past-month marijuana use among college-age young adults, ages 18-25, was 62 percent higher than the national average (31.24% vs. 19.32%). Use in full legalization states was nearly double that of use in non-medical pot states (27.86% vs. 16.43% in 2014).

Adult past-month use was 104 percent greater than the national average (12.45% vs. to 6.11% in 2014). Adult use in full legalization states was 11.83% vs. 4.7% in non-legalization states.

Read the Rocky Mountain HIDTA Report here.


NFIA consists of families, scientists, business leaders, physicians, addiction specialists, policymakers, and others committed to protecting children from addictive drugs. Our vision is:

  • Healthy, drug-free kids
  • Nurturing, addiction-free families
  • Scientifically accurate information and education
  • A nation free of Big Marijuana
  • Smart, safe, FDA-approved medicines developed from the cannabis plant (and other plants)
  • Expanded access to medicines in FDA clinical trials for children with epilepsy

RELATED ARTICLE: Last Thing Struggling Students Need is More Marijuana – Hudson Institute

LAWSUIT: ‘Neither the Courts nor Government Can Determine What Is a Sin’

The Thomas More Law Center (TMLC), a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, yesterday, filed a friend of the court brief in the case of Zubik v. Burwell, in support of seven non-profit organizations including the Little Sisters of the Poor who claim they cannot comply with the Department of Health and Human Services’ mandate (“HHS Mandate”) because even the so called “accommodations” make them actively complicit in the sin of abortion.  TMLC’s brief asserts that the Court is not the arbiter of sacred Scripture and, therefore, cannot determine whether or not an act constitutes a sin; it can only determine whether the government’s penalties for refusal to complete the sinful act are a substantial burden on religious liberty.

Thomas More Law Center Files Brief in Supreme Court Declaring Neither Court Nor Government Can Determine What Is a Sin

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of TMLC, portrays this case as a potential turning point in American legal history, stating, “The HHS Mandate is a monumental attack on religious liberty.  If this appeal is lost, the government becomes the head of every religious denomination in the country by its assumed authority to determine what is in fact a sin.”

The HHS Mandate requires religious non-profit organizations to participate in a government scheme to provide free contraceptives, including abortion causing drugs and devices (abortifacients), to their employees or face monumental fines that would result in closing the doors of most non-profit organizations that object to the HHS Mandate.

However, the HHS Mandate allows non-profit organizations like the Little Sisters to receive a so-called accommodation from directly providing free contraceptives and abortifacients to their employees.  The accommodation  requires the non-profit organizations to either (1) fill out a form as notice of their objection to contraceptives and abortifacients and provide that form to their insurers, which includes language instructing the insurers to provide free contraceptives and abortifacients to the women in the non-profits’ health plans, or (2) write and send a detailed letter to HHS with all of the information necessary to notify the non-profits’ insurers of their newfound obligation to provide free contraceptives and abortifacients to the women in the non-profits’ health plans.

These notification requirements trigger the non-profits’ insurers to provide free contraceptives and abortifacients to the women in the non-profits’ health plans. This notification requirement makes the non profits complicit in the provision of a service that they find sinful, thereby causing them to sin themselves.

TMLC’s brief argues, supported by a long line of Supreme Court precedent, that neither the government nor the Supreme Court can determine whether an act does or does not violate a person’s religious beliefs.  Rather, the Supreme Court must accept the non-profits’ assertions that the notification requirement is indeed against their religion.  To accept otherwise is to supplant the Church and the Bible with the government, allowing the Supreme Court and the government to interpret tenants of faith.  This slippery slope would subject all religious exercise to the whim of the government’s approval.

