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Marijuana legalization is far from inevitable

Arizona students say they got pot from card holders

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

Since the 2012 election, national news coverage about marijuana has focused almost solely on the states of Colorado and Washington, creating the impression the country is moving toward legalization. But anti-marijuana forces actually won most of the contests in 2012 and in 2010, and lost only when outspent by large margins.

So if the Arizona Legislature refers Proposition 203 back to the voters, which Rep. John Kavanagh has proposed, we will not be out of step with the rest of the country. A look at recent votes shows why:

In the past two elections, voters in four states considered initiatives to legalize pot. This year, Washington and Colorado voted “yes,” while Oregon voted “no.” Two years ago, California voted “no.”

In those same two elections, another four states voted on medical marijuana. The initiative in Massachusetts passed with 63 percent of the vote, while Arizona’s squeaked by with 50.1 percent. In Arkansas and South Dakota, the ballot measures were defeated.

So when voters considered legalization and medical marijuana, each side won half the contests. But there were also ballot measures to allow marijuana dispensaries in states where medical use was already legal, and the marijuana lobby lost those every time.

In 2012, five California cities voted on initiatives that would have allowed dispensaries; all five voted it down. In 2010, Oregon voters rejected a similar initiative. These two liberal West Coast states where voters saw the real-world effect of medical marijuana up close are apparently having second thoughts. Reconsidering Prop. 203 would be an expression of the same concerns.

That’s how the voting went, but money really explains how tenuous the pro-marijuana victories are. In Colorado, the marijuana lobby spent $3.5 million while opponents of legalization brought in only $700,000. In Washington, it was even more lopsided. The marijuana lobby spent

$6 million, while opponents had just $16,000. That’s 375 to 1. It’s not easy to get out your message against those odds.

Money also mattered in the two states that passed medical marijuana laws. In Arizona, opponents were outspent $800,000 to $25,000. In Massachusetts, it was $1 million against a mere $600.

This financial advantage makes a big difference. First, it can cost several hundred thousand dollars to get an initiative on the ballot. So if it passes, and the public later decides they were misled and so-called “medical” pot goes mostly to drug abuse, it can be prohibitively expensive to get the issue back to the voters.

Second, marijuana advocates depend on misleading the public to win elections. Opponents can defeat these initiatives only if they can expose the deception.

For example, to pass medical marijuana laws, the marijuana lobby runs ads designed to give the impression that the law is only for serious illnesses like cancer. That’s what happened in Arizona. And without money, opponents couldn’t tell voters that in most medical marijuana states, over 90 percent of the pot goes to people who claim pain, not serious illness.

The marijuana lobby told voters in Washington that regulating marijuana would keep it out of the hands of teenagers. However, states with medical marijuana laws have much higher rates of teenage marijuana use, even when it’s strictly regulated. Voters never heard that message.

In Arizona, the Marijuana Policy Project called its campaign “Stop Arresting Patients.”  They wanted us to picture grannies in prison, doing their knitting surrounded by tattooed gang-bangers. But the marijuana lobby was never able to name a single genuine patient in jail or prison on a simple possession charge. That’s because there aren’t any; no one is arresting genuine medical patients. The whole premise of their campaign was false, but opponents couldn’t get that message out.

Pro-marijuana initiatives have succeeded so far only because proponents can vastly outspend the opposition. And despite that advantage, they still lost most of the recent votes. In the California and Oregon legalization battles, pro-marijuana forces outspent opponents by more than 10 to one, and were still defeated. When opponents have the resources to fight back, they win.

So don’t assume that Americans are ready to legalize pot, or that Arizonans are happy with their medical marijuana law. If that were true, the marijuana lobby wouldn’t be spending millions trying to convince us.

— Carolyn Short is an attorney and chairperson of Keep AZ Drug Free, an organization that opposes legalization and medical marijuana laws.

70 comments

  1. When I read dubious information like this article in which the writer bandies about unsubstantiated dollar figures, percentages and empty arguments, I am once again glad i do not live in Arizona.

    Arizona is the Alabama of the west.

    Why exactly are marijuana and hemp illegal? hemp has never harmed anyone, Hemp is a half a billion dollar industry in the u.s. alone. Every ounce of hemp in this country has been grown in another country and imported into America where we can buy and use hemp, but cannot grow it. Why?

    Because of ignorant people like the author of this article. Stupid powerful people who won’t allow progress because they have a vested commercial interst in the status quo. That is the crux of the problem. Not marijuana or hemp, but crony capitalism and a corrupt power structure in government.

  2. Carolyn Short has done nothing but lie and backs her lies with more of the same. ?You can give her all the studies she still spouts lies. Cannabis is medicine.
    Our bodies are are made for cannabis.
    http://norml.org/library/item/introduction-to-the-endocannabinoid-system

  3. mj will be legalized if people that are makeing money off of it vote with their conciense instead of thinking about their wallet as in the case in ca……people need to stop being afraid of voiceing their opinions out of fear of retribution and start standing up for their rights! put up or shut up!…come on people now is the time to get mj legalized! stand up and be heard!

  4. Ask any elected official in Arizona’s State Legislature who is the driver of the anti-medical marijuana issue and ALL of them will tell you it is Carolyn Short. She is the lone voice against medical marijuana.

    There is good reason why medical marijuana proponents are able to raise significant money to change laws while prohibitionists are not. People support reformation of marijuana laws and are willing to financially contribute to that cause while fewer people are willing to financially contribute to the status quo of prohibition.

    The only reason Ms. Short has a voice is because her husband, Dean Short, is the Managing Partner of a powerful Phoenix based law firm. She is only considered “worth listening to” because of her husband’s political influence and power. It is only because of Ms. Short’s husband that she is granted access to elected officials. It is only because of Ms. Short’s husband that the AZ Capitol Times will publish her opinions and commentary.

    If the people of Arizona were truly against medical marijuana, they wouldn’t have voted for it – 3 times. If the people of Arizona were truly against medical marijuana, Carolyn Short wouldn’t have any problem raising the money to fight the issue. If the people of Arizona were truly against marijuana, they would be marching in the streets demanding its repeal. Clearly, the people of Arizona are not against medical marijuana. Only Carolyn Short is against medical marijuana.

    Carolyn Short is a zealot on this issue. She believes that it is ok for big government to tell people what their medical options should and should not be. She believes in laws that at least allow for the option of sick cancer patients to be arrested and put in prison.

    It is also worth noting that Ms. Short also believes that we should go back to the days of alcohol prohibition. She has said so herself on many occasions, just ask her. Ms. Short is simply a modern day prohibitionist.

    It is time for Ms. Short to take up a new crusade. I suggest knitting.

    Respectfully,
    Henry Bowman

  5. While Carolyn Short believes her group was out spent, the truth is the majority of us do not believe this plant to be a danger to society .

    Our children are robbing grandma’s pain medicine to get high, and believe me when I say there is a real epidemic of teens addicted to OXY and Vicodin which leads them to heroin because its cheaper.

    Our elderly grandparents are dying younger, due to the enormous amount of drug chemicals prescriped to them by well meaning doctors.

