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Arizona Medical Marijuana Program: A product of lies?

medical marijuanaDespite the fact that voters in Arizona passed Proposition 203 in 2010 in favor of medical marijuana, there continues to be a push by those opposed. I often read statements from the opposition that simply don’t stand up to objective scrutiny. I am a former police officer who is now disabled. While I appreciate all opinions, I feel it’s paramount that debate be based on facts and logic and not simple emotion fueled by ideology.

When working as a police officer, you get used to the concept of putting emotions aside and going where facts lead you, and this is no different. As a sufferer of Crohn’s disease, I take notice when people feel the need to dictate to me and my fellow Americans how we should handle our health.

The following are statements published in articles by representatives of “Keep Arizona Drug Free.” They have often claimed that those in favor of medical marijuana accomplished passing Prop. 203 by spreading falsehoods and using deception.

They stated in February 2013: “Marijuana advocates depend on misleading the public to win elections. Opponents can defeat these initiatives only if they can expose the deception.” I agree, so let’s look at some statements and see what’s true and what’s not.

The following are allegations made by Keep Arizona Drug Free.

Allegation: “90 percent of the pot goes to people who claim pain, not serious illness.”
Reality: This claim came from a local CBS5 story that stated 90 percent was the statistic. This is false. The accurate number is 71.57 percent, which has been confirmed by the Department of Human Health Services. Other factors that should be noted are that there are a wide array of conditions not covered in the bill specifically by name, but would fall within “chronic” pain and are legitimate in nature such as sever back injuries, neuropathy, fibromyalgia, and arthritis just to name a few.

Allegation: “States with medical marijuana laws have much higher rates of teenage marijuana use, even when it’s strictly regulated. Voters never heard that message.”
Reality: This is false. In 2012, two years after Prop. 203 passed, the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission published a report that shows marijuana use among teens in Arizona has decreased. The report shows a slight increase among 10th and 12th graders; however, a large amount of use among eighth graders dropped the overall average in the state.

According to data from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System report, compiled by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, use among teens in Colorado has decreased as well, from 24.85 percent to 22 percent, putting it below the national average.

Finally, I would like to end on an issue that lacks serious credibility. Opposition groups, such as Keep AZ Drug Free, often quote the FDA, DEA, or Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Keep AZ Drug Free states on its website:
“Marijuana is a Class I illegal substance under the Controlled Substance Act, because it has been found to have no acceptable medical use.”

This is true, in 2001, HHS put out the following statement: “Marijuana has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.”

Here is where I take issue. One year later, in 2002, HHS filed U.S. Patent 6630507. This patent is for cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant. The patent on file states the following:

“Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties. This newfound property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia.”

This is hypocrisy in its highest form. There is no way the position of the federal government can be quoted as a supporting argument against medical marijuana with any credibility while they hold a patent claiming the contrary.

Debate on marijuana is warranted and should be welcomed. This is an important issue; however, the facts should be presented honestly and ethically despite which side of the fence you are on. Are advocates for medical marijuana really being deceptive in their position as claimed? Or are the opponents to medical marijuana guilty of deception like those they accuse? You decide.

— Nick Dial is a former Arizona police officer and deputy. He is a Kaplan University Counter Terrorism and Homeland Security major, recently graduating with highest honors. He has appeared as an expert commentator on Fox News Radio, and has been published in academic journals as well as Police One.

22 comments

  1. This is a well written article. “Keep Arizona Drug Free” is a misnomer. They promote the manufacture, sale, and use of Sativex, which is nothing more than overpriced hash oil. Why not allow the patients to choose their medicine, instead of forcing them to be dependent on the whims of the pharma companies?

  2. “Keep AZ Drug Free” is a fringe group of Prohibitionists who have no problem distorting the truth or just lying.
    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, DEA Administrative Judge Francis Young wrote in his ruling
    “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.php

    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/”

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2011/10/16/california-medical-association-wants-marijuana-legalized/

    http://www.wakingtimes.com/2013/01/11/top-10-cannabis-studies-the-government-wished-it-had-never-funded/

    “Narcotics police are an enormous, corrupt international bureaucracy … and now fund a coterie of researchers who provide them with ‘scientific support’ … fanatics who distort the legitimate research of others. … The anti-marijuana campaign is a cancerous tissue of lies, undermining law enforcement, aggravating the drug problem, depriving the sick of needed help, and suckering well-intentioned conservatives and countless frightened parents.”
    – William F. Buckley,
    Commentary in The National Review, April 29, 1983, p. 495

    Dr Tashkin wrote: “We hypothesized that there would be a positive association between marijuana use and lung cancer, and that the association would be more positive with heavier use,” he said. “What we found instead was no association at all, and even a suggestion of some protective effect.”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/25/AR2006052501729.html

  3. Thank you for such a calm, reasoned refutation of a few of the lies that are used to deny suffering people the medicine they need.

