As Colorado tightens restrictions on the sale of marijuana edibles, the problems with pot candies have reached other states. Children all around the country have accidentally eaten pot-infused sweets and turned up in hospital emergency rooms. Continue reading →
Callous Disregard for Human Life in Pursuit of Profit and Getting Stoned
In California, a mother will soon go on trial for the drunk driving crash that killed her daughter and daughter’s friend. The girls were skateboarding on a rural road in Humboldt County when a vehicle hit them. Toxicology reports revealed that the 14-year-old girls had THC in their blood. Marci Kitchen allegedly fled the scene of the accident on July 12, 2016 and tried to get rid of the pot in the car. A judge has called for a jury to decide if she’s guilty of drunk driving and homicide.
In Washington, a man high on marijuana killed policeman Jake Gutierrez. He was holding his 6-year-old daughter while in a standoff with multiple police that lasted 10 hours. The perpetrator claimed to be a sheriff named “Zeus.” Bruce Randall Johnson, 38, had been unraveling for weeks before police fired the shots that killed him. “A regular marijuana user, he’d been smoking more lately,” according to KIRO 7. The autopsy revealed: “Johnson’s body weighed in at a spindly 104 pounds. He had no drugs in his system, apart from high concentrations of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.”
In March, Brandon Powell, an 18-year-old, went psychotic after smoking marijuana “dabs ” in Estacada, Oregon. He left home barefoot in pajama bottoms and went missing until found dead in a river earlier this month. Also in Estacada last weekend, a man carried a severed head into a convenience store and stabbed a store clerk. The incident happened after a woman was reported dead in her home. She was the mother of 36-year-old Joshua Lee Webb who has been connected to the crime. He allegedly killed his mother first. Nothing in reports links the killing to marijuana.
It might be easy to pass judgment on people like Marci Kitchen and Bruce Johnson, but what about state policy that normalizes marijuana use? Kitchen grew pot beside her garage, but she lives in a county where everyone does it.
Murders under the influence of marijuana often happen because the perpetrators become psychotic and hallucinate.
In Wisconsin recently, a mother murdered her toddler after smoking pot. In West Virginia, the “Pretty Little Killers” planned and killed a friend under the influence of marijuana. It is easy to judge and condemn the perpetrators of violent crimes, but what of the culture that promotes marijuana? What of the culture that tells 14-year-olds it’s ok to get stoned and go skateboarding?
Profit Before People Drives the Legalization Ballots
Marijuana-induced insanity is recognized in every part of the world except North America. It appears that the United States and Canada prioritize profit over mental health, safety and human life. Voters pass these ballots even though there is no definitive, reliable test to detect stoned drivers, as there is for drunk drivers.
Legislative analysis for California Proposition 64 was written to emphasize that the state could earn 1 billion dollars annually.
The California government obviously thinks the tax money the state can earn from intoxication and addiction is the highest priority. The opening statement on the ballot to legalize marijuana used profit as motivating reason to legalize. That’s government motivated by preying on its own people. The press is guilty of the same mentality that emphasizes profits over human costs.
Press Ignored Child Abuse Deaths in Colorado; Will Cover-up Continue?
When marijuana stores opened in Colorado in January 2014, a toddler died in a fire while his parents smoked pot in another room. The mother was a medical marijuana cardholder, and the press should have covered the incident. During the same month another mother who smoked pot while her two sons died of carbon monoxide poisoning went on trial. These stories were in the local Press, but did not make national news.
According to NBC News, the driver who rammed into crowds in Times Square yesterday admitted to smoking marijuana before driving. He killed an 18-year-old girl and injured 22 others. Condolences to the heart-broken family of Alyssa Elsman. Other news services reported “he smoked something” or “mind-altering drug” or “synthetic marijuana.” Are they covering up behalf of the pot industry? Like the New York Times, do they want to legalize marijuana and try to downplay the bad news about pot?
When stoners argue in favor of legalization, they use the deaths caused by alcohol to promote their cause. The truth is that neither drunk driving nor stoned driving should be tolerated. But marijuana has more of a propensity to cause madness and psychosis. National policy which refuses to warn the public, along with states that promote a dangerous drug industry, share the blame for deaths.