    I am sick of hearing about the returning veterans who return with PTSD, only to commit suicide. I believe the number is 22 a day.

    Drug dealers don’t card, they don’t care… and they don’t just sell pot.

  6. “However, states with medical marijuana laws have much higher rates of teenage marijuana use, even when it’s strictly regulated.”

    Get your facts straight Carolyn…

    http://now.msn.com/arizona-teens-use-pot-less-since-medical-marijuana-law-passed

  7. First I’d like to say that the numbers you claim just prove that we(cannabis advocates) have the backing to win & prohibitionists don’t anymore..

    My real issue is this, so what I decide to use a safe, non-toxic medicine be it for pain or for fun. Even my daily use doesn’t affect anyone else but me. who are you to decide what is right for me? Cannabis has many uses & not one death. You can not claim that about anything else on earth..

  8. This article is wishful thinking by someone clearly on the losing side of this issue. Marijuana legalization is inevitable. Forty years ago Gallup did a poll asking Americans if marijuana should be legalized. Only 16% were for it. They did the same poll every couple of years and support kept growing to the point that when they did the same poll in late 2011 50% were for legalization and only 46% were opposed. Several more polls have come out now showing even higher support for legalization and support just keeps growing.

    Much of this is driven by the fact that people whop grew up after pot use took off in this country are getting older and those who came before are dying off. Even in the few polls in the last couple of years that didn’t show quite a majority supporting legalization yet, when you look at age demographics breakdowns there is clear majority support among voters under 65 and only older voters had a strong majority in opposition. Every year almost 4 million Baby Boomers hit 65 now though while around 1.8 million older voters die off and several million more young people who in most cases are pro-legalization reach voting age.

    Two states just legalized. More will follow. More politicians are supporting legalization as that’s what the majority of their constituents want and they see the momentum is for legalization and fighting it will only push away an increasing number of voters.

    Marijuana gets young voters out too. If you look at voter turnout among voters 18 to 29 in the three states with legalization initiatives in 2012 you’ll see what I mean. Turn out was up an awful lot in each state. In Washington, the 18 to 29 group made up 22% of those who actually voted in 2012, compared to only 10% in 2008. Wow. Want to “rock the vote?” Put a legalization initiative on the ballot.

    Marijuana legalization is coming. It is inevitable. It’s not all about the money either. The government has spent ridiculous amounts trying to keep marijuana illegal. That’s part of the ONDCP’s mandate and they and other agencies of federal and state governments have spent a lot of money on it. The money spent by those in favor of legalization doesn’t seem so large when you take into account what the government at various levels spends in opposition.

    All the money in the world isn’t going to change the tide of public opinion on this though. According to federal data we hit the point a few years ago where over half of all American adults under 65 had smoked pot. Most don’t anymore but we know that marijuana isn’t such a huge threat that this massive wasteful failed prohibition is warranted. Our policies do more harm than good. We aren’t even putting a dent in the marijuana trade or making it remotely hard to find or too expensive to buy. We aren’t stopping a thing, but we’re causing every problem caused by alcohol prohibition and more, and wasting a fortune in the process. Our society will be better off when we legalize and more and more people know that. It’s over. We’re done with marijuana prohibition.

  9. Caroline you’re a joke and an embarrassment the legal profession. Like most anti-marijuana advocates you spread misinformation and misstate facts on a regular basis. The truth is that marijuana advocates have spent far less, pennies on the dollar, compared to the US government and anti-marijuana lobby over the last 40 years. Accept the fact that soon– once you’re “say no to drugs” money runs out — you’re actually going to have to get a real job like the rest of us. The world is changing and people are getting sick of a$$ hats like you turning normal hard working citizens into criminals simply for smoking a flower. Get a life and get yourself a real job like the rest of us. It’s here, it’s not beer – get used to it.

  10. Eeniemeenie apparently did read the study from Yale which showed that prior marijuana use comes before opioid pill abuse in girls ages 18-25 who have pill problems, for boy who abuse pills cigarettes and alcohol come first, but only pot for the girls.

    Also have you read Judith Lewis Herman’s Classic book on how to recover from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? She would never recommend something that makes you forget, as that is not the way to get out of PTSD. The reason people want Pot for PTSD is because it makes you forget. Forgetting isn’t healing. Eeniemeenie, if you want a simplified solution to PTSD (I still think long-term therapy is better than), try giving the soldiers dogs and it is a proven solution without possible side effects.

    I resent the fact that Marijuana Policy Project sends recruiters to the college where I teach and tries to get 18-year olds to march on Washington in favor of legalization, when these 18 year olds couldn’t even be legal in the proposed bills. MPP is a suspect, dishonest organization. MPP is working for the benefit of the dealers. You might say all politics and politicians are dishonest, but it does not excuse the MMP’s tactics.

    Why are marijuana growers in California destroying the environment by using so many pesticides? Now we need environment regulations against the marijuana growers.

  11. The reason the marijuana lobby had so much money has nothing to do with any public support. Their money has come from four billionaires; without them there were would be no marijuana movement in America. That $1 million the marijuana lobby spent in Massachusetts; 95 percent of it came from Peter Lewis, a CEO who uses marijuana himself. This is not a movement with wide public support; it’s a movement with a couple of sugar daddies.

  12. Everything Carolyn states is true. The pro-pot lobby is what Big Tobacco was 40 years ago. And guess what?! If Pot is legalized it’ll be big tobacco companies mass producing and selling the drug to the public. Go figure.

    Tax payers will pay big to clean up the mess if pot is legalized. Like we all have with tobacco and alcohol that yield way more public health and safety costs then the revenue they bring in. Thing is, pot is a very different drug than alcohol or tobacco and the fallout will be unprecedented and colossal. Try teaching kids who are stoned in class – they end up utilizing high cost special education services which the responsible, contributing citizen pays for. I’m sick of paying for other people’s health issues and reckless, irresponsible lifestyles. If you are too, then don’t buy into the pro-pot lobby. If you buy into it, you’ll pay for it directly out of your tax paying pocket.

  13. Carolyn Short is right! Because smoked pot can never get FDA approval, it is simply another snake-oil medicine that enriches the drug traffickers while destroying the minds of teen druggies and endangering the public from stoned drivers and drug-related violence, addiction and death. Most of the school shooters were psychotics who were big pot users. A recent study revealed that while druggies are more violent than non users, when a psychotic also uses pot he becomes 13 times more likely to be violent than a non user. Pot is the reason schools everywhere are failing as druggie kids bully and terrorize their classmates and disrupt the learning environment. And Ms. Short is right: teen drug use has been skyrocketing since 2006 when all the publicity about “medical marijuana” began convincing teens that pot must be harmless if it can be used as medicine.

    Now Stoners, go on and fanticize about your favorite smoked marijuana snake-oil medicine becoming legal– in your smoke-dulled dreams.

  14. My comments are directed to “Ed,” “Be informed,” and “DeForest Rathbone.”

    It looks like Ms. Short reached out to some of her friends and asked them to post some comments on the article. There’s nothing like stacking the deck with a well coordinated effort. I’ll give you credit for being persistent.

