Tag Archives: New Mexico

Marijuana Can’t Treat the Opiate, Heroin Epidemic

Any marijuana use leads to less intelligence potential, less empathy for life, less motivation and poorer decision making.  A war on drugs is a protection and defense of our brains.   Governor Susana Martinez probably recognizes how Colorado’s marijuana problem leads to the drug epidemic and filters into New Mexico’s substance abuse issues.   Read about her veto in Part 1.

One young man who gave us a testimony explained how his marijuana use led directly to heroin addiction.

In Colorado, Dr. Libby Stuyt, addictions psychiatrist, traces a direct line from marijuana legalization to the heroin epidemic.    Colorado’s recent report on heroin has shown that the number of deaths from heroin overdose have doubled between 2011 and 2015.

In fact, Pueblo County, has suffered from heroin use and addiction more than any other Colorado county.  Pueblo, Denver and Boulder have the highest rates of youth marijuana use.   Southern Colorado is suffering the most from the heroin epidemic. Counties that have banned marijuana dispensaries have been affected the least by the heroin.

Misunderstanding of the Opioid and Heroin Epidemic

Since the government has clamped down on opiate prescriptions, more users have replaced the pain drugs with heroin.  Since the legalization of marijuana, Mexican cartels have replaced much of their marijuana with heroin.  Heroin is now cheaper and addicts find it easier to get heroin than prescription pills.

Politically there is a great deal of misunderstanding about the opioid epidemic. If it was initially caused by over prescribing of medications, that’s no longer primarily the case.   Seth Leibsohn wrote an insightful article on the subject last week. The abuse of opioid prescriptions acquired legitimately constitutes a small portion of the overdose problem, he said. *

A simple crackdown on prescriptions will not solve the problem, according to Maia Szalavitz.  Although Szalavitz misunderstands the  inherent danger in using marijuana,* she explains the underlying causes of substance abuse quite well.  Impulsive children are at high risk of becoming drug users, but so are some highly cautious and anxious young people.   Two thirds of people with opioid addictions have had severely traumatic childhoods, and the more exposure to trauma, the higher the risk.  We need to help abused, neglected, fragile and otherwise traumatized children before they turn to self-medication as teens.  On the other hand, we should also provide tools and teach coping skills to children who are impulsive, ADHD or anxious.   (Overmedicating children doesn’t allow them to develop the skills needed to transition into adulthood.)

Let’s Help People Get off ALL Drugs

Effective treatment for addictions is getting off all drugs, not going to other harmful, brain-altering substances.   “The goal in helping a loved one with a substance use problem is not to reduce their use. It is to stop drug use,” according to Sven-Olov Carlsson of Drug Policy Futures.  He gave the opening address at the World Federation of Drugs Conference in Vienna last year.  As Carlsson said, the current heroin epidemic proves that “harm reduction” is not saving lives.

No one sets out to become an addict.   Fortunately, more people and states are realizing the foolishness of allowing “medical” marijuana for intractable pain.  It opens up a Pandora’s Box of problems, as in California and elsewhere.

Addiction specialists estimate that one in five American adults is addicted to drugs or alcohol.  With such large numbers, there should be no “stigma” attached to addiction or treatment.  A new or revised health care act should maintain the provision to treat addiction.

Those who are addicted have a strong need to protect a secret.  Their brains have been hijacked and there isn’t a straight path back to previous functioning.

Optimum treatment requires a period of time when the person is not using any substance of addiction in order for the brain to heal.  During that time, the person needs to be able to learn new things. The lack of treatment resources which allows this to happen is a big barrier to recovery.   Marijuana cannot be used to treat this current drug epidemic.

___________________________________________________________________________*  Another recent article explains how doctors began to take pain seriously, treating it as a fifth vital sign.  Szalavitz based her 10% addiction rate for marijuana on the weaker pot of the ’70s and ’80s, not the pot of today.  She also disregarded teen users of pot.

 

Governor Martinez Denies Marijuana to Treat Opioid Addiction

On April 7, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez vetoed a bill which would have made opioid addiction a qualifying condition for medical marijuana.  Governor Martinez has consistency shown leadership in working to prevent drug addiction.  Earlier this year, legislators in New Mexico wisely rejected a bill to legalize pot,.

