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The Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area just released a supplement to its 2016 report titled The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact, Volume 4, September 2016.
 
The supplement includes several metrics, including seizures of Colorado marijuana the US Postal Inspection Service has made since 2009, when the state first allowed a commercial medical marijuana industry to emerge. 
 
Then, no marijuana was mailed out of state. But by the time Colorado voters passed full legalization in 2013, almost 500 pounds that people tried to send to other states were seized. Three years after recreational legalization, that number tripled.
 
The report updates information about impaired driving, youth and adult marijuana use, emergency department and hospital marijuana-related admissions, and marijuana exposures reported to poison control centers.
 
Thanks to Tom Gorman for sending a copy of the Supplement. Read it here.
 
Cartels are Growing Marijuana Illegally in California – and There’s a War Brewing
 
Business Insider published a harrowing account of the expansion of illegal marijuana grows on public lands in California and the ways these grows are damaging the environment.
 
“The lethal poisons these growers use to protect their crops and campsites from pests are annihilating wildlife, polluting pristine public lands, and maybe even turning up in your next bong hit,” writes Julian Smith, the report’s author.
 
He follows agents from several federal and state agencies assigned to eliminate illegal grows and clean up the areas they have damaged. The agents’ lives are endangered not only from armed growers who may be present at the sites but from pesticides and rodenticides that are so toxic they are banned in the US, Canada, and the EU.
 
Containers of a neurotoxic insecticide called carbofuran, for example, are often strewn around such sites. It can cause such symptoms as nausea, blurred vision, convulsions, and death. Small animals who eat the poison can pass it on to larger animals. One study of barred owls in the Pacific Northwest found 80 percent tested positive for such pesticides.
 
Agents are concerned that the poisons used in grow sites could contaminate the water supply of cities and towns downstream.
 
The author says nationwide legalization would bring an end to illegal grows. However, states that have legalized find illegal grows increase so growers can undercut the cost of commercial marijuana.

Thanks to Florida contributor Pat Barton for sending this. Read full story here.
 
The Ashtabula County Mental Health Board conducted a survey of 1,309 students in grades seven, eight, and ten from all seven school districts in this Ohio county. The results indicate how huge the epidemic of drug addiction is among residents there. Ohio has one of the highest rates of opiate overdose deaths in the nation.
 
The program director of the county’s Juvenile Court says “addiction is ‘through the roof’ and it’s the children who are suffering.” He reports his court has emergency hearings every day of the week to deal with addiction in the home. In 2014, 64 children were taken from their homes. By 2016, the court saw 279 such cases.
 
Community schools, the mental health center, and others are offering educational programs for students to teach them the importance of making good decisions.
 
Thanks to Pennsylvania contributor Nancy Starr for sending this. Read full story here.
 
Legalizing Weed is Not the Answer
 
AFRO has published a commentary by William Jones, a student who led the campaign opposing marijuana legalization in Washington DC. Mr. Jones is working towards a Master’s of Public Policy at George Washington University.
 
He writes:
 
"Racial disparities in arrest rates for drugs are a well-documented (and lived) reality.  For decades, drug policy has contributed to skyrocketing incarceration rates among minority populations.

"That marijuana legalization is promoted as a victory for racial justice is ironic at best. Just look at marijuana’s counterparts, the alcohol and tobacco industries. It is an unjustified reality in Black communities that a child cannot take a walk without passing a liquor store on every corner. And they cannot even see inside other convenience stores because of the cigarette and alcohol advertisements plastered on the windows. Liquor stores in poorer, non-White neighborhoods far outnumber those in richer, White counterparts."

Pot is no different, he says. Denver black and brown neighborhoods are already experiencing this. In one minority community, there is one marijuana business for every 47 residents.
 
Read Mr. Jones’ full commentary here. Thanks to Julie Anne Schauer for sending this.
 
Corrections
In last week's issue, our summary titled "Long Lasting Effects of Chronic Heavy Cannabis Abuse" contained an error. The correct sentence should have read, "and all (100 percent) had organic brain dysfunction in a test of visual memory immediate recall."
 
Tracking the Money That’s Legalizing Marijuana
and Why It Matters
Don’t miss National Families in Action’s eye-opening report that tracks the money three billionaires spent to persuade Americans marijuana is harmless, a medicine, and should be legal. It explains how by bypassing the FDA, the billionaires and the marijuana industry they created threaten the process that has protected Americans from impure, unsafe, and ineffective drugs for more than a century. Download here.


The Marijuana Report is a weekly e-newsletter published by National Families in Action in partnership with SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana). Visit our website, The Marijuana Report.Org, to learn more about the marijuana story unfolding across the nation.
 
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About National Families in Action (NFIA)
NFIA consists of families, scientists, business leaders, physicians, addiction specialists, policymakers, and others committed to protecting children from addictive drugs. Our vision is:
  • Healthy, drug-free kids
  • Nurturing, addiction-free families
  • Scientifically accurate information and education
  • A nation free of Big Marijuana
  • Smart, safe, FDA-approved medicines developed from the cannabis plant (and other plants) 
  • Expanded access to medicines in FDA clinical trials for children with epilepsy 
About SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana)
SAM is a nonpartisan alliance of lawmakers, scientists and other concerned citizens who want to move beyond simplistic discussions of "incarceration versus legalization" when discussing marijuana use and instead focus on practical changes in marijuana policy that neither demonizes users nor legalizes the drug. SAM supports a treatment, health-first marijuana policy.  SAM has four main goals:
  • To inform public policy with the science of today's marijuana.
  • To reduce the unintended consequences of current marijuana policies, such as lifelong stigma due to arrest.
  • To prevent the establishment of "Big Marijuana" - and a 21st-Century tobacco industry that would market marijuana to children.
  • To promote research of marijuana's medical properties and produce, non-smoked, non-psychoactive pharmacy-attainable medications.
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