marijuana truths

Putting the Legalizers to the Pinocchio Test

10 Marijuana Truths

Parents Opposed to Pot’s mission is to bust the myths about marijuana. Below, we tackle the lies told by marijuana promoters by shedding light on the truths.  Informed parents and their children should learn these truths to counter the most popular lies.

1) It causes death. The most frequent types of deaths are suicide, murder, traffic fatalities and child abuse deaths.  Just because toxic overdose is nearly impossible doesn’t mean that deaths don’t occur. BRAIN DAMAGE is quantitative too. A doctor from the Netherlands, Dr. Martien Kooyman, said chronic marijuana use is “more dangerous than chronic heroin use.” 

2) Marijuana is NOT safer than Alcohol. The percentage of adults age 21 and over who use marijuana in the U.S. is roughly between 10% and 13%, vs. 65% who use alcohol. Around 10-15% of drinkers have a substance use disorder, vs. 30% of marijuana users who have Cannabis Use Disorder. If more people use marijuana to the extent they use alcohol, the damage will certainly be equal or surpass the damage caused by alcohol. In 2010, there were 450,000 emergency treatments from marijuana. The rate of marijuana use has quadrupled in the last 20 years. It is the second most common substance, after alcohol, involved in D.U.I. incidents.  M.A.D.D. states that drugged driving deaths will soon surpass drunk driving deaths by 2020, if current rates continue. When a Lie Travels explains why marijuana is not safer than alcohol.

3) It is Addictive. Since denial is a characteristic of addiction, marijuana addicts often don’t know they’re addicted. The older studies which showed an addiction rate of 9% and 17% of those who began smoking pot before age 18 did not account for the high THC pot of today.  Recent studies show that about 30% of current users in the U.S. have Cannabis Use Disorder.

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marijuana trap

Freedom from the Marijuana Trap

I had my recreational marijuana card for 10 years and was a daily smoker/dabber/edible eater/etc etc etc. I’m ashamed to admit that I was very much a part of the cannabis scene, what a complete and utter waste of time.

With that said, the best decision I ever made in my life was ripping my California “medical” marijuana doctor’s recommendation to shreds and making the decision to never touch that garbage again.

In my early 20s, I was really struggling with mental health issues that were impacting my ability to perform my duties at work. A close friend suggested I try medicinal marijuana so I went to get a doctor’s recommendation. The doctor, after a 5-minute visual and verbal examination, cheerfully told me to use marijuana, that it would help with PTSD and anxiety and I would feel like myself again.

From the outset, I became a different person, my usage of marijuana progressively stole a decade of my life from me, withdrew me from society and I developed a debilitating social anxiety and all of the other symptoms that are mentioned on this website.

I watch day after day as marijuana proponents try to pass off junk science and yellow journalism as facts to justify their chemical dependence and it saddens me as much as it annoys me. The DEA was dead right when they said marijuana has little medical value and a high potential for abuse. Dead right. Recreational pot is a mistake. If future research begins to show clear and concise medical value then it should be dispensed through a pharmacy with careful, specific dosage instructions, not the free-for-all pass that I was given when I got my medical marijuana card.

I can truly say that I feel more alive and healthier with each passing day now that the painful side effects of marijuana are no longer holding me captive. It is a blessing to talk to people who are caught in the grips of the marijuana trap and support them in finding freedom from it.

Today’s marijuana is incredibly potent and people need to start acknowledging the risks and potential dangers associated with heavy use.

By: Darren E.

Editors Note: Do you have a story to tell? Contact editor@poppot.org. Your identity will be protected upon your request.

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Calaveras County Fights Back Against Big WEEDs

Calaveras County made national news this week because its famed, 2,000 year old tree, which had been a tourist attraction since 1880, fell down.  Fortunately, Calaveras County also took action this week to keep out an invasive tree, the giant cannabis plants that grow like weeds.  Tourists won’t be going there for marijuana, and fortunately, many giant sequoias are still standing.  (Photos from the Calaveras Big Trees Association webpage)

Citizens Qualify an Initiative to Ban Marijuana Cultivation

Calaveras County will see California’s first ever citizen-initiated ordinance banning commercial marijuana activities decided soon by its Board of Supervisors or in a spring special election.   It’s one of the first big push-backs against Big Marijuana since the November 8 election in which the state legalized pot.

