A new peer-reviewed study about to be published in the January 2018 issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs found that marijuana use at exit from a 3-year case management intervention program for pregnant and parenting women increased significantly after marijuana legalization in Washington state.
“This study adds to the data we have about legalization driving up use and negatively impacting society,” said SAM President Kevin A. Sabet, Ph.D. “States should slow down and realize that their actions have real consequences, especially among populations highlighted in this study — parents and children.”
The researchers divided the study sample into two cohorts based on whether participants had completed the program before or after legalization.
Researchers reported the following results:
“Most study participants reported complete abstinence from alcohol and nonprescription drugs at program exit. Among those who were still using substances, women who completed the intervention after marijuana legalization were significantly more likely to report marijuana use at program exit compared with women who completed the intervention before marijuana legalization. Across both cohorts (pre- and post-legalization), we found a positive association of exit marijuana use with alcohol, illegal methadone, other opioids, amphetamines, and cocaine use; even when we controlled for historical period, the association with some of these substances with marijuana use remained evident. Independent of marijuana use, we saw increased use during the post-legalization period of alcohol, illicit methadone, and other opioids.”
The study concluded that “Women who were not abstinent from marijuana at program exit were likely to report use of other substances as well. Our study design demonstrates an association but does not allow us to conclude that marijuana use leads to other substance use among this sample of women with a history of polysubstance use.”
Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) is a nonpartisan, non-profit alliance of physicians, policy makers, prevention workers, treatment and recovery professionals, scientists, and other concerned citizens opposed to marijuana legalization who want health and scientific evidence to guide marijuana policies. SAM has affiliates in more than 30 states.
When polls give the choice of decriminalization, support for marijuana legalization falls by 20 percentage points. Last week Emerson College conducted a poll for SAM Action.
The SAM Action poll used the same college pollster as Marijuana Policy Project and Drug Policy Alliance used. The pollster found support falls dramatically when it offers respondents alternatives to legalization. The results are in direct contrast to the Drug Policy Alliance, which supports the legalization of all drugs. Continue reading →
“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.”
“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.
“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.”
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.