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Excerpts from Pope Francis’ Talk: Call for Healing

“Everyone who is dependent on drugs has a personal story that needs healing and love.”

“We cannot fall into the injustice of classifying an addict as someone who is a broken object. Every person has to feel dignity to be healed. Dignity we have to reach. Important these people maintain dignity as children of God.

“Important to understand the problem of drugs is essentially a destructive factor. Networks that make it possible to die – not a physical death but psychological and social. There are powerful networks which catch people and there are people responsible for this inside governments. The only way to proceed is to go up from small scale peddling to sophisticated money laundering operations among banks which specialize in laundering dirty money.

“A judge in my country began to tackle this seriously. Very quickly he received a package in the mail with a photo of his family- it was a warning from mafia organizations. When you try to go up from roots of the problem you end up finding the Mafia. People enslaved to drugs are killed and also those who try and free people from this slavery are killed.

“Wide ranging social programs need to be integrated – especially education which is essential. Give people tools to discern reality and direct to the most vulnerable and families and those who suffer from marginalization. However the problem of prevention as a program has always been hindered by thousands of factors like incapabilities of government.

“Although prevention is the most important work, we must fully work to see rehabilitation and see people’s dignity restored. The most needy of our brothers and sisters carry with them a treasure of God which speaks to us and encourages us to move ahead.

“Combatting this is difficult and if you face up to these problems you run risk of things happening to you like what happened to the judge. But we are defending the human family, the young the children, and our future. Not something just looking at the present.”

Pope Francis spoke these words in small group sessions at the World Narcotics Summit held on November 24, in the Vatican.  Thank you, Kevin Sabet, for sharing his words.

Our contention is that education and prevention are most important.  It seems to be the view of Pope Francis.  We also agree that people who abuse drugs need healing and love for the wounds they carry.

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Pope Francis I Calls Worldwide Summit to Address Drugs

“Drugs are a wound in society and a trap for many people – victims who’ve lost their freedom.”   These were the words of Pope Francis at the conference on drugs held today, November 24, in Vatican City.

As Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, there are so many things to be thankful for in our world — the joy that is possible without drug use.  Although the US leads the world with 56% percent of the world’s illicit drug users, other nations are falling into the same trap.  Substance users and abusers try to find a shortcut to the spirituality that takes years to achieve.   It doesn’t work, as Pope Francis recognizes.

“Pope Francis is a global leader against drug abuse, said Kevin Sabet who will speak at the conference entitled “Workshop on Narcotics: Problems and Solutions of this Global Issue.”  Dr. Kevin Sabet is President of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM). The Pontifical Academies of Science has organized the conference.

“This event underscores both Pope Francis’ staunch support of protecting young people worldwide through preventing drug use and his strong opposition to the legalization of drugs,” Sabet continued.   “The Pope has stated numerous times, in very unambiguous terms, that drug legalization is not only bad for kids, but that it fails to produce its desired effects.”

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Queen Silvia of Sweden is seated next to Pope Francis, as he address a conference on drugs November 24 in the Vatican

Sabet will address the Pontifical Academy on the subject of “The Social Impact of Drug Policy Change.” He will discuss early findings from marijuana legalization in the U.S. and other issues related to drug policy change worldwide. Other U.S. representatives include Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, Dr. Nora Volkow, Dr. Robert DuPont, Dr. Jon Caulkins, and Dr. Bertha Madras. The event examines, among other topics, the prevention of substance abuse related to children and young people. It also includes a papal audience, which Dr. Sabet will attend.

 Other attendees include H.M. Queen Silvia of Sweden and Mr. Yuri Fedotov, head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
Drugs give rise to powerful delusions, in a world which can be difficult and challenging.  Escape from reality doesn’t make problems go away, but merely creates new ones.   A followup post contains excerpts from the small group audience.   Please read here.

 

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Social Justice is a Pretext Legalizers Use to Get Support

Social Justice is a pretext, the handy catch phrase to get people to support the legalization of pot.  The idea doesn’t come from disadvantaged minorities.   “Marijuana legalization is the worst way forward to reforming drug policy for the minority community,” claims Will Jones, founder of Two is Enough D.C.

It was easy to cut through the illusion by watching Ethan Nadelmann at the Democratic National Convention last summer.  Nadelmann, director of Drug Policy Alliance, was bragging to his supporters about how profitable the marijuana industry is.  At the end of the video, when the cameras was on him, he added “and don’t forget social justice.”  It sounded like an afterthought.  He must have been joking.  Nadelmann makes at least $280,000 a year to advocate for marijuana legalization, a salary funded by George Soros’ yearly gifts of $4 million to DPA.  The Drug Policy Alliance advocates for the legalization of all drugs.

In Denver, the pot businesses have located mainly in low-income minority neighborhoods, taking advantage of those with the least amount of political clout.  Buzz Feed reports that black people are being shut out of America’s weed boom.  Blacks own only about one percent of the 3,600 storefront marijuana dispensaries in the United States.  Hispanics may own even less. For the most part, whites alone have benefited from the huge profits in the weed industry.

