Dervla Lacy: Our drug problem

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The problem of youth marijuana use is pervasive within our state, nation and community. According to a 2009 national survey, more than 104 million Americans older than age 12 had tried marijuana at least once, and almost 17 million had used the drug in the month before the survey. Locally, youth increasingly are using marijuana as evidenced by recent survey data. In fact, Routt County’s youth marijuana use exceeds national and state averages. In 2010, 28 percent of Routt County sixth- through 12th-graders reported using marijuana, and 17 percent of sixth- through 12th-graders reported using marijuana in the preceding 30 days. This is opposed to national figures of 24.5 percent of eighth-, 10th- and 12th-graders using marijuana at some point in ther lives, and 14.8 percent of those same students using it in the preceding 30 days.

Figures are even higher when considering data reported from Steamboat Springs youths. Forty-seven percent of Steamboat Springs High School students and 56 percent of 11th-graders report lifetime use of marijuana, as opposed to a 46 percent of ninth- through 12th-graders across the state and 49 percent of 11th-graders. Additionally, 30 percent of Steamboat Springs High School students report using marijuana within the past 30 days, compared to an average of 26.5 percent of high school students within the state.

These figures are alarming and eye-opening. It is clear from our local state and national statistics that youth marijuana use is a crucial problem within our society.

Youth marijuana use can lead to long-term issues with brain and body development, even more so than the harmful effects of marijuana use for adults. In addition to public health concerns with this type of substance abuse, research shows that marijuana use, particularly chronic use among youths, can lead to increased risk of mental illness, including increased rates of depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and suicide attempts. For instance, weekly or more frequent use of marijuana can double a teen’s risk of depression and anxiety. Age of first use and chronic marijuana use among young people have also proven to be important risk factors for mental illnesses, including addiction.

For these reasons, youth-serving, law enforcement, school, and public and mental health professionals have growing concerns about youth marijuana use. Marijuana use, particularly among youths, is extremely harmful and is becoming an increasing problem within our community, state and nation. As the leading source of prevention efforts in our region, Grand Futures Prevention Coalition seeks to create and support positive, healthy lifestyle choices as alternatives to substance abuse. Our organization urges you to speak to youths about the harms related to marijuana use this fall. Parents are the most powerful influence on their children when it comes to drugs, and children who learn about the risks of marijuana and other illicit drugs from their parents are far less likely to use drugs.

Dervla Lacy

Managing director of Grand Futures Prevention Coalition

Comments

Scott Wedel 3 years, 3 months ago

Why did this letter fail to mention alcohol? There are similar statistics showing serious problems with teenage alcohol abuse and bad consequences of teenage alcohol use.

And actually, teenage alcohol use is a greater indicator than teenage mj use of future narcotic drug addiction.

And Grand Futures appears to fundamentally fail our children and parents by failing to recognize alcohol use is a greater problem for teens than mj.

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hereandthere 3 years, 3 months ago

No mention of the drug alcohol? Very irresponsible on the part of you and your organization Mr. Lacy. One would naturally question what your true agenda is.

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rhys jones 3 years, 3 months ago

Why does the Pilot print this crap? Stirring the "pot" again? Slow news day? No plane crashes to report? "depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, suicide attempts" are totally unfounded allegations, pure BS merely for the sake of a lame argument.

I'm 56, have been smoking pot for over 40 years, and should have started sooner. I keep my mental illness well-hidden; few would guess. And the fact that I am now 65% less likely to catch any kind of cancer negates anything stupid people can say.

Ignorance is an even bigger threat than alcohol. The Pilot stokes the fires of stupidity.

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kathy foos 3 years, 3 months ago

I read two days ago that cocaine and meth use are way down . Medical m.j. is way more popular now.

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1999 3 years, 3 months ago

kathy...are you comapring MMJ use to the use of meth and cocaine?

can you clarify your meaning?

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mtroach 3 years, 3 months ago

Rhys you cannot aruge with the stats. The real question I ask is does MJ use cause depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, etc, or do teens that develop these traits " self medicate" MJ thus developing the coorelation? Chicken or egg?

Kathy your stat shows MMJ is keeping kids away from the far more damgerous and addictive drugs, meth and coke. Now I wonder if responsible alcohol use was taught and allowed for younger citizens would we be able to prevent the binge drinking that teens that kills inexperenced first timer partiers?

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kevin fisher 3 years, 3 months ago

We at RMR support Grand Futures' efforts in reducing youth substance abuse and take any and all precautions to avoid our wares ending up in the hand of those who do not possess an MMJ license.

However, though not explicitly mentioned, the timing and tone of the message disseminated insinuates a recent increase in youth marijuana use. And from that, many will assume a correlation with the emergence of medical marijuana centers. This is patently false. Reference, once again, the most recent Healthy Kid Colorado Survey which can be found here:

http://www.exploresteamboat.com/documents/2011/jan/11/healthy-kids-colorado-survey/

When taken in aggregate, reported marijuana usage by school-aged youth is generally flat from 2008-2010, pre- and post-dispensary.

It is clear that Steamboat and Routt have a serious issue when it comes to youth substance abuse. The question is "what's the fix." What's been done in the past hasn't worked and clearly a new tact must be taken.

We in the MMJ industry have some ideas on how to curb these numbers and have reached out to our community's divergence groups. As of yet, our input is not welcome.

Ben Franklin can be quoted as saying that the definition of insanity is: "doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." This is the definition of our country's and, in a microcosm, our community's drug control efforts.

We are an educated populace in Steamboat. We should be better stewards for our youth. The wrong path, is the wrong path, is the wrong path. Let's take the first exit on the right one.

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rhys jones 3 years, 3 months ago

mtroach -- That is exactly my point. There are three types of lie: Lies, damn lies, and statistics. You can twist the numbers any way you want to support your viewpoint, and your chicken-or-egg correlation is valid. Some things are not as simple as they seem.

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1999 3 years, 3 months ago

router...I'd like to hear your ideas for curbing youth abuse.

print them here!!!

mt roach...I think your correlation is right on.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 3 months ago

Mtroach "The real question I ask is does MJ use cause depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, etc, or do teens that develop these traits " self medicate" MJ thus developing the coorelation? Chicken or egg?"

Good question. The recently linked studied used medical surveys to note the two happened more often together than pure random chance. And so the study asked the same questions of whether mj use was a cause or effect of the mental issues. The major reason the study was left wondering chicken or egg is that the mj effect was minor. The number of people with mental issues were not so much higher in countries with higher mj usage that mj could be shown to be the cause. The difference was not big enough to be clearly distinguished from cultural differences in the diagnosis of mental issues.

That's the real truth about MJ, even when heavily used then it is not that