 Excerpts from TMLC’s Amicus brief:

  • “This Court has already determined that the fines for noncompliance with the HHS Mandate impose a substantial burden on employers. Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., 134 S. Ct. 2751, 2776 (2014). The ultimate question, therefore, is whether compliance is actually against the Petitioners’ religion. This is something that is for Petitioners to determine, not the Court.”
  • “The Court is not the arbiter of sacred scripture and cannot determine whether the notification form and letter are attenuated enough from the provision of contraceptives that they do not substantially burden Petitioners’ religion. Delving into this inquiry requires the Court to interpret Petitioners’ religious beliefs on the morality of the different levels of complicity with sin. Thomas v. Review Bd. of Indian Employment Security Div., 450 U.S. 707, 718 (1981).  Therefore, the Court can only determine whether Petitioners are being compelled to do something that violates their faith—here, filling out the notification form or writing a notification letter to HHS, both of which trigger the dissemination of contraceptives and abortifacients to their employees in connection with their employee health plans.”
  • “While women have a right to obtain contraceptives, see Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479, 485-486 (1965), this does not mean they have a right to free contraceptives and abortifacients. Moreover, this right certainly does not mean that a person has the right to obtain contraceptives and abortifacients—either directly or indirectly—from their employer at the expense of pillaging the employer’s religious liberty.”

Click here to read TMLC’s entire 19-page brief  

TMLC, representing thirty-six plaintiffs including six religious non-profit organizations, has filed twelve lawsuits challenging the illegal aims of the HHS Mandate.

Obamacare Is Bondage and Bureaucracy

Governments world-wide are in a crisis that will widen and deepen till they crumble like the image in the 2nd chapter of Daniel. The US Constitution was a gift of freedom by godly men who honored the biblical model of self-government. If people will not govern themselves well, there are not enough inspectors or police to control the sheeple and there will be a rebellion to the growing tyranny. The easiest example is the government healthcare plan, says Dr. Ruhling.

“Devil-in-the-details” Bureaucracy:  A sample of 1%–the first 200 of 20,000 pages:

  1. Mandates government audit of all employers that self-insure.
  2. Healthcare “rationing” You can only receive so much ‘care’ per year: $5000/person, $10,000/family
  3. A government committee will decide what benefits you receive. Pg 30, Section 123.
  4. Healthcare will be provided to all non-US citizens, illegal or otherwise. (you pay) Pg 50, Section 152.
  5. National ID Card. Government access to your bank account for elective fund transfer. Pg 58-59.
  6. “Healthcare Exchanges” bring private healthcare plans under government control. Pg 72.
  7. AARP members will have healthcare rationed. Pg 85.
  8. Automatic enrollment in Medicade—you have no choice. Pg 102.
  9. No Judicial Review against Government monopoly. Pg 124
  10. Employers must pay for healthcare of part-time employees AND their families, Pg 126.
  11. Any person without healthcare acceptable to the government will be taxed (Aliens exempt), Pg 167.
  12. Cancer treatment rationing, Pg 272.

Watch this video:

As a retired physician who taught Health Science at Loma Linda University. Enjoying great health in his mid-70’s, he hasn’t paid for a prescription since a case of diarrhea in 1988. He’s been a vegetarian since age 14, never smoked or had a drink of alcohol or coffee and he thinks most people could choose to do so too if they would face the problem of withdrawal from their addictions.

Why should he be taxed to pay for medical care of those who want to eat, drink, smoke or sex as they please?. When we don’t govern ourselves, we need help. A prescription will solve our problem for a while and then we may need another. It’s a slippery slope because sooner or later the body gets toxic to the drug (a chemical) and then problems begin to multiply.

Adverse drug reactions have made medical care a leading cause of illness, disability and death according to medical literature that Ruhling was sharing with US Senators until one senator said, “You are wasting your time—they own us” speaking of drug company donations to their re-election.

I reminds you the drug companies wrote most of Obamacare to make it easy for people to take drugs and get their prescriptions free or cheap. It’s a masterpiece of population control that even Congress understands enough to not want it for themselves, but its bondage for poor ignorant people who don’t know any better. Since the mid-70’s, the government calls it ‘healthcare’ and we swallowed the bait.

