Category Archives: Oregon

The Killing of the Portlandia Paradise

What Does it Take to Admit the Failures of Legalizing Pot?

The explosion began on North Kerby Avenue, Portland on Monday afternoon. Two men died. The Oregonian/Oregonlive published these photos which were courtesy of the public, Samantha Matsumoto and Olivia Dimmer.

This past week a butane explosion rocked a North Portland neighborhood killing two men, the home owner and a man working on the home. The force of the explosion was so great that it leveled the home, damaged the two adjacent homes and threw debris across the street into a park where children were playing.  When will Oregonians say “Enough is enough”? Legalization may not have caused this deadly incident, but it sure did contribute to it.

Oregon’s beautiful city, Portland, gained fame through the TV series Portlandia.  People are nice and the drivers are generally more polite there.  Although most major cities saw declines in real estate values during the recession, Portland’s real estate values rose very high.  With its food culture, microbreweries and movie theaters, Portland has become the place “young people go to retire.”   How long will the reputation last? 

Marijuana labs — sometimes called hash oil labs or BHO labs — were exploding before legalization, but the problem grew bigger after marijuana possession became legal in July 2015.  The number of burn victims rose from 7 to 30 within a year.  Today marijuana users can buy  “wax” or “dabs” from licensed dispensaries, but it is cheaper to make at home using butane.   Unlicensed chemists who run the marijuana labs may be trying to sell their own supply to undercut the legal market.   Or they be so addicted that risking death is not enough to stop them.

(Washington and Colorado outlawed the BHO labs after legalization; Oregon and California passed laws against the practice before legalizing weed.  Since those laws aren’t working, some places in California are banning the sale of butane.)

What about mental health care? 

The Vermont legislature failed to legalize pot this year.  Vermont’s savvy governor probably recognized the need for more mental health care before legalizing a substance that assaults the brain.  Former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, who makes mental health care his mission, had been warning of this problem.  Oregon illustrates the problem of not having a rock solid, foolproof mental health care system in place before legalizing marijuana.

 

This photo comes from an article in The Portland Mercury. 

Twice this year, psychotic stoners brought knives onto the public transportation in Portland and terrified the public.  On May 26, Jeremy Christian killed two men who were defending the Muslim women he was attacking.  He had declared his love for cannabis on Facebook.  Christian’s behavior was consistent with marijuana-induced psychosis.

On May 10, a 24-year-old in a mental health crisis terrified a group of people on the train, including a 17-year-old.   Unfortunately a policeman shot Terrell Johnson to death.  An investigation has cleared the officer of wrongdoing.  Johnson began smoking pot at age 12 or 13.  He was a healthy, “normal” young guy before THC assaulted his brain.   The police officer had no choice when the guy pursued him.  Anthony Bonofiglio, a man on a train the night before the final incident, described Johnson’s bizarre behavior in the police report.  Johnson was in full-blown psychosis!   His toxicology report revealed marijuana and a small amount of alcohol.

Psychosis is not a condition that the brain can just snap out of once it’s triggered.  A hospital in the state of Washington gets one or two new psychosis patients every day.  The medical staff at Providence St. Peter’s in Olympia stabilizes the patients with a drug Risperdal to stop the psychosis.  It’s a temporary treatment which doesn’t solve the problem.

Other Accidents and Lawsuits in Portlandia

Elizabeth Kemble was the first victim of a stoned driver after recreational pot shops opened in October, 2015. Photo: The Oregonian

A stoned driver killed pedestrian Elizabeth Kemble within a week of the opening of commercial pot stores.  Two months later, a driver high on pot killed bicyclist Martin Greenough in Portland.  His family is suing the city of Portland.   Furthermore, a construction worker who was burned in a hash oil explosion at a legal marijuana facility in Oregon is suing also.  The District Attorney of Clatsop County Oregon, Josh Marquis, warned ahead of time that only the lawyers would benefit from legalization.

Marijuana is already popular and adults have a right to do what they want with their bodies.  These popular arguments reveal how little our society cares about the young, mostly males, who go psychotic from marijuana.  If they die or lose their minds, it was their choice to use substances, the legalizers say.

