Posts

John Morgan — Wrong on Marijuana, Wrong on Charlie Crist: Can FL Dems trust his judgement?

As Florida Republicans bask in the sunshine of victory on November 5th there is one man who is not very happy. His name is John Morgan of the Orlando based firm of Morgan & Morgan. Morgan may be in hiding trying to avoid Florida’s Democrats. Why? Because Morgan sold the Florida Democratic party on putting marijuana and Charlie Crist on the November 4th ballot.

Ana Cruz, former executive director of the Florida Democratic Party, said, “I wish that it didn’t take medical marijuana on the ballot to motivate our young voters. But listen, we’ll take it any way we can get it.” Cruz didn’t get it.

Ben Pollara, a Democratic fundraiser and campaign manager for the United for Care group, stated, “We want to be able to have our stereotypical, lazy pothead voters to be able to vote from their couch.” Ben, it appears the lazy potheads stayed home to smoke a joint or two or three.

Hopes were high, no pun intended, that legalizing marijuana in Florida under Amendment 2 would bring out the millennials. It was Morgan’s long time ally and employee Charlie Crist who had the overwhelming support of the trial lawyers, of which Morgan is one. Both marijuana and Crist when down in smoke.

Can the Florida Democratic Party trust the judgement of John Morgan?

As Florida Democrats are licking their wounds, it is perhaps time for them to rethink the political savvy of John Morgan.

Morgan sold Florida Democrats on Amendment 2. Shame on him. Morgan sold Florida Democrats on Charlie Crist, shame on them.

RELATED VIDEO: John Morgan’s profanity laced interview about the defeat of Amendment 2. His diatribe is filled with hate for law enforcement, those who do not think like him and the older voters of Florida.

VIDEO: Vote No on 2 campaign releases new TV spot titled ‘It’s Nuts!’

Vote No on 2 Campaign today released its third TV spot, “It’s Nuts,” in the campaign to defeat Amendment 2, the so-called medical marijuana initiative.

The spot features Floridians, including Dr. Stephanie Haridopolos, a family physician and president of the Brevard County Medical Society, detailing the frightening realities of Amendment 2, such as the fact that this Amendment won’t require a prescription to get pot, that it’s not just for serious diseases and that the pot Floridians will have access to won’t be FDA approved.

“The message of this ad is simple: Amendment 2 is a trick that isn’t about compassion, it’s about legalizing pot,” said Sarah Bascom, spokesperson for the Vote No on 2 Campaign.

“Floridians need to know the facts; and, this ad delivers them – it tells the truth about safety, teen access and the host of other problems this Amendment will bring to the Sunshine State.”

“Most importantly, this ad leaves Floridians with the message that the only way to stop the onslaught of problems this Amendment would bring to our state, is to vote no,” concluded Bascom.

View the TV spot:

The Vote No on 2 Campaign is a grassroots campaign, bringing the truth about Amendment 2 to the voters of Florida.  Its coalition includes members of law enforcement, business leaders, constitutional law attorneys, doctors and other medical professionals, parents and Floridians from all walks of life.  Amendment 2 is simply a guise to legalize pot smoking in Florida and the goal of this campaign is to point out the loopholes and explain why this amendment is bad for Florida.

For more information on the Vote No on 2 Campaign, please visit www.voteno2.org, follow @saynoamendment2 and like FB.com/noonamendment2.

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

VIDEO: Florida Amendment 2 — The Drug Dealers Protection Act

Vote No On 2 has released its first television advertisement titled “Not What It Seems.” The following is the full text of the new advertisement:

Amendment 2 isn’t what it seems – it’s “caregiver” provision gives legal protection to marijuana dealers. Even felons and drug dealers could be “caregivers.” Amendment 2 “caregivers” don’t need background checks or medical training. So what looks like a safeguard, is really a loophole. Amendment 2 “caregivers” can’t be arrested or sued if their pot hurts someone. They don’t call it the drug dealer protection act – but they should.

Amendment 2 is NOT designed to help the sick – it’s designed to legalize pot smoking in Florida. WATCH to Learn the LOOPHOLES within the ballot language of this flawed constitutional amendment. Democrat gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist is all in on Amendment 2. As a lawyer Crist knows about loopholes. Amendment 2 has many of them because the ballot language is so broad and open ended.

The below video titled “The Devil is in the Details” explains the key loopholes in Amendment 2:

Floridians must understand what Amendment 2 actually says, not proponents say about it. An informed voter is critical to the constitutional amendment process.

Florida will have 1,789 pot shops if Amendment 2 passes

The Florida Department of Health has estimated that Florida will have 1,789 pot shops if Amendment 2 passes. The five counties with the largest estimated number of pot shops are:

  1. Miami-Dade with 239
  2. Palm Beach County with 126
  3. Broward County with 168
  4. Hillsborough County with 118
  5. Orange County (Orlando) with 112

In states like Washington and Colorado pot shops out number Starbucks in some areas.

Pot shops are coming to Florida should Amendment 2 pass. It is a booming business in other states. Growth is exponential.

Does this sound like medical use only?