In medical school, I learned that Moses wrote the first comprehensive health code with all the ingredients for good health: pure air, sunlight, rest, exercise, a diet that excluded unclean animals listed in the 11th chapter of Leviticus (and supportable by science), use of water, trust in God. Also they were not eat the fat or blood of the slaughtered animal that was carefully inspected—not like six cattle carcasses that pass a US government inspector on a conveyor belt every minute in Omaha.

Healthcare is the first of eight levels of control to be obtained before you can create a social state, according to Saul Alinsky, a favorite author of Obama and Hillary—she did a college thesis on him, and as Dr. Carson said, Obamacare is “the worst thing since slavery”–maybe because it’s where we’re headed.

EDITORS NOTE: Dr. Richard Ruhling was board-certified in Internal Medicine and had a Fellowship in Cardiology before teaching Health Science at Loma Linda University. The DVD on his website featuring Bill Clinton’s cardiologist, Dr. Esselstyn, is the best motivator for a better diet that Ruhling knows and it’s working for Clinton! Readers can see 5 minutes of it at http://RichardRuhling.com  Ruhling also authored ‘Why You Shouldn’t Ask Your Doctor” available at http://amzn.to/1I22otT

‘The Sexual Revolution’ Gave Us ‘the Rape Culture’

By Judith Gelernter Reisman and Mary E. McAllister

CNN’s The Hunting Ground has won critical acclaim from filmmakers, winning the Stanley Kramer award from the Producers Guild of America while garnering criticism from Ivy League elites who worry that their reputations are being sullied by the depiction of a “rape culture” on their campuses (Harvard Crimson). That, in turn, has prompted a response from students in the form of a discrimination complaint under the Federal anti-discrimination law known as Title IX.

The attention that The Hunting Ground has attracted raises the question, “has it always been so on college campuses?”

VIDEO: Trailer The Hunting Ground.

Even radical sexologists such as Prof. Ira Reiss have to admit that it has not. Reiss reports that unmarried WWII 18-22 year-old Army lads were largely “still virgins.” Even Hugh Hefner was a college virgin at age 22. Dutch “sexperts” Drs. Kronhausens’ 1960 survey revealed, “The average modern college man is apt to say that he considers intercourse “too precious” to have with anyone except the girl he expects to marry and may actually abstain from all intercourse for that reason.” (p. 219). However, by the 1970s youth were generally sexually radicalized–once normalized, most thought unwed sex was “natural.”

How did this transformation occur? A brief chronology shows the historical context:

1950: “Age Disparity (Relations Involving One Adult) …. [P]ersons under the age of 7 are legally regarded as not responsible….but many are by endowment and training fully capable of….responsibility for sexual behavior.”

Manfried Guttmacher, Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry (GAP).

1953: “The cultural tendency to overprotect women and children [is] often…more detrimental to the…victim than the offense itself….Kinsey’s findings…permeate all present thinking on this subject.” The Illinois Commission on Sex Offenders

1955: “Despite the indication that 12 is…the onset of puberty….it is known that significant numbers of girls enter the period of sexual awakening as early as the tenth year.” Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry; the ALI, Model Penal Code

1983: “[T]he older term “rape” was fraught with negative emotion and [is] unrealistic for this era. . . . [T]he female is [not] … harmed in some unique way by untoward sexual behavior.” C. Nemeth, How New Jersey Prosecutors View the New Sexual Offense Statutes; N.J. Law Journal.

Fast forward from a Hugh Hefner as a 22 year old virgin to today, where high-profile college and professional athletes like Tim Tebow and Russell Wilson are ridiculed for announcing they will abstain from sex until they are married. Does this contempt for virginity reflect somehow a kind of “sexual exploitation pedagogy” of esteemed professors and administrators? And how have these prestigious graduates of a sexploitive pedagogy affected society? Have elitist sex abuse fantasies evolved into ideology, seeping into leading minds of the legal, political, educational, legislative, religious, scientific, medical, justice, law enforcement, entertainment, etc. worlds? And is pornography in university offices and dorms seeding its widespread sexual ideology?

