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Public Leaders Gather to Demonize Marijuana

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At the Universal City Hilton Hotel in Universal City, California, the San Diego-based non-profit CADFY (Californians for Drug Free Youth) hosted community leaders who shared their “professional” and “expert” perspectives on the dangers of marijuana in California. After reading the following quotes, you can decide for yourself the validity of their arguments about marijuana…

Key quotes from the event:

John Redman, Executive Director, Californians for Drug Free Youth:

CADFY’s mission is to bring awareness to people about the issues of substance abuse to the people of California; to change our neighborhoods so that drugs are no longer the common norm. It is with great honor that I stand here today with leaders from all sectors of the community who share CADFY’s dream of reducing substance abuse throughout California, particularly in regards to marijuana abuse. There are two indelible truths in prevention: One is that if you increase the availability of a drug you increase its use. The second is if you lower the risk and perception of harm of that drug, you increase its use. Legalizing marijuana does both. And, therefore, how can kids say no when the adults around them are saying yes?

Steve Cooley, Los Angeles County District Attorney:

This is not just a major public safety issue, this is a major public health issue. What you see here today is a very broad and strong coalition of individuals and institutions who strongly oppose the legalization of drugs in general and marijuana is included in that category. We’re going to send a message and make it resoundingly clear, that these sort of foolish and dangerous initiatives that endanger our society and diminish it are going to be rejected. The “legalizers” who are very well entrenched, sometimes very well funded who are behind this, George Soros and his ilk, must be sent a message: enough is enough. Keep your dangerous laws off of California’s law books. Stop endangering us.

Leroy Baca, Sheriff, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department:

We have enough carnage on our highways as it stands with drinking and driving with alcohol and now we want marijuana to join in with the process of destruction? That’s probably the biggest point I can make. We’re looking at the degeneration of our future society by exposing our children to a foolish law that will lead to further self-destruction and the ultimate limitation of the future of a great nation and the future of humanity.

Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy:

Marijuana is not a cure-all for any budget woes anywhere — and we know that the costs that are incurred daily with alcohol in this country are not even off-set to the slightest in the amount of taxes that are collected. So, whether it’s the criminal justice costs, lost productivity, healthcare costs around alcohol, those taxes don’t begin to pay for that. Legalizing marijuana would saddle the government with the dual burden of regulating a new legal market while continuing to pay for the negative side-effects that are associated with an underground market. Any action that would make marijuana more accessible would jeopardize the health and safety of all Americans.

Nate Holden, former California State Senator, former LA City Councilman (Ret.):

What about the (drug) cartels that have now migrated to the north to the U.S.? They are shipping their drugs, tons of marijuana into our state. You think they are going to leave and they are not going to come in and protect their investment? They are here to stay, and they are going to destroy our society if we let them. We are going to fight them and we are not going to let them destroy us.

Joe Stewart , Executive Director, California Narcotics Officers Association:

If the (Tax Cannabis 2010) initiative passes, transportation companies would be powerless to prevent employees who had tested positive from driving buses or taxis. Imagine your child being on a school bus driven by someone who has tested positive for being under the influence of marijuana. If this initiative passes, even inmates in prisons and county jails will be permitted to possess marijuana.

Bishop Ron Allen, President of the International Faith Based Coalition:

I had a good year in 2009; I only buried six youths related to drugs and drug overdoses. I can certainly tell you, if marijuana is legalized it will be a dark day in the State of California. If marijuana is legalized in the state of California, crime will increase, murder will increase. If marijuana is legalized in my community, and is legalized in my world, and our youth have an opportunity to be able to use — we will see more drop-outs, we will see an increase of crime, and we will see more individuals hanging out on the corner — and I am seriously afraid we will lose generations to come.

Kathy Robi, Operations Council Chair and Spokesperson for MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving):

It has been proven that even in small doses marijuana will impair a driver’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. By legalizing marijuana, it stands to reason that incidents of impaired driving from this drug would rise. Widespread testing by police for marijuana in motorists would be difficult and costly in California. In a recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it was concluded that drugs played a large role in impaired driving. That THC — marijuana — was the most largely detected drug. Make no mistake, all mind-altering drugs, whether its alcohol or marijuana, have a devastating impact on our roadways. If this legislation is passed, it will set traffic safety back years by the increased number of injuries and deaths caused by impaired drivers.

