DENVER -- Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey sent a letter to No on Prop 64, California's recreational weed ballot measure, warning voters about what he called the negative impacts of legal weed.
"Was this a political move?" asked Denver7 Reporter Jennifer Kovaleski.
"A political move? One, I can't run for this office again and two, I have absolutely nothing to do with California," said Morrissey.
Morrissey said the anti-pot campaign asked him to write the letter and answer two questions: have crime rates gone down since pot became legal? And has it allowed officers to spend more time on other crimes?
In both cases, the DA said: "Absolutely not."
"What I was trying to do is accurately reflect the facts as we know them since we have legalized commercial marijuana," he said. Click here to read more....
Just days after President Obama told the press through his spokesman that he was not prepared to change federal marijuana laws, the Justice Department announced last week that it would defer its right to challenge state laws legalizing marijuana in Washington and Colorado. Its decision not to enforce federal anti-marijuana laws in those states mark a significant change for the administration, and Americans can now expect the creation of large, for-profit commercial marijuana enterprises that will threaten public health and safety.
As a former drug-policy adviser in the Obama administration, I’m often asked why anyone would oppose marijuana legalization. The answer is found in my new book, “Reefer Sanity: Seven Great Myths About Marijuana.” In short, my work has shown that marijuana legalization would pose too many risks to public health and safety. Based on almost two decades of research, community-based work, and policy practice across three presidential administrations in which I have worked, here are seven widely held myths about marijuana that Americans need to know. Click here to read more....
By Noelle Phillips, published in the Denver Post on September 29, 2016 and updated on September 30, 2016
Since the legalization of recreational marijuana, the Denver Police Department has struggled to stash the weed its narcotics officers confiscate.
Now, the department is asking Denver City Council to approve $125,116 in the 2017 budget so its property bureau can handle the thousands of pounds of marijuana that comes through its doors each year.
“We’re no longer getting small amounts like we used to,” said Lt. Cliff Carney, who manages the department’s evidence section. “Instead of 15 to 20 plants grown in someone’s basement, they’re finding 1,000 to 1,500 plants in a warehouse and all the equipment that goes with it.”
In 2013, the year before Colorado legalized recreational marijuana, the Denver Police Department seized a little more than 500 pounds. Next year, the department expects to seize 11,265 pounds, according to Police Chief Robert White’s budget presentation to council. Click here to read more....
Before sentencing the 27-year-old driver who was high on medical marijuana when he struck and killed a Portland bicyclist, Judge Michael Greenlick talked to him about the dangers of driving under the influence of pot -- medicinal or not.
"One of the things that greatly concerned me when marijuana was legalized ... was that we'd see more situations like this," Greenlick told Kenneth Britt Smith during the Thursday hearing in Multnomah County Circuit Court. "I assume you know that your marijuana smoking days are over, at least while you're on post-prison supervision for this."
Greenlick then sentenced Smith to 6¼ years in prison for striking cyclist Martin Greenough near Northeast 42nd Avenue and Lombard Street with his 2000 Ford Crown Victoria. The crash happened Dec. 12, 2015, less than six months after recreational marijuana became legal in Oregon and officials ramped up public saftey campaigns against driving while high.
Greenough, 38, died at the scene. Click here to read more....
This November, several states will vote on whether to legalize marijuana for recreational use, and the proponents of legalization have seized on a seemingly clever argument: marijuana is safer than alcohol. The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, an effort of the Marijuana Policy Project (or MPP), has taken this argument across the country. Their latest strategy is labeled Marijuana vs. Alcohol. It is a very misleading, even dangerous, message, based on bad social science and sophistic public deception.
Citing out-of-date studies that go back ten years and more, even using that well-known scientific journal, Wikipedia, the MPP never references current research on the harms of today’s high potency and edible marijuana, studies that come out monthly if not more frequently. Indeed, their Marijuana vs. Alcohol page concludes with a 1988 statement about the negligible harms of marijuana—but that is a marijuana that simply does not exist anymore, neither in mode nor potency. Today’s marijuana is at least five times more potent, and sold in much different form. And the science of marijuana and its effects on the brain have come some distance since 1988 as well.
So out-of-date is the science and knowledge of marijuana from thirty years ago, it would be malpractice in any other field to suggest that kind of information about a drug having any contemporary relevance at all. One almost wonders if the MPP thinks public health professors still instruct their students on how to use microfiche to perform their research as they prepare to write their papers on 5k memory typewriters. Click here to read more....
A massive study published this month in the Journal of Drug Issues found that the proportion of marijuana users who smoke daily has rapidly grown, and that many of those frequent users are poor and lack a high-school diploma.
Examining a decade of federal surveys of drug use conducted between 2002 and 2013, study authors Steven Davenport and Jonathan Caulkins paint one of the clearest pictures yet of the demographics of current marijuana use in the U.S. They found that the profile of marijuana users is much closer to cigarette smokers than alcohol drinkers, and that a handful of users consume much of the marijuana used in the U.S.
“In the early 1990s only one in nine past-month [marijuana] users reported using daily or near-daily,” Davenport and Caulkins write. “Now it is fully one in three. Daily or near-daily users now account for over two-thirds of self-reported days of use (68%).”
These usage patterns are similar to what’s seen among tobacco users. “What’s going on here is that over the last 20 years marijuana went from being used like alcohol to being used more like tobacco, in the sense of lots of people using it every day,” Caulkins said in an email. Click here to read more....
PHOENIX – A Colorado mayor and law officer said making marijuana legal would threaten Arizonans’ safety, urging voters to oppose Proposition 205.
Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said at a news conference Tuesday more children are using drugs in Colorado since recreational marijuana was legalized four years ago.
“The problem with the leap to legalization is the message it sends to young people in terms of their perception of risk,” he said. “That’s what’s caused the dramatic increase in youth use in Colorado.” Click here to read more....
Maine school administrators are desperate to help their students avoid drugs and alcohol, and prevent addiction, but they struggle with how to reach young people.
Often, principals, assistant principals and guidance counselors may know helpful approaches to take based on research, but haven’t implemented those changes, putting their practices at odds with what they know works.
They say they have little time and few resources to devote to addiction prevention efforts. Some question whether it’s even their responsibility. Many say they can’t do the work without support from the community and guardians.
These are a few broad takeaways from a Bangor Daily News survey sent to every school in Maine to learn how school administrators handle drug prevention programming, what they’ve seen work and not work, and what they need to help struggling children and teenagers.
Sixty-eight percent of high schools filled out the online survey, conducted over a two-week period in August and September. The BDN worked with the Maine Principals’ Association to reach schools. Lindsey Smith, a researcher with the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine, reviewed and validated the survey methodology and analytic strategies used to examine the survey data. Click here to read more....
The voice of reason thankfully comes from the Maine Chiefs of Police Association voicing its opposition to the legalization of marijuana and reinforces the need to soundly defeat the legalization of marijuana — Question 1 on the November ballot.
The BDN has reported frequently the lack of adequate treatment services for people with drug addictions in Maine, the increasing number of people dying from drug addiction in Maine and the fact marijuana is stronger today than ever before.
Marijuana is a gateway drug, as Gov. Paul LePage has stated. It is dangerous, especially for our youth. Legalizing marijuana is unfortunately viewed as easy money to try to solve budgetary shortfalls. Legalizing marijuana is not the solution, and it will lead us in the wrong direction with more human suffering.