Statistics tell the story. Roughly 80% of college men and 34% of co-eds use porn on campus or off, sanctioned by “free speech” Harvard professors and administrators—that’s campus sex culture! And, ominously, Data4Justice documents many “professors and staff…arrested for trading in brutal child sex abuse, including of infants.”

From University of Virginia’s Assistant Dean, Michael Morris downloading infant anal rape to Kirk Nesset, creative writing professor at Allegheny College with over 500,000 videos/images including” rape of infants. Professors and staff are involved in child sex trafficking….Since 2015 August, at least two professors per week have been arrested, arraigned or sentenced.”

Moreover, FBI’s Joseph Campbell says “the level of pedophilia is unprecedented right now.” A “survey of high school graduates” found 13.5% had sex with a teacher. If some administrators and professors are viewing child rape on campus computers does this become an intellectualization of a “rape culture”? A 2014 op-ed by Yale Professor Jed Rubenfeld, drew heated objections from Yale Law Students. He reminds our largely historically ignorant populace of the fallout following the nostalgic 1969 “Woodstock” “sexual revolution”.

It’s part of the revolution in sexual attitudes and college sex codes that has taken place over the last 50 years. Not long ago, nonmarital sex on college campuses was flatly suppressed. Sex could be punished with suspension or expulsion….Rape was a matter for the police, not the university. Beginning in the late 1960s however, sex on campus increasingly came to be permitted….The problem then became how to define consent.[Emphasis added]

So almost three generations ago, youth were lied to (read Dr. Reisman’s books for details) and persuaded that the WWII generation were closet sexual adventurers. This belief in their parental hypocrisy (see, The Graduate, 1967) helped youth reject the American legacy of sex restrictions in exchange for “sex drugs ‘n rock-n-roll.” Since then, each subsequent generation has been increasingly sexually permissive. Sexpert ideologues now teach sex to children in school, videos, social media, film, novels, text books, even pulpits while “every five days, a police officer in America is caught engaging in sexual abuse or misconduct.” And sexual victimization of males occurs in the military today, not just in prisons. Well over 14,000 in 2012, “[a]ccording to the Pentagon, thirty-eight military men are sexually assaulted every single day.  So, it’s not just more reporting. Is it possible pornography is training a rape culture?

Meanwhile, back at Harvard, nineteen Law Professors posted an irate protest of CNN’s portrayal of the sexualized campuses as a “rape culture.” Their most illustrious professorial signatory is Prof. Laurence Tribe, an admitted plagiarizer, who taught American Legal History to Obama and two Supreme Court Justices. Tribe apparently is inexcusably ignorant of, or deliberately hiding, the worst child sex crimes and frauds in American Legal History—of pedophile Prof. Alfred Kinsey of Indiana University, the “father of the sexual revolution.” American past and present sexual law was revolutionized based upon experiments on up to 2,035 children raped and tortured for alleged “orgasms” published in Kinsey’s Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948) Kinsey, a sadistic obsessive masturbating pedophile and pornography addict was the scientific authority for these disastrous changes. His Tables 30-34 record the worst, unprosecuted, infant andchild sexual experimentation ever conducted in American Legal History, (Reisman, 2013)

