Ann Coulter and the Crusade Against Pot

The State of New Jersey recently introduced legislation that would legalize marijuana use in the Garden State. Our U.S. Senator Corey Booker went the New Jersey Legislature one better and vowed to personally introduce a bill into Congress that would legalize pot.  Even sadder, one of the leading N.J. state legislators who advocates for legalization is Republican Assemblyman Michael Carroll (25th District-Morris Plains).

 

Oh boy. Just what we need, in addition to our local heroin crisis, thanks to the presence of MS-13 gangs here.  Reporters have identified the gang locations in Brentwood, N.Y., on Long Island.  Come over to New Jersey.  You reporters can film them pedaling their wares on their bicycles.

 

After Booker made his announcement, our favorite Conservative heroine, Ann Coulter, took to the airwaves to denounce Booker and the legalization of this dangerous drug. The crack-“pots” immediately responded with their well-versed propaganda – that pot isn’t a “gateway” drug; that it isn’t addictive; that no one has ever been hurt smoking pot; that it’s no more damaging than alcohol or cigarettes.

 

The first thing pot does is affect the judgment center of the brain – at lightning speed. Where alcohol takes time to do its work (depending on how accustomed you are to consuming alcohol), pot’s affect is immediate.  The first puff and you’re convinced there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the stuff.  In fact, you feel really, really good, mellowed out.  The building could fall on top of you and you wouldn’t care.

 

Plenty of facts are out there, provided by numerous organizations against the legalization of pot: CALM (Citizens Against Legalizing Marijuana); POP (Parents Opposed to Pot);  SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana); The International Faith Based Coalition; The California-based Take Back America Campaign; Safe Launch; Coalition for a Drug Free California; Community Alliance for Drug-Free Youth; Foundation for a Drug-Free World; National Institute on Drug Abuse; National Families in Action; Drug-Free America Foundation; Educating Forces; Powerful Parenting; Drug-Endangered Children Training and Advocacy Center; TheyGotItWrongAgain.org; and CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America).

 

Marijuana and Other Drugs: A Link We Can’t Ignore

by SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana)   Smart Approaches to Marijuana’s 2017 publication references academic studies which suggest that marijuana primes the brain for other types of drug usage.  Here’s the summary on that subject from page 4, Marijuana and Other Drugs: A Link We Can’t Ignore :

 

MORE THAN FOUR in 10 people who ever use marijuana will go on to use other illicit drugs, per a large, nationally representative sample of U.S. adults.(1) The CDC also says that marijuana users are three times more likely to become addicted to heroin.(2)

 

And according to the seminal 2017 National Academy of Sciences report, “There is moderate evidence of a statistical association between cannabis use and the development of substance dependence and/or a substance abuse disorder for substances including alcohol, tobacco, and other illicit drugs.”(3)

 

RECENT STUDIES WITH animals also indicate that marijuana use is connected to use and abuse of other drugs. A 2007 Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology study found that rats given THC later self administered heroin as adults, and increased their heroin usage, while those rats that had not been treated with THC maintained a steady level of heroin intake.(4) Another 2014 study found that adolescent THC exposure in rats seemed to change the rodents’ brains, as they subsequently displayed “heroin-seeking” behavior. Youth marijuana use could thus lead to “increased vulnerability to drug relapse in adulthood.”(5)

 

National Institutes of Health Report

 

The National Institutes of Health says that research in this area is “consistent with animal experiments showing THC’s ability to ‘prime’ the brain for enhanced responses to other drugs. For example, rats previously administered THC show heightened behavioral response not only when further exposed to THC, but also when exposed to other drugs such as morphine—a phenomenon called cross-sensitization.”(6)

 

In an article on another website, POP, a link is shown between adolescent suicides and marijuana, seven of the ten incidents occurring in Colorado.

