Distinguish CBD from Substances Sold by Pot Promoters

Why is there no compassion for the families whose children began a descent into mental illness that began with marijuana?

There is tremendous compassion for those children with seizures who try cannabidiol (CBD).  For example, Alexis, an 11-year-old girl who speaks on behalf of an extract she uses to treat seizures, is a superstar.  It is heart-warming to know that she has been helped.  Alexis has a wonderful heart and is charming.  More recently she has been working with a group that insists the inclusion of THC for seizure medication.

The marijuana industry hopes for political gains by promoting Alexis’ story.  The public needs to give equal consideration to the  families whose children died because of marijuana.  Some have told their stories on blogs such as MomsStrong.org and Parents Opposed to Pot.

Dr. Gupta’s specials on marijuana on CNN changed political discussion about THE WEED. Now it’s time for him to present the other side of the story, the mental illness links.

Dark Side of the Miracle Cure

Furthermore, there a dark side to this “miracle” drug cure.

Some of the children who initially get help from CBD have bad luck later.  Lita Pawliw’s daughter died on February 3, 2017.  It’s heartbreaking.  In 2015, the province of Alberta relented in letting her little girl use the CBD instead of the prescribed pharmaceutical drugs.  While pharmaceutical medicines made her dull and lifeless, her family discovered that CBD made her lively and fun.  The online petition to pay for funeral expenses did not explain how she died.

The fact that CBD treatments for seizures sometimes backfire is a message that needs to get out to the public.   Whenever you use the term “medical marijuana,” teens think the marijuana that gets you high is harmless.   For the subset who goes into marijuana psychosis, marijuana can be lethal. Those making money from selling CBD aren’t required to give the warnings that pharmaceutical companies must give.  Their treatment is a fad and hasn’t met the long-term test of time.  Do people realize that the  Ketogenic Diet has a higher success rate than CBD?

Point Out the Dangers of High-THC Pot

The product that helps Alexis’ seizures should not be called marijuana.  It is predominately cannabidiol  (CBD), one of more than 60 cannabinoids in the marijuana plant.  The extract she takes is suspended in olive oil.  It is derived from marijuana, but it’s not “just a plant.”

Alexis takes a mixture that has 15 parts CBD to one part THC.  Today, most marijuana sold in dispensaries and in the black market is just the opposite.  THC, which produces the high in marijuana, is manipulated to produce the high potency pot of today.   In California, when doctors give recommendations for medical marijuana, they typically don’t specify any particular proportion of CBD and THC.  This neglect has damaged many minds, minds of young people who had previously functioned at a very high level.

The potent marijuana of today frequently triggers episodes of psychosis, and which can lead to permanent mental illness.  “Medical marijuana” continues to destroy the brains of  young people, some of whom have been treated by quack doctors.   Doctors in New York report episodes of young people who suffered from psychosis after using marijuana just once or twice.

Back in the ’70s, when there were equal parts THC and CBD, people were less likely to develop psychosis.  (A landmark study on low-THC marijuana from Sweden determined a person could use 50 times before they were at risk for psychosis. )  With most high-THC marijuana of today, the risk is higher.  The public doesn’t understand the difference between the pot of the ’70s and the pot of today.  It’s time for television doctors, such Dr. Phil, Dr. Gupta, Dr. Drew and Dr. Oz, to expose the truth about THC.

With edibles and dabbing done today, marijuana is far more dangerous than it was in the ’70s.  This is why it essential that the public stop confusing CBD with marijuana.   It is also important that people know that not every type of epilepsy is helped by CBD.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Dr. Oz are celebrity physicians who can sway public perceptions on health issues. Let’s hope they can educate on  the connection between marijuana use and mental illness.

CBD Oil is Available Throughout USA

Alexis’ seizures began at age 7.  Although Alexis and her family moved from Texas to Colorado, CBD sold as “hemp oil” is available throughout the country.  “Charlotte’s Web,” which was featured on a CNN show by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, is available throughout the country because it’s considered Hemp Oil.  Charlotte’s Web and Haleigh’s Hope — which Alexis uses —  is CBD, not “a plant.”