County Clerk and Registrar of Voters Rebecca Turner today certified the petition sections filed by proponents of the initiative to ban commercial marijuana cultivation included more than enough valid signatures to qualify it for a special election.  Sampling 500 of the more than 5,200 signatures submitted, the Elections Department found a validity rate of 87% which, applied to the total, would produce approximately 4,532 valid signatures, where the number needed for certification was only 3,143.

“We’re delighted with the results, but not surprised,” said Bill McManus, Chairman of The Committee to Ban Commercial Cultivation. “The high percentage of invalid signatures from the Measure D signature drive was not surprising due to their use of paid professional signature gatherers.  By contrast, our all-volunteer team was much more careful and deliberate in their efforts.”  “Nevertheless, we overshot the target by a wide margin,” he went on, “to send a strong message to our Board of Supervisors as to the will of the people in Calaveras County.”  Committee member David Tunno added, “We only took about half the amount of time available to gather signatures, or the number would have been much greater.”

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Photo from Citizens Against the Legalization of Marijuana

“Citizens Against Legalizing Marijuana (CALM) congratulates The Committee to Ban Commercial Marijuana in Calaveras County for their successful initiative drive, and especially for being the first such success citizens’ campaign in the state of California.  As far as we know, they are also the first in the U.S.  We encourage the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors to enact their ordinance at the earliest possible date.”  Said Carla Lowe, Founder, Co-chair, Citizens Against Legalizing Marijuana, a statewide organization.

The Elections Department also notified the proponents that it will request a hearing on the matter before the Board of Supervisors at its regularly scheduled January 24 meeting.  At this writing, it is unknown whether it will be placed on the agenda for that meeting, but when it is, the Board will have the options of adopting the ordinance, directing the Elections Department to schedule it for a special election, or doing nothing, triggering a requirement for the Department to schedule the ordinance for a special election in the spring.

Proponents of the initiative and authors of the proposed ordinance were Bill McManus of the Calaveras Project and David Tunno, former County Planning Commissioner.  The ordinance bans all commercial marijuana cultivation, manufacturing, processing and delivery within unincorporated Calaveras County, as well as dispensaries, while providing an exception for qualified medical patients under specified conditions.  The complete ordinance and additional information is available on their website, ban commercial cultivation.  

This action will protect Calaveras County against the problems that plague Humboldt County and the Lost Coast.   For more information, contact:

Calaveras County,     Bill McManus      209 768 8549
So. California, Scott Chipman    619 990 7480                            
scott@chipman.info                                                                                                            No. California,  Carla Lowe       916 708 4111   carladlowe@aol.com

 

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A View Into Legalized Marijuana 20 Years from Now

Drug Policy Alliance, NORML and Marijuana Policy Project are optimistic. They’re huffing and puffing now, having won  7 out of 8 states with marijuana ballots in the November election. They also smirk knowing that President-elect Trump supports states’ rights for marijuana.  In 20 or 30 years, they’ll have freedom and no one else really matters.  Pot lobbyists don’t explain the real picture. What if the whole country ends up just like Humboldt County? (Photo Credit: Weed bust photo comes from the sheriff’s department, originally published by Lost Coast Outpost.)

Humboldt County Leads the Way

The oldest, strongest marijuana culture in the USA is not in Colorado, but in Humboldt County,  California.  Humboldt, Mendocino County and Trinity County also form this region called the Emerald Triangle.   When Sabrina Rubin Erdely set out to write about rape culture for High Times Magazine, she missed the boat by not going to Humboldt County.  Instead she wrote a fabricated story about an imagined rape at a highly academic East Coast college campus.  What an irony that a magazine promoting marijuana legalization for years fails to notice that rape is taking place in its community!  It’s hard to tell if it’s politically-motivated denial and deflection, or simply delusion from all that weed.