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.

Social Media used to promote pot to young boys and girls

“As most of you know, I do a lot of training regarding the influence of popular culture on drug use, especially as it relates to marijuana. Our children are surrounded by books, magazines, fashion, television, movies, music and the ever present celebrities [see Mia Farrow tweet above] who extol the virtues of pot. These factors, combined with the business of Big Marijuana, and pro-pot lobbying organizations that spend millions to sell the idea of surrendering to the drug culture, are undoing decades of drug education work in America – all while the federal government (and many states) turn a blind eye to the social, economic and legal chaos being inflicted upon us,” notes Jessica Spencer, Florida Statewide Coalition Director for VoteNo2.org.

In a new study, published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, new evidence has emerged regarding the prevalence of pro-pot messages through Twitter and other social media outlets.

pro pot tweetYouth Regularly receive Pro-marijuana Tweets

Hundreds of thousands of American youth are following marijuana-related Twitter accounts and getting pro-pot messages several times each day, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found.

The tweets are cause for concern, they said, because young people are thought to be especially responsive to social media influences. In addition, patterns of drug use tend to be established in a person’s late teens and early 20s.

In a study published online June 27 in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, the Washington University team analyzed messages tweeted from May 1 through Dec. 31, 2013, by a Twitter account called Weed Tweets@stillblazintho. Among pro-marijuana accounts, this one was selected because it has the most Twitter followers — about 1 million. During the eight-month study period, the account posted an average of 11 tweets per day.
“As people are becoming more accepting of marijuana use and two states have legalized the drug for recreational use, it is important to remember that it remains a dangerous drug of abuse,” said principal investigator Patricia A. Cavazos-Rehg, PhD. “I’ve been studying what is influencing attitudes to change dramatically and where people may be getting messages about marijuana that are leading them to believe the drug is not hazardous.”

Although 19 states now allow marijuana use for medical purposes, much of the evidence for its effectiveness remains anecdotal. Even as Americans are relaxing their attitudes about marijuana, in 2011 marijuana contributed to more than 455,000 emergency room visits in the United States, federal research shows. Some 13 percent of those patients were ages 12 to 17.

seth-rogen-nancy-grace-665x385

For a larger view click on the image.

A majority of Americans favor legalizing recreational use of the drug, and 60 percent of high school seniors report they don’t believe regular marijuana use is harmful. A recent report from the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime said that more Americans are using cannabis as their perception of the health risk declines. The report stated that for youth and young adults, “more permissive cannabis regulations correlate with decreases in the perceived risk of use.”

Cavazos-Rehg said Twitter also is influencing young people’s attitudes about the drug. Studying Weed Tweets, the team counted 2,285 tweets during the eight-month study. Of those, 82 percent were positive about the drug, 18 percent were either neutral or did not focus on marijuana, and 0.3 percent expressed negative attitudes about it.

Many of the tweets were meant to be humorous. Others implied that marijuana helps a person feel good or relax, and some mentioned different ways to get high.

With the help of a data analysis firm, the investigators found that of those receiving the tweets, 73 percent were under 19. Fifty-four percent were 17 to 19 years old, and almost 20 percent were 16 or younger. About 22 percent were 20 to 24 years of age. Only 5 percent of the followers were 25 or older.

“These are risky ages when young people often begin experimentation with drugs,” explained Cavazos-Rehg, an assistant professor of psychiatry. “It’s an age when people are impressionable and when substance-use behaviors can transition into addiction. In other words, it’s a very risky time of life for people to be receiving messages like these.”

Cavazos-Rehg said it isn’t possible from this study to “connect the dots” between positive marijuana tweets and actual drug use, but she cites previous research linking substance use to messages from television and billboards. She suggested this also may apply to social media.

“Studies looking at media messages on traditional outlets like television, radio, billboards and magazines have shown that media messages can influence substance use and attitudes about substance use,” she said. “It’s likely a young person’s attitudes and behaviors may be influenced when he or she is receiving daily, ongoing messages of this sort.”

The researchers also learned that the Twitter account they tracked reached a high number of African-Americans and Hispanics compared with Caucasians. Almost 43 percent were African-American, and nearly 12 percent were Hispanic. In fact, among Hispanics, Weed Tweets ranked in the top 30 percent of all Twitter accounts followed.

“It was surprising to see that members of these minority groups were so much more likely than Caucasians to be receiving these messages,” Cavazos-Rehg said, adding that there is particular concern about African-Americans because their rates of marijuana abuse and dependence are about twice as high as the rate in Caucasians and Hispanics.

The findings point to the need for a discussion about the pro-drug messages young people receive, Cavazos-Rehg said.

“There are celebrities who tweet to hundreds of thousands of followers, and it turns out a Twitter handle that promotes substance use can be equally popular,” she said. “Because there’s not much regulation of social media platforms, that could lead to potentially harmful messages being distributed. Regulating this sort of thing is going to be challenging, but the more we can provide evidence that harmful messages are being received by vulnerable kids, the more likely it is we can have a discussion about the types of regulation that might be appropriate.”

This study was funded by the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).