More Pot

Today’s Marijuana Propaganda

I came across a document that everyone needs to read. It might make you think twice before picking up that mind altering drug known as “reefer”.

The funniest part is the propaganda went from:

“It is a drug that causes insanity, criminality, and death – the most violence causing drug in the history of mankind.”

-by Harry J. Anslinger, 1937

to

“The strong form of marijuana that most young people smoke produces a chronically passive individual – someone who is lazy, who doesn’t want to take initiatives, doesn’t want to be active – the kid who prefers to lie in bed with a joint in the morning rather than getting up and doing something.”

-by Roger Morgan, Chairman and Executive Director
for the Coalition for A Drug-Free California, 2010

Here are our top 22 quotes:

The Top 5:

  1. “Marijuana will destroy the nation.”

  2. “Prohibition of alcohol did work.”!!!

  3. “Marijuana smokers cause 18 times more injury accidents than alcohol.”

  4. “Drug abuse almost always starts with a little puff of marijuana. “

  5. “Heavy cannabis use is also associated with substantial bone loss.”

For All Cannabis Activists:

6) Marijuana is not safer than alcohol. As with tobacco, nobody dies from overdose. But the altered mental state of users leads to accidents, domestic violence, birth defects, mental illness and a host of health problems.

7) The hoax of “medical marijuana” that now exists in 14 states is indicative of the infiltration of pro- drug forces that inflict more death, destruction and harm on America than all other forms of terror combined.

8) Legalizing marijuana for any reason will adversely impact public safety. More people would die and be injured on the highways, and the cost to insurance companies and the general population would soar

9) We have come to the conclusion that there is no therapeutic use for marijuana. All we are left with are the hazards. These include lung disease, cardiac dysfunction, brain damage, genetic damage, immune disorders and psychomotor impairment.

10) It is the sole cause of over 120,000 emergency room visits, more than heroin; the cause of 26.9% of injury accidents, and it elevates the risk of cancer, mental illness, birth defects, bone loss and adversely affects academic achievement and productivity. It is also a gateway to hard drugs which cause 3,200 overdose deaths monthly.

11) While pro-pot advocates extol the healing powers of marijuana, the fact is, it can provide relief, but it doesn’t heal anything. Its not medicinal. It is a schedule I drug because it is harmful, has no accepted medical value and has the potential for harm.

For the parents/teachers:

12) Research has shown that… if a young person reaches age 21 prior to smoking, abusing alcohol or using drugs, they should virtually never do so.

13) Marijuana diminishes ones capacity to absorb and retain information, contributes to depression, suicide, psychosis, addiction and leads many young people to a life of chaos, crime and corruption. It is a contributing factor to the high school drop out rate

14) Skunk, a highly potent form of cannabis with 12 to 18% THC, was now considered as damaging as cocaine and heroin, leading to mental health problems and psychosis for thousands of teenagers.

15) So when more kids now smoke pot than tobacco because they think it is medicine and legal, they may be setting themselves up for mental illness that will ruin their lives and increase the social and economic burden on society.

For the employees/workers:

16) The reality is, people who smoke pot and other drugs are often unemployed, or underemployed, and have to turn to crime to provide for basic necessities and to feed their habit. Marijuana alters the mind, is a gateway to other drugs, and often leads to mental illness.

17) Medical Marijuana Workers:

  • They make lousy workers, which impacts employers and productivity.
  • They are accident prone.
  • They have physical and mental health issues, generally with no health insurance.
  • They are burden the welfare rolls, law enforcement, fill prisons
  • They are a major cause of injury accidents.
  • They place a huge social and economic burden on the 93.6% who don’t smoke.

For the Lawyers:

18) Federal law, the supreme law of the land, exists to protect the health, safety and economic well being of all Americans. Should the citizens or government of any state choose to live under a different set of rules, then certainly they should forego any and all benefits of being an American.

19) States are not sovereign nations. It is folly to think that any state could legalize the production, distribution and sale of marijuana without inviting the full wrath of the federal government, including economic sanctions.

20) There is no aspect of the California budget where greater gains are possible than in preventing substance abuse, and yet the State spends only 1/3rd of 1% on prevention and the balance shoveling up the damager. Making marijuana even more readily available will only add to the harm.

The Funniest: (other then #5)

21) It is folly to think that the cartels will simply go away if pot is legalized… The violence occurring in Mexico between warring cartels could very well happen on this side of the border.

22) Today pot is: (both) “*2 to 15 times stronger.” (and) “*10 to 20 times stronger”… then it’s ever been.