 

“Four of these victims — Warsame, Thamba, Juarez, Clark — had experienced pot-induced psychosis during the period leading to their deaths.  Juarez was an outstanding soccer player who got very high with a friend the night he stabbed himself 20 times.   The suicide report showed he had 38.2 ng of marijuana in his blood, eight times the limit for Colorado drivers. Toxicologists tested him for methamphetamine and other substances, but the results turned out to be negative. Although the death occurred in 2012, CBS News obtained the police report in 2015 and made it public at that time.  Juarez´s sister claims he would not have killed himself had he not gotten stoned that night.

 

“Suicidal thoughts can come on very quickly while under the influence in individuals who were not previously suicidal. The suddenness of suicidal ideation means that intervention may be impossible.”

 

Another article from the POP website addresses the mental health effects of marijuana:

 

“Marijuana is Connected to Psychosis and Schizophrenia”

 

11717A study from the University of Pittsburgh which denies the mental health hazards of marijuana is surprising, since there are many other scientific studies pointing to a causal or trigger relationship between marijuana use and psychosis potentially developing into schizophrenia. The Pittsburgh study is limited by its small size; reliance on self-reporting and lack of diversity.  In fact, the sample size of 408 was 55% African American and included virtually no Hispanics or Asians.  It began in 1987, when the THC in marijuana was lower.  Read Dr. Christine Miller’s article on Marijuana Myths.

 

Research in the UK[i] reveals than one in four serious mental disorders are a result of “skunk” (i.e. high THC pot) including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Another study of youth in Australia and New Zealand showed teens who used cannabis 7x more likely to attempt suicide, a serious concern which should alarm anyone.

 

Cannabis Cup competitions sponsored by High Times magazine have pot growers competing to see how high they can increase THC content in their product. These events over the last three decades have made “skunk” pot the norm here in the U.S. In the last 30 years the psychoactive ingredient THC in marijuana has increased six-fold according to Smart Approaches to Marijuana.[ii]

 

Old-fashioned marijuana, or hash, which contained the component  CBD, also called cannabidiol, did not have as many adverse effects. Or, at least the adverse effects didn’t come on so quickly as they can with today’s highly potent pot.  CBD has been largely bred out of the marijuana grown in California, while the THC content has climbed from about 4-6% in 1996 to today’s “skunk” which averages 16%. Concentrated hash oil can be as high as 96% THC, and is being packaged and sold in quantities that are potentially lethal.  California’s Emerald Triangle provides 60% of the U.S. marijuana market, according to some of the state legislators.

 

An oft heard claim is that marijuana is safer than alcohol. A Finnish study of 18,478 psychosis patients found the highest risk of schizophrenia (46%) was among those with cannabis-induced psychosis, as compared to amphetamines (30%) and alcohol (5%). [iii]

 

An Australian study [iv] revealed that 4 out of 5 people with schizophrenia were heavy cannabis users during adolescence.  Dr. Campbell, who conducted the studies, said that “….. many people used cannabis for years before succumbing to schizophrenia.  The psych wards are full of these people.”

 

The British Medical Journal article of 23 November 2002 — the best long-term study  of marijuana and schizophrenia — proves that the mental illness susceptibility is not only a problem with the high-THC marijuana and “dabs” used today. It involved more than 50,000 Swedish men ages 18-20 and followed them 26 years. It factored in variables such as socio-economic status, low IQ, other drug usage, cigarette smoking and existing personality traits. 

“Cannabis use is associated with an increased risk of developing schizophrenia consistent with causal relationship. This association is not explained by use of other psychoactive drugs or personality traits.” 

 

The study involved the low-THC cannabis of the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s.   With the old-fashioned marijuana of that time, it was determined that the risk for developing schizophrenia increased once a person used pot 50 times.  For those who never used pot at all, there was zero chance of developing schizophrenia.

