President Obama’s latest claims about marijuana are contradicted by research and official positions of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, which is part of the White House. And Mr. Obama’s words have anti-drug leaders worried about negative repercussions among youth.
Mr. Obama claimed to The New Yorker magazine that marijuana is no worse than cigarettes or alcohol and he promoted state efforts by Colorado and Washington to legalize marijuana, which remains illegal under federal law.
The National Drug Control Policy’s official stance, posted on the whitehouse.gov website, says the opposite of Mr. Obama on all counts.
For example, as documented in agency reports, marijuana smoke has significantly more carcinogens than tobacco smoke.
And as reported by the government’s National Institute on Drug Abuse, adolescent use of marijuana does something that alcohol does not; it causes permanent brain damage, including lowering of I.Q.
Taxpayers have spent billions of dollars warning about drugs, often about marijuana, but these efforts were dramatically undercut by the president’s comments.
Mr. Obama might as well have rolled that money into a joint and smoked it on national television.
He told the interviewer, David Remnick, that his earlier years of prodigious puffery were “a bad habit and a vice.” Yet he doesn’t warn others not to follow in his footsteps.
Really, then I suggest that he get together with the people that work with drug addicts and have seen the evidence for themselves and will tell you that the new hybrids of marijuana are as destrictive and addictive as meth; worse in that meth will dissipate in a week while the new strains of marijuana stay in the system for a minimum of 2 weeks from use. The changes in the brain on CAT scan and MRI's show that it has the same affect on the barin as meth does. We know that meth users are rarely able to kick that habit; so what does that say about those that use marijuana.
Further, those that have been able to obtain marijuana for medicinal purposes; to combat pain, etc., have found another interesting side affect; the person has the tendancy to get used to the affect of what they are using and need more; therefore, the abuse of the drug (or the legal use) will increase the more they use it.
But in respect to what Obama has claimed, that it is no worse than alcohol or cigarette use, that alone should tell us that it should not be legalized as we do not need to encourage more drug addiction and that is exactly what alcohol and cigarettes become; an addiction. The personal and collateral damage from both cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption prove that they are something that it would have been best to never have used. Those that refrain are so much better off.
The only people that could possibly make the statement that Obama made are people that have used drugs and are justifying their use of them. Hence, Obama's past (assuming that it is past and not a current use) seem to have clouded his reasoning and he certainly does not know the facts.
Something that was brought to my attention today by my local banker is that since marijuana is still not legal Federally, banks are refusing to allow the shops in Washington State and Colorado to open accounts to deposit the money from the sale of marijuana, nor will the state governments be allowed to open bank accounts or use existing ones to deposit their portion of the revenue (taxes) from the sale of marijuana as they are regulated by the Federal government. OOOPS, apparently someone forgot to check this out and now they are in a bind. The Federal government came come in and seize those bank accounts if they wish. So, people purchasing marijuana have to remain within the state as to travel across their borders means they have possession of an illegal drug. The stores selling the marijuana are not able to deposit their money in bank accounts so they would have to come up with another means to place that money so this opens the door for robbery, etc. And the State government of these 2 states is not allowed to take the tax money they receive and deposit it; seems there is a major problem here.
Now, it appears that there is some effort being made to open "private banks" for the sole purpose of a depository for this money, but it is not insured and so if that bank were robbed the account holders would have no recourse to get their money back, either. Quite a problem I would say.
Does this seem to be a parrallel to Obamacare in some ways? The liberals get an idea, put it into motion with no real plan for how it will work or if it will work. Then it all comes tumbling down.
Linda, Obama' immaturity level is remarkable, isn't it? Obama believes the only good idea in a room full of experts is HIS idea. Plays well with his and Michelle's obsession with Hollywood stars.
Hey folks, been out of pocket for a while and logged on today to see what was cooking. On the comment made by Linda "Further, those that have been able to obtain marijuana for medicinal purposes; to combat pain, etc., have found another interesting side affect; the person has the tendancy to get used to the affect of what they are using and need more; therefore, the abuse of the drug (or the legal use) will increase the more they use it." I have to respectfully disagree. Let me explain because this comes from a personal space. First of all, most studies of this drug investigage the harm of the drug, not the benefits. Why is this? Because in most cases scientists must obtain approval from the National Institute on Drug Abuse who's mission is to combat abuse before research can begin. My mother has terminal cancer, she has been fighting it for 3 years, god bless that she is still with me. She has been given just about every pain medication one can take, all with sometimes horrific side effects that threaten the very organs that keep her alive. The ONLY drug that she tolerates for help with pain, nausea, and the abliity to take in nurishment is MMJ. Let me add, that in her good times which have been few in the last year she did not have to take MMJ and have felt no withdrawal symtoms or the need to partake. Many of the other pain meds that she has been perscribed have to be stepped down in strength before she can stop taking them. Now, there has to be something that can be said about that and IMO if this is the only thing that does work for her it is morally wrong to deny her choice. This plant is a schedule 1 drug because of the LACK of research on the beneftis. On a final note, have you read the insert on your perscription meds lately? Scarey isnt it?