Without further ado:

MARIJUANA… Lets Just Talk INSANITY! By Roger Morgan, Exec Director,
Coalition For A Drug-Free California

http://www.californiapolicechiefs.org/nav_files/marijuana_files/files/marijuana_insanity.pdf

California Governor Schwarzenegger opened Pandora’s Box when he asked that we look at the experience of other countries to see if California should legalize marijuana to help fix the budget. He should have access to the best scientific evidence available which would obviate the need to even pose the question. However, to the extent he and those in his Administration who should counsel him on these matters don’t know, we have compiled the following. The evidence is consistent worldwide and compelling: marijuana escalates the level of mental illness, crime and all related problems. Pot caused mental illness when the THC content was less than 4%. The average THC content today is 10.4%, but ranging as high as 37%. Not good! The severity of the problem is related to potency as well as the age of onset, frequency of use and genetics.

Here is what happened in other countries.

• In the UK, under pressure from the pro-pot legalizers, the British Medical Association ignored predictions by psychiatrists and downgraded pot in 2004 to a Class C drug. By 2007 the Independent Newspaper, which had called for declassification, had the following headline: “CANNABIS: AN APOLOGY.” In 2006, 22,000 people were treated for cannabis addiction, over half under 18. Skunk, a highly potent form of cannabis with 12 to 18% THC, was now considered as damaging as cocaine and heroin, leading to mental health problems and psychosis for thousands of teenagers. People who smoked Skunk were seven times more likely to develop psychosis than those who use traditional cannabis, and the risk of developing psychosis much greater among frequent users and young people. The government has since reclassified cannabis to a class-B drug. (The Independent)

• In Australia, even 5 years ago, “…..national statistics were showing disturbing signs of new cases of psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia and further association with criminality. Of 2,000 people facing criminal charges from 2001 to 2005, 75% used marijuana, and of the 75%, 60% had a mental illness.” Recent studies of Aborigines have shown that in some remote communities, 70% smoke pot, with 90% of those claiming addiction. “We’ve seen acute psychosis that is irreversible, as well as depression and dependence. Suicide is linked not just to cannabis use, but to withdrawal. And a worrying trend, kids are starting to smoke as early as 10 years old. (www.theaustralian.com)

• The French Government launched a media campaign in 2005 to inform young people about the detrimental effects of cannabis, including its links to mental illness. The potency of pot is roughly 30% greater now than then.

• In New Zealand, a 25 year study concluded there is a direct link between cannabis use and psychotic symptoms …… and that the early onset of cannabis use, before age 15, constituted a stronger risk factor for psychosis than later adolescence. Cannabis use by age 15 to 18 predicted later schizophrenia symptoms. (NSW Health)

• Sweden assessed 50,087 18-20 year olds from 1970 to 1996 and concluded the risk for schizophrenia was increased, the extent depending on the dose. Those who used cannabis more than 50 times before the initial assessment were 6.7 times more likely to develop schizophrenia. The potency of marijuana today is 10 to 20 times what it was during those studies. In 2003 a Salvation Army Bridge Program reported that 90% of heroin users commenced illicit drug use with cannabis. Sweden has a zero tolerance policy for drugs, and the lowest percentage drug use in Europe. (NSW Health)

• In the Netherlands according to the DEA, cannabis use by the age group 18-20 went from 15 % in 1984 to 44 percent in 1996, and heroin addiction tripled. The head of Holland’s best-known drug abuse rehab center says, “…The strong form of marijuana that most young people smoke produces a chronically passive individual – someone who is lazy, who doesn’t want to take initiatives, doesn’t want to be active – the kid who prefers to lie in bed with a joint in the morning rather than getting up and doing something.”

So, what is happening at home? In Sacramento County, according to the Sacramento Bee, budget cuts have already eliminated funding for about 50% of the non-profits and government facilities for mentally ill patients resulting in a 65% increase in emergency departments seeing psychiatric patients. “Many have just given up getting help (i.e. medications and treatment) and are out on the streets.”

The correlation of marijuana and mental illness has been known for decades, but recent brain imaging research by UCLA helps explain why marijuana is a cause of the problem. It seems that marijuana, particularly during adolescence, interrupts the white matter development in the brain … even 28 days after abstinence; and lack of white matter is a major cause of schizophrenia. The Pentagon shooter, John Patrick Bedell illustrates the problem. He came from a good family and was well educated, but after 20 years of smoking pot, starting at age 16, he was paranoid and schizophrenic. Seeking professional help, he went to one of California’s infamous “pot-doc’s” who provided him a “medical marijuana” ID card so he could access more of the substance that no doubt caused his disease to begin with. At age 36, in March 2010, he drove from California to the Pentagon and shot three guards before they shot and killed him.

Not all mentally ill people have snapped, like Bedell. But many are homeless, depressed and suicidal. They commit crimes and burden public health and welfare. They diminish worker performance and productivity, cause accidents, domestic violence, rape, murder, child abuse and create a threat to the health, safety and economic well being of society. There is a movie called Shades Of Gray, the essence of which is that we are all crazy, its just a matter of degree. Based on my personal experience with addiction in my family for 30 years, a son and his friends who champion the cause of pot saying in essence “…it don’t do no harm”, all that I have studied, and the endless belligerent, self serving, “attack dog” blogs I have read, I think all pot smokers are some shade of gray. Its like a bell curve, with a few at the bottom who are relatively unaffected, a few at the top who have lost it, like Bedell. The bulk are in the middle, trending upward toward black. With increased use and potency, the problem will get worse.

