Posts

Democrat Governor: Legalizing Pot Was ‘Reckless.’ A New Study Proves Him Right [+Video]

The top Democrat in Colorado, Gov. John Hickenlooper, said Monday during a gubernatorial debate that legalizing marijuana in Colorado was “reckless.” His Republican opponent, Bob Beauprez, agreed.

According to The Huffington Post, Hickenlooper said, “I think for us to that that [legalize recreational use] without having all the data, there is not enough data, and to a certain extent you could say it was reckless.”

Hickenlooper is right and wrong.

He is certainly correct, and gets credit for admitting that legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in Colorado was reckless. As we have shown hereherehere and here, the negative social costs are proof positive that this radical experiment is not only reckless, but dangerous.

But Hickenlooper is wrong that there is “not enough data.”

As former Obama administration drug policy expert Kevin Sabet has said, the trope that marijuana is harmless and non-addictive is a myth. His book, “Reefer Sanity: Seven Great Myths About Marijuana,” is a must-read for anyone who actually wants “the data.”

But now there’s even more “data.”

pot in bottles

Marijuana and cannabis-infused products are displayed for sale at a marijuana dispensary in Denver, Colorado. Source: AP.

A definitive study published this week by the Journal of Addiction by professor Wayne Hall of Kings College London shows that marijuana is highly addictive, causes mental health problems and is a gateway drug to other illegal dangerous drugs.

Hall’s research, conducted over the past 20 years, confirms what other studies have shown:

  • Regular adolescent marijuana users have lower educational attainment than non-using peers;
  • Those users are more likely to use other illegal drugs;
  • Adolescent use produces intellectual impairment;
  • It doubles the risk of being diagnosed with schizophrenia;
  • And, not surprisingly, increases the risk of heart attacks in middle-aged adults.

Hickenlooper’s warning to other states should be heeded. Legalizing marijuana is reckless, no matter what the pot pushers say to the contrary.

COMMENTARY BY CULLY STIMSON

Portrait of Cully Stimson

Cully Stimson@cullystimson

Charles “Cully” D. Stimson is a leading expert in criminal law, military law, military commissions and detention policy at The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Legal and Judicial Studies. Read his research.

RELATED VIDEO: What are the physical effects of smoking cannabus/marijuana?

RELATED ARTICLES: 

How Marijuana Legalization United Democrat, Republican Running for Governor

The terrible truth about cannabis: Expert’s devastating 20-year study finally demolishes claims that smoking pot is harmless

Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford on Amendment 2: ‘De Facto Legalization of Marijuana’

Tampa Bay Times recommends: Vote no on Amendment 2, medical marijuana

Biotech Researcher Finds Medical Pot Laced With Feces & Vaginal Bacteria

One of the fallacies of “medical” marijuana is that it is safe, much like the aspirin or prescription drugs we take based on a doctor’s order. That is not the case according to Bloomberg’s Peter Robinson. Robinson reports:

SNC00119

Oaksterdam Uk Blue Cheese/Blueberry Kush. Photo courtesy of Mary Janebly.

Months after her biotechnology company sold for $40 million, Jessica Tonani is on Seattle’s Highway 99, where Kurt Cobain in his final days shot heroin in cheap motels. She’s scoring a gram of Blueberry Kush.

Tonani doesn’t plan to smoke the pot. Her typical procedure is to isolate some of its DNA and bank it, sequence its genetic profile, and test it for bacteria. After her stop at Choice Wellness, a medical marijuana store in one of the states where pot is newly legal, she buys the same strain in three more places (often collecting a “new-patient gift” of pot-infused gummi bears or goldfish). The goal for her new company, Verda Bio, is to build a database bringing order to billions of potential DNA combinations and, eventually, create stable strains that people can grow like a Red Delicious apple.

[ … ]

Tonani analyzed more than 20 samples of Harlequin along with Analytical 360, a Seattle testing lab, and found that 22 percent were high in the psychedelic tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and had almost no CBD. Any kids taking it were likely just getting stoned.

Tonani is also looking at contaminants to determine where they’re introduced and how to control for them. The first two samples turned up a long list of nastiness, including the fecal bacteria Enterobacter asburiae and the vaginal bacteriaGardnerella vaginalis. What this means, politely, is that many people handling pot don’t wash their hands.

Read more.

Others have found pot samples collected contaminated with pot shops rarely testing to insure customers get a safe product. “The whole thing is just so loose and unregulated,” said Dr. Mahmoud ElSohly, Director of the Marijuana Research Project at the University of Mississippi.

Green-Crack-Screen-Shot-8-6-14

Green Crack ads on The Denver Post’s Cannabist website. For a larger view click on the image.

Bob Doyle, Chairman of the Colorado Smart Approaches to Marijuana Coalition, Christian Thurstone, M.D., General, child and addiction psychiatrist and A. Eden Evins, M.D., M.P.H., Associate Professor of Psychiatry Harvard Medical School Director, Center for Addiction Medicine Massachusetts General Hospital in a letter to Greg Moore, Editor of The Denver Post, and Ricardo Baca, Editor of The Cannabist, wrote:

We are writing to express serious concerns regarding The Denver Post’s The Cannabist website’s recommendations of various marijuana strains to “treat” mental illnesses, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  We are writing as concerned professionals with extensive experience in mental health treatment, medicine, and/or public health.

The Denver Post’s web site provides information from Leafly.com listing 92 Colorado specific strains of marijuana with 88 claimed to treat depression, 25 to treat PTSD, 23 for bipolar, and 40 for ADHD (see attached document assembled by Bob Doyle, Chair, Colorado SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana) Coalition).  And a few strains are noted to treat cancer.  The improper treatment or delay in effective treatment of mental health issues and major psychiatric illnesses can exacerbate the problem and could lead to additional harm to the patient and/or those around them.