First of all, Shannon, I'm very sorry to learn that your mother has cancer and is in constant pain. I'm not a pot smoker, never have been, but I have read that it has remarkable medicinal help (pain and nausea) for cancer patients. If it will help her and others from the pain and nausea then I say by all means use it. I believe what Linda is referring to is the long term use of it. And, yes, the side effects written on the side of a prescription are, indeed, scary.
Shannon, my no means was I referring to people like your mother. I am sorry to hear of her medical issues and wish that she did not have to experience this; but no, I would say if it helps her, by all means she should have the use of it through doctor's prescription. These are not the people I am referencing; even if it did require increased amounts, I would say it was still worth it for her. I had a grandmother that would have fit this bill. If it had been legal for her, I would much rather she had had marrijuana than the high doses of narcotics that she was given, especially toward the end of her fight with cancer.
I would say that I do stand by my statement in that many of those that are on it medicinally (and here I generalized and should not have and been more specific) do have the tendancy to become so used to the amount that they begin using that they have to increase the frequency to continue to manage the pain. I also have personal knowledge in that I have two friends who suffered serious injuries while serving in the military and in combat. In both cases they started to use marijuana medicinally with doctor's prescription and they have both found that they had to increase the frequency periodiocally as they were becoming too used to the amount of times they used it and it was not holding the pain at bay for them. I have talked to medical personnel that tell me they see this frequently as well. If this has not happened to your mother is one of the fortunate that have not had that happen to her and be grateful. But even if she had to use it more often, so be it.
Shannon, this was not shared indiscriminately nor were my comments not substantiated with facts. I am in a volunteer position as a Court appointed special advocate for cases of child abuse and neglect. 85% of the cases we handle involve parents that are on drugs (which includes alcohol abuse) and we are requred to attend seminars to update our knowledge of the latest findings on the various drugs being illegally used and new ones that are being used; in these inservice training sessions we also see the medical evidence of the effects of these drugs on the brain and bodies, how they impact a person physically, etc. So I am not just educated to this but have the most current information available.
I should have also stated that there are over 72 varieties of marijuana now available and these hybrid varities are much more potent that the marijuana that people were using in the 60's, 70's and 80's; the effects on the brain are very significant and duplicate what meth does to the brain and they are finding it can be even worse with some varieties.
Therefore, I would support medicinal use under doctor's care; I do not and will not support recreational use of marijuana. The collateral damages are so significant that I can not do that. It is just like alcohol or any other drugs or for that matter even overeating; the long term results of this abuse are never limited to just the person abusing; it affects family members, friends and worst of all, if there are children they suffer greatly. There is no such thing as it only affecting the abuser, it affects everyone around them, friends, family and society in general.
But Shannon, this in no way was meant to restrict those such as your mother from the benefits they receive from medicinal use and I would continue to stress that it should be monitored by a physician just as any other drug and should continue to be a Schedule 1 drug; there is plenty of research being done to support that Shannon, I have seen a great deal of that research and would be happy to send you copies of what has been given to me.
And as for other drugs one takes, I make it a habit to read the inserts, to go to the PDR and read all about any drug that my doctor prescribes. I want to know all the details, side effects, how it might interact with any other drugs I am prescribed to take, etc. And yes, it can be frightening; I have made decisions not to take a few that were suggested to me for that very reason. Just because it is prescribed medication does not mean that it is 100% the best for a person to take. I also am grateful that my physician believes in blood work monitoring as well as regular follow up appointments, concentrating on the affects of the medications she has prescribed that I take and how they are affecting my physiology; to make sure they are not adversely affecting such things as my kidneys and liver and that they continue to help me. I believe we all need to demand that of our doctor if they do not schedule it for us.
Linda you may have a point when you say that patients who take MMJ for their pain may rely on higher doses as they continue to use the drug. However, this is true with just about any drug that is given for pain so this is not something that is unique to marijuana use; it is also that even pharmaceuticals may not hold the pain at bay after a time, especially with neuropathy.