    Ed – You state that the medical marijuana lobby has nothing to do with public support and is rather a few “sugar daddies.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Let me give you some concrete proof. The majority of Arizona voters approved marijuana 3 times! If that isn’t widespread public support I don’t know what is. Perhaps you should instead make the argument that Arizona voters are simply stupid because that’s what you’re really saying. Furthermore, the campaign budgets of organizations like the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) and National Organization for the Reformation of Marijuana Laws (NORML) must be taken in the context of the hundreds of millions of dollars spent by organizations like Drug Awareness and Resistance (DARE), public service announcements, law enforcement and public education systems that have made every attempt to keep marijuana illegal. Taken in the context of the whole, the only logical conclusion is that marijuana advocates have been grossly outspent by prohibitionists for decades. Ed, your argument simply doesn’t carry water. The public isn’t buying it.

    Be informed – the argument you are making is that marijuana will contribute to higher taxes because the supposed harm that is done by marijuana will result in taxpayers caring for more incapable people. First, the “harms” you speak of have been rejected by the public. They simply aren’t buying it because it can’t be substantiated. The science doesn’t back up your claims. Moreover, it seems that you are arguing for the legitimacy of a “nanny state” in which the government is responsible for taking care of everyone for everything. If the problem is the “nanny state” shouldn’t we instead be making the argument that the “nanny state” is the problem instead of marijuana. The reality is that marijuana already exists and is readily available to anyone who wants it. Marijuana Prohibition has created Mexican drug cartels much the same way alcohol Prohibition created the Al Capone’s and gangsters of the 1920′s. Wouldn’t it be better to have a regulated, controlled and taxed distribution system instead? Marijuana use will occur either way, the “War on Drugs” has been a total failure and even its crusaders now recognize this. The choice really isn’t “yes marijuana” or “no marijuana.” The choice is really “Mexican drug cartels” or “regulated, controlled and taxed business.”

    DeForest Rathbone – I see that you’ve been watching Reefer Madness again. I’m not sure what else to say. Just as an update, most people who watch Reefer Madness today view it is a comedy.

    Marijuana isn’t a “Conservative vs. Liberal” or “Republican vs Democrat” issue. It is a common sense issue. Many people are against a particular issue until they have a loved one who is affected by that issue. There couldn’t be a more poignant example than that of Mel McDonald. Mel is a brave man for coming forward the way he has. For those who reject the examples of Mel McDonald and hundreds other with similar testimony – I think you are cruel, uncaring, mean spirited people. There will be a special place for you someday.

    Respectfully,
    Henry Bowman

  15. As for marijuana getting out voters, it was the direct phone calls to college students in Colorado, urging them to vote yes. They’re master manipulators and con artists.

    Again, shows how unethical the movement is — getting them out to vote, when it would not be legal if they are under 21.

    How ironic that an auto-insurance billionaire funds medical marijuana in Massachusetts. I cancelled my policy with Progressive now that I’ve found it out. Am going with Geico.

  16. Mrs. Short,

    Thank you for letting the folks know the truth about this terrible drug. Everyday, we see more articles where marijuana is causing more harm to our cities and community’s all across our nation and in other country’s around the world as well. In a recent comment in Time’s Magazine (UK) by Dr. Monkhouse, of the well known and highly respected Kuesnact Rehabitation Clinic in the Country of Switzerland, about a client of his stated, “He had cannabis psychosis and we couldn’t help him. The hardest addiction to break, he adds, is to cannabis. Cannabis..certain strains at least..is also the drug that can cause the most profound and least reversible neurological damage, often quickly, often in very young and otherwise healthy adults. The drug may people think of as harmless can send you mad, swiftly and permanently.”

    And, this from a man whose lifelong trade has been treating drug abusers, many being the most wealthy members of our worlds society.

    Here is a link to the Times Magazine article: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/magazine/article3691923.ece

    So, to the folks reading this blog. I have a very high regard for Carolyn Short as she is trying hard along with others in her group to save our kids from destroying their lives and futures.

    And, by now, you all should well know that you can never trust a word that comes out of a stoner……not one single word.

    Ronald L. Kirkish

  17. Ms. Short is 100% and brave to take on BIG POT, who is using BIG TOBACCO’s play book. Legalizing pot is a bad idea:

    1) MARIJUANA USE WOULD INCREASE. Marijuana use and its negative health, behavioral and society impacts will increase among both youth and adults. Experts project that the number of regular users would at least double and likely triple in the most vulnerable 12 – 25 age range.
    2) TREATMENT AND ADDICTION RATES WOULD RISE. Regular marijuana use can be addictive and lead to deteriorating behavior, particularly in young people. In 2009, 830,000 youth had marijuana addiction characteristics. Sixty-eight percent of youth in drug treatment are there for marijuana use.
    3) ADVERSE EFFECT ON THE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT. If marijuana was legalized, it is estimated that 20 – 30 percent of our school-aged children will become regular marijuana users. That will negatively affect their attendance, concentration, memory, brain development and thus academic achievement and participation in a positive educational setting.
    4) DEATHS FROM IMPAIRED DRIVING WOULD INCREASE. Marijuana use affects coordination, decision-making and perception which directly results in impaired driving. A few months ago, the results of a survey conducted by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) found that 19% of teen drivers said they have driven under the influence of marijuana. In fact, according to the survey, more teens are driving after smoking marijuana than after drinking, with only 13% of teens surveyed reporting they had driven after drinking.
    5) HARM TO EXISTING BUSINESSES AND THE ECONOMY. Substance abuse studies have shown that businesses and employers will experience greater rates of absenteeism, industrial accidents and tardiness as well as less productivity with a potential work force regularly using marijuana. This not only results in economic losses, but conflicts with the federal Drug Free Workplace and companies losing federal contracts. Businesses would be less likely to stay or move into a state where drug use related risks are high.
    6) BLINDSIDE ECONOMICS. At best, potential tax revenue generated by legalizing marijuana will cover only 15% of the collateral costs to our community such as: increased drug treatment, emergency room visits, crime, health care, and traffic crashes from marijuana use.
    7) MARIJUANA POSSESSION/USE IS NOT IMPACTING THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM. Proponents often make misleading statements about marijuana arrests and the jail population. A recent KBPS report found that inmates in our state’s prisons incarcerated for marijuana charges alone – and that’s all marijuana charges: possession, transport and sale – make up less than 1% of the prison population.

  18. Great work Carolyn! Pot smokers and their lobby are of course going to claim pot is harmless, denial is typical trait of an addict. The Federal Drug Administration has studied smoked marijuana for over 30 years and concludes that it is a highly toxic, addictive, cancer-causing weed.
    There are 483 chemicals in marijuana and when smoked or ingested there are 4 to 5 times more tars and cancer causing agents than in tobacco cigarettes.
    In 2009, the California Office of Environmental Health and Assessment Science listed marijuana as a cause of cancer. Marijuana is also known to cause respiratory and reproductive problems, mental illness, birth defects and irreversible brain damage.

    Our society doesn’t need more stoners.