ITS NOT MEDICINE!

Smoked marijuana has no accepted medicinal value. Research continues with THC, the main psychoactive element in marijuana. But according to the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), the agency that America has used since 1906 to determine the safety and efficacy of medicines, smoked marijuana offers no medicinal value. Certain isolated components of marijuana may have value, but never in smoked form. Marinol, a synthetic THC, is already available in pill form, and research continues to offer sprays, patches and suppositories.

Marijuana can provide relief from pain, aids wasting and nausea but the harms are delivered with the benefit. The harms may not matter to someone on a death bed. For younger people smoking “medical marijuana,” however, they may be inflicting harms on themselves, albeit most are loath to accept the facts.

According to Joseph Califano, Jr., prior Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Chairman and Founder of CASA, “…For certain individuals with AIDS and the 15% of chemotherapy patients whose nausea is not relieved by currently available medicines, marijuana may have some medicinal value……because smoked marijuana is a carcinogen and adversely affects the immune system, the IOM (Institute of Medicine) stressed the importance of developing an alternative delivery system, such as an aerosol using synthetic cannabinoids rather than the whole plant, and disapproved any use of smoked marijuana except by the terminally ill and those with chronic diseases, and even then only under tightly controlled circumstances…… for America’s children and teens, marijuana is a dangerous drug.”

According to Dan Brookoff, MD., Ph.D, an oconolgist who is certified by the American Board of Internal medicine with a sub specialty Certification in Medical Oncology, “…Marijuana is not a medication.” He states “…..marijuana is neither an acceptable medical treatment nor an alternative medical treatment for any illness…… Marijuana is never the best available treatment for a patient, and that is why it is not a medication.” He further states “…With the therapeutic potential of marijuana eclipsed by safer and more effective drugs, we have come to the conclusion that there is no therapeutic use for marijuana. All we are left with are the hazards. These include lung disease, cardiac dysfunction, brain damage, genetic damage, immune disorders and psychomotor impairment.”

Smokes, crude marijuana has never passed FDA’s tests for safety and efficacy as a medicine. It is a Schedule I drug because it is addictive, harmful and has no accepted medical value. We already have Marinol, a synthetic of THC in pill form that is legally available. Today, however, most Oncologists agree there are better medicines, like Nabilone and Dronabinol. Sativex, a spray developed in the U.K., is close to approval by the FDA for use in the U.S. But smoked marijuana doesn’t medicate anything, and the harms in most cases vastly outweigh any relief.

PROP 215: “MEDICAL MARIJUANA” HOAX It wasn’t about compassion.

The term “medical marijuana” was coined in 1979 by Keith Stroup, Founder of NORML as a “red herring” to give marijuana a good name, as a first step toward legalization for recreational use. (You can witness Stroup in action by going to www.dammadd.org and look at the video.)

California was the first state to fall victim to the hoax with Prop 215 in 1996, the Compassionate Use Act. 56% of the voters approved the use of “medical marijuana” for the chronically ill suffering from cancer, AIDS victims and for glaucoma. The propaganda campaign that duped California voters into believing they were helping the chronically ill, and other pro-pot initiatives, were primarily financed by out-of-state billionaires George Soros, Sperling and Lewis and their minions, as evidenced below.

Contributions To Pro-Drug Initiatives In California The following information was taken from DAMMADD website entitled …..www.sorosmonitor.com. The information was compiled from public records, and totals $6.9 million dollars.

So why would out-of-state billionaires spend millions to dupe California voters, other than to profit from the outcome in some manner? Soros activities suggests he is the spearhead for the illicit drug trade worldwide. As evidenced by the above records, he and his allies, John Sperling and Peter Lewis use their vast resources to influence pro-drug legislation by contributing to politicians and propaganda campaigns.

As evidence of the fraud, surveys have now shown that only 2% of the “chronically ill” for whom Prop 215 was passed are patrons at the dispensaries. The other 98% who get medical marijuana ID cards from pot doctors are primarily young, healthy males.

The dispensaries themselves are illegal even by State law, which forbids selling pot for a profit. Senate Bill 420, introduced by Senators Vasconellos and Leno followed Prop 215 and made pot available to anyone for any purported ailment which could benefit from marijuana. After being termed out Vasconcellos went on to become a board member for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), no doubt his payback for years of service to Soros. Senator Mark “Hemp” Leno still serves all pro-drug causes in the Senate.

MARIJUANA WON’T HELP THE BUDGET ….. IT WILL PUT THE NAIL IN THE COFFIN!

The National Center of Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University reports that for every $1 in tax revenues collected for alcohol and tobacco equates to $8.95 in social costs. (www.casacolumbia.org, Shoveling Up: The Impact of substance abuse on local, state and federal budgets). Marijuana combines the harms of both, and in all probability will be worse, and add tens of billions in cost to the California budget.