Doctors with The Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado can explain the challenge of giving any THC to children.  They also explain the difference between cannabidiol and whole marijuana.   Why can’t those who bring Alexis’ story to the public explain it properly?  They argue that CBD only, such as the Epidiolex offered by GW Pharmaceuticals out of Great Britain, is not enough.   We caution that any THC in a minor could be brain damaging.

The public has a right to know that some children have died after the parents believed it was a miracle drug.

We challenge the marijuana investors and industry to stop calling CBD oil “medical” marijuana.  We also challenge them to submit their products through the FDA approval process, and to stop lying about “patients” going to jail.

People are basically uneducated on the differences between CBD and most marijuana,  despite Dr. Gupta’s explanations in his TV special.  Since celebrity doctors have promoted the upside of CBD, it’s time to explain the downside of marijuana.  It’s time for celebrity doctors  to educate the public about how THC can damage the brain.

Dr. Gupta should also review the National Academy of Sciences Report on the health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids released in January.  It concluded marijuana may provide “modest” medical help for three conditions:  nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, spasticity with MS and chronic pain.  Unlike the promoters of Alexis’ treatment, the report does not endorse marijuana is effective in the treatment for seizures.

Sean Spicer Signals Possible Change in Marijuana Enforcement

Spicer Seems Unconcerned about Medical Marijuana Fraud

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said in a Press Conference yesterday that the Justice Department may change how it handles the legalization of marijuana.   His statements suggests a new policy towards states that have legalized marijuana, and are in violation of federal law.  His comments showed that the Administration realizes that marijuana expansion is linked to the opiate epidemic.

Graphic: courtesy of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, from the 2017 Educational Toolkit

However, Spicer said that the new Administration is not going after states that have medical pot programs.  He seems unaware that the medical pot programs are full of fraud and abuse.  Only the states of New York and New Jersey have taken the steps to avoid the extreme fraud of these medical marijuana programs.

The absence of an expression of concern about what is happening medical pot states is disconcerting.  There are serious health consequences, increased youth use, lack of controls, ongoing black market and outright fraud.

We know that many of the youth who went into psychosis or mental illness received their marijuana from “medical” marijuana cardholders.   Some also had doctors who authorized it without properly diagnosing and checking the patients.  It is often a system just as bad and reckless as the “pill mill” doctors.

Smart Approaches to Marijuana Press Release

Smart Approaches to Marijuana issued a press release and statement about Spicer’s comments.  “The current situation is unsustainable. States that have legalized marijuana continue to see a black market for the drug, increased rates of youth drug use, continued high rates of alcohol sales, and interstate trafficking, with drug dealers taking advantage of non-enforcement,” said SAM President and CEO Kevin A. Sabet.

Marijuana which has skyrocketed in average potency over the past decades – is addictive and harmful to the human brain, especially when used by adolescents. In states that have already legalized the drug, there has been an increase in drugged driving crashes and youth marijuana use. These states have seen a black market that continues to thrive, sustained marijuana arrest rates, and a consistent rise in alcohol sales.

Can Marijuana Help with the Opioid Overdose Problem?

Smart Approaches to Marijuana has the Answer for Senator Warren

Last year Sen. Elizabeth Warren asked the CDC if marijuana can be used to fight the opioid epidemic.  There’s an answer in Smart Approaches to Marijuana’s recent publication, its educational toolkit for 2017.  The publication refers to academic studies which suggest that marijuana primes the brain for other types of drug usage, alcohol and heroin.  Here’s the summary on that subject from page 4, Marijuana and Other Drugs: A Link We Can’t Ignore :

MORE THAN FOUR in 10 people who ever use marijuana will go on to use other illicit drugs, per a large, nationally representative sample of U.S. adults.(1) The CDC also says that marijuana users are three times more likely to become addicted to heroin.(2)

Although 92% of heroin users first used marijuana before going to heroin, less than half used painkillers before going to heroin.