 

 A Danish study of 7,075 individuals followed from 1994-2005 showed that not having a familial link to mental illness is not protection against cannabis-induced psychosis.   “The risk of schizophrenia and cannabis-induced psychosis and timing of onset were unrelated to familial disposition” is a conclusion from “Familial Disposition for Psychiatric Disorder,” by Mikkel Arendt et. al.  See the Archives of General Psychiatry as published by the American Medical Association in 2008.  In short, the health hazards and brain damage for marijuana users under age 25 are well documented. One California mom, Jody Belsher, made a documentary film, The Other Side of Cannabis, which explores the marijuana-psychosis connection.   It is surprising that academic journals would spend time refuting what the medical professionals from all over the world admit.  Another article, 10 Marijuana Myths, has an extensive, detailed section of footnotes.

 

[i] http://dailymail.co.uk/news/article – 2953915/Scientists-cannabis-TRIPLES-psychosis-ris-Groundbreaking-research-blames-skunk-1-4 new mental disorders.  14 February 2015.

[ii] https://learnaboutsam.org/the-issues/big-marijuana-claims-vs-the-science/#_edn16

[iii] http://www.psychiatrist.com/JCP/article/Pages/2013/v74n01/v74n0115.aspx

[iv] Dr. Andrew Campbell of the NW Mental Health Review Tribunal, Daily Mail (UK), The Australian. Nov 22, 2005

 

There’s plenty more information where all that came from. All you need to do is read.  But if you’re a confirmed pot-head, you’re not going to do that.  You know everything you need to know, you already figure:  it’s harmless; no problem!  Everybody should get high!

 

Make no mistake – drugs are Big Business. Gazillionaire George Soros is one of the leading-advocates for legalization and he’s poured his billions into the legalization effort.  As for the dealers, once they’ve hooked their victim, it’s easy money and Millennials have money to burn, literally.

 

Big Pot, with its hands in politicians’ pockets and with millions of willing customers, figure the road to legalization of marijuana is an easy road paved with gold. Plenty of entrepreneurs and politicians want in on the action.  Selling to addicts is the easiest money ever.

 

Except for those pesky, modern-day Carrie Nations who want to go around and dig up every pot farm, legalization would have already been accomplished. Hollywood and the Media do their job of propagandizing to the converted, the vulnerable, and the stupid.  Who are you going to believe?  Ann Coulter, any one of the above-named organizations or Hollywood stars like Miley Cyrus (well maybe she isn’t such a great example), country music star and long-time user Willie Nelson, Bill Maher, Susan Sarandon, Whoopi Goldberg, Alanis Morissette, Danny Glover, Jack Nicholson, and Jack Black.

 

Other week whackers are Elijah Wood, Lisa Ling, Ellen Page, Montel Williams, Jon Stewart, Al Sharpton, David Duchovny, Seth Rogen, Morgan Freeman, and Oliver Stone, just to drop a few celebrity names.

 

Others, like Robin Williams and Carrie Fisher are dead. Fisher outted fellow Star Wars star Harrison Ford as a heavy weed user back when they were filming the movies.  Ford, as far as we can tell, hasn’t made any public statements about legalizing pot.  Maybe he’s taken his own son’s noted drug abuse as a sign that maybe it’s not so great after all.

 

Some celebrities tried it but didn’t like it much. Still others, while not regular users like Johnny Depp, follow the pot-head creed:  “It’s much, much less dangerous than alcohol.”

 

Tell that to my former neighbor, the Tattooed Lady. Well, you can’t unless you have a direct line to Heaven.  She died of lung cancer shortly after she moved away.  She didn’t smoke weed, although maybe it would have helped her with all the pain she suffered when she broke 32 bones in her body after being hit by a 16 year-old driver high on pot.  Sent her flying up in the air and down again.  She had a metal plate in her skull.

 

But weed whackers tell us no one gets hurt.

 

Then there was the group of potheads Mom drove on a skiing trip years ago. That was in the days when weed was weak, the old-fashioned, “Your Dad’s” weed.  After several miles, my mother had to stop the bus and tell them to knock it off because the smoke was affecting her driving.

 

No one got hurt because Mom said, “Stop it! NOW!”