According to www.consumeraffairs.com, in 2005 the combined federal and state alcohol tax collections were $18 billion, compared to social costs of $185 billion. California alcohol taxes were $368 million compared to $38.4 billion on the social costs.

Federal and State taxes on cigarettes average $2.32 a pack compared to $10.38 in social costs. (www.tobaccofreekids.com). Tobacco, which is regulated and controlled, also kills 433,000 Americans annually. Get the drift?

Regulation and control through legalization only works to increase the social and economic costs, and the pain and misery that goes with it. Prohibition of alcohol did work. Repealing it just legitimized criminals like Al Capone, putting a white collar on them instead of a striped suit. The surge in alcohol use after prohibition caused enormous increases in health, welfare, crime and accidents. Marijuana combines the harms of both tobacco and alcohol, and the adverse economic outcome will be much worse.

The State Board of Equalization (BOE) estimate that legalization would generate $1.4 billion in additional tax revenues was careless and misleading. This estimate itself was based solely on self-serving input furnished by Jon Gettman, former National Director of NORML (National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws) and was later discredited by the highly respected Rand Corporation. It overstated income and made no mention of the additional harms and social costs of marijuana, which would vastly outweigh any benefit.

There is no aspect of the California budget where greater gains are possible than in preventing substance abuse, and yet the State spends only 1/3rd of 1% on prevention and the balance shoveling up the damager. Making marijuana even more readily available will only add to the harm.

RELIEF DOESN’T MEAN ITS MEDICINE Or that our $8.6 million tax dollars weren’t wasted

The recent $8.6 million study by UC San Diego which was orchestrated by Senators Vasconcellos and Leno was a waste of money. We knew pot could provide relief. But that doesn’t mean it is medicine, harmless or should be smoked for any reason.

If one is interested in valuable discoveries about marijuana, they can reflect on research conducted by UC San Diego and UCLA scientists that showed marijuana retards development of white matter in the brain ….. even 28 days after abstinence. White matter, or lack of it, is a major cause of schizophrenia. That should give pause even to the 98% of “medical marijuana” card holders who abuse the system to access pot for their personal pleasure.

Science in the last ten years or so has also revealed that the human brain is not fully developed until the mid twenties, or beyond. Until it is, it is much more vulnerable to harm. So when more kids now smoke pot than tobacco because they think it is medicine and legal, they may be setting themselves up for mental illness that will ruin their lives and increase the social and economic burden on society.

Marijuana can provide relief, but it is a poor choice as a medicine. It is a complex, unstable mixture of 483 chemicals, that when smoked, creates over 2,000 chemicals, many of which cause cancer. Any medicinal value lies not in the whole crude plant, but in the isolated components, and never in smoked form. Further, there are existing legal products that work as well or better, that don’t carry the harms inherent in marijuana. (E. Voth, M.D.)

Smoking anything is hazardous to health. The legal drug tobacco kills 1200 people a day. But pot is also an intoxicant, 10 to 20 times stronger today that in the flower power days of the 70′s. It is the sole cause of over 120,000 emergency room visits, more than heroin; the cause of 26.9% of injury accidents, and it elevates the risk of cancer, mental illness, birth defects, bone loss and adversely affects academic achievement and productivity. It is also a gateway to hard drugs which cause 3,200 overdose deaths monthly. (SAMSHA)

Legislators like Vasconcellos, Leno and now Ammiano have access to scientific evidence that leaves no doubt as to the harms of marijuana. Their actions aren’t directed at the best interests of their constituents, but more in line with campaign contributions. We need politicians, irrespective of party affiliation, that will place the public’s health, safety and economic interests before their own.

MARIJUANA – ADVERSELY AFFECTS YOUNG PEOPLE Major impact on academic achievement, motivation and productivity

America has the highest high school drop out rate of all industrialized nations (President Obama). Nationally, one-third (1.2 million kids) drop out. Preventing abuse of alcohol, tobacco and drugs is no longer an option, but a necessity, if we are to retain our standing as a nation.

Marijuana diminishes ones capacity to absorb and retain information, contributes to depression, suicide, psychosis, addiction and leads many young people to a life of chaos, crime and corruption. It is a contributing factor to the high school drop out rate. Increasing the availability of marijuana and use through legalization will further exacerbate the problem.

Addiction to alcohol, tobacco and drugs (ATOD) is called a pediatric onset disease, because it almost always starts with young people. At age 10 to 18 years old, their bodies and brains are not fully developed and are much more vulnerable to harm and addiction. Chronic marijuana use by young people can cause irreversible damage to the brain.

UC Santa Barbara recently conducted a study that showed in California the high school dropout rate averaged 24.2%, at a cost to taxpayers of $46.4 billion …. $392,000 per dropout. Robert DuPont, Institute for Behavior and Health, conducted research that indicates a range of $243,000 to $388,000 per drop out, but when combined with heavy drug use and associated crime the costs ranged from $1.7 to $2.3 million per drop out. Nationally, the cost is roughly $500 billion a year, or more.