And according to the seminal 2017 National Academy of Sciences report, “There is moderate evidence of a statistical association between cannabis use and the development of substance dependence and/or a substance abuse disorder for substances including alcohol, tobacco, and other illicit drugs.”(3)

RECENT STUDIES WITH animals also indicate that marijuana use is connected to use and abuse of other drugs. A 2007 Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology study found that rats given THC later self administered heroin as adults, and increased their heroin usage, while those rats that had not been treated with THC maintained a steady level of heroin intake.(4) Another 2014 study found that adolescent THC exposure in rats seemed to change the rodents’ brains, as they subsequently displayed “heroin-seeking” behavior. Youth marijuana use could thus lead to “increased vulnerability to drug relapse in adulthood.”(5)

The National Institutes of Health says that research in this area is “consistent with animal experiments showing THC’s ability to ‘prime’ the brain for enhanced responses to other drugs. For example, rats previously administered THC show heightened behavioral response not only when further exposed to THC, but also when exposed to other drugs such as morphine—a phenomenon called cross-sensitization.”(6)

Suggestions that one addictive substance replaces another ignores the problem of polysubstance abuse, the common addiction of today.

ADDITIONALLY, THE MAJORITY of studies find that marijuana users are often polysubstance users, despite a few studies finding limited evidence that some people substitute marijuana for opiate medication. That is, people generally do not substitute marijuana for other drugs. Indeed, the National Academy of Sciences report found that “with regard to opioids, cannabis use predicted continued opioid prescriptions 1 year after injury.  Finally, cannabis use was associated with reduced odds of achieving abstinence from alcohol, cocaine, or polysubstance use after inpatient hospitalization and treatment for substance use disorders” [emphasis added].(7)

Moreover, a three-year 2016 study of adults also found that marijuana compounds problems with alcohol. Those who reported marijuana use during the first wave of the survey were more likely than adults who did not use marijuana to develop an alcohol use disorder within three years.(8) Similarly, alcohol consumption in Colorado has increased slightly since legalization. (9)

Here’s the complete Data on Marijuana Policy for 2017 in pdf form.

Senator Elizabeth Warren is a strong advocate for consumer rights

Here’s the Answer for Senator Warren

Senator Warren, Parents Opposed to Pot, which doesn’t support any political party, hopes you’re satisfied with the answer.  We miss your previous, more sensible approach to marijuana before NORML criticized you a few years back. These industry promoters are placing their stories in national publications because they honor their profits over public health.  They want users who will become addicted and so suggest the substitution of marijuana for pain pills.  We believe the future of pain medicine is in utilizing alternative, mind-based stressed reduction strategies and meditation to deal with chronic pain.   Remember, “medical” marijuana was planned as a hoax.

Senator Warren, you’re deeply respected by youth.  You could be a powerful spokesperson by advocating for them not to use drugs.  The problem is that — for some young people — that critical first choice to use a drug turns into a game of Russian Roulette.

Parents who lost children to drugs overwhelmingly insist their children initiated drug use with marijuana and alcohol.  Marijuana advocates insist marijuana is “not a gateway” drug, but studies show otherwise.  Marijuana is a gateway to other drugs for 40+ percent of those who start using pot.  It is never wise to substitute one drug of addiction for another drug of addiction.   Please consider that not everyone who becomes addicted to opiates started because of pain.  Many started for fun.  According to a Jon Daily of Recovery Happens, most begin pain pill abuse because their relationship with intoxication began as a relationship with marijuana and/or alcohol.

There are many other ways to treat the opiate epidemic:  better prevention programs, mandating education in the schools and  clamping down on internet sellers of these drugs.  Studies claiming fewer overdose deaths occur in marijuana states need to consider the availability of suboxone, other drugs to counter the overdose.

Senator Warren, please check out Smart Approaches to Marijuana, which advocates an alternative to legalization which does not include incarceration.    In our next article, Senator Warren, we will discuss the marijuana-mental illness links………… once again.

FOOTNOTES:

  1. Secades-Villa R, Garcia-Rodríguez O, Jin CJ, Wang S, Blanco C Probability and predictors of the cannabis gateway effect: a national study. Int J Drug Policy. 2015;26(2):135-142

2. Centers for Disease Control. Today’s heroin epidemic Infographics more people at risk, multiple drugs abused. CDC, 7 July 2015.

3. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Health and Medicine Division; Board on Population Health andPublic Health Practice; Committee on the Health Effects of Marijuana: An Evidence Review and Research Agenda (“2017 NAS Report”).

4. Ellgren, Maria et al. “Adolescent Cannabis Exposure Alters Opiate Intake and Opioid Limbic Neuronal Populations in Adult Rats.”Neuropsychopharmacology 32.3 (2006): 607–615.

