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Monday, September 30, 2013

Pot Apocalypse Looms, Marijuana Foes Warn

by Phillip Smith

Not everybody is happy with Thursday's Justice Department announcement that it would not interfere with taxed, regulated, and legalized marijuana in Colorado and Washington. While the announcement was greeted with accolades (and some questions) by the drug policy reform community, opponents of marijuana law reform were up in arms and prophesying hellfire and damnation.

"Decades from now, the Obama administration will be remembered for undoing years of progress in reducing youth drug use in America," Dr. Paul Chabot of the Coalition for a Drug Free California said in a statement. "This president will be remembered for many failures, but none as large as this one, which will lead to massive youth drug use, destruction of community values, increased addiction and crime rates."

Chabot is also the the coauthor, along with Richard Morgan, of "The Eternal Battle Against Evil: A Comprehensive Strategy to Fight Terrorists, Drug Cartels, Pirates, Gangs, and Organized Crime," and the coalition web site also hawks Morgan's "Soros: The Drug Lord. Pricking the Bubble of American Supremacy."

While Chabot, with his Anslingerian fulminations and Manichean thinking, represents old school Reefer Madness-style prohibitionism, the new school prohibitionists aren't too pleased either.

"We can look forward to more drugged driving accidents, more school drop-outs, and poorer health outcomes as a new Big Marijuana industry targeting kids and minorities emerges to fuel the flames," warned former US Rep. Patrick Kennedy in a statement issued by Project SAM (Smart About Marijuana), a neo-prohibitionist organization that couches its policy aims amid public health concerns.

"This is disappointing, but it is only the first chapter in the long story about marijuana legalization in the US. In many ways, this will quicken the realization among people that more marijuana is never good for any community," said Project SAM cofounder and director Kevin Sabet.

Project SAM warned that after the Obama administration instructed prosecutors to go easy on medical marijuana in 2009, "public health consequences soared" and called on the federal government to fund "robust data monitoring systems" to track those alleged consequences.

"In Colorado, we've seen an explosion of consequences among kids as a result of the new industry that emerged around so-called medical marijuana after 2009," remarked Christian Thurstone, SAM Board Member and Denver Health treatment provider. "We now have to prepare the floodgates."

Just what will come through those floodgates, though, is unclear. Reform advocates point to 2011 data showing that youth marijuana use declined in Colorado since the state adopted its system of regulated dispensaries in 2009.

The taxpayer-funded Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) also weighed in with disappointment, doom, and gloom.

"The Department of Justice announced that it will not sue to block the implementation of laws in Colorado and Washington that legalize marijuana, despite the fact that these laws are in conflict with federal law," said CADCA head Gen. Arthur Dean in a statement. "CADCA and its more than 5,000 community coalitions across the country have been anticipating a response from the administration that would reaffirm the federal law and slow down this freight train. Instead, this decision sends a message to our citizens, youth, communities, states, and the international community at large that the enforcement of federal law related to marijuana is not a priority."

"The fact remains that smoked marijuana is not medicine, it has damaging effects on the developing adolescent brain, and can be addictive, as evidenced by the fact that 1 in 6 youth who use it will become addicted," Dean claimed, adding that the country is in "a growing crisis" as marijuana law reforms take hold. "The nation looks to our Justice Department to uphold and enforce federal laws. CADCA is disappointed in the Justice Department's decision to abdicate its legal right in this instance. We remain gravely concerned that we as a nation are turning a blind eye to the serious public health and public safety threats associated with widespread marijuana use."

Despite the bitter disappointment of the prohibitionists, marijuana law reform is moving forward, and the momentum is only likely to accelerate in the years to come. We may see in a few years if their dire warnings are correct -- if the country is still standing, that is.

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"public health consequences soared"

That must be why things like this exist then huh?

So it is more healthy than Alcohol? Nicotine? Neither of those are Schedule I. Marijuana has NO acceptable medical uses, but doctors continue to prescribe it. Do doctors make money from prescribing an illegal substance? Do pharms pay them? No? Well do marijuana distributors who get raped by taxes and are unable to bank or transport their money pay them? No? Well then why are doctors still prescribing it? Why are 5 year olds using it effectively to treat seizures? Sanjay Gupta a relatively reputable doctor agrees that the "fact" that marijuana has no accepted medical use is an absolute lie. The DEA website states that researches have found many things that are untrue. Simple scans of the internet can disprove that. Especially researchers from other countries where the laws are a little more lax, and research is allowed.

Even if marijuana is physically addictive, even if marijuana could kill you from over dosing (which it virtually can't) then why can't we simple change it to a schedule 2 substance?

"Decades from now, the Obama administration will be remembered for undoing years of progress in reducing youth drug use in America,"
Project SAM warned that after the Obama administration instructed prosecutors to go easy on medical marijuana in 2009, "public health consequences soared"

First off, what consequences? Less dropout rates, and arrests? And... he said go easy on MEDICAL MARIJUANA!!!! not "let them smoke all the dope they want".

Go to **** Phillip Smith. This is the worst attempt at journalism I have ever seen. Try to be unbiased. At least try.

And if our country isn't still standing, I really would like to see that it was because of pot being legal, HAHAHA. That is the most ridiculous piece of anti-climactic trash I have ever read. Even worse than the pets eating pot thing.

If anything, if our country isn't still standing it will be because of our terrible foreign policies, the fact that we manage to tick off every nation we come into contact with, and that we actually help the taliban and other terrorists more than we deter them. It will be because we send guns to the drug cartels and police are able to pick and choose what laws they obey. Good luck with your career Phillip. Maybe you'll get a job as a bud tender one day.

Oh no!!!! Run for life ----- MARIJUANA!!!!!!!!!! This proves that there IS no "war on drugs". And when the so-called Justice Department has announced that they will no longer do their job and uphold the law, it's time for them to be dismantled. I absolutely love reading this "garbage" from these so-called prohibitionists. Let me tell you as a former Police Officer what the majority of our calls for service entailed. Alcohol and pills. Yep... I know it's a shocker. After 7 years of street patrol, on a 3pm-3am shift, the majority of our calls regarding intoxicated persons were for alcohol related incidents or prescription pill related incidents.

Not once, NOT ONCE, have I ever responded to a disturbance for a fight breaking out over stoners fighting over a bag of cheeto's. I have come in contact with hundreds of people on marijuana, and I can honestly say this: They were the most polite and compliant people to deal with. Drunks on the other hand: Obnoxious, rude, dangerous to others and always trying to fight.

For the US Law Enforcement communities: why don't you try enforcing laws that are worth enforcing. Like, oh I don't know, drunk driving, tax evasion, money laundering, corruption and other white collar crimes that are digging our country deeper into the hole.

Or perhaps those that relate to National Security. I'll use an example that I personally ran into. I called ICE because I had located an undocumented illegal immigrant. When I called ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and requested a pick-up, their answer was this: "Unless you have a bus load, we won't respond. Gather their personal information and forward it to us." Yeah that's gonna work real nice. I'm sure that "Jose" is his real name and he's going to provide truthful information to me because he's so concerned about following our laws. America's priorities are all jacked up and there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel.

End of rant.

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