The UC Santa Barbara study revealed also that 80% of prison inmates in California are high school dropouts. The $8 billion prison overcrowding problem in California is largely related to the lack of academic achievement and jobs for unskilled workers, forcing them to crime. Marijuana is a factor, and the most commonly abused drug.

The early onset of alcohol, tobacco and drug use is not the only barrier to enhanced academic achievement, but it is a major factor. The best education is wasted on a young person that surrenders his or her life to addiction. The legal drugs of alcohol and tobacco already take a heavy toll on society and there is no justification for legalizing and proliferating the use of another mind altering drug.

MARIJUANA – IMPACT ON PUBLIC HEALTH The harms outweigh any benefits of relief

THC, the active psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, has increased from 1 to 3% percent in the early 1970′s to an average of 10.4% today ranging as high as 37%. The result? Over 120,000 emergency room visits a year where marijuana was the only cause, and 300,000 where it was a cause. 62% of people in treatment are there for addiction to marijuana than for alcohol and all other drugs combined.

While pro-pot advocates extol the healing powers of marijuana, the fact is, it can provide relief, but it doesn’t heal anything. Its not medicinal. It is a schedule I drug because it is harmful, has no accepted medical value and has the potential for harm. In fact, it is even harmful to those who think it does no harm.

As reported by Albert Stuart Reece of the Medical School, U of Queensland, marijuana causes impaired respiratory conditions including reduced lung density, lung cysts, and chronic bronchitis; elevated risk of testicular cancer and eightfold rise in lung cancer risk. It elevates the risk of psychosis and schizophrenia, particularly when cannabis consumption commences at an early age. It creates high levels of anxiety, impaired memory, poor concentration, impaired learning ability and psychomotor impairment including reduced quality and quantity of work and intellectual impairment. Heavy cannabis use is also associated with substantial bone loss.

Maternal cannabis use has resulted in toxic affects on the fetus leading to reduced body weight at birth, and behavior problems including attention disorder, behavior problems, lower child IQ, language comprehension, distractibility, inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity and substance use disorders.

According to Joseph Califano at Columbia University, “….. in 2008 health care costs in the US totaled $2.4 trillion. 30% of those costs were attributable to 72 diseases substance abuse and addiction cause. 35% of Medicare spending – $134 billion – and 29 percent of Medicaid spending – $98 billion – were attributable to smoking, excessive drinking and drug abuse.”

Califano also states even a 10% reduction in substance abuse would deliver savings of $73 billion a year in health costs, and over 10 years, pay for 80% of the cost of Obamacare.

Since many pot users are unemployed and on welfare, or underemployed and don’t have health insurance, the economic burden of their health care falls on taxpayers. If marijuana were legalized, consumption would increase as did consumption of alcohol after prohibition, and the public health problem and associated costs would skyrocket. Drug abuse almost always starts with a little puff of marijuana.

Scientific information provided by Eric Voth, M.D.of The Institute on Global Drug Policy.

MARIJUANA – IMPACTS EVERY ASPECT OF PUBLIC SAFETY Mental illness, physical health, crime, traffic safety and young people

Because marijuana is fat soluble it stays one’s system for up to thirty days, and impairs memory, judgment and motor functions for up to 24 hours after one joint. A pilot in a simulator couldn’t safely land an airplane 24 hours after one joint with THC content of 1 to 4%. (Leirer VO et.al.) Today pot is 2 to 15 times stronger.

• Drugged Driving – Drugged driving is 7 times more prevalent than drunk driving. 26.9% of seriously injured drivers test positive for pot. Recent studies in British Colombia show 10.4% of drivers tested positive for drugs – 49.4% marijuana. 8.3% for cocaine and pot. The U.S. cost in damages is over $33 billion. (www.stopdruggeddriving.com). Driving privileges should be revoked for anyone who smokes marijuana regularly. 33% of drivers arrested at the scene of an accident test positive for pot, and another 12 percent test positive for both pot and cocaine. Pot users imperil themselves and others and shouldn’t drive.

• Crime – In some places, like Chicago, as many as 87% of arrestees of all crimes test positive for drugs in some , 40% for marijuana alone. Contrary to propaganda from pro-pot advocates, only .3% of prisoners are incarcerated for simple possession. The reality is, people who smoke pot and other drugs are often unemployed, or underemployed, and have to turn to crime to provide for basic necessities and to feed their habit. Marijuana alters the mind, is a gateway to other drugs, and often leads to mental illness. Illegal dispensaries and marijuana grow operations are often the scene of robberies and homicides.

• Smoking Crude Marijuana – Laboratory tests on “medical fraud marijuana” reveal pesticide levels that are literally hundreds of times above the legal limits. Unlike legitimate, legal medicines, there are no labels to indicate the harms, and no way of knowing the THC content, or levels of fungus, mold and pesticides. In short, it’s like Russian Roulette.