Domestic violence is very common in Humboldt County.  There were 2,000 domestic violence calls in 2015, an increase of 80% over the previous four years.*  A routine domestic violence call in December led to a huge bust for guns and weed. It’s shocking that one man would need so many guns and so much marijuana, but it’s a way of life.  This way of life began 40-50 years ago when marijuana growing gained a foothold in the area.

If you wanted to write about environmental destruction, Humboldt County takes the prize. The area used to be dominated by the logging and fishing industries.   Now the marijuana growers have polluted the streams and dried up many river beds.

See the video about the ecological damage from illicit marijuana grows

Environmentalists convinced politicians that the logging industry must stop cutting down the redwoods.  So the marijuana growers found an opening and they’re the ones cutting down the trees!  Aerial views show the redwood forests pockmarked by marijuana grows.  It doesn’t seem that High Times and Alternet have caught on to the irony that marijuana green is not environmentally green.

In May of 2008, approximately 1000 of gallons of red diesel overflowed from an indoor marijuana grow’s fuel room into a creek.  The marijuana grower had left a valve open when pouring a larger diesel tank into a smaller one.  The fuel had spread so far down the rugged stream bed when a neighbor smelled the pungent odor and investigated.  He found “20 to 30 pools of red diesel” far below the spill.  The environmental cleanup was a massive operation, from damage which rivals the impact of an oil spill in the ocean.

Fires are frequent throughout California, and marijuana sometimes causes these fires, including hash oil (BHO) explosions.  The massive Soberanes fire this summer uncovered several illegal marijuana grows.   Humboldt County has had at least three BHO fires from marijuana labs since California legalized pot two months ago.   A home exploded on November 9 in Rio Dell, the first day after the election. The Redheaded Blackbelt noticed “how ironic that on the first day that it is legal to smoke recreational marijuana… that one of the side effects of marijuana prohibition, a black market BHO lab, exploded.”  The flames burned 90 percent of the bodies of two victims who were airlifted to Davis.  

The true irony is that when recreational marijuana was legalized in Colorado, these home explosions grew more frequent, rather than less. In one week of April 2014, there were four BHO explosions.

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The man who started a fire in McKinleyville on December 26 fled the scene. It’s thought to be a hash oil lab fire. Photo above and on top by Marc Davis, published on the Redheaded Blackbelt.

Murders, Suicides and Missing People

The Emerald Triangle is the undisputed leader of pot culture —  a place where trimmigrants go each Fall to earn money.  Some end up getting abused or raped.  Growers also also are known to murder migrant workers, but sometimes the trimmers turn on their growers.

There were at least 22 murders in Humboldt County in 2016.   Only 134,000 people live in the county.  (Often it’s difficult to distinguish murder from suicide, which is also frequent in the region.) Humboldt  reported 352 missing people in 2015, more per capita than any other county in the state.   Missing persons include those who come to the region only in the Fall to work on marijuana farms.  There’s even an area of Humboldt called “Murder Mountain.”  The site is where a notorious couple who carried out cult-like murders in the 1980s, but the tradition seems to continue today.  Still, there are wonderful examples of community spirit such as a rally last night in Eureka.  People came out in the heavy rain to honorJennika Suazo, a teen girl who died suspiciously.

If a tv news magazine were to expose the murder, rape and sex trafficking in Humboldt, the reporters may be risking their lives.  The marijuana apologists mislead by insisting that murders and rapes happen because prohibition forces growers into hiding. Also, they wrongly claim hash oil fires only happen as a result  of marijuana prohibition.  The BHO fires didn’t occur before 2010, so liberalizing pot laws and expanding marijuana access created a new problem.  (Pot was decriminalized in 2010.)

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An AP photo shows how marijuana growers have bulldozed trees in northern California to make room for pot grows. The environmental damage is worse than from the timber industry.

Domestic Violence, DUIs and Humboldt’s Other Problems

Humboldt County district attorney Maggie Fleming sat down for an interview with Paul Mann of the Mad River Union recently. (The entire article is in Lost Coast Outpost.)   “We see DUIs all day long in this community …. There are people who are drinking or using prescription meds or smoking marijuana or using methamphetamine or heroin and driving at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Some of our fatalities are in the middle of the day,” Fleming explained.