Alison Triessl, Co-Founder and CEO, Pasadena Recovery Center:

I am able to see, every day, the disastrous effects of addiction on our youth. I can tell you that in almost every single case that we have, their addictions began with marijuana.

Bishop Dr. Henry B. Alexander, Founder and Presiding Bishop, Shield of Faith Fellowship:

We’re concerned for our children as faith communities, whether Christian, Jewish, Muslim or some less prominent belief system. One of our greatest concerns is the transmission of wisdom from our generation to the next.

Lupe Delgado, Ed.D, Assistant Superintendent, Educational Services, Los Angeles County Office of Education:

Students who have smoked marijuana more than 100 times leave schools six times more often than those who have not. They enter college three times less frequently and graduate from college four times less often.

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12 Comments

  1. Man, I’m only 18 years of age. I live in Port Elizabeth, South Africa where of course herb is illegal. I’ve been smoking pot for two years now, and considering others, that might not be a long time, but I can honestly say herb has only had positive effects on my life (except for the time I got busted and almost ended up in juvenile jail or whatever). I smoke 2 to 4 times daily and I still jog for kilometres with ease. On a daily basis I think of the laws against this glorious plant with all its potential economical and medicinal values. I try my best to create awerness at my school about this fucked up law. Currently I am showing the doccumentary “The Union” to a bunch of Grade 11 classes. I want my peers to see the truth and judge for themselves. If any of you have others doccumentaries that I should watch please inform me on armandp13@gmail.com. I believe that together we can make this happen. A revolution is needed.

  2. I agree with you Cris but also in response to recovering addict

    “in North America this man would have recieved immediate medical attention but here in Vancouver both the police and ambulance just drive by. If you do not belive me come on down and see our little human circus slash “HARM REDUCTION EXPERIMENT””

    On my way home (in the America) every night I see passed out people in the streets. Addiction is crippling no matter what it is i.e heroin, porn, whatever but its up to the individual to choose their own path.

    Not only is it up to the individual but Your so called experiment has kept more people out of jail than not. Crippling addictions occur whether something is legal or not but the crime to the individual won’t.

  3. But even if inmates could have weed, BFD. I mean, it might just mellow them all out.

  4. Addiction at that level is a psychological problem which can only be solved by medical attention. Not throwing the person in jail and ruining his life. See AA(Alcoholics Anonymous). Gee I wonder what the numbers for alcohol abuse are in the US? Acording to (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/alcohol.htm) 50% of the US population has had 12 drinks in the last year. So, they’ve been known to grab a beer from the fridge once a month, when they relax by the barbecue. Nothing wrong with that right? Right. I agree. Problem is… “Number of alcohol-induced deaths, excluding accidents and homicides: 22,073” Gee! A legal drug that kills or is killing due to it being available so easily 22,073 people per year in the United States. Don’t get me started on tobacco. 42% of all deaths in the US are due to tobacco.
    Yet Cannabis has no physical addiction and only 5% (if I remember my psych 101 book) have a psychological addiction. But it’s such a weak addiction that almost all (don’t remember these numbers) can quit voluntary.
    Or are you supporting the theory of the gateway drug? See above posts.
    Yet Alcohol and Cigarettes are still here and everyone pretty much agrees you should keep them that way. Why? Because once the money isn’t going to the government and a company that has to play by government rules (more or less I know…) it’s going to go to gangs. Power struggles will mean (in theory) customers winning not people getting shot.
    A drug that once you eliminate the crime it is associated with, effectively turn it into a business would have less death and suffering society wide than alcohol ever will. Why not let reason prevail?

  5. The Harsh Reality of Drug Addiction richardmclaughlin007 – January 18, 2009 – after 11 months of sobriety from drug addiction, in 7 short days this man hits the depths of despair and insanity.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuNWCPDrJsM

    This video was shot in Vancouvers downtown eastside by the narrator it is quite extreme, It shows how common place and and readily available drugs are and how people can succomb to a extreme physical reaction from lack of sleep, nutrition and dehydration. This video was made for many different reasons, one being educational the other as mentioned earlier it’s common place here in Vancouver, in any other city or town in North America this man would have recieved immediate medical attention but here in Vancouver both the police and ambulance just drive by. If you do not belive me come on down and see our little human circus slash “HARM REDUCTION EXPERIMENT”
    This man was spotted two hours later sleeping on a concrete curb as his pillow.
    Both the narrator and producer of this video have had spent many years struggling with addiction and have spent hard time in Vancouvers “NOTORIOUS” downtown eastside.
    Today they have escaped and are clean and sober and now dedicate there lives to those who still suffer from “THE HARSH REALITY OF ADDICTION”

  6. “If this initiative passes, even inmates in prisons and county jails will be permitted to possess marijuana.” This is some really crazy stuff! Where do they get this off the wall crap?