• Medical Fraud Marijuana – Marijuana delivers myriad harms to physical and mental health, like cancer, birth defects, respiratory problems, impairment to the immune system, and can cause mental illness. For the 2% who really do have a chronic, terminal disease, the benefits may outweigh the harms. The 98% with “medical marijuana” ID cards for recreational use subject themselves to potential harm.

• Memory Impairment and Physical Development – Marijuana affects the areas of the brain that are important for learning and memory, body movement, control and coordination leading to impairments in short-term memory, attention, judgment, coordination, balance and altered perception of time. Individuals who start using before 17 may later suffer from cognitive impairment, particularly with respect to memory and attention. 65.4% of treatment admissions involving kids less than 18 cited marijuana as the primary cause, more than all other drugs and alcohol combined. 20% was for alcohol.

Marijuana is not safer than alcohol. As with tobacco, nobody dies from overdose. But the altered mental state of users leads to accidents, domestic violence, birth defects, mental illness and a host of health problems.

The Cleveland fire in Southern California, for example, which killed 5 fire fighters and cremated thousands of animals was started by a hunter whose bong pipe was found at the scene. A teenager in Red Lake, Minnesota whose “gal of choice” was marijuana shot and killed nine people. A bus driver high on marijuana left the road and killed 22 people in the Northwest. In February 2010 three teenagers drowned in Florida when the 16 year old driver backed up 250 yards at high speed and ended up in a canal. In March 2010 a 24 year driver caused 13 accidents in one mile before a head on collision, hit an officer in the face, then justified it all with a “medical marijuana ID card. A beautiful young La Jolla girl drove off a cliff and died in 2006 after smoking pot with friends. Pot smokers aren’t safe.

MAJOR CAUSE OF INJURY ACCIDENTS … the leading cause of death for young people.

Marijuana is the illicit drug used most often (70%) by drivers who drove after drug use and is a major factor why motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for American young people (NHTSA, 2000)

Marijuana use before driving has seriously impacted the skills necessary to operate a vehicle safely. Roadside alertness is severely diminished as is concentration, motor coordination and the ability to react quickly. Research subjects found it difficult to judge distance and react appropriately to roadside signals and sounds after smoking marijuana.

Studies conducted by the NHTSA and Dutch Ministry of Transport concluded that the effects of THC alone on driving performance were of sufficient magnitude to warrant concern due to the drivers level of impairment and inability to facilitate evasive action if necessary. Further, drivers were also more likely to fall asleep during prolonged vehicle operation. THC and alcohol use in combination creates a serious threat to highway safety. (NHTSA, 1999; NHTSA, 2000)

In all studies referenced above, subjects were given marijuana cigarettes that had between 1.5- 4 % THC. Marijuana today averages 10.4% and goes as high 37%. (Marijuana and Driving: Going to Pot on the Highway by Jim Porter). Impairment levels today are 2 to 15 times greater than those studied.

Dr. Robert DuPont of the Institute for Behavior and Health (www.stopdruggeddriving.org) reveals: • 20% of all motor vehicle accidents are attributable to drugged driving. (50% of seriously injured drivers test positive for drugs. (Walsh JM, Flegel R., et al 2005) • 8,600 people died in 2005 as a result of drugged driving • 580,000 people were injured in car crashes as a result of drugged driving • $33 billion in damages every year.

Which drug is most prevalent? Marijuana! 26.9% of seriously injured drivers tested positive for marijuana. There are 127 million current users of alcohol in America and, and because of restrictive drug policies, only 15 million smoke marijuana. In spite of this, alcohol was only involved with 15% of injured drivers compared to marijuana at 26.9%. Per capita, marijuana smokers cause 18 times more injury accidents than alcohol.

In a roadside survey, of those who tested positive for a drug, 49.4% tested positive for marijuana alone, and another 8.6% tested positive for marijuana and cocaine. In Canada, 10.4% of all drivers tested positive for drugs, with marijuana and cocaine accounting for 4.6% each. The figure of one person in ten driving under the influence holds true in America as well. Scary!

Legalizing marijuana for any reason will adversely impact public safety. More people would die and be injured on the highways, and the cost to insurance companies and the general population would soar. Legalization is simply a dumb idea, put forth by people who like to get high, with no regard for the social consequences of their actions. Alcohol and tobacco, the two legal drugs, inflict enough harm. We neither need nor can we afford one more.

POT PLANTATIONS DESTROY OUR FORESTS …. WHILE POT DESTROYS OUR KIDS

Mexican cartels and criminals are causing incredible ecological and environmental devastation in our National Parks and Forests.. No one is safe, neither man nor beast. To protect their valuable crop they kill anything that can eat, steal or destroy the crop including deer, bear and other wildlife …. even people who haphazardly trip across the plantations.