No state successfully regulates to keep potent marijuana extracts — as used by Brandon Powell — away from teens. Those who value profit and tax money over people claim legalization is successful. Sadly, profit over human life is becoming the American way.
Anti-Pot Movement Starts New Project After More States Vote to Legalize
After spending more than $20 million, the deep pocketed pro-marijuana investors prevailed in California. They also won in Nevada and Massachusetts, with the votes much closer. Arizona fended off the attempt to legalize marijuana. Vermont elected a governor who said he is against marijuana legalization. Several Oregon cities rejected marijuana sales.
In Colorado, the products with a high amount of THC (the psychoactive quality that brings the high) have been responsible for most of the hospitalizations and deaths. However, the marijuana businesses bought out an attempt to put a ballot that would cap the THC at 16%. So far the marijuana industry has not been held accountable for its deceptive political and marketing tactics.
SAM Project Will Make Pot Accountable
Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) and its partners are spearheading a new initiative called the Marijuana Accountability Project (MAP). Our objective is to be a credible resource for the oversight of the recreational marijuana industry as it begins to take hold in states. There will be more ballots. SAM hopes that some states will defeat these ballot measures, but acknowledges that some are likely to pass. Regardless of outcome, SAM and the Marijuana Accountability Project will continue pushing back against the abusive practices of the marijuana industry in the states that have already legalized marijuana.
In their announcement SAM said: “We cannot let another industry dead-set on hooking a new generation gain an unfettered foothold in society without a watchdog at their back. We intend to launch the initiative in late 2016 with a press conference in Washington, D.C., where we will outline our objectives, year one activities, and a new research report that shows the true cost of marijuana legalization on the health of states.
MAP will include the following activities in 2017:
Congressional Outreach: SAM will boost federal lobbying efforts to stop legalization on the federal level. State Report Card Tracking Project: Evaluate the states with legal recreational marijuana across the following metrics: Public health (incidence rates of poisonings across age and demos), public safety (car crashes, ER visits), marketing (evaluate and compare based on other legal drugs), political influence (track lobbying and spending), and economic impact (promises made on funding, promises kept?) Community Roundtables: We anticipate holding up to five community roundtables, open to the media, in select states in the first year. At these events, we will release the results of the tracking project, and hear from citizens who have been impacted by legalization and the industry as a whole. These roundtables will serve two purposes: show the real life impact of legalization, and promote MAP as a critical oversight voice. Public Education/PSA Campaign: SAM will launch a media campaign called “Are We Sure?” that asks localities if they really want marijuana stores in their neighborhoods. The campaign will also be used in non-legalization states, and will educate the public on today’s high THC marijuana and its impacts. Earned Media: Earned media will be a critical component to ensure the accountability messaging and approach is well understood in our target states, and pushes the agenda forward. Our tactics will include op-eds, rapid response, editorial board visits, press conferences, and reporter briefings. Organization of Municipalities Concerned about Marijuana (OMCM): OMCM will consist of officials from localities that have implemented strict controls on marijuana, including those that have banned marijuana stores altogether, and officials from other jurisdictions interested in promoting public health-based marijuana laws. Through OMCM, these localities will share best practices, model ordinances, and other strategies. SAM Legal Initiative: SAM will launch an initiative to hold marijuana businesses accountable to the law of the land, and research legal compliance issues. SAM State Legislative Caucus: The SAM State Legislative Caucus will bring together like-minded state legislators who want to stop legalization and commercialization, and share best practices on marijuana policy. Model laws: MAP will also develop copies of model state laws and local ordinances to control the marijuana industry, incorporating best practices from existing laws and input from scientific and legal experts. MAP needs founding partners.
Kevin Sabet, President of SAM said that we can change the trajectory of marijuana legalization. SAM released a statement at 3 a.m. : “Tonight’s results were disappointing overall, but given how we were outspent by 15 to 1, not wholly unsurprising,” said SAM President Kevin Sabet, who also served as a White House drug advisor. “There are several bright spots: Arizona resisted legalization and their campaign will be a blueprint for other states in the future. Vermont Governor-elect Phil Scott will be replacing the most pro-legalization governor in our history (Peter Shumlin), and a pushback is starting in Oregon. No matter what happens in Maine, we will be in a strong position when the legislature meets. We will redouble our efforts with this new Congress. And we won’t abandon the legalized states, where much work remains to be done.”
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.