  4. Thank you for your service. The mindless propaganda is out of control, hopefully the voters are paying attention.

  5. The Mod is a “No Show” on a this Monday! DRUG TEST. ;)

  6. You make great points. Why is the article’s headline the opposite of the piece?
    Shouldn’t it read: Medical marijuana’s opponents program: A product of lies?
    By the words of the piece the opponents of medical marijuana are propagating falsehoods, not Medical marijuana programs.
    Pot is so beneficial, lies aren’t necessary except for the Federal Government and prohibitionists.

  7. You might also want to mention people like Robert Randall who brought a lawsuit (Randall v. U.S) against the Food and Drug Administration, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Health, Education & Welfare. Randall, afflicted with glaucoma, had successfully used the Common Law doctrine of necessity to argue against charges of marijuana cultivation because it was deemed a medical necessity (U.S. v. Randall). In 1976, federal Judge James Washington ruled that, while blindness was shown by competent medical testimony to be the otherwise inevitable result of the defendant’s disease, no adverse effects from the smoking of marijuana had been demonstrated. Medical evidence suggested that the medical prohibition was not well-founded and the government to this day continues to grow and send to Robert Randall and others who followed his lead 300 marijuana cigarettes a month that is grown by the federal government to treat his medical condition of glaucoma. The government continues to argue that there is no medical use for marijuana but the facts are that they already lost that case…

  8. Had the federal government been concerned about benefits of cannabis they might have allowed research to continue that was underway at the Medical College of Virginia in 1974. Instead, the federal government shut down that research and only a brief article was published on August 18, 1974 in the Washington Post: “The active chemical agent in marijuana curbs the growth of three kinds of cancer in mice and may also suppress the immunity reaction that causes rejection of organ transplants, a Medical College of Virginia team has discovered. The researchers found that THC slowed the growth of lung cancers, breast cancers, and a virus-induced leukemia in laboratory mice, and prolonged their lives by as much as 36 percent.” This research was literally buried when the study was not completed and the results were not published in any professional journal. It was not until 2000 that a researcher in Spain found similar indications of anticancer potential. Now there are many research studies that indicate promise. Google cannabis and cancer and read the cancer brochure printed by Americans for Safe Access for further information. The government’s own National Cancer Institute website (professional section) indicates medical uses of cannabis but is literally under constant attack by those portions of the federal government that want us to hear only “their” side of the story.

  9. I began my introduction to this arena 1969-1970 to date as disabled being.

    Currently in 25 Mile Roundup!

  10. Bravo!

  11. Great article.

  12. This article was cited in a Hawaiian facebook group. I do have old Mormon roots, relatives, and friends in Arizona. As a pain specialist, I agree with the author, Nick Dial, as he cites the tactics of those who for ulterior and self serving interests, misrepresent the issues at hand, using the same worn out deceptions. We have faced the same misrepresentations and outright lies in Hawaii. I review some of the issues in my article “http://www.midweek.com/medical-cannabis-safe-effective” well written by Rasa Fournier for the Midweek Magazine. Fortunately we have turned the tide and the truth has taken hold!
    As a graduate of BYU and the University of Utah, I had limited exposure to these medical issues until I made an effort to learn about them in detail 5 years ago. Medical cannabis is a serious medicine that relieves the suffering and pain of many people, either legally or illegally. Once determined that cannabis is a legal state right, then the issue becomes one of legitimate safe access. The position of the DEA and the Federal Government is known by all to be a complex POLITICAL issue, and not a medical one. We recently reviewed these issues in Vancouver at the International Cannabinoid Research Society annual meeting as well as the American Academy of Pain Medicine.
    Those who continue to cite the same false propaganda will only memorialize their ignorance in history as the truth comes out, much like the middle ages, when powerful entities wanted people to continue to believe that the Earth goes around the Sun.

