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Senator Warren Said What?
 
Washington Post Wonkblog reporter, Christopher Ingraham, apparently has become a psychic. He writes a piece this week titled, “Why Elizabeth Warren thinks legalizing marijuana could help end America’s opioid addiction crisis,” and then gives all the reasons she thinks this – without having bothered to interview her.
 
A more accurate title might have been “Why Christopher Ingraham thinks legalizing marijuana could help end America’s opioid addiction crisis.” He’s put a large number of thoughts into Senator Warren’s head that actually came from his.
 
He starts out saying Senator Warren sent a letter (and he provides a link to it) to the director of the CDC, asking the agency “to explore the use of medical marijuana as an alternative to the powerful opioid painkillers that kill thousands of people each year.” But Senator Warren said no such thing.
 
Here’s what she wrote, in her own words, not Ingraham’s.
 
“Your agency has produced an enormous amount of scientific and epidemiological data that has helped to inform stakeholders on the breadth of this [opioid abuse] crisis – however, there is still much that we don’t know” (emphasis added).
 
She encourages CDC to collaborate with other federal agencies “to fill the gap in our knowledge [again, emphasis added] about:
  1. the long term impact that opioids have on children treated at a young age;
  2. the use, uptake, and effectiveness of medical marijuana as an alternative to opioids for pain treatment in states where it is illegal;
  3. the impact of the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana on opioid overdose deaths;
  4. the increased use of fentanyl, including its sources;
  5. how fentanyl may be contributing to opioid overdoses and deaths.”
Pointing out there is much we don't know and asking for a focus on filling our knowledge gap is just not the same, no matter how you parse it, as claiming marijuana legalization will end our devastating opioid abuse crisis.

Read Christopher Ingraham's Washington Post article here.
Read Senator Warren's letter to the CDC here.

(We are indebted to Julie Anne Schauer who actually read Senator Warren’s letter and called attention to the discrepancy on her Facebook page, Parents Opposed to Pot.)
 
Marijuana-Infused Cookie
Sends Oregon Boy to Hospital

Jackson Hart, age 8, found a marijuana-infused cookie containing 50 milligrams of THC while on an outing last weekend. The cookie was still in its package, so he opened it and ate it. When he got home he complained of feeling sick, pulling at his chest and making choking motions. He had trouble keeping his eyes open and told his mother "everything looked like a cartoon" and that he was "vibrating all over."

He said his stomach hurt and then he vomited. Thinking he had food poisoning, his mother called Poison Control which recommended that she take him to the hospital. ED Doctors gave him IV fluids and monitored him for five hours. 

Oregon legislators are considering a bill that would make marijuana-infused foods half as strong as what is allowed in Colorado and Washington to protect children like Jackson who might eat them. The Oregon Poison Control Center received 25 calls regarding children under age 6 who consumed marijuana, up from 11 the year before.

Read OregonLive.com story here.
 
New Hampshire House Defeats
Two Marijuana Legalization Bills 

Lawmakers defeated House Bill 1675 last Wednesday in a voice vote. The measure would have legalized possession of 2.2 pounds of the drug by anyone age 18 or older and the personal cultivation of 6 plants. It also would have permitted sales with a $30 per ounce excise tax.

The next day, lawmakers killed a second legalization bill, House Bill 1694 by a floor vote, 302-48. This bill would have allowed possession of one ounce of marijuana for people age 21 or older and allowed cultivation of industrial hemp. Retail sales would have been allowed as well, with a 15% sales tax and a $530 per ounce tax on marijuana flowers.

Pending in committee is a third legalization measure, House Bill 1610, which would permit those 21 or older to possess two ounces of marijuana and grow 6 plants. This bill does not allow retail sales.

Read the Union Leader story here. Read The Daily Chronic story here.
 
Facebook Billionaire Sean Parker Gives
$1 Million to Marijuana Legalization Effort 

Silicon Valley billionaire Sean Parker founded Napster and served as Facebook's first president. Now he is investing in marijuana legalization to such a large extent that the ballot initiative named the Adults Use of Marijuana Act is becoming known as the "Parker Initiative." 

Parker gave $500,000 earlier this year and recently donated another $500,000 to the initiative campaign. If it passes in November, possession of one ounce of marijuana and six plants will be legal in the state. California's population of 38.8 million people is more than double that of the four states that have legalized recreational marijuana combined (Oregon, Colorado, Alaska, and Washington). 

Read Sun Times story here.
The Marijuana Report is a weekly e-newsletter produced by National Families in Action in partnership with SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana). Subscribe to The Marijuana Report and visit our website, The Marijuana Report.Org, to learn more about the marijuana story unfolding across the nation.

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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