5. Stropponi, Serena et al. Chronic THC during adolescence increases the vulnerability to stress-induced relapse to heroin seeking in adult rats. European Neuropsychopharmacology Volume 24 , Issue 7 (2014), 1037 – 1045.

6. “Is marijuana a gateway drug?” National Institute on Drug Abuse. Jan. 2017. See also Panlilio LV, Zanettini C, Barnes C, Solinas M, Goldberg SR. Prior exposure to THC increases the addictive effects of nicotine in rats. Neuropsychopharmacol Off Publ Am Coll Neuropsychopharmacol. 2013;38(7):1198-1208; Cadoni C, Pisanu A, Solinas M, Acquas E, Di Chiara G. Behavioural sensitization after repeated exposure to Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cross-sensitization with morphine. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2001;158(3):259-266.

7.  2017 NAS report.

8.  Weinberger AH, Platt J, Goodwin RD. Is cannabis use associated with an increased risk of onset and persistence of alcohol use disorders? A three-year prospective study among adults in the United States. Drug Alcohol Depend. February 2016.

9. Rocky Mountain HIDTA Investigative Support Center Strategic Intelligence Unit. The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact, Volum

Groups-Against-Marijuana

Newest Activist Groups Go Against “Recreational” Marijuana

The newest groups against marijuana commercialization:                          Texans Against Legalizing Marijuana (LIKE their  Facebook page)  Families Against Recreational Marijuana (FARM)                    
Neo-American Political Group
(Like their Facebook page, please)  Marijuana Victims Association

Merry Jane claims many states have strong policymakers working to actively legalize and regulate cannabis.   Legalization means commercialization (don’t deny it–that is what has happened in every state that voted to legalize.)   Please join us in stopping the commercialization of marijuana.  Decriminalization is already in place.  NORML is raising money and trying to normalize pot use in every state.   Hit the “LIKE” and “SHARE” buttons in order to raise the profile of all groups that fight this in their states.

Canada                                                                                                                                   Smart Approaches to Marijuana Canada

California Groups  (Please suggest to friends, family in the state)
Marijuana Harms Families                                                                                        Butane Hash Oil and Honey Oil Dangers (against pot labs only)
Ban Commercial Cultivation                                                                          BSane.org                                                                                                                
Citizens Against Legalizing Marijuana

Moms Strong
Stop Pot
RAM – Rethinking Access to Marijuana
STOP Commercial Pot (California)
Take Back America Campaign

 Colorado Groups (Please suggest to friends, families there)
Parents of Colorado Against the Normalization of Dope
Parents for a Healthy Colorado
People Against Retail Marijuana in Manitou Springs (PARMMS)
Smart Colorado
Pueblo for Positive Impact                                                                                      Citizens for a Healthy Pueblo                                                                                      Act on Drugs

Massachusetts                                                                                                                  Be Smarter Massachusetts
Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts

Florida                                                                                                                                        Auntie Cannabis is Anti-Pot                                                                                            No on 2
Mothers Opposed 2 Marijuana
Prevention Plus Wellness

Maine
Smart Approaches to Marijuana, Maine
Mainers Protecting Our Youth and Communities

Oregon
Portland for Positive Impact
Clear Alliance

Other States
Vote No on 2 Nevada
Keep Arkansas Safe
Keeping Missouri Kids Safe
Texas Alarm

Safe Montana
Marijuana Issues in Tennessee

Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy
Smart Approaches to Marijuana Canada                                                      Don’t Roll Up Roll Out
I Hate Marijuana                                                                                                                  LegalLies
Marijuana Harms Families
Marijuana Issues in Tennessee
MarijuanaX
National Families in Action
The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
SAM Taskforce
Stop the Legalization of Marijuana
Texans ALARM

Please sign the petition against T-Mobile for trying to normalize marijuana use.

Please start a group for your state to go against legalization if it doesn’t have one.     There are many other community, county and groups affiliated with CADCA. This list emphasizes groups that concentrate on marijuana prevention.   Drug Free America Foundation is national and it opposes all drugs.  Smart Approaches to Marijuana and Parents Opposed to Pot focus on marijuana.  National Families in Action writes the latest studies of marijuana in The Marijuana Report (see above). We must support each other, as well as other state groups.

We are sorry to have left out some groups, but if you want to see a group added please write media@poppot.org