To combat fungus and pests, they import and use pesticides that have been banned in the US for years. As the pesticides and fertilizers flow into the soil, it is absorbed into the plants themselves, creating an enormous safety hazard for those who smoke marijuana. But it also pollutes the soil, and ultimately flows into the rivers and streams killing all in its path.

They ring the plantations with poisons for rodents. As the rodents die, so also do the hawks, eagles, coyotes and other birds and animals that feed on their remains. When the harvest is complete, they leave behind miles of water pipes, campsite remains, bags of fertilizers and nitrates that seep into the earth and streams, and devastated earth for our already overburdened game wardens and forestry department personnel to clean up. For every one acre of plantation, they destroy ten acres.

The end product that they sell is often contaminated, laden with pesticides, fungus and fertilizers. Lab tests in Long Beach showed two samples had pesticide levels that were 1400 times the legal limit for food. So aside from other harms to health, education, welfare, crime and traffic safety, even those who smoke this junk get poisoned by the crop ….. in case they are wondering why they cough a lot.

Our National Forests are a precious resource, owned and enjoyed by all Americans. It is an outrage to allow this devastation to continue, because of the insatiable demand by a minority to get high. We need to take our forests back, raise awareness, and aid and increase the resources available to keep the forests safe, maybe by offering a reward to Mexicans and their families for exposing grow sites.

Of equal concern is the fact that Humboldt and Mendocino Counties openly base their economies on growing and selling illegal marijuana, in defiance of federal law. The federal government has spent billions eradicating illicit drugs abroad, and we have an “Afghanistan” within our own borders. . .

It is folly to think that the cartels will simply go away if pot is legalized. There will be ample market inside and outside of California for cheaper, dirtier pot. The violence occurring in Mexico between warring cartels could very well happen on this side of the border.

REGULATION, TAX AND CONTROL will create a bigger black market than the one that exists

Legalizing marijuana, even if it were possible by federal law, would do nothing to dissuade the Mexican cartels, and it would encourage the masses to grow marijuana plants at home. Why not? If you have a green thumb, a little garden and are a baby boomer or unemployed, this would be very appealing. One couple recently interviewed in San Francisco was making $120,000 a year on their tiny patio.

One plant producing one lb of marijuana at 2.5 joints per gram is the equivalent of 1,134 joints. The proposed ten plant limit would equate to 11,340 joints, in only one harvest. Some hydro phonic indoor operations get three harvests a year, and a yield of 3 to 5 lbs per plant. The legal markets won’t be able to absorb the surge in production.

Even now, before legalization, Humboldt County officials have authorized the growing of 99 plants with a special permit, and they are gravely concerned about what will happen to their economy when legalization lowers the prices and undermines the value of their illegal crops. Incredible! Obviously the social consequences of their insidious products aren’t of concern, but maybe they should look a little harder at the situation in Mexico, where decapitation among competing cartels has become in vogue. Is that next?

If legalization were to happen, those seeking a higher “high” than what legalized pot would have; the young people below 21 who couldn’t buy it legally; and those outside of California would provide vast new markets for the newly created flood of pot that would hit the market.

The legalizers say prohibition didn’t work. It did! Repealing prohibition of alcohol simply put white collars on the Al Capone’s of the day. The surge of alcohol use after repeal inflicted a heavy toll on the health, safety and economic well being of all Americans, as it still does today.

Keeping pot illegal has limited the number of people who smoke it regularly to 6.4% of the adult population, 15 million people vs 127,000 who consume alcohol. Legalization would certainly increase the number of smokers. The State Board of Equalization says with legalization it will increase by 40%, but that may well be understated. If it elevated the number of people to even half of those who consume alcohol, marijuana will destroy the nation.

Libertarians rant that they have a right to pursue happiness and put into their bodies what they want. The unspoken caveat, however, is “in the absence of harm to others.” The fact is, there is no absence of harm. They make lousy workers, which impacts employers and productivity. They are accident prone. They have physical and mental health issues, generally with no health insurance. They burden the welfare rolls, law enforcement, fill prisons and they are a major cause of injury accidents. They place a huge social and economic burden on the 93.6% who don’t smoke.

Regulation, control and taxation of just the legal drugs – alcohol and tobacco – cause the death of about 550,000 Americans annually, at an annual cost of $700 to $800 billion. Legalizing marijuana will simply add to the burden.

STATES ARE NOT SOVERIGN POWERS THEY CANNOT LEGALIZE MARIJUANA

States are not sovereign nations. It is folly to think that any state could legalize the production, distribution and sale of marijuana without inviting the full wrath of the federal government, including economic sanctions.

There would be no justification for the federal government to subsidize states who contribute to the problems of health, education, welfare, crime and traffic safety. Federal law, the supreme law of the land, exists to protect the health, safety and economic well being of all Americans. Should the citizens or government of any state choose to live under a different set of rules, then certainly they should forego any and all benefits of being an American.