  7. I usually try to remain unbiased and understand the argument people put forward in a debate. But this… the same misleading statements and blatant lies over and over again.
    Such as (in order of appearance):
    False — see Portugal
    “Marijuana will endanger us.” —False, it is as much a gateway drug as alcohol is or milk. See Portugal!
    False — http://www.druglibrary.org/Schaffer/Misc/driving/dot78_1e.htm Check out the conclusion if you don’t take my word. Also there are other studies (lazy) that show again very mild adverse effects of THC on the ability to drive. One, just like the link concluded that drivers under the effect of THC will overcompensate due to perceived effects and actually drive slower.
    Dunno — there have been no real studies showing the impact of Cannabis on the economic side of things. Or I don’t know of them. Please give us some studies sir so we may be convinced ourselves. You know replicable and statistically significant results.
    False — these gentlemen don’t seem to understand that I’d rather go to the store and buy some Cannabis rather than go find my dealer have to basically be scared shitless to drive with the Cannabis back to my house so I may enjoy it in my own house without anyone ever knowing. My dealer will not see my business anymore if I had easy access solutions for comparable prices. Hence drug cartels lose money and power.
    Misleading statement — To create a THC overdose one would have to smoke Kilograms of Cannabis. If they’d ever try it, I guarantee they wouldn’t even make it to 20g.
    False — see #2
    Misleading — The gateway drug argument. By that same logic one could argue that oxygen is a gateway drug and must be removed from out biosphere. Milk too! How dare you breast feed young children? You’ll never know what they might get into later on. Like my friend always says “I know cigarettes kill people. I concede this point. But have you met a person who ate pickles and didn’t die?” This argument has no causation link (why is Cannabis a gateway drug? And not water?) . Why is alcohol still legal? It must surely be a gateway drug as well.
    Sound message from Dr. Henry B. Alexander. So begin by teaching people about Cannabis and why it’s good, bad, or otherwise with studies and replicable statistically significant results. Do not hide behind the “wisdom” of an organization that has yet to give a logical reason for Cannabis prohibition.
    The last point seems to be valid. But these issues also come up with cocaine, amphetamines, etc. So now that Cannabis is illegal we have these problems, shouldn’t your organization try to find the reasons why this happens and attempt to help these children with obvious issues to succeed in life? They obviously defy the illegality of the substance. Hence not a valid solution.

  8. That fucking LA sheriff again, drug cartels will not still have a foot hold in the business because growers and merchants can than call the cops!

  9. These damn people are idiots. Bishop Rob Allen says; “I only buried six youths related to drugs and drug overdoses [in 2009].” what are you trying to say Mr. Allen? that cannabis causes death? there are a bunch of other things that could be picked out but its not worth it. a bunch of the information quoted seems to be said to misdirect people into thinking that cannabis is in a category of drugs such as hmmmm…. oxycotton. ITS NOT A KILLER DRUG AND NEVER WAS. LEGALIZE CANNABIS!

  10. such lies and distortion of these elected officials. they want cannabis illegal so cops,lawyers,prison guards,:DEA employees,judges dont loose their lucrative jobs because of legalization. crooks

  11. hilarious
    My favorite “imagine your child being on a school bus driven by someone who has tested positive for being under the influence of marijuana”

    I bet if you tested every bus driver , right now you would find alcohol in their system.

    society dosnt consider alcohol a drug ie: “drugs and alcohol”

    as far as the other gibberish , LIES propaganda

    I dont think a district attorney should be so biased

    when you keep lying to people about the dangers of cannabis , you become a liar .

    Im not saying cannabis has no ill effects , just not the reefer madness spewn about by folks like this.

    keep lying to your children, they will grow up and find out the truth .

    November couldnt come quick enough !

    Cal could set the herb free!