  19. This article exposes what we have known for awhile. Medi-pot is a scam, and sends the wrong message that pot is OK. Big Pot is doing exactly What Big Tobacco does, covering up the facts that smoking is unhealthy and causes cancer. And marketing to young people how cool it is to smoke.

    The Pot Lobby is well funded by pot shop owners and George Soros. I need to stand up to these lies and those don’t care about keeping our neighborhoods healthy and safe!

  20. Ms. Short is 100% right and brave to take on BIG POT, who is using BIG TOBACCO’s play book. Legalizing pot is a bad idea:

    1) MARIJUANA USE WOULD INCREASE. Marijuana use and its negative health, behavioral and society impacts will increase among both youth and adults. Experts project that the number of regular users would at least double and likely triple in the mostvulnerable 12 – 25 age range.

    2) TREATMENT AND ADDICTION RATES WOULD RISE. Regular marijuana use can be addictive and lead to deteriorating behavior, particularly in young people. In 2009, 830,000 youth had marijuana addiction characteristics. Sixty-eight percent of youth in drug treatment are there for marijuana use.

    3) ADVERSE EFFECT ON THE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT. If marijuana was legalized, it is estimated that 20 – 30 percent of our school-aged children will become regular marijuana users. That will negatively affect their attendance, concentration, memory,brain development and thus academic achievement and participation in a positive educational setting.

    4) DEATHS FROM IMPAIRED DRIVING WOULD INCREASE. Marijuana use affects coordination,decision-making and perception which directly results in impaired driving. A few months ago, the results of a survey conducted by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) found that 19% of teen drivers said they have driven under the influence ofmarijuana. In fact, according to the survey, more teens are driving after smoking marijuana than after drinking, with only 13% of teens surveyed reporting they had driven after drinking.

    5) HARM TO EXISTING BUSINESSES AND THE ECONOMY. Substance abuse studies have shown that businesses and employers will experience greater rates of absenteeism, industrial accidents and tardiness as well as less productivity with a potential work force regularly using marijuana. This not only results in economic losses, but conflicts with the federal Drug Free Workplace and companies losing federal contracts. Businesses would be less likely to stay or move into a state where drug use related risks are high.

    6) BLINDSIDE ECONOMICS. At best, potential tax revenue generated by legalizing marijuana will cover only 15% of the collateral costs to our community such as: increased drug treatment, emergency room visits, crime, health care, and traffic crashes from marijuana use.

    7) MARIJUANA POSSESSION/USE IS NOT IMPACTING THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM. Proponents often make misleading statements about marijuana arrests and the jail population. A recent KBPS report found that inmates in our state’s prisons incarcerated for marijuana charges alone – and that’s all marijuana charges: possession, transport and sale – make up less than 1% of the prison population.

  21. Carolyn Short the people who finance against medical marijuana are the same who back your organization. Alcohol. tobacco, pharmaceutical and prison guard lobbyist.
    Your main goal is suppose to be against our biggest drug problem prescription drug-100% that come from someone’s medicine cabinet and/pr the doctors office.
    Stop the feeding the “Hemp Hoax” and policing for profit.
    You are too educated to act so ignorant.

  22. Ms Short is correct, Oregon voted NO for marijuana legalization, as well Oregon voters said NO twice to pro pot advocates attempts to legalize pot shops. After a decade of negative impacts in Oregon, voters are not buying the lie that pot is a safe and harmless drug, because they are seeing the destruction it has created in communities across Oregon.

    11 TOP REASONS NOT TO LEGALIZE MARIJUANA

    IT WOULD STILL BE ILLEGAL
    In July 2011 the federal government reaffirmed marijuana as a Schedule I substance; i.e., no accepted medical use and high abuse potential. Therefore, its possession and use remains a federal crime. Since federal law preempts state law, marijuana would still be illegal in Oregon.

    MARIJUANA POSSESSION/USE IS NOT IMPACTING THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
    Proponents often make misleading statements about marijuana arrests and the jail population. In Oregon, the use and possession of less than an ounce is treated as a traffic violation with a fine and not jail time.

    NEGATIVE IMAGE OF OREGON
    If marijuana is legalized under Oregon law, our state would be considered the ‘POT CAPITAL’ of the nation. This notoriety would have a negative impact on attracting new businesses and families deterred by Oregon’s image and quality of life issues.

    HARM TO EXISTING BUSINESSES AND THE ECONOMY
    Substance abuse studies have shown that businesses and employers will experience greater rates of absenteeism, industrial accidents and tardiness as well as less productivity with a potential work force regularly using marijuana. This not only results in economic losses, but conflicts with the federal Drug Free Workplace requirements and companies losing federal contracts. Businesses would be less likely to stay or move into a state where drug use related risks are high.

    BLINDSIDE ECONOMICS
    At best, potential tax revenue generated by legalizing marijuana will cover only 15% of the collateral costs to our community such as: increased drug treatment, emergency room visits, crime, traffic accidents and school ‘drop-outs’ to name just a few of the costs related to marijuana use.

    MARIJUANA USE WOULD INCREASE
    Marijuana use and its negative health, behavioral and societal impacts will increase among both youth and adults. The best estimates from experts project that the number of regular users would at least double and likely triple in the most vulnerable 12 – 25 age range.

    TREATMENT AND ADDICTION RATES WOULD RISE
    According to Oregon Department of Human Services data marijuana addiction and treatment rates in comparison to methamphetamine, heroin, prescription drugs, and cocaine continue to climb above all other abused drugs in the state with marijuana climbing from 14.4% in 2000 to 17.33% in 2010, compared to Methamphetamine at 15.34% to 14.18%, Heroin at 11.17% to 9.04%, and Cocaine at 3.34% to 1.61% in the same time period. http://www.oregon.gov/OHA/mentalhealth/data/main.shtml#or-cnty

    ADVERSE EFFECT ON THE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT
    As parents and citizens, we have a responsibility to prepare our youth for a healthy and successful future. The basis for their future lies in providing them with a quality educational environment. If marijuana was legalized, it is estimated that 20 – 30 percent of our school-aged children will become regular marijuana users. That will negatively affect their attendance, concentration, memory, brain development and thus academic achievement and participation in a positive educational setting.

    DEATHS FROM IMPAIRED DRIVING WOULD INCREASE
    Marijuana use affects coordination, decision-making and perception which directly results in impaired driving.

    In a study of seriously injured drivers, 26.9% tested positive for MARIJUANA while 11.6% tested positive for cocaine, and 5.6% tested positive for either methamphetamine or amphetamine.

    Additionally, in a recent British Columbia roadside study of drivers, 10.4% of drivers who provided an oral fluid sample tested positive for at least one drug other than alcohol. Cannabis and cocaine were the most commonly detected illegal substances, with 4.6% of drivers testing positive for each. 0.9% of drivers tested positive for opiates. Amphetamines, methamphetamine and benzodiazepines were detected in less than 1% of drivers.

    Of the total number of positive drug tests, cannabis accounted for 49.4%. Cocaine was detected in 29.3% of positive cases while opiates were detected in 14.8%. Cannabis and cocaine was the most common polydrug combination, and accounted for 8.3% of all positive drug cases.

    http://druggeddriving.org/
    Anyone who has lost a loved one from a drunk driver knows that legalizing alcohol did not make our streets safer nor would legalizing marijuana.