The hoax of “medical marijuana” that now exists in 14 states is indicative of the infiltration of prodrug forces that inflict more death, destruction and harm on America than all other forms of terror combined. Truth in advertising laws alone should ban the term “medical marijuana,” because it is not medicine, as defined by the FDA. It does not become medicine because of popular vote, or because of campaign donations that flow from and through George Soros. It can provide relief because of certain isolated components, but with the good come the harms.

The term “medical marijuana” was created by Keith Stroup, founder of NORML, in 1979 as a means of giving pot a good name, as a first step toward legalization for recreational use … because people like to get high. It is interesting to note that in the 40 years since, the THC content is 2 to 15 times stronger. It is no longer a soft drug. As evidenced by experience all over the world, it is a major cause of mental illness and criminality, aside from impacts on health, welfare, traffic safety and devastation of young people.

While the US spends hundreds of millions more to stem the flow of marijuana and other drugs from Mexico, we now have Mexican cartels growing pot in our national forests. Humboldt and Mendocino Counties base their economies on production of an illegal drug; and just passed an ordinance to allow individuals to grow 99 plants. They are also strategizing how to cope when prices fall because of legalization, and how to brand their counties as the source of the best pot around. Incredible!

Maybe they should be concerned about eradication efforts by the U.S., or that competing growers will start loping off heads, as in Mexico. In any event, it doesn’t make sense for the US to continue to spend billions to eradicate illicit drugs abroad and allow production to flourish at home?

The proposed legalization in California would also allow individuals to grow 10 plants at home, about 11,340 joints per person. Between the cartels who won’t stop, the surge in a new home based growing operations in addition to farming operations, there will be a flood of marijuana that will have to seek new black markets for young and old, in-state and throughout the United States.

It isn’t going to happen. Even if California builds a “Berlin wall” around the perimeter to keep the pot and potheads in, it isn’t going to happen.

PREVENTION IS THE KEY TO ECONOMIC RECOVERY California spends less than 1% on prevention; over 99% shoveling up the damage

Alcohol, tobacco and drugs (ATOD) are the root cause of almost all the social and economic problems of California, yet they are largely ignored. Currently, the state spends 1/3rd of 1% on prevention and the balance shoveling up the damage. This is horrible economic and social policy, and a travesty when the underlying cause is a preventable disease.

Research has shown that “….. if a young person reaches age 21 prior to smoking, abusing alcohol or using drugs, they should virtually never do so.” (Joseph Califano Jr.) Getting them to 21 intact is, of course, the challenge.

In medical circles, addiction to alcohol, tobacco and drugs is referred to as a pediatric onset disease because it almost always starts with kids, aged 10 to 17 years old. So to protect the future of the state and nation, we have to start by protecting the kids. We must take measures to defer the onset of alcohol, tobacco and drugs until they reach adulthood and their bodies and brains are less vulnerable to harm and addiction.

Currently, marijuana is easy to get. Because of the perception that it is medicine and legal, in some areas like San Diego, more kids are smoking pot than tobacco. Making it more readily available and lower costs will certainly escalate the level of use by young people and contribute even more harm to the state and nation.

Substance abuse in general, of which marijuana is a major contributing factor, contributes to the following economic problems in California: (In Billions)

Direct Costs In the Budget $ 19.9 (CASA 2005) Lost Productivity (Doubles the above) $ 19.9 (Lockyer 2003) High School Drop Out Rate $ 46.4 (UC Santa Barbara) Prison Overcrowding $ 8,0 (State of Calif) Traffic Accidents $ 2,4 (13% if $33 billion) Total $ 96.6 billion Rounded to today’s dollars – well over $100 billion

Prevention of substance abuse is the biggest opportunity for the State to correct the budget problem, and that should start immediately by stopping the proliferation of marijuana.

We strongly recommend that this and future Administrations create an Office of Drug Control as part of the Governor’s staff, as has been done in Florida and other states, There are prevention programs that work.

ROGER MORGAN: Chairman and Executive Director of the Coalition for A Drug-Free California has been an entrepreneur and businessman in California for 30 years. Formerly, he was Vice President of Volvo of America and General Manager of Volvo Penta of America; and engaged in sales, marketing and dealer administration with Caterpillar Tractor Company and Caterpillar Overseas. He is a graduate of Colorado College (1963) and The Thunderbird Graduate School of Global Management (1964). He was Founding Chairman of the Coronado SAFE Foundation, a non-profit dealing with drug prevention; prior Board Member of the San Diego Prevention Coalition; member of the National Coalition for Student Drug Testing; Co-Founder of Californians for Drug-Free Schools and Special Advisor to the Golden Rule Society in Coronado. His passion for drug prevention stems from two step-children who became drug addicted at age 12 and 14 roughly 29 years ago, and two nephews who died from drug related causes.

Roger Morgan
Executive Director
Coalition for A Drug-Free California
P.O. Box 1450
Lincoln, Ca. 95648
(916) 434 5629
roger@drugfreecalifornia.org

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