As for the cases of child abuse and neglect. It is a sad situation indeed, however an addict is going to get their hands on any drug of choice legal or not. I happen to feel if more resources were put to the treatment of addiction in place of the war-which we are losing on drugs-then we may make some headway. Billions of dollars have been wasted and we are still in the same place. We have now generations of people who have little education, resources, or the will in those areas where drug trade is more prevalent because of socio economic status, and no one seems to care until it reaches the middle class white neighborhoods. This may be a more “liberal” way of thinking then I have been known for in the past, but as I watch schools close less than 20 miles from me because they do not have the resources to pay for good teachers and lose their accreditation and jobs are lost because of the economy I have to look to those who take our money and spend it where it is not needed. I happen to feel that the complex nature of addiction is determined between the individual drug user and his/her environment and anyone in treatment will tell you that one of the biggest parts of their recovery is a change in their environment.
AS for the children, coupled with what I have provided above, I do not think enough resources go to counseling, care, and follow-up. The foster care system is a joke and more attention is spent on maintaining the “family unit” then helping these kids. I could go on and on from a place of personal experience but I will not.
I understand the argument that is being made, however I also know that what we are doing is not working.
Shannon, a lot of what you say I can agree with and some I can't. First, I want you to know I agree regarding any pain medication can become addictive and that it will require increase in dosage as the body adjusts to them and I won't say this is unique to marijuana. What I am saying is that all other pain medications are regulated by a doctor and prescriptions are needed and I believe that marijuana should be placed in that same category. I don't think we disagree there.
Regarding recreational use of marijuana, I do not think it should be allowed due to the research that can be provided to prove what it does to the brain, it is can no longer be termed a "safer" drug by any means.
The area where I also agree is that more resources should be available to counter child abuse and neglect. I had no real understanding of just how widespread and how horrendous most of it has become. There are many reasons and Shannon, it is absolutely no limited to those living in poorer economic circumstances, those that are hopeless, etc. I have had cases where the abusive parent(s) are from educated, high middle class families and even wealthy families; it is not, like some think, limited to the poorer among us. It is seen in many areas as much or more in white families rather than minorities which is interesting as well. Our lowest incidence is in Hispanic families, acutally; our highest is almost a tie with white and black; especially where drug addiction is involved it is more likely white.
It is more the affect of the drugs on those abusers that turn them to poverty as when their families give up they then find themselves homeless or living in poor areas with their children; all their money going to the drugs.
As for the foster system; there is good and there is bad and it depends on the area and how state's are regulating this; in our area we have an excellent Child Protective Services and Court system and they do monitor foster care closely and it is a very viable solution for temperary homes and in a lot of cases the foster child(ren) end up adopted if partental rights are either taken from the parent(s) or relinquisted by the parent(s). There is a county next to ours that is not as good at their monitoring and there have been a few cases where both our CASA volunteer and the Child Protective Service caseworker and the GAL have had to petition the judge to remove the child(ren) from the foster home and replace the child(ren). So it is only as good as those that are administering the program. We hear good and we hear bad from all over the country. So there I can agree to a point; not generally, just I do agree there are some that are bad and, thank goodness, more that are doing a great job.
As for counseling, again, it depends on the area. Ours bends over backward for counseling for parent(s) and children involved and even the foster parents are involved in counseling as they are the home where the child is now living and they have a part to play in the overall care and future of that child(ren).
Shannon, the system will work but it requires more and more people that are willing to get involved. As much as I would like to say that eventual return of the child(ren) to their parents is what I would not personally like to see, I have learned that if these parents are willing to adhere to the parenting plan and are willing to do what is required of them, seriously willing, that it is the best solution. But it takes time and supervision and hard work. Our success rate if about 65%; now that is not great, but it certainly is better than 0%. Often, I admit, we see children come back into the system as the parent has not been able to maintain what is necessary and usually in these cases it ends in termination and adoption for the child, but at least the child knows that all efforts were made. You see, it is always the child's best interest that is followed and the child(ren) do have some say in the final decision. If it is their desire to be back with their parents we do all we can to help that happen; Federal mandates require that we do this.
We have a system that will work, just not enough people to do the job; that is where CASA and volunteers could be a big difference if we could get more.
But please remember, the idea that abuse and neglect of children is primarily due to environment; not really. It plays a role only in that the abuser/neglecter has usually put themselves in that place due to the choice of irresponsible use of their money to buy drugs rather than the responsible decision to pay their rent, buy the food to feed their families and clothe them, etc. It is not relegated to just the impoverished in any way.