    CARTEL CONTROL
    Citizens can look outside the United States for examples of reasons why not to allow a federally illegal drug into our States in any form or to even consider the farce of legalization being the secret to dealing with organized crimes and Mexican drug cartels. The black market will remain!

    http://mexicoinstitute.wordpress.com/2010/09/23/why-legalization-in-mexico-is-not-a-panacea-for-reducing-violence-and-suppressing-organized-crime/

  23. Arizona voters have approved medical marijuana THREE times now (Proposition 200 in 1996, Proposition 300 and Proposition 301 in 1998, and Proposition 203 in 2010). What does Keep AZ Drug Free think this is, the World Series? Best-of- seven?? The state is going to have to raise taxes just to pay for printing the ballots over and over again while Carolyn Short tries to rally the prohibitionist minority.

  24. Carolyn is one of the smartest people in the country and a recognized national expert on the subject of drug legalization. As a person who has studied the impact of pro-marijuana campaigns around the country, I know that national pro-pot lobbing organizations out of New York and Washington DC have spent millions to spread the lie that pot is medicine. This has brought social, economic and legal chaos to every state that has joined this ill-conceived social experiment with the future of our children. Carolyn’s facts are accurate and the full story is even worse. The Marijuana Policy Project alone has spent $12 million since 2004 while pro-pot billionaires have also poured millions into slick ad campaigns. The result is that our children are being taught that cigarette smoke “kills” and marijuana smoke “heals.” It is a national disgrace. Just like the tobacco companies did before, these people are willing to sell their souls to promote a product that will bring them millions in revenues and misery to our citizens. And their end game isn’t about medicine anyway, its about the full legalization of drugs. I find it shocking, but typical of these people, that they use personal attacks against good people in order to get them to shut up. For a group that advocates “compassion” for the sick, they are some of the most vicious people on the planet when anyone attacks their beloved “herb.” And they should be ashamed of themselves. Grow up pot smokers. Come out of your purple haze and recognize that a lot of honest people disagree with you and your tactics, and you only hurt your cause when you resort to petty and childish name calling of the worst kind.

  25. Carolyn is only stating the facts and very well put. The majority of people do not want or support medi-pot or legalization but they are amazed by what the mainstream media is picking up on. When it is discussed logical and with truth and facts it is enlightening to find that the majority of people are not supporting this well financed effort. Way to go Carolyn and thank you

  26. The marijuana lobby, actively pushing its message in Congress and online, has
    stated its state-by-state strategy for full pot legalization:

    1) Decriminalization
    (With a plea for “social justice” this effectively lowers consequences and
    drives up the number first time users — the vast majority of whom are young,
    and therefore more likely to become lifetime customers);

    2) ‘Medical’ marijuana
    (With a plea for “compassion” this serves to ingratiate the federally illegal
    drug — for which there is little or no substantiated evidence of medical
    efficacy — into the good graces of the average person. This also drives up
    local supply of the drug and makes it more readily available to first time
    users, through a purchased doctor’s “recommendation”, or though diversion from
    marijuana cardholders. Again, the users are primarily young people — most
    frequently young men — and again, likely long-term customers. Two factors
    drive up use of this drug: increased availability and decreased perception of
    harm.)

    3) Full Recreational Legalization
    (With a plea for “economic development” and “jobs”, when in fact the social
    costs of driving up regular marijuana use rates will eclipse any tax revenues.
    One in six adolescents who use regularly becomes dependent. One in ten adults
    who use regularly becomes dependent. Social costs include lost potential, lost
    productivity, increased physical and mental healthcare costs including rehab
    programs, alternative school settings for recovering youth, low birthweight and
    developmental delays in exposed infants, increased drugged driving and workplace
    accidents, amotivational syndrome and chronic unemployment, increased crime,
    litigation costs. That’s the short list of social costs.)

    The tobacco lobby is waiting in the wings for full marijuana legalization,
    stating it can grow the plant, harvest it, roll it, package it, and get it to
    market quickly. Tobacco use rates (previous 30 days) are down to 26%, from over
    60% after a 50-plus year public health campaign to cut smoking rates was begun
    with the Surgeon General’s 1964 report announcing that smoking causes cancer.

    Previous 30-day marijuana use rates are under 7% — primarily because it is
    illegal. Legalization will vastly expand regular use rates, with public health
    impacts predicted to be greater than tobacco’s. Tobacco impacts the lungs,
    cardiovascular health and is carcinogenic. Marijuana poses all those health
    risks, along with clear brain health impacts.

    I believe well meaning people have been duped by an aggressive “agriculturally-based drug as market based commodity” pressure group. If you understand that our food system has been corrupted by unhealthy market signals concentrating production on refined carbohydrates, just wait until market signals push marijuana production toward vast overproduction. Cheap surplus product gets dumped onto, and into, the bodies of American consumers least able to control the outcome of that consumption.

  27. Just the facts groups of people are like the fingers on your hand-each is different.
    You complain about someone calling Carol names then you name call : ( You and the impacts of marijuana need to state real studies from around the world not your propaganda. Or are you all one of those people who profit off the prohibition of medical marijuana?
    You complain what the tobacco and alcohol companies have done in the past; yet they are 2 of the biggest contributors to the anti-marijuana movement-including Carol’s organization.
    Just the facts Mexico has decriminalize and are thinking of legalizing. If you have not lived there you have no clue what is really going on.

  28. Give it a rest. As a life long republican I don’t say this lightly, you are an embarrassment. The people have spoken on this issue, 3 times now. If you don’t like medical cannabis, don’t use it. But for the love of god, don’t convince yourself that your opinion should have any effect on the decisions made by a person and their doctor. It’s none of your business frankly. We are talking about the only nontoxic “drug” found on this planet. It’s hard to take the reefer madness seriously when I don’t see you so called “drug warriors” protesting outside of pharmacies. I don’t hear the rants and raves about “healthy looking” people using advil (a deadly drug), I don’t
    see the data that backs up your wild claims, and even with all of this invisible “marijuana abuse”, I still haven’t witnessed anything negative. The sky hasn’t fallen, teen use is down, my eyes haven’t seen a single incident caused by this “evil” herb. You my lady are a dinosaur, a relic of the past, you do not represent me and your nanny state stupidity has run it’s course. You aren’t fit to give medical advise to a dead dog, I’m certainly not taking anything you have to say seriously. Just more ranting and raving from a person who can’t let go of her own personal ignorance. Medical marijuana is here to stay sweety pie, get used to it.