On the other hand, how long can we persist in ignoring the rights of others who are affected by this failed experiment?  Marijuana labs do affect the neighbors, and they overwhelm our fire departments and burn centers.

Other marijuana-related emergency visits overwhelm the hospitals.  All of us must pay for it in some way.   We know marijuana legalization is not working in Washington, Colorado or California.

Recently a woman in Portland sparked outrage by posting on Facebook a photo of breastfeeding while smoking from a bong.   Maybe that image will wake people up to the fact that pot addiction really does affect others.   It is no paradise in Portlandia.

Oregon’s underground marijuana market is on fire.  Watch the video with this news clip.

Butane Hash Oil Fires Don’t End with Legalized Marijuana

Butane Hash Oil  Labs are a Byproduct of Marijuana Commercialization

On the first day pot was 100% legal in California, three men in Humboldt County celebrated their marijuana freedom by extracting butane hash oil (BHO) from marijuana.  Their actions sparked a fire.  Helicopters airlifted the injured men to UC Davis Hospital because their burns were so extensive.   It is rumored that two of the men died.

Car fire in Arcata, on November 2, 2016. There have been 5 BHO fires in the same county, Humboldt, since the vote to legalize on November 8

Wasn’t legalization going to solve these problems?  No, because “wax,” “shatter,” “budder” — the products made from BHO and sold in dispensaries — are more expensive than homemade stuff.

On November 2, seven days before pot became legal, a BHO fire exploded a car in Arcata, CA.  A similar fire on January 14, 2017, totaled a home near Arcata in Humboldt County, injuring two people. It was the fourth BHO lab discovered in Humboldt County  since legalization.   (The photo above is from a car fire in Arcata on November 2, 2016.)   

Overhead Video of Last Night’s Fire Before Fire Crews Arrive on Scene

BHO or butane hash oil, which Californians call “honey oil” is a highly potent extract of the marijuana plant. Continue reading

Oregon Cities, Counties Ban Marijuana

Official returns from the state of Oregon show that approximately two-thirds of localities rejected the marijuana industry at the ballot box, even if they voted for statewide legalization two years ago.

Randy Philbrick of Portland for Positive Impact said:  “The final tally I have is 35 cities and 3 counties in Oregon voted to ban marijuana businesses. Since all of these votes were in counties that passed Measure 91 by 55% or more it looks like public acceptance is changing back towards opposition.”

Ignorance is bliss.  Once people legalize marijuana and see what it’s like, do they change their mind?

Kevin Sabet, President of Smart Approaches to Marijuana  “As in Colorado and other places, Oregon voters may have cast their ballot for statewide legalization, but they don’t want much to do with it on the local level,” said Kevin Sabet, President of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM). “This vote should send a strong message to state legislators and even members of Congress that people are not comfortable with pot shops in their neighborhoods or marijuana cultivation sites near their homes.”
Relatively populous Marion County, for example, rejected non-medical marijuana businesses 53 to 47 percent. Residents there even rejected medical marijuana stores. Lake Oswego banned non-medical sales by twenty points. West Linn also rejected marijuana stores. Both areas are primarily Democratic voters.

Marijuana Lobby Plays Retribution and Slander to the Max

The Power and Deception of the Marijuana Lobby

Since the marijuana industry bought off ALL of the companies authorized to collect petition signatures in Colorado, it’s not surprising how deep corruption runs through that industry.   Some dirty  tactics have been going on for years.   (Please read Part 1 and Part 2 of exposing the deceptive tactics of the marijuana industry.)

In 2012, Oregon Attorney General candidate Dwight Holton was defeated in the Democratic primary, because he had inspired the wrath of the marijuana industry.   Only 25% of Oregon’s Democrats voted, but that success gave marijuana lobby the boost it needed to threaten anyone who would dare go against them.

Pro-pot groups also claimed that they defeated California Attorney General candidate Steve Cooley in 2010.  Cooley was no friend to medical marijuana violators in southern California.  He lost in a very close race that took weeks to count.

