Today SAM issued a statement refuting the notion that states with medical marijuana have fewer opiate deaths. We have noticed that marijuana is an adjunct to opiate dependence and abuse, not a replacement. Here is what the SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana) statement said:
Sally Schindel, whose US Veteran son died by suicide and left a note blaming marijuana for his condition stated, “No ratings are worth glamorizing drug abuse. Today’s highly potent marijuana is not something to joke about – for some, like our family, it is the cause of constant grievance and loss.”
The CNN coverage showed a clearly embarrassed Anderson Cooper hiding his eyes as CNN anchor Randi Kaye was surrounded by a man inhaling marijuana with a gas mask on.
Corinne Gasper’s daughter, Jennifer, was killed by a stoned driver on her way to work a few years ago. “Jennifer wasn’t home for the holidays again, but we were reminded of her horrible death courtesy of CNN glorifying pot use.”
SAM energizes group to speak out
SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana), a non-profit organization founded by a former member of Congress and a former Obama Administration drug policy advisor, is organizing these voices and others, as well as looking into CNN’s compliance with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC). SAM is also discussing options with private counsel.
Jody Belsher, whose son was triggered with a debilitating mental illness as a result of using pot, was watching CNN with her 6-year-old grandson when the marijuana coverage started. “I couldn’t believe my eyes. We were quickly reminded of our everyday nightmare. Why would CNN play a free infomercial from Big Marijuana, and where were the warnings to our children?”
Monitoring the Future,* the nation’s annual survey of students, reported today marijuana use in 8th, 10th and 12th grades was higher than last year. The survey also found that students in medical marijuana law states vaped marijuana at higher rates than students in other states, and consumed pot edibles (that can come in candies, sodas, or ice-creams) at double the rate than in non-medical marijuana law states. The survey does not include youth who drop out of school.
Misuse of prescription opioids continued its 10-year decline. Virtually all other substances are at their lowest point in the history of the survey. The contrast is very significant, because many people think the overprescribing of opioids is the only reason our youth die of drug abuse. They fail to reflect on the fact that early marijuana use is a predictor of other substance abuse. Continue reading →
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.