  29. The reason why marijuana legalization has gained so much support is because all the Prohibitionist lies have been refuted with Scientific facts. Thanks to the Internet, Information now flows two ways and Prohibitionists cannot spew their disinformation without being called out for their lies. If any Prohibitionist out here can refute these facts, be my guest;

    Lie #1 Gateway Drug.
    FACT Marijuana is NOT a Gateway Drug. Here’s a 12 Yr Univ Study that says so;.
    http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleid=97496
    Media overview; http://www.pitt.edu/~ugr/Hrych2.pdf

    Lie #2 Marijuana is very addictive and dangerous.
    FACT Marijuana is less addictive and less harmful than Caffeine, let alone Alcohol and Tobacco; (3 Scientific Studies)
    BTW, Dr Henningfield is a former NIDA Staffer;.
    Addictiveness of Marijuana – ProCon.org.
    http://www.procon.org/view.background-resource.php?resourceID=1492

    Lie #’s 3 & 4, Marijuana has no Medicinal Use and is Dangerous.

    FACT In 1988, a DEA Administrative Judge Francis Young wrote in a report.
    COMMISSIONED by the DEA; “Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of
    the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any
    measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within a
    supervised routine of medical care.”
    http://www.ccguide.org/young88…”

    FACT For good measure, the CDC reported Med Marijuana doesn’t increase teen use.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-57456999-10391704/medical-marijua
    wont-boost-teen-pot-use-study-finds/”

  30. It looks like the one guy with 10 screen name is out in full force. We are going to legalize marijuana, and Carolyn Short is not going to stop us.

  31. For all Prohibitionists: Here are some Facts for you to refute.

    Lie #1 Gateway Drug.
    FACT Marijuana is NOT a Gateway Drug. Here’s a 12 Yr Univ Study that says so;.
    http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleid=97496
    Media overview; http://www.pitt.edu/~ugr/Hrych2.pdf

    Lie #2 Marijuana is very addictive and dangerous.
    FACT Marijuana is less addictive and less harmful than Caffeine, let alone alcohol and Tobacco; (3 Scientific Studies)
    BTW, Dr Henningfield is a former NIDA Staffer;.
    Addictiveness of Marijuana – ProCon.org.
    http://www.procon.org/view.background-resource.php?resourceID=1492

    Lie #’s 3 & 4, Marijuana has no Medicinal Use and is Dangerous.

    FACT In 1988, a DEA Administrative Judge Francis Young wrote in a report.
    COMMISSIONED by the DEA; “Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of
    the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any
    measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within a
    supervised routine of medical care.”
    http://www.ccguide.org/young88…”

    FACT For good measure, the CDC reported Med Marijuana doesn’t increase teen use.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-57456999-10391704/medical-marijua
    wont-boost-teen-pot-use-study-finds/”

  32. Don’t forget, we also have the United States Supreme Court and the U. S. Food and Drug Administration on our side. The FDA is the only agency that can approve medicines and before even the FDA can approve “medicines” they must be proven both safe and effective.

    FDA’s official statement is:

    FDA as the federal agency responsible for reviewing the safeth and efficacy of drugs, DEA as the federal ageancy charged with enforcing the Control Substances Act, and the Offfice of National Drug Control Policy as the federal coordinator of drug control plicy, do not support the use of marijuana for medical purposes. FDA has not approved smoked marijuana for any condition or disease indication.

    Dr. Robert DuPont, first Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports marijuana negatively affects every major part of the body including the brain, lungs, reproductive and immune system. Never in the history of modern medicine has burning leaves been considered medicine. Those in the medical marijuana movement are putting on white coats and expressing concerns about the sick. But people need to see this for what it is: a fraud and a hoax.”

    The principal author of this original legalization movement, Dennis Peron, according to the Reader’s Digest article “High On A Lie” by Daniel Levine, had, by 1998, been arrested 15 times on marijuana charges.

    Let’s not endanger children to protect pot smokers! J. Nalepka

  33. “Carolyn is one of the smartest people in the country and a recognized national expert on the subject of drug legalization.”

    That’s really funny. I know high school kids who know more about the subject than she does.

    But since she is an “expert”, as you say, then she can certainly answer a simple question:

    Can you name any significant study of the drug laws that agrees with you?

    You see, I have collected the full text of every major government commission on the drug laws that I could find and I posted them all at http://druglibrary.org/schaffer under Major Studies of Drugs and Drug Policy.

    The collection includes the largest studies of the subject ever done by the governments of the US, the UK, Canada, and Australia, just to mention a few.

    The problem is that – after more than twenty years of searching – I haven’t been able to find ANY such study that agrees with prohibition. I have even asked every US Drug Czar since William Bennett if they know of any. So far, nobody has come up with one.

    In fact, when I got the personal replies from each of the Drug Czars, it was obvious that they had never read any of them and weren’t even aware that this research existed. You know, same problem you see with Carolyn.

    In 1973, President Nixon’s US National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse completed the largest study of the drug laws ever done. At the end of their study, they said the real drug problem was not marijuana, or heroin, or cocaine. The real drug problem, they said, was the ignorance of the people who kept spouting off but had never read the most basic research on the subject.

    Carolyn Short proves that what they said is still true.

    If Carolyn wants to learn something about the subject, she can find the full text of the Nixon commission at http://druglibrary.org/schaffer/Library/studies/nc/ncmenu.htm

    But I am betting that she won’t even bother to read. She will give every lame excuse in the world, but she will refuse to read. Prohibitionists have two major characteristics. The first is that they really don’t know anything about the subject. Give them a basic factual quiz and they would fail.

    The second characteristic is that they really don’t want to know anything. And that is why Carolyn Short will refuse to read the largest studies of drug policy ever done.

    For anyone who wants some entertaining reading, see the short history of the marijuana laws at http://druglibrary.org/schaffer/History/whiteb1.htm It was absolute lunacy passed by lunatics.

  34. Do you only get to comment once here? I notice any comment after all the pro Carolyn comments are gone

  35. Carolyn Short the people who finance against medical marijuana are the same who back your organization. Alcohol. tobacco, pharmaceutical and prison guard lobbyist.
    Your main goal is suppose to be against our biggest drug problem prescription drug-100% that come from someone’s medicine cabinet and/pr the doctors office.
    Stop the feeding the “Hemp Hoax” and policing for profit.
    You are too educated to act so ignorant.

  36. Mike Parent seems to believe reading one study that refutes supporting his thoughts should be taken as absolute truth. What a leading psychiatrist in a mental health organization told me that is so clear that anyone under age 25 is at risk of brain damage. Marijuana has all the health issues of tobacco, plus the risk of brain.

    For pot advocates, why did the medical society of Massachusetts come out so strongly against it? Why have no prominent psychiatrists said what they say, that it is safe? Why doesn’t NORML, MPP or have a prominent physician on their Board? It is because no one will back what they are saying.
    The marijuana lobby is good at “spin,” not science.

    JS Hensley, you are right on target: Well meaning people have been fooled.

  37. Julie Dr. Sisley at U of A is a psychiatrists with the highest of national and state honors begs to differ.

    Ignoring and banning research is not science. The rest of world does research. Also we are the Only industrial nation that does Not grow cannabis/hemp.

    Medical marijuana patients are not the ones being fooled. We know for a fact what cannabis can do. Those who are fighting patients with propaganda and not research and the ones being fooled.

  38. Alcohol not marijuana are the gateway drug. Read the research
    http://news.ufl.edu/2012/07/10/alcohol-gateway/

  39. Cathy,
    Dr. Sisley is 43 years old; the country’s expert on PTSD is Judith Herman Lewis who would never support something that makes you forgot, which pot does, as a long-term treatment.

