Marijuana Conversation: Are you confused?

Posted by Rob Brandt, With 0 Comments, Category: Marijuana, Robby's Voice, Tags:

Mass-ConfusionAs we have made our rounds and discussed the issue of marijuana legalization, I have heard many interesting things on the subject. Thought I would share a few with you in this edition of our blog.

  • IT IS THE NON-ADDICTIVE MARIJUANA – This actually came from a group of school teachers.  Let me quote an industry expert: “They are woefully misinformed.”  Unless the THC is being removed, all the elements of the drug are in place, and this includes the addictive properties.   And yes, they are teaching our kids.
  • IT CURES CANCER – At least this came from an 8th grader.  There have been many health claims, most ot substantiated, but no, it has not been proven to cure cancer, but that is the message the kids are getting.
  • IT CURES EPILEPSY – Hey, according to the commercial, it reversed a child’s 2,000 seizure per day problem.  We won’t discuss the medical approach to the 1.38 seizures/minute, but the latest study on epilepsy did show that 31% of those suing medical marijuana for seizures did improve while 41% got worse and the rest stayed the same.
  • IT IS NOT ADDICTIVE – OK, THC is a chemical that impacts the brain and how you feel and how you act.  For chronic users, there are symptoms of withdrawal when they quit.  Most users say they can quit at any time, but…We now from medical studies that the brain develops until we are about 25.  Do we really think that this chemical is good for the developing brain?  Oh, and a published medical study showed 30% of adult users were addicted.  So if 3 out of 10 become addicted, how many actual people will that be as usage increases?
  • IT IS NATURAL – In the early 1970’s, the THC levels were about 3%.  Today it ranges between 20% and 50%.  Did that happen because we have better soil or because of genetic engineering?  Today’s marijuana is far from its natural roots and because of that, we have less information on effects.
  • LEGALIZED MARIJUANA CREATES JOBS – I have never seen a statistic on this but I know many companies struggle to fill open rolls because people are not passing drug tests (job loss).  Would you want to work in a factory where a machine operator was high?
  •  IT ISN’T FOR THOSE UNDER 21 – And neither is alcohol and cigarettes. If that is the case, then why is the average age of the first time user in Ohio 14 years old?  Oh, and then that study by the CDC showing teen use more than doubled; just saying!
  • IT DOESN’T KILL ANYONE – Finally something we can count on, EXCEPT; We are seeing dramatic increases in auto fatalities related to THC as well as several reported overdose deaths in children who have obtained edibles.  Yes, kids are prone to bring edibles to school.  Who doesn’t love a good gummy bear or brownie!  I wonder if they give you the munchies, would you munch on more gummies and brownies?
  • ALCOHOL IS LEGAL – Most thought provoking point I have heard.  If that is the case, we have alcohol, why do we want to compound the products that can cause issues?  Do we want to increase drivers under the influence?  Do we want to increase addicts?  Remember, MAD and SADD started for a reason.
  • IT’S GOOD FOR CANCER and AIDS PATIENTS – If that is the case, then why are less than 2% of the licenses for medical marijuana going to those with AIDS and cancer?
  • MARIJUANA IS NOT A GATEWAY DRUG – Maybe, maybe not, but 99% of those using other drugs report starting with marijuana and alcohol.  Seems like a small stretch to say marijuana users are more likely to have an addiction.

 

I could give you a ton of them, but I think you get the point. There is a lot of misinformation on this subject and yet we are rushing to vote it in.  Maybe we should stop to ask these questions;

Why?

Do I really know the facts?  Can this wait until we have the facts? Maybe the facts are the problem for those who stand to profit from this decision.


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Marijuana: Medical or not, we need to think.

Posted by Rob Brandt, With 0 Comments, Category: Marijuana, Tags:

MARIJUANAus

 

The key thing that separates us from animals is the ability to think and process information in making decisions. We may want to exercise that ability before we vote this November.  While we have posted previously about this issue (receiving hate mail for it!), this series of blogs is strictly the foundation for why we oppose the legalization of marijuana.

Let’s start with a basic question:  Do we really know the answers?

There has been a lot of debate on the issue. One side says non-addictive and safe, the other side says addictive and a gateway drug. Confused? That’s understandable although most people I encounter have deep seeded beliefs already engrained.

3 things I know about marijuana

I certainly want to know the truth as it is our obligation to provide the truth as we understand it. Here is what I know:

  1. I know that the potency of marijuana has risen dramatically over the years especially in the past few years. In the early 1970’s, the THC levels in marijuana were about 3%. Today, they average 15% to 20% with some engineered strains reaching up to 50% THC.
  2. Common sense tells me that we cannot increase the potency of anything by that degree, and not fundamentally change the effects of it. More horsepower equals more speed and THC is the horsepower in marijuana.
  3. I know that the rapid increase in potency has dramatically limited the amount of valid medical research on the impacts. Without that type of information, I am personally not able to make an informed decision on an issue as important as this

 

Making any decision, let alone one of this magnitude, without the proper information is dangerous, and irresponsible. Making this decision with limited information will put an increased number of marijuana users on the road. My kids are on the road, I am on the road, and for us, we all ride motorcycles. The increased number of users under the influence alarms me, and it should alarm you. If it doesn’t alarm you intuitively, the facts should. We are seeing increased auto-fatalities tied to THC and other drugs at alarming rates and I want more information relative to that…don’t you?

I also will point to two sources that I am completely stunned to be quoting; Time Magazine and Hillary Clinton. Both have said that we don’t have enough information. Time did a wonderful piece on the issue, outlining both sides in what I perceived to be one of the most balanced articles on the topic I have ever read.

So, what’s the rush? Is it to ensure every cancer or glaucoma or epilepsy patient has access to medical marijuana? Probably not, but it makes for great arguments and heart-tugging television commercials. Yet the truth is, even in states where medical marijuana is legal, use by those with these diseases is very low.

Many moons ago, we had a staple industry headed by Joe Camel and the Marlborough Man: the tobacco industry. Now, with more information at hand, that industry doesn’t look so good does it?

My next two blogs will outline the things I hear as we speak at schools, and the medical science behind marijuana and addiction. Stay tuned!


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