By 1952 Herbert Wechsler’s Harvard Law Review article relied on Kinsey’s sex tome to justify liberalizing all sex laws. By 1955 Wechsler, chief author of the first-ever American Law Institute Model Penal Code (MPC), reported that sex protections for females were onerous for men. The new, innovative MPC argued that reduction of sex crime required more sexual freedom, lighter penalties, parole, and tax paid therapy for all sex criminals. Under Wechsler the neoteric MPC proposed age ten for consent as her “seductive” conduct might push men to rape. Kinsey claimed of 4,441 female interviewees none was really injured by a sexual assault, hence the Kinsey-MPC plan was to eliminate “unrealistic” rape and statutory rape laws. No rape harm, no need for rape laws! With this “cultural” pedagogy promoted by our prestigious legal lights and backed by Kinseyan “sex science” our legacy would inevitably be a “rape culture”—rape on college campuses, middle schools, libraries, bedrooms, barrooms, church pews, court rooms, etc. Be careful what you ask for. After the MPC advised a lowered age of consent (to allow “peer” sex), as Reisman documents, America’s legislatures and courts loosened state laws that had favored women (harsh laws against rape, adultery, child sex abuse, incest) and eased criminal penalties for sex offenders in more than two-thirds of U.S. states.

Wechsler and others used Kinsey’s alleged “sex science” to justify these actions and claims such as “[t]he cultural tendency to overprotect women and children [is] often…more detrimental to the…victim than the offense itself… Kinsey’s findings … permeate all present thinking on this subject.” Recall, until Kinsey, society allowed “the marital act” only in the “institution” of marriage, severely limiting even “fun consensual” fornication.Morris Ploscowe wrote, in the 1948 “Pre-Kinsey era” three states gave mandatory death sentences for rape—nineteen states provided the death penalty, life, or very long terms. Twenty-eight states gave the rapist 20 years or more, and one 15 years or more. Post-Kinsey’s “data” stated that 95 percent of men were already sex offenders and most women were promiscuous, or wanted to be. According to Ploscowe, justification for strict rape, child abuse or obscenity law was largely old fashioned.

How many millions of college lassies were spared disease, pregnancy, heartbreak, rape, suicide even homicide by such “old fashioned” ideas?

Now, trained by these elite academics and since “tween-age” by media such as Cosmopolitan magazine (be a “fun, fearless female”– booze up and hook-up), millions of Cosmo followers reveal how well they have learned by accepting or appearing in student pornography magazines such as Harvard’s “Diamond” launched in 2004. At least 10 American universities followed suit, featuring nude photo-spreads of ordinary students. Dozens more host “sex events,” such as naked parties at Yale, “sex week” at Tufts or “Outdoor Intercourse Day” at Western Washington University. Other examples include photographs of half-naked gay couples at the University of Chicago, Squirm at Vassar and, arguably, the most explicit, Boink….College Guide to Carnal Knowledge at Boston University.

Elitist administrators, perhaps some of those who complained about The Hunting Ground, award free speech funds and/or advocate for abusive porn events. Yale graduate Nathan Harden reports on “Sex Week” at Yale, recruiting naïve students into today’s vicious sexploitation. Here “porn stars and sex industry CEOs are invited on campus for a marathon of sex-related film screenings, seminars, and product demonstrations — all sanctioned by the university as ‘sex education.’” Harden notes that the university polity (steeped in the sex-saturated, rape culture they deplore yet breed) no longer understand the reason for education.

This is an unanticipated cost of the ‘60’s sexual revolution along with an explosion of inventive, barbaric sex crimes against women, children, even infants, and increased recidivism.

Some academic elites are waking up. Feminist lawyer and former Democratic presidential Campaign Manager for Michael Dukakis (1988), Susan Estrich was perplexed by the MPC influence on rape laws. She wondered at the “fresh complaint” clause that said, “a complaint must be filed within three months,” if the crime were sexual. This clause had not been part of America’s Common Law. Moreover, now that liberal lawyers were in charge, only “if serious bodily injury is inflicted” would rape be a “first degree felony.”