    Dr. Sisley is seeking grant money from the marijuana lobby. The pot lobby claims that all of us who disagree with them are doing it for money or making money off of keeping it illegal. Now by saying that, they expose their own motives. I would be willing to say that anyone in psychiatry who believes pot is healthy is getting money to say that or to do research to find out if the hypothesis could be proved.

    Dogs are better treatment than PTSD than pot.

    As for the auto-immune disease peoples say can be treated with pot, dietary and environmental changes can change the root cause of these diseases, while pot is used for the symptoms. We need to get to a medical system that is based less on symptoms and more on the cause.

    Granted, there are many reasons someone with the pressures in today’s world would, with or without PTSD, is looking for escape from the pressure, which is what the legalization push concerns.

    The author of one book on addiction that I’ve read said that when he started researching marijuana about 50 years ago, he supported pot decriminalization, but working with addiction and seeing the long-term problems people who’ve used pot have has caused him to change his mind. Hh decided it needs to be treated like all the other illegal drugs.

    It is mean and unconscionable for the pot lobby to claim pot can cure anything. How sad that a family in Montana believed what the pot lobby has said, that it would cure their son of cancer. As medicine, it alleviates pain for people at the end of life. In other usage of marijuana as medicine would

  40. Cathy,

    This conclusion is logical, because alcohol is more available. About the same time this article came out, an article came out from Yale University.

    For girls, who become opioid pill abusers between 18-25, previous marijuana usage predicts their pill addiction, while for the boys it is previous alcohol and tobacco use.

    Simply put, for some people POT is the gateway drug to other drugs, for other people it is not. There are people who try pot once and don’t like it and never touch it again. But there are also teens who are put under pressure by other teens to try pot.

  41. Julie,
    You are wanting to ignore a request from Dr. Sisley who works with PTSD patients because 1 one person said it was not OK. Imagine if we did that with other research like cancer. I know of hundred of veterans who support research due to them being helped my mmj. Are we to ignore them?

    It is OK to police for profit but not ask for money for research. As I recall Dr. Sisley does not have a greed driven agenda

    How can your author do real research when it is a forbidden here? Or he is just formulating an opinion. You want us to take 1 or 2 people’s opinions not facts or true research.

    How dear you talk about Cashy without knowing him or his family. he’s disease came back each time he was forced to stop his medicine by some well to do person like yourself.

    pill abusers again start usually on alcohol not pot. Coke cola is a gateway to obesity do we stop it no.

    If you really cared you’d push for research since you think it will prove your point; but you do not. perhaps you too are making money off of it being illegal?.

  42. Julie said:

    >>Mike Parent seems to believe reading one study that refutes supporting his thoughts should be taken as absolute truth.

    You can find the full text of every major government commission report on the drug laws from around the world over the last 100 years at http://druglibrary.org/schaffer under Major Studies of Drugs and Drug Policy. These are the largest and most comprehensive studies ever done. Not one of them agrees with you. Mike Parent has read them. You obviously have not.

    >> What a leading psychiatrist in a mental health organization told me that is so clear that anyone under age 25 is at risk of brain damage. Marijuana has all the health issues of tobacco, plus the risk of brain.

    Does this person have a real name or is it just someone you made up? The largest study of the health effects of marijuana ever done was done by Kaiser Permanente. They surveyed the health histories of 65,000 patients and found no significant differences in the health records of those who smoked pot versus those who didn’t. Their findings are consistent with the findings of all the major government studies over the last 100 years.

    Not that this makes a good excuse for prohibition, anyway. So the idea is that, to protect someone from brain damage, you are going to throw them in jail. That doesn’t make a lot of sense.

    >>For pot advocates, why did the medical society of Massachusetts come out so strongly against it?

    Ignorance and bigotry — the standard underpinnings of marijuana prohibition since the first day they outlawed marijuana because “All Mexicans are crazy and marijuana is what makes them crazy.”

    >>Why have no prominent psychiatrists said what they say, that it is safe? Why doesn’t NORML, MPP or have a prominent physician on their Board? It is because no one will back what they are saying.

    You obviously have never read the Kaiser report, or any of the major government commissions. In 1988, the DEA’s Chief Administrative Law judge studied the issue for two years and accumulated 15 volumes of evidence. He concluded that marijuana is probably the safest therapeutically active substance know to man. His findings are also consistent with the findings of every major government commission over the last 100 years.

    >>The marijuana lobby is good at “spin,” not science.

    So take a look at the collection of major government commission reports at http://druglibrary.org/schaffer under Major studies of Drugs and Drug Policy. Tell me all the ones I missed.

  43. Hardly anyone supports throwing a person in jail for marijuana. If you say that possessing marijuana is the one and only crime of most people who are go to jail in conjunction with marijuana is to believe the “spin” of the pot lobby.

    The psychiatrist I talked to worked with the Medical Society in Massachusetts and he is with the NAMI. I would prefer to have his permission to give his name, though I remember it. You could look it up if it is important to you.

  44. Oh boy, Joyce Nalepka showed up. Welcome to the discussion, Joyce. This internet debate thing has gotten kind of boring because all of your friends have learned that they do better in these debates when they don’t show up at all. The major prohibitionist organizations have already publicly admitted that they have completely lost the debate on the Internet.

    So welcome! You are one of the last of a rapidly dying breed.

    Just FYI, if you want to trot out that nonsense about how modern mj is 907 times as powerful as the pot in 1960, you should know that the means to test the potency of pot didn’t even exist in 1960. So that one will be called out as an obvious lie.

    “Don’t forget, we also have the United States Supreme Court and the U. S. Food and Drug Administration on our side. ”

    Good for you. Now go tell the USSC and the FDA to enforce their rulings. There are hundreds of marijuana stores in Los Angeles (not to mention other places) that really don’t give a **** what they said. Many of them have been in operation for more than ten years.

    You are watching the same thing that happened in 1932. Some states, including California, repealed their alcohol prohibition laws and left enforcement up to the Feds. It quickly became obvious that the Feds didn’t have enough resources to enforce the law by themselves, so alcohol prohibition was repealed at the national level in 1933.

    In short, if it wasn’t obvious to you already, your side is about to lose big-time.

    “The FDA is the only agency that can approve medicines and before even the FDA can approve “medicines” they must be proven both safe and effective.”

    Good for them. However, they do not make the rules for what is accepted for use as a legal medicine. The DEA’s own Chief Administrative Law Judge defines the rules for what constitutes a “medicine” under the law at http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/library/studies/YOUNG/index.html He concludes that marijuana qualifies under the definition of “medicine” and that the DEA’s attitude is flatly wrong.

    But forget that. It doesn’t make any sense to punish people who have done nothing more than try to relieve their own suffering, even if you disagree with their choice of medicine.

    So, Joyce, even if you don’t think it is really medicine, the only humane thing for you to do is to leave them alone to deal with their own illnesses in peace. Your idea that sick people need to be criminally punished is simply insane.