    Cannabinoid therapies are legitimate. Millions of people will continue to suffer because of the ignorance and falsehoods used to suppress those therapies. I would hope the LDS community would support it, as LDS Church leaders have officially given its OK for its disabled and ill members in Hawaii. (personal communication)

    “And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man—
    Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving.”

  13. oops, forgot the not….”when powerful entities wanted people to continue to NOT believe that the Earth goes around the Sun.

  14. FOLLOW THE MONEY TRAIL

  15. Thanks for bringing the FACTS to the table. This was an important commentary, esp coming from law enforcement professional.
    Thanks so much for outlining this MMJ story in a more accurate light.

    But I think the article’s TITLE is misleading and suggests the program itself is based on lies.
    It’s the random opponents of the program who are bringing the falsehoods to the debate, and NOT the program itself. The program is a product of the limited science/research that the government has allowed. That’s why AZ Medical Community has passed resolutions urging ELIMINATING ALL BARRIERS TO MARIJUANA RESEARCH.
    The data you supplied is an example of material that is often suppressed since it contradicts the opinion of government/select lobbyists.

    I wish the TITLE could be changed to more accurately reflect the content of this editorial. Esp since many folks sadly will only read the Title and never dig into the meat of this commentary.
    Title really should say: Opposition to Arizona Medical Marijuana Program: A product of lies?

  16. Sounds like the real killer drug pushers, the Rx industry, have their lobbyists working over time. I am sick of the continuation of Reefer Madness.

    Any one who has done any honest research knows that cannabis & hemp prohibition are based on lies, deceit, fear based propaganda & the greed of William Randolph Hurst. Hurst was not after smoking cannabis. He was after industrial hemp. He had a problem…well, look it up for your self if you have not done so yet.

    Hurst, the great liar of his day, is to cannabis what Al Gore is to the earth’s climate. Both were/are consummate liars. Both stood to make a LOT of $$ if their agendas got/get passed.

    SamFox

  17. When will people understand that medical cannabis therapy is not a SIN nor is it a VICE….
    Listen to the dying words of a 31 year police veteran speaking about cannabis therapy at his end of life… https://vimeo.com/70138676

    Shame upon those that will promote the propaganda of NIDA …. The science is there from around the world…
    PROHIBITION = CRIMES AGAINST THE SICK AND DYING……

  18. The program is full of lies. Looks like a few patients in Phoenix are opting out of the departments program soon. Read for your self. This gets rid of the 25 mile rule too. http://forum.hydrobreed.com/showthread.php?3331-quot-25-Mile-Rule-quot-Lawsuit/page2

  19. Tuscon Patient, would you please show us how the bogus 25 mi. thing is gotten rid of? Doesn’t that person have to win the suit 1st? Maybe I missed something…The 25 mile jive sounds like it was put in by dispensary lobbyists. :-)

    So far the only lies regarding cannabis & the program are by prohibs.

    There are some goods posts on this thread. Thanks every one!!

    SamFox

  20. People are becoming more educated on WHY cannabis was prohibited. MJ prohibition is not based on facts. It is based on WR Hurst’s greed & fear based misinformation propaganda campaign.

    Hurst wasn’t even after the smoking variety of cannabis, he was after industrial hemp because he had a lotta $$ tied up in forest lands that produced paper for his news paper.

    Hurst’s efforts to prohibit industrial hemp has cost the world a LOT of trees. Hemp paper is far superior to wood for paper & 1,000s of pother products. Hemp is also a very excellent carbon scrubber.

    So where are the greens when we need ‘em? Hemp is an environmentalist’s wet dream. :-)

    Topics for research on the subject:

    History of cannabis prohibition

    Uses for industrial hemp

    Rx drugs more deadly than prohibited drugs

    Henry Ford’s hemp car

    Cannabis really is a good medicine

    Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

    US Founders and Indian Hemp

    or a compilation of most of the above in the book

    The Emperor Has No Clothes by Jack Herer

    The war on some drugs came later & is now more dangerous than the illegal substances. Not a good thing.

    The Re-legalization of at least cannabis would save a lot of lives from prison & death. Cartels & gangs kill a lot of innocent folks in their turf wars.Now we have cops killing innocents because of “OOOPS! wrong address again” drug raids.

    It is far past time to stop the insanity.

    Jury nullification is a very important tool against the prohibs. Look up the Fully Informed Jury Association for some great info for jurists.

    SamFox

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