Madam Secretary pushes dangerous narrative on CBS

A letter to CBS Corporation, 524 W. 57th Street, New York, New York, 10019-6188, dated January 8, 2019

Re:  Madam Secretary program of January 7, 2019

We have been fans of “Madam Secretary” and are always astounded at how closely the programming reflects actual news stories of the week or two preceding the program.  However, we were stunned and dismayed by this week’s program which promoted the use and legalization of marijuana.  The alleged “facts” as presented in the program are misleading and/or incorrect.

As parents who have lost a child to drugs at a state university whose “substance abuse” counselor advocated that “cocaine is neither harmful nor addictive if used in moderation,” we are appalled that CBS/Madam Secretary would incorporate into its programming the use of marijuana and marijuana products by the Secretary’s highest ranking staff member.  That staff member is shown being incoherent on a phone call with another staff member. But even worse is his promotion and association with a member of the marijuana lobby to effect a political change.  Absolutely  abhorrent!

I am enclosing copies of two recent newspaper stories regarding the dangers of marijuana that somehow managed to see the light of day (although I am well aware that most mainstream media suppresses anything that illuminates the many dangers associated with marijuana use, particularly by youngsters).  These two articles may open your eyes.

Because marijuana is known to adversely impact various prescription medications, my husband, director of transplant at Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland, Oregon, requires that all potential recipients test negative for marijuana use for 6 months prior to receiving a transplant.  There are thousands of individuals waiting for the opportunity to receive a transplant (an extremely expensive medical procedure) and wasting one because a recipient is too stoned to remember to take the prescribed anti-rejection medication or a medication the patient must take has a negative interaction with the marijuana product the patient decides to take, is a tragic and costly event that could have been avoided.

I am enclosing two articles that I hope will persuade you to change the next episode and all future episodes of Madam Secretary by removing any references suggesting that the use of marijuana or marijuana products (other than cannabis-based medications that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration) are safe or beneficial.

Sincerely,

Sandra S. Bennett and William M. Bennett, MD

Enclosures:   Marijuana is More Dangerous Than You Think (WSJ, 01/04/2019)

            It’s High Time We Took a Breath From Marijuana Commercialization (Denver Post , 9/28/18)

Bay State, Charlton face problems going against pot industry

Did Massachusetts residents understand the difficulty of preventing Big Marijuana in their neighborhoods when they voted to legalize in 2016?  If marijuana industry gets its way in the Bay State, the biggest cannabis cultivation and processing plant in the United States will be built in Charlton, a small town in Worcester County.

Valley Green Grow wishes to build a 1 million square foot facility to grow cannabis and manufacture cannabis products.  The North Andover company seeks approval from the Charlton Planning Board for its site plan and definitive subdivision plan.  Its eyes are on converting Charlton Orchards, 44 Old Worcester Road, into this project.

The Charlton Planning Board will vote Jan. 2 for approval of the plan, or for denial.  Continue reading Bay State, Charlton face problems going against pot industry

Tobacco Giant Invests in Vaping

Altria Invests in Vaping Giant, Juul, a Week After Doing the Same in Cronos, a Marijuana Cultivator

(Alexandria, VA) – It’s official. Big Tobacco is continuing its efforts to monopolize the marijuana industry. Today, Altria, one of the world’s largest producers and marketers of tobacco products, announced it is investing $12.8 billion in vaping giant, Juul, a company that controls 68% of the e-cigarette market. 


Here is why this is a big deal:  Continue reading Tobacco Giant Invests in Vaping

Oregon Mom Laments the Harms brought on by legalizing pot

By Maggie

My husband and I have four sons.  Our oldest, Trevor is 16.  It gives me a great deal of pleasure and emotion to be able to write this letter, because he has overcome so much in the last six months. Since Trevor was 12 or 13, we had emotional difficulties with him and trouble in school. He started experimenting with cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana with his friends, which was a shock.  Trevor hadn’t been exposed to any substance at home, since we don’t even drink, let alone consume drugs or smoke anything.  Right about the same time, the discussion about legalization was hot, and Oregon voted to legalize marijuana in 2014.

We knew something was off with Trevor, but at first we didn’t know if it was just typical adolescent troubles, a phase, or what.  When we discovered he had been exposed to marijuana, and was using it, parenting became such a challenge.  The availability of substances became rampant in the wake of legalization, and yes it was affecting our oldest son.

The Slippery Slope

Trevor moved beyond marijuana and got involved in so much more:

  • Dealing/trading other drugs, pills and alcohol
  • Stealing from friends and family
  • Driving without a license or even a permit
  • Skipping school, lying and promiscuity

How we finally got help

The effects of drugs on the teen brain are horrific.   Many adults don’t even know, and many kids have no idea what they are doing to their brains when they’re doing pot. One must live through it in their own home, with their own child, to understand the dynamic and heartache this behavior brings.  In our situation, the county juvenile services became imperative.  We were forced to turn our own son over to authorities.   Without the police and the county services, Trevor would not have progressed so far in the right direction.

Trevor has a support system in place: parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and therapists.  Counseling was pivotal for him.  With time and much effort on everyone’s part – particularly, Trevor’s efforts, he appears as of now to be on the mend.  We’re also thankful for cognitive therapy and accountability.  It is vital that we somehow teach our kids the importance of their daily decisions and how it can impact the rest of their life.  Our culture and media influence in many cases does not help.  Our kids are being exposed to images and ideas promoting substance use.

As a mother, I’m aware that at any point this could turn and he could be headed down a dark path once again.  Trevor’s probation is over I pray he has learned some valuable lessons.  I’m on a community coalition board for a non-profit educator and our city.  I’m determined to make a difference and would like to be able to help other families as they face similar challenges in the wake of drug legalization and normalization. Our communities are up against so much in terms of our youth.  Legalizing pot is a mistake!

(We published another testimony from a parent affected by legalization in Oregon about two weeks ago, )