2012: “The Wrath of the Weed Vote”

The Oregon Attorney General’s race shows how vindictive the marijuana lobbyists really are.  Dwight Holton, former acting US Attorney for Oregon, was highly regarded as a prosecutor (pictured below). But he also prosecuted marijuana violations, while opponent Ellen Rosenblum promised to go lightly on “medical” marijuana, and even courted the marijuana businesses.  She won.  The biggest contributors to her campaign were Drug Policy Action and John Sperling, founder of University of Phoenix and a billionaire marijuana contributor.  Citizens for Sensible Law Enforcement, a marijuana legalization group, spent more $53,000 in radio ads against Holton.  The political reason to oppose Holton was that he was a relative newcomer to the state of Oregon, but the true reason he lost was that the marijuana  forces came out to defeat him.

DwightHolton
Dwight Holton ran for Attorney General in Oregon, but lost because he faced “the wrath of the weed vote.:”  He is now CEO of Lines of Life, a non-profit committed to the prevention of suicide.

In fact, a headline earlier this year reminded politicians of Dwight Holton’s fate and warned that lists will be kept of those who support local marijuana bans in Oregon.  There’s much written about the corruption in the state’s marijuana businesses, both in the past and in the present.

Carmen Trutanich also “was one of a number of politicians to suffer the wrath of the weed vote” in the California primary on June 5, 2012.  In California, Los Angeles City Attorney Trutanich lost his bid for District Attorney because of his stance towards marijuana businesses, according to one of the marijuana blogs.

Since 2012, the marijuana lobby has promised backlash against politicians who aren’t with them.  By 2012, financiers such as Peter Lewis and George Soros were giving big donations to the legalization campaigns in Colorado and Washington.   This year Sean Parker has already given more than $2 million to the legalization effort in California.

Politicians who don’t support the marijuana industry’s agenda — using “medical” marijuana as a backdoor to full legalization — are accused of wanting people to die or wanting to send innocent people to jail. Those who are skeptical of the efficacy of “medical” marijuana are painted as individuals lacking compassion in well- orchestrated smear campaigns. In 2014, some politicians felt the backlash through dishonest television ads.  Using the word “compassion” helps initiatives pass, although in reality it’s about corruption and full of entirely different motives.

Bite
Will politicians stop calling out graft and corruption in the marijuana industry because they face slander and revenge from the pot lobby?

The Television Ads

In 2014, Americans for Safe Access, a “medical” marijuana lobbying group (funded by Soros?), ran television advertisements on  MSNBC in Maryland and South Florida.  They targeted two members of Congress who voted “no” to the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment in their districts, Republican Andy Harris of MD and Democrat Debbie Wasserman Schultz of FL. The Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment was the first major victory for the heavily-funded marijuana lobby.*

The ad that ran against Rep. Wasserman Schultz alleged that the Congresswomen thinks it’s ok for medical marijuana users to go to federal prison. It flashed an image across the screen of an elderly man and his wife, who has Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a fatal neurological disease.  It is well understood in legal circles that “patients” who use  “medical” marijuana for their own illnesses have never gone to jail.

Has anyone ever investigated how much the marijuana lobby pays “patients” to advertise and go on TV on behalf of medical marijuana?

The ad in Maryland claimed that Rep. Harris’ vote would result in sending Maryland’s patients to prison.  A voice said: “Congressman Andy Harris thinks it’s OK for medical marijuana patients to go to federal prison.” The ad was juxtaposed with the image of a 4-year-old boy who suffers from epilepsy and his mother.

Since that time, both Harris and Wasserman Schultz have made made some concessions in how they vote for medical marijuana.  The industry must be congratulating itself.  

We need more politicians who are brave and who stand up to this political corruption to protect the children.  The bravery of Steve Cooley, Dwight Holton, Carmen Trutanich, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Andy Harris, and Linda Newell in Colorado, is much appreciated.

*The Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment prohibits funds to the Drug Enforcement Agency (FDA) to be used for “medical” marijuana in states that have authorized state “medical” marijuana programs.