Maryland legislators recently proposed using marijuana to treat heroin addiction.   They removed the provision from the  bill after researchers explained there’s no evidence that cannabis is effective in treating addiction.

The mass insanity surrounding cures from “medical” marijuana sometimes comes from the Press.  As the number of newsprint subscribers dwindles, newspapers are looking to marijuana for new sources of advertising money.  (The New York Times, Seattle Times, Los Angeles Times and Denver Post are pro-marijuana newspapers.)  Another problem is that the marijuana industry’s paid lobbyists are pumping unscientific information to state legislators.   Many of these lobbyists have advanced degrees in Social Policy, Law or Political Science, but not the biological sciences.

Marijuana , Opioid Addiction and Heroin

Tyler Martel, finally free of opioid addiction, was getting his life back on track when the state of Washington legalized marijuana.  On December 5, 2012, marijuana became 100% legal for those ages 21 and over.  A few days later, Martel refused to drink with his parents, but smoked marijuana before driving.  His car crossed the center lane, and both he and his fiancé, also 27, died.  Another man was badly injured in that crash.  Martel died a victim of the “safer than alcohol” phrase that the marijuana lobby used to gain acceptance for legalization.

His death also demonstrates the public’s ignorance of marijuana as a dangerous drug.  Brain science reveals a connection between marijuana and the opiate/heroin epidemic.

Dr. Mark Willenbring, an addictions psychiatrist,  believes that alternative treatments are needed for pain, but not another drug of abuse.  He doesn’t believe you can solve the problem of addiction with another drug of abuse.  “The concept on its face is absurd,” he said.  “It doesn’t work,” he said. “Like trying to cure alcoholism with Valium.”

Pam Garozzo and Carlos, who lost his life Dec. 23, after 10 months of being off drugs. She told Gov. Christie’s panel at the White House that marijuana had been a gateway for her son.

Stop Denying the Potential Gateway Effect

Generally speaking, marijuana is already in the mix of drugs used by those who abuse opiates.   Those who use heroin invariably are using other drugs, including marijuana.   In fact, a group of parents in Massachusetts recently made a video tribute to 79 of their children who died from drugs.   In all cases, the deceased sons and daughters had started their drug use with cannabis.

When Governor Chris Christie convened a panel on the drug epidemic at the White House last week, a mother, spoke.  Pam Garozzo, whose son Carlos died from drugs in December, said her son had started smoking marijuana at age 15-1/2.  For him it was a gateway drug, and he’d be the first to tell you.   He died of heroin that had been laced with fentanyl–after being clean for 10 months.

Read Part 2 to learn how marijuana leads to opiates and heroin.

Deaths in Butane Hash Oil Labs Rise, Along with Lawsuits

Tracking Deaths from Hash Oil Labs Exposes the Growing Danger

People use marijuana to make butane hash oil , also called honey oil.  Hash oil labs using marijuana have replaced meth labs as the most dangerous drug labs of our time.   They are blowing up people and homes, particularly in California and in the West.

By April, 2015, the California Alliance of Drug-Endangered Children had tracked 41 marijuana lab deaths in that state between 2011 and April, 2015.  Three children had died by that time and several more were injured.   More recent information on the deaths in California  aren’t available at this time.

In California, they call it “honey oil” to disguise its connection to marijuana.  When fires are reported on the news, reporters often don’t mention the connection to marijuana.

To the 41 deaths in California, we can add:

1 two-month-old baby who slept adjacent to a room in Colorado where BHO was made.

2 in Washington, including Nan Campbell who died as a result of the massive Bellevue explosion in November 2013.  An elderly man in Spokane whose respiratory problems resulted after a neighbor made BHO died after two months in the hospital.

1 grandmother in Minnesota whose grandson used her home to make BHO

2 in New York, including Michael Fahy.  Fahy was the fire  captain who perished while putting out the fire in a marijuana grow lab in the Bronx.   The other death in New York was 19-year-old Anthony Gambale from Brooklyn.     He rallied to survive, but eventually died.