    “Dr. Robert DuPont, first Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports marijuana negatively affects every major part of the body including the brain, lungs, reproductive and immune system. Never in the history of modern medicine has burning leaves been considered medicine. Those in the medical marijuana movement are putting on white coats and expressing concerns about the sick. But people need to see this for what it is: a fraud and a hoax.””

    Dr. DuPont published an article in Playboy magazine in 1969 where he explained why marijuana should be legal. He changed his tune a few years later when Congress passed a law stating that Federal Government employees may not say anything favorable about legalization. (Prohibitionists are so terrified of the truth that they even make it illegal to speak it.) Dr. DuPont quickly changed his tune, because his job was on the line.

    He then quickly discovered that prohibition is profitable. He opened one of the first drug-testing firms with Peter Bensinger and they lobbied their friends in Congress to legally mandate drug testing. They got instantly rich. Marijuana, of course, is key to their whole drug-testing-get-rich-quick scheme because it is the only drug that stays in the body for any real length of time. If marijuana was legal, their income would take a big hit.

    “The principal author of this original legalization movement, Dennis Peron, according to the Reader’s Digest article “High On A Lie” by Daniel Levine, had, by 1998, been arrested 15 times on marijuana charges.”

    LOL! I don’t know the exact number of Dennis Peron’s arrests, but I would be surprised if it was as low as 15. Of course, what you don’t mention is that he is still walking the streets, smoking pot, running a marijuana dispensary and San Francisco’s city council once even declared “Dennis Peron” day.

    Just as funny is your mention of Reader’s Digest as a reliable source.

    “Let’s not endanger children to protect pot smokers! J. Nalepka”

    I am sorry. There is simply no evidence that marijuana legalization endangers children. Historically speaking, the biggest single cause of drug epidemics among US children is hysterical anti-drug campaigns. You know, like the ones you do. It is the forbidden fruit thing. You can read all about it in Licit and Illcit Drugs at http://druglibrary.org/schaffer/Library/studies/cu/cumenu.htm

  45. Dear Mr. Schaffer,

    I’m off school today and have been listening to C-SPAN. On TV today, Attorney General Eric Holder put in his strong support and advocacy for the Drug Courts in the US. He congratulated the good work that states like New York, Connecticut, Illinois, Minnesota and others are doing to “use the hammer of court” to force treatment.

    He also stated that the more we invest in Drug Courts and get people into treatment, the more we have in savings done the line. He greatly believes in using the courts the get people in treatment and calls the work of the drug courts a big success.

    Read Dr. DuPont’s book on addiction, as I have done, and he doesn’t come to the believe in keeping it illegal for the simplistic profits you suggest.

  46. Yeah, Julie, I am sure the fact that Robert DuPont did a complete 180 on his views in a matter of a few days had nothing to do with the fact that he discovered he would lose all chance of working with the Feds, and that wonderful idea of drug-testing (which is still producing millions decades later).

    It was just a coincidence. One huge coincidence.

    Of course, there is that troublesome little problem of ignoring every major government commission report on the subject over the last 100 years but, as long as he doesn’t make himself available for public sessions of answering questions, he should be just fine.

  47. Julie said:

    “Hardly anyone supports throwing a person in jail for marijuana. If you say that possessing marijuana is the one and only crime of most people who are go to jail in conjunction with marijuana is to believe the “spin” of the pot lobby.”

    Well, Julie, there are a lot of people out there who are smoking pot and they just really don’t care about your opinion. They don’t think they have a problem. They think you have a problem with an addiction to trying to butt into other people’s lives. They think you ought to do the decent thing and mind your own business and leave them alone.

    So what are you going to do with them? Sending them to treatment won’t work. They will just tell you to stick your “treatment” where the moon don’t shine. They don’t think they need it and you will never convince them they do.

    In the meantime, they will continue to smoke marijuana whether anyone else likes it or not. That’s just a fact.

    So what are you going to do with those people? Send them to treatment for the rest of their lives? Throw them in jail because they told you to stick the “treatment” up your ***?

    “The psychiatrist I talked to worked with the Medical Society in Massachusetts and he is with the NAMI. I would prefer to have his permission to give his name, though I remember it. You could look it up if it is important to you.”

    Tell you what. Just point him to the list of Major Studies of Drugs and Drug Policy and ask him how many he has read. I will bet the answer is that he never even knew they existed. You know, same answer as you.

  48. “I’m off school today and have been listening to C-SPAN. On TV today, Attorney General Eric Holder put in his strong support and advocacy for the Drug Courts in the US. He congratulated the good work that states like New York, Connecticut, Illinois, Minnesota and others are doing to “use the hammer of court” to force treatment.”

    BTW, drug courts are just the admission that the previous system failed. They couldn’t put everyone in jail, as they originally wanted and the law called for, so now they seek to divert them.

    It is a little better than putting them in jail, but it still doesn’t really work because they haven’t come to the full admission that criminal law was the wrong approach in the first place. But, of course, you would have known yourself that criminal law was the wrong approach if you had bothered to read any of the major government commission reports.

  49. Mr. Schaffer,

    You are very, very cynical. When the pro-pot people ascribe such cynical motivations to everyone, they leave me cold. Why would he write a book
    if he only wanted a govt job? He could have earned more money in the private sector.

    Personally, I read the Newsweek article on why pot is being pushed and it seems all the legalizers want is a quick, easy way to make money. If you get your way, what is to stop big pharma and big tobacco from being the biggest beneficiaries?

  50. “You are very, very cynical. When the pro-pot people ascribe such cynical motivations to everyone, they leave me cold.”

    Yeah, it is “cynical” to note that his complete change of heart, and abandonment of all the major research coincided with the change in the law that required all government people to support prohibition, and the opportunity to earn millions from drug-testing. Shame on me to assume that millions of dollars might motivate someone.

    ” Why would he write a book
    if he only wanted a govt job? He could have earned more money in the private sector. ”

    Baloney. You have no clue how much he has made from his drug-testing venture. (And that is in the private sector. It just uses government friends to make sure they get legally guaranteed sales for their services.)

    “Personally, I read the Newsweek article on why pot is being pushed and it seems all the legalizers want is a quick, easy way to make money. If you get your way, what is to stop big pharma and big tobacco from being the biggest beneficiaries?”

    Well, Julie, whether you like it or not, marijuana is big business. By some estimates, the business is about as large as the beer business – about 100 billion dollars per year. Like it or not, that business is not going to go away in your lifetime, or in the lifetime of your great-great-grandchildren.

    Therefore, there are only three choices for who will run the trade, make all the rules for production and sale, set all the age limits for buyers, and collect all the billions of dollars that comes from it. The choices are:

    1) Government, with proper regulations and taxes to address social issues.
    2) Private business, with proper regulations and taxes to address social issues.
    3) Organized crime, with no regulations or taxes to address social issues.

    Why don’t you explain to us why you think organized crime is the best choice to run the trade? Explain to us how that gives us the best control over all the related problems, and how they are the best people to spend those tens of billions.

    Not that you bothered to read any of the research. The best research ever done has been linked here and you won’t even bother to read it. That’s the real drug problem, right there.

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