Jones, whose family has always been involved in the Civil Rights movement, is enraged by the social justice message. “If you aren’t a minority, maybe legalization does look ok because you’re not going to have the deluge of (pot) stores in your community,”  Liquor shops are on every block in his neighborhood.  Jones admonishes the marijuana industry for “cherry picking criminal justice issues to conveniently pick a statistic that helps them.”  Of the places that voted to legalize pot, only Washington DC has managed to stay free of commercial pot stores.

Where’s the Real Social Justice in a Mind-Destroying Drug?

We question the sincerity of those who promote “social justice” as a reason to legalize marijuana.   What is the “social justice” in promoting a substance that lowers your IQ, weakens memory and directly contributes to the mental illness as a causal factor?   Even without drug testing, using pot makes some people lazy and less likely to get a job.

CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America) has always  encouraged communities to find youth ambassadors who are black or brown, because preventing drug use among minorities was a primary concern.  Impoverished youth–who are often Black or Hispanic – have the most to lose if they use drugs.  Youth who frequently use marijuana are 60 percent more likely to drop out of school and 7x more likely to attempt suicide.   Drug users – with or without drug testing –aren’t good job candidates and often can’t hold onto a job.

Legalizers claim they don’t support underage pot use. They say pot is for adults only, but the age limit of 21 doesn’t keep alcohol away from minors.  The problem of underage use is more  pronounced for marijuana.  It’s a fact that 19- and 20-year-olds use marijuana more frequently than other ages.  Most people give up weed in adulthood, except for addicts, a statistic the marijuana industry hopes to change.

A recent study out of the University of California, Davis, showed that marijuana users are much inclined to experience more downward mobility than their non-using peers.   Even compared to alcohol abusers, the hardcore marijuana users are less affluent than their parents.

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Government duty is to protect citizens. There’s no social justice in promoting a dangerous drug, Those who profit from legalizing pot say it’s “social justice,” but minorities see it differently.

It’s unfortunate that blacks and Hispanics are arrested more frequently for pot than whites.  Instead of encouraging less drug use,  DPA, NORML and the ACLU manipulate opinion.  Financial opportunists connected to these lobbies pretend pot is harmless and that arrest discrepancies will be solved by legalization.   Is an arrest so bad?  If it stops a disadvantaged youth from going onto drug addiction, that person’s future will hold more promise.  “I want to make sure our children get a clear and unambiguous message as it relates to drug use it is wrong and it is dangerous,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in 2012.  At the time, 87 percent of the time cases were dismissed for those arrested in Chicago for marijuana.

Alternatives that don’t involve Legalization

Those who believe in social justice, should look into policies to reduce drug-related crimes and its ugly bedfellow, drug addiction.      Even if the “war on drugs didn’t work,” it’s false to claim legalization and incarceration are the only options.  Those trying to legalize marijuana intentionally scramble the messages so the public confuses decriminalization with legalization.

Drug courts and treatment have been criminal justice options for more than 20 years.  There are many choices for reforming drug policy which don’t involve legalization.

Convincing people that hundreds of thousands of people are in prison for marijuana use only is one of the false narratives of the legalization movement.  The Sacramento Bee recently investigated and couldn’t find a single low level marijuana offender in California prisons.   Criminal justice experts agree that loosening drug possession laws would have little effect on the total numbers in prison.  There are plenty of ways to revise and improve criminal justice without harming people, and drug use harms people.

Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey recently explained that crime shot up after legalization in Colorado.  In fact, the homicide rate was higher in 2015 than it had ever been.    (Marijuana is the drug most likely to trigger crime and debilitating conditions of  mental illness.)    Homelessness as a result of legalization has also skyrocketed.  Denver’s Mayor Michael Hancock blamed marijuana legalization on a violent rampage in the mall last summer.  

The Clearest Motivation of the Marijuana Legalization Ballots

Kevin Sabet, President of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), said: “An exploitative new industry, reminiscent of Big Tobacco, has hoisted the banner of “Ending the War on Drugs” for an ulterior, but far more straightforward motive—making a lot of money at the expense of public health.   He explains that marijuana legalization ballots are written and advertised entirely for the benefit the industry’s bottom line.

Since legalization, the number of actual marijuana users has increased to 13% of people ages 12 and older.   Thirty percent of those users, or 6 million people have Cannabis Use Disorder.  The business model of increasing addiction and making money off of those who are addicted is working.

Legalization is a scheme of those in the top one percent to enhance their bottom lines.  Many who invested in the California legalization ballot actually hope to make a whole lot more money from it.   A recent headline claimed that the marijuana industry is a 25 billion dollar opportunity.   Investors are hoping that more of the current market can move out of the black market.   Evidence from Colorado and Washington shows that cartels are emboldened by legalization and the black market still thrives.