Moreover, noted Estrich, the lawyerly libidos had new rules for rape. If the victim had a “racy” past she might be classed as a “prostitute.” Therefore, even when she was the victim of a “gang” or fraternity “group” rape, the guilty predator might be cleared of the crime. These and other new laws followed on Kinsey’s claims that rape was a harmless, natural and normal reaction to seductive females (by age 10). Also, the New York Times reported, March 8, 1949, Kinsey had proven that not more than 5 percent of arrestees cause any real damage and thus sex offense laws had no function other than to preserve custom.

Today—60 years later, the same Ivy League Schools are embroiled in controversy regarding the “rape culture” they helped create through training students, lawyers, judges, politicians and legislators in Kinseyan pansexuality and the MPC. Many of these 2nd generation learned professors are now signatories on letters protesting claims that there is a rape culture caused by the very sexual revolution they helped institute on campus.

For a truly touching video on the reality of the damage done to all by the elites’ promotion of the sexual revolution, do take time to view former porn “star” Shelley Lubben’s reverential video, Dead Porn Stars Memorial.

Judith Gelernter Reisman, PhD 

Research Professor, Director Liberty Child Protection Center, Liberty University School of Law

Mary E. McAlister, Esq.

Senior Litigation Counsel, Liberty Counsel


Unseen Islamic State Pamphlet on Slavery

Why These High School Girls Don’t Want a Transgender Student in Their Locker Room

LGBT Group Calls on Government to Address ‘Disturbing Trend’ at Religious Colleges

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on Breitbart.com.

Divine Providence: Adopted Son Saves Life of Birth Father

With just three months to live, David Johnston received the most shocking email of his life.  This was a name from the past he could never forget due to all that had happened.  It was his college romance Beverly Martin.

In 1956, young David’s romantic relationship with his then girlfriend had resulted in a pregnancy.  Knowing that they were not equipped to care for the baby, the couple not only made the mutual decision to put the baby up for adoption, but also to go their separate ways.

“I found our son,” the voice said.  After a two-year search, the birth mother and son were reunited online.  Initially, it seemed this would be the call that would turn David’s world upside down.  But little did he know, that what some people call fate and others call a divine appointment, this call would be instrumental in saving his life.

Dear Reader, the story I am going to share is a testament to the sanctity of human life.  It is a story of redemption for David Johnston.  It is a story for an adopted son who, like so many, had questions about his entry into this world that led him on a search for his birth parents. Then suddenly, mystery unfurled. Providence.

Since being put up for adoption in 1957, Ken Davis flourished in his adopted family in Mississippi, though the wonderful upbringing he experienced did not squelch his curiosity about his past.  Out of respect for his adopted mother, he never pursued any answers until after she had passed away.

“God blessed me with a wonderful adoptive family,” he said.  The nurturing of his childhood and his desire to make something of his life afforded him the opportunity to pursue an education in medicine at University of Mississippi Medical Center.  He continued on to earn a fellowship at Harvard Medical School in geriatric medicine and eventually was named as Chief Medical Officer for San Antonio Methodist Healthcare System.

Three years prior to identifying his birth mother, Ken approached his San Antonio employer about launching a valve clinic that would specialize in trans-catheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), a process that makes an incision in the groin, threads a catheter through a large artery, clears the valve blockage, then folds a new, functional valve into place.

When David Johnston received the email from his old flame, he kept the email with two phone numbers and the name.  Ken Davis.  It was the missing link to a son he had never known, and he then decided to make the connection.

David Johnston spoke to Ken Davis as if they had already been friends for life, but didn’t wait long before announcing the sad news that he only had three months to live due to blockage in his aortic valve.

Shortly after meeting for the first time, he received a call from David’s son Brad Johnston who was seeking additional solutions for the ailing patriarch.  In the past, Johnston’s prognosis had not been adequate for other more traditional and invasive surgical methods and the innovative methods that Dr. Ken Davis was seeing in San Antonio were unavailable to Johnston in a small Southern town.

Dr. Ken Davis was eventually able to have several surgeons reevaluate David’s case over a medical visit to San Antonio where David was approved for the surgery.  A 30-minute procedure performed by Dr. Jorge Alvarez saved David’s life.

David recovered in the home of Ken and his wife Nancy where they cared for him as their own family, because they truly were.  They discovered the commonalities in mannerisms and interests and used the time to get to know one another more deeply.

David’s long-time wife Glenda, having been told about the adoption early in the relationship, was supportive as was the entire family who witnessed life-saving providence for their father–providence of the most unusual circumstances.

“Giving up a child for adoption can be a loving thing to do,” Ken Davis said.  “There are many couples looking to adopt children.  Not every reunion is a positive experience like ours, but don’t be afraid to search for biological relations.  It might be a blessing like our family has had.”

David Johnston added, “It’s just a miracle.  All those things just had to happen.”

Dr. Ken Davis and David Johnston remain close to this very day.  What was once lost has been restored.

Christmas wish: 4-Year-Old Tells Santa He Wants Help Praying for a Sick Baby

Micaiah Bilger from LifeNews.com reports:

When 4-year-old Prestyn Barnette sat on Santa Claus’s lap, the South Carolina boy wasn’t thinking about toys or candy. He asked Santa to pray for a little baby who needed a miracle, a baby who Prestyn had never even met.

Santa Claus got out of his chair and kneeled down with Prestyn and prayed on Dec. 13 at the Dutch Square shopping mall in Columbia, South Carolina, according to Yahoo News.

Prestyn’s aunt snapped a photo of the touching moment, and the scene quickly went viral, inspiring thousands of people across the internet – especially the family of little Knox Stine.

Two-month-old Knox was found limp and unresponsive by his father, Carl, on Nov. 30, according to the report. Stine tried to perform CPR and then rushed the little boy to the hospital. There, doctors initially declared the Kingman, Arizona baby brain dead; but after a second examination, they discovered blood flow to his brain, the report states.

His mother, Mindi Stine, said Knox is scheduled to have a tracheostomy to assist his breathing on Friday.

Read m0re.

PARENTAL WARNING: Children’s ‘Nugtella’ laced with Marijuana

National Families in Action reports:

California was the first state to legalize marijuana for medical use in 1996. But that did not happen spontaneously. Major investors began pouring money into organizations working to legalize marijuana in the early 1990s, just as marijuana use among high-school students reached its lowest levels since the Monitoring the Future survey began in 1975.

In 1991, 3% of eighth-grade students, 9% of tenth-grade students, and 14% of twelfth-grade students used marijuana in the past month. Today, eighth-grade use has doubled (7%), and tenth- and twelfth-grade use (15% and 21%, respectively) has nearly doubled. What made that happen?

Legalization proponents have hammered home the idea that marijuana is A) medicine and B) harmless. As increasingly more states have passed legislation based on these ideas, young people have gotten the message. Some 79% of high-school seniors believed smoking marijuana regularly was harmful in 1991. Today, only 32% do, the fewest since the survey began. Similar declines in belief in harm have occurred among younger students as well.

The 23 states that legalized marijuana as medicine gave birth to a commercial marijuana industry which creates and promotes products, including marijuana-infused foods, that appeal to teenagers. “Nugtella,” pictured above, is just one example. Others include marijuana-infused, multi-flavored “soft” drinks, gummi bears, and lollipops.

Says Stu Gitlow, MD, immediate past president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine and science advisory board member of SAM: Smart Approaches to Marijuana, in a press release about the survey SAM issued this morning, “Medical research is very clear that marijuana is both addictive and harmful. One in six adolescents that use marijuana develop an addiction, and use is associated with lower IQ, lower grades, and high dropout rates in that same population.”

Which makes all the more disturbing another finding from the survey: 1 in 16 high school seniors uses marijuana daily. At 6%, seniors’ daily marijuana use is now higher than their daily cigarette use (5.5%) and daily alcohol use (2%).

Read Monitoring the Future Survey here. Read SAM press release here.