 

Here in the 21st Century, as smoking pot becomes more common, it becomes more apparent that the problem isn’t just a matter of individual choice.  A former co-worker, now in a new location, says that someone living in a house near the building where he works tokes up every afternoon, and by the end of the work day, the co-worker is as high as a kite and has to take care while driving home.

 

Back in the 20th Century, when I was working in Mid-Town Manhattan, I’d occasionally trot over to Bryant Park and what was then the New York Public Library.  Pickpockets are common in New York, but they must have a field day in the World of Weed.  That strip of 42nd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues was a haze of pot smoke – then.  I had to cover my face getting past the park before I could breathe normally again.  I can only imagine what it’s like now.

 

I’ve been fortunate in my cast of next-door neighbors since the Tattooed Lady left. However, they’ve all smoked – cigarettes, that is.  The smoke so permeates my apartment that I hardly even notice.  But family members do.  They tell me to complain to management.  But I’d already gotten the bad news when the TL was there, smoking like a chimney.  “We can’t control what residents or renters do in their own units.”

 

What if the next new neighbor, who just moved in last week, turns out to be a pot puffer? I don’t know what I’m going to do if he is, comes January, when the bill might be passed if the Democrat gubernatorial candidate wins and takes office.  My options aren’t good, since I’m unemployed, or maybe they are.  Move in with my 93 year-old mother, who’s increasingly in need of care anyway.  Or move in with my guy friend who has a big house that’s filled from basement to attic with three generations’ worth of stuff.  The front bedroom is his parlor (it used to be his childhood bedroom) and the enclosed patio is his music room.  There’s a hammock in the cellar, though.  I might be able to hook it up.

 

If cigarette smoke permeates, weed chokes like a cloud of dense sulfur – you can’t get far enough away from it. Because it’s heavy, it drifts farther without dissipating.  So what are we normal people who live communally, in these condos and townhouses that are cropping up everywhere – future slums – supposed to do?  Grin and bear it?

 

Weed whackers would “giggle” at such a notion. I don’t drink.  I don’t smoke (or gamble) and I certainly don’t want to breathe in anyone’s second-hand psycho-smoke.  I resent tremendously this intrusion on my own privacy.  If it’s a difference between my privacy and yours, pothead, I’m going to advocate and vote in my own best interest, not yours.

 

No better example of why we shouldn’t legalize this stuff and why no one, especially teenagers and young adults, should be doing this stuff than the late Carrie Fisher. At 19, she landed the role of Princess Leia in “Star Wars.”  It was the Seventies, she was a child of Hollywood, both parents famous stars in their day (singer Eddie Fisher and actress Debbie Reynolds, who died the day after her daughter was declared dead), and everybody did it – the kids in Butler Park and the kids on Rodeo Drive.

 

In her autobiography, “The Princess Diaries,” Fisher admitted she was already an experienced pot user when she hooked up with co-star Harrison Ford, who used such a strong brand of marijuana that it made her sick. She vowed never to use pot again.

 

But she used every other drug in the pharmaceutical universe. Her mother tried to get her into rehab.  The result was that Fisher didn’t speak to her mother for about ten years.  Fisher finally went into rehab.  Apparently, it didn’t work.  She admitted to her drug abuse and mental illness (bi-polar disorder).  Then went on with her life as usual.  It was her mother who did the “accepting” not Fisher.  On her Twitter post on her 60th birthday, two months before she died, she posted that she was going to “party” all night long with some close friends, using all her favorite recreational drugs.

 

Those same drugs were in her system when she died, according to the coroner’s report, released a few months after she died. They needed no autopsy report – all they needed to do was read her Twitter account to know what was inside her.

 

Thank you, Ann Coulter, for being the spokeswoman for normal people. Even most normal people don’t understand, like Glenn Beck, who favors legalization on Libertarian grounds  – having tried it and believing they weren’t affected and that no one else was, either – the short- and long-term effects of marijuana.

 

They suffer from Puff the Magic Dragon syndrome. As long as it “feels good” it can’t hurt.

 

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Published in: on August 3, 2017 at 3:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

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