NORML and DPA are pushing a substance known to damage mental health but use evasive statements about these issues.  “There’s always been this link between cannabis and schizophrenia,” a NORML official said.   Discussing drug use by people with very high IQs, guys like Steve Jobs or Ethan Nadelmann, doesn’t address what pot use does to the average person.   Most people have average IQs and lowering their learning ability and job prospects is not “social justice.”   Making people more vulnerable to mental illness is not “social justice” either.  Marijuana Policy Project promotes a falsehood that marijuana is safer than alcohol, another delusion. This marijuana industry and drug promotion organizations are not compassionate — as they pretend to be — but devious.

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Cannabis Hyperemesis Exposed: Toxic Side Effect of Dangerous Drug

If Marijuana is Medicine, How Come it Makes People So Sick?

There’s a great irony that comes from the pot industry’s claims that marijuana is medical and it’s supposed to help with nausea.   It’s called Cannabis Hyperemesis, and it hits with a vengeance.

This past week a parent wrote to PopPot, saying: “Parents should watch for red flags of pot use in their children including frequent, long hot showers; weight loss; unexplained nausea and vomiting.”

“I took my teen to the doctor assuming the stress of a rigorous course load combined with the demands of an after school sport were taking a physical toll on my child, ” the mom wrote.  “In hindsight, these were the signs of escalating pot use as described in this Pub Med article about cannabinoid hyperemesis. Unfortunately many in the medical community are ignorant of the detrimental effects of pot use on our young people —  ranging from psychotic breaks to debilitating gastrointestinal symptoms.”

From another mother in Pueblo, Colorado who also wrote this past week:  “Last week I met a 14-year-old girl suffering from Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome.  When I met her, at first I though she had an addiction to meth because she was so very thin and malnourished.  She was asking me how can she return to live with her parents who are marijuana users when marijuana is so toxic for her.”

Incidences of this severe illness appear to be on the rise since the rollout of legal weed.  The high THC content of today’s weed — 5x the amount in the 1980s — seems to be involved also.  Because of misdiagnosis or denial of drug use by patients, this syndrome is going undetected.  Furthermore, users self-medicate and exacerbate this severe illness, as a medical marijuana patient was doing for more than eight months.

From veterans hospitals to addiction specialists as well as gastroenterologists, there’s suddenly an increased interest in and diagnoses of this condition.  Further research into this mysterious illness turns up numerous medical journal articles on the link between excessive and/or long-term cannabis use and hyperemesis.

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Cannabis Hyperemesis: How to Know if You or Someone You Love is Afflicted

This syndrome is still largely unknown throughout the medical profession and even among cannabis users. The most prominent cases are among long-term users that started using the drug at a very early age and have used daily for over 10 years, according to the MedScape article, Emerging Role of Chronic Cannabis Use and Hyperemesis Syndrome. The article goes on to say that it can also effect newer users and even non-daily users. In Practical Gastroenterology, there’s a case of a 19 year old Hispanic man who contracted the problem within only two years of marijuana use.

Symptoms reported in a Current Psychiatry article include cyclic vomiting, abdominal pain, nausea, gastric pain and compulsive hot bathing or showers to ease pain.  Frequent bathing and vomiting can also lead to dehydration and excessive thirst. Mild fever, weight loss, and a drop in blood pressure upon standing are other symptoms.

Sufferers find they need to take many showers or baths a day just to get relief from the chronic nausea and vomiting. The bouts of illness are so severe and frightening they lead to frequent trips to the emergency room. And finally, this debilitating illness can be very disruptive to life and relationships. The many absences from work lead to job loss and the inability to hold down a job.

Parents may mistake this situation as bulimia, particularly if the teens hide the vomiting.  Another common way this disease is misdiagnosed as cyclic vomiting syndrome. According to the Current Psychiatry article, 50% of those diagnosed with CVS are daily cannabis users.  Another common misreading by doctors of the compulsive habit of frequent hot baths is as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Further complicating matters, doctors find that even when cannabis use is consistent, the bouts of hyperemesis come and go, which further serves to keep the patient in denial about the connection to their drug use.

In Spite of Cannabis Hyperemesis, Addiction is a Stronghold

Complete cessation of marijuana use is the only known cure for Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome.

Sadly, even those who have greatly suffered over a long period of time, still want to be able to consume marijuana. The claim by the industry that marijuana is not addictive is easily disproved when you see the comments to a High Times article, What is Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome?  Not only do many commenters admit they suffer from this detrimental effect of this drug, they confess they still love marijuana. The commenters lament having to give up their stoner lifestyle even after years of disabling illness! A number of them state that once they are well, they plan to return to the habit, albeit to a lesser degree.

An emergency room doctor from San Diego spoke at this Citizens Against Legalizing Marijuana rally about cannabis hyperemesis syndrome calling it ‘marijuana poisoning.’ Dr. Lev finds marijuana edibles are even more problematic, affecting even small children, and with symptoms that are longer lasting.  (Watch the video above.)