She listed multiple factors powering Humboldt crime: high rates of driving while intoxicated; the county’s nightmarish marijuana, drug and alcohol culture; the prevalence of domestic violence and the deep-rooted poverty that inflicts childhood trauma and impairs children’s health, often with lifelong afflictions, including criminal behavior.  She definitely sees the crime is a result of the drug culture. Both those  with substance abuse problems and those selling drugs for financial gain instigate the crime.

“I see firsthand how marijuana is a social and environmental disaster,” a policeman from the Emerald Triangle wrote to PopPot.org. “Youth access, abuse, transient population moving in to grow or trim, associated criminal behavior all rising.”

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The homeless population in Humboldt creates a dilemma. Here’s what was left when several squatters were forced out of a Eureka home on Oct. 31, 2016.

 

“Where there is pot …there are other drugs…..and all the behavior associated with lives less enabled,” he said.  “The money isn’t worth the social cost to our world.”

–Emerald Triangle policeman

If you’re laid back from smoking too much dope, you then try an opioid or an amphetamine like coke or meth. It’s very clear that having a marijuana culture adds to the use of other drugs. It also leads to rampant alcohol abuse, since booze just enhances the effect of the drugs.  People think the homelessness problem in Humboldt is not caused by mental illness, but rampant drug/alcohol abuse precipitate the problem. Yet, politicians in both parties remain clueless of how drug use creates mental health problems. Their ignorance will continue as long as it’s politically incorrect to blame pot for anything.

Seven hundred homeless children without parents or guardians in nearby Mendocino County, also part of California’s “Emerald Triangle” growing region. These street kids sometimes work on the pot farms, but basically no one has ever loved them enough to care for them.  They’re likely to become drug users too, and the cycle of multi-generation drug use will continue.

Pueblo is a Warning to Other Places

Four years after Colorado legalized marijuana, the small city of Pueblo is another example of how pot commercialization can destroy life for the residents. “I can no longer allow my 13-year-old to walk the dog, one mother said. There was recently a murder 3 blocks from our house.”  Pueblo failed to pass two referendums which would have closed dispensaries and growing sites in the city and county.  Some people think of marijuana as an economic panacea for lost jobs in the steel industry.  However,  it has created a huge increase in the homeless population. Pueblo doctors recently made videos showing the damage marijuana is doing to the health care in the community.

Buyers in Pueblo West, Colo., line up on Jan. 1, 2014 to legally buy marijuana after it was approved for recreational use. (Source: AP Photo/John Wark)
Buyers in Pueblo West, Co line up on Jan. 1, 2014 to legally buy marijuana when the state’s first pot shops opened. (Source: AP Photo/John Wark).  The Press prefers to emphasize that so much money can be made, rather than the destruction with legal pot. It hasn’t turned out as orderly as this photo.

International cartels have moved into Pueblo and bought up property for their marijuana grows.  The black market is booming.   Russians, Cubans, Argentinians and Cambodians have come to town. Pueblo, Boulder and Denver lead the state in percentage of high school students using pot, but in Pueblo there are more problems. Fully 12% of high school seniors have also used heroin.

Is marijuana growing also going to replace tobacco growing  in Kentucky and Tennessee?  Will it be a substitute for the coal mines that shut down in West Virginia and Pennsylvania?  When policy is driven by knee-jerk reactions without careful planning, chaos follows.

At this time, the United States has more than half of the world’s illicit drug users.  Six percent of America’s high school seniors are daily marijuana users.  It appears that the legacy of drug use is going to continue creating this problem for America’s children.  Humboldt County is the future of our country if we continue to believe marijuana use is perfectly harmless and normal.

* This statistic and much of the information on sexual abuse, missing persons, domestic violence, rape and abuse of trimmigants comes from the massive report by Shoshana Walter, published in Reveal, The Center for Investigative Reporting on September 8, 2016.