1 man in Gresham, Oregon, who died June 14, 2013, six weeks after the explosion

1 man in Hawaii, January, 2014

1 man in Rhode Island, explosion, on July 31, 2015.   He died three months later.

Above and top, explosion in New York  on September 27, 2016. Fire Captain Michael Fahy died after fighting the blaze. Fire fighters claim drug lab fires are more difficult to put out than ordinary house fires, because of the way debris shoots and explodes. Photos WABC-TV, via AP

2 allegedly died after the Rio Dell fire on November 9, 2016.  The burns covered 90% of their bodies.   At least 22 hash oil explosions have occurred in California since the vote to legalize marijuana on November 8, 2016.

Legal, legitimate Labs also Explode, Resulting Lawsuits

Advocates will say these deaths will stop if it’s regulated and  allowed only in state-licensed dispensaries.  However, fires have occurred in licensed dispensaries in California, Oregon, Washington, Michigan and New Mexico.    The lab that exploded in New Mexico was one the state’s largest marijuana companies.   One of the workers who suffered from extensive burns in the fire sued the dispensary.

A construction worker burned at the Oregon dispensary fire is now suing the medical marijuana owner.

Switching to propane won’t make it safer.   Propane caused the explosion at a legal dispensary/warehouse near Saugatuck, Michigan.

Michigan or Rhode Island could be the next state to legalize marijuana.  However,  Michigan has seen its share of hash oil explosions, most of them caused by medical marijuana patients.   The one in Grand Rapids occurred with a six-year-old child in the home.    Firefighters fighting this type of fire, such as the one in Muskegon, find them more dangerous than regular house fires.    Child abuse is always a concern at these labs, and two children were present during the recent fire in Niles Township, Michigan.

We believe the regulation of butane will be very difficult, just like all other regulation programs that try to regulate these labs:  https://www.facebook.com/lostcoastoutpost/videos.   In short, regulating marijuana dispensaries is a terrible task. It doesn’t work.

Marijuana Legislation Defeated in Multiple States

Last week a House bill to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol was soundly defeated in the state of New Hampshire.  Opponents questioned the wisdom of making another addictive drug legal during a time of drug overdoses and deaths.

The New Mexico legislature also killed a marijuana legalization measure on February 14.

Last week in Wyoming, a bill to decriminalize marijuana was soundly defeated.    It was the third year in a row that marijuana advocates tried to to pass a decriminalization bill which would have lessened the fine for pot possession.

Furthermore, an attempt get legalization of recreational use marijuana on the Wyoming ballot  failed.   “The group fell far short of the roughly 25,600 signatures from registered voters needed to get on November’s ballot.”   The Wyoming Senate Judiciary panel issued a favorable recommendation for a bill to make marijuana edibles illegal.  (Levi Thamba Pongi , a foreign exchange student at college in Wyoming, became psychotic and committed suicide after eating a marijuana cookie in Colorado in March, 2014.)

In Montana, a petition to put legalization of recreational marijuana on the November ballot is counterbalanced by the Safe Montana petition to keep recreational marijuana illegal.

Marijuana lobbyists and policy groups are making strong efforts to legalize or decriminalize marijuana in western and northeastern states.  Vermont, a bill to legalize marijuana has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Finance Committee.

Vermont gubernatorial candidate Bruce Lisman issued a statement critical of the governor and legislature for acting too quickly.  Six Vermont physician groups come out in opposition to legalizing marijuana for recreational use in their state.  The state’s health department wrote a scathing attack against legalization.

An state considering legalization needs to recognized the continuous onslaught of problems in the schools of Colorado.  Last week, 9 students were negatively affected by marijuana edibles that had gotten into a Colorado High School. ( Maine, the state next to New Hampshire had already rejected a bill to legalize marijuana by a vote of 2 to 1, last summer. )

If Justin Trudeau pushes the legalization effort in Canada, he will into trouble with international treaties, and possibly in the province government of Quebec.  The Finance Minister of Quebec warned that it will be hard to push them to sell marijuana.