In light of the serious potential impact of your recommendations, including possible delay in medical treatment for serious and potentially life threatening mental illnesses, and the potential for worsening of those illnesses by the marijuana you recommend, we request that you release the data upon which these recommendations for dispensing the specific marijuana strains as a treatment for bipolar disorder, PTSD, ADHD, and depression are based.  We are sending a copy of this letter to medical authorities with knowledge of science and regulatory policies and procedures.

The absence of critical information on the web site for those accepting your advice to use the various marijuana strains is alarming and demonstrates a failure to appreciate the potential implications of your protocol.  For each of the strains, we request to know the recommended dosage, duration, the THC and CBD content, whether you’re recommending they be used with or without FDA approved medication or behavioral treatment for the condition, what contraindications are known, and whether other physical or mental health issues should preclude certain people from using the strain.

We look forward to your prompt reply given the seriousness of the claims on your web site and their potential negative impact on serious psychiatric conditions your web site claims will be “treated” by particular strains of marijuana.

This is coming to Florida now and will get worse if the Marijuana Amendment 2 passes in November. Gird your loins.

RELATED ARTICLES:

What Marijuana Might Do to Your Brain: The latest research suggests a link between the drug and laziness
‘Pot Trucks’ On Tap In Florida?
Medical Marijuana: Down The Rabbit Hole
The Real Story Behind Marijuana Legalization and Traffic Fatalities

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of Jessica Tonani, President of Verda Bio testing pot samples in Washington state.

FL Reps. Edwards (D) and Gaetz (R) pushers of Drug Addiction in Children?

Florida Representative Katie Edwards (D-FL District 98) sent out an email quoting an article by the Sun Sentinel’s Susannah Bryan. The article states, “Two Florida representatives, Katie Edwards and Matt Gaetz, are taking steps to help families statewide gain access to a strain of marijuana that’s shown promise in treating children who suffer from seizures.” Representative Matt Gaetz is a Republican representing District 4. Gaetz is Chair of the House Criminal Justice Committee.

Bryan notes, “Although 21 states and Washington, D.C., have legalized medical marijuana, the federal government still lists cannabis as a highly addictive and dangerous ‘Schedule 1’ drug, along with heroin and LSD.”

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration:

Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence. Some examples of Schedule I drugs are: heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone, and peyote.

Floridians must realize that what Edwards and Gaetz are really pushing: Drug addiction in minors.

gaetz mug shot

Matt Gaetz mug shot.

Gaetz was arrested for violating Statute 316.193-1DUI Alcohol or Drugs 1st offence, in Okaloosa County, FL in 2008. Gaetz was released after paying a $500 bond. So Gaetz has some personal experience with addiction? Not sure Floridians want this man telling us that children should be using marijuana. I guess being arrested qualifies you to be Chair of the Criminal Justice Committee.

Florida has a growing problem with drug abuse, especially among children. FL Attorney General Pam Bondi is concerned about drugs in general, including prescription and synthetic drugs sold in Florida. AG Bondi stated in an October press release, “I will remain vigilant in my efforts to keep these drugs off store shelves and will continue to outlaw emergent synthetic drug compounds. These drugs pose a serious threat to Floridians, particularly our youth. I thank the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for their continued partnership in the fight against synthetic drugs.”

The Tampa law firm of Morgan & Morgan is pushing the legalization of medical marijuana in Florida. Morgan & Morgan partner Charlie Crist is also promoting a medical marijuana amendment to the Florida Constitution.

Canada has decided to end their Marihuana Medical Access Program effective March 31, 2014. According to CBC News in Canada, “The Canadian Medical Association is worried that as large medical marijuana grow facilities get federal licences, more patients will be clamouring for a drug many doctors are uncomfortable prescribing. Starting April 1, medical marijuana users in Canada will no longer be able to grow their own. Instead, they’ll have to get pot from producers licensed by Health Canada.”

katie edwards

Katie Edwards

Dr. Louis Francescutti, president of the Canadian Medical Association, stated, “We’re asking them [Canadian doctors] to prescribe a product that really has not been tested as rigorously as any other product that’s out there and basically writing it with your eyes blindfolded and assuming all the risks that go with it.” Francescutti also has concerns about marijuana’s potential dangers, especially when there are other proven medications for controlling pain and nausea available.

The Providence Journal’s Ellen Jean Hurst writes, “Even though 20 states have passed laws legalizing medical marijuana, swayed in part by thousands of personal testimonies, current research hasn’t nailed down exactly if, and how, marijuana alleviates all the specific diseases the drug is being legalized to treat, experts say.” Hayes titled her column “Health effects of medical marijuana still hazy.”

The legalization of medical marijuana is the first step to the full legalization of marijuana in Florida, as happened in Colorado.

BizPac Review reports, “Amid the universal celebration of the legalized sale of recreational marijuana in Colorado this week, a two-year-old there has tested positive for pot.” Jason Salzman from the Huffington Post reports, “Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) delivered a major buzz kill on the radio Wednesday, saying he’s worried that pot legalization might keep Fortune 500 companies out of Colorado and drive down the state economy.” Gee how with that fit in with Governor Rick Scott’s “Here’s What’s Working” campaign?

Are Edwards and Gaetz nothing but drug pushers of the worst kind? Time will tell as we observe the downsides of drug use in other states and the iffy nature of its medical uses.

RELATED COLUMNS:

Will Colorado regret legalizing marijuana?

Alaska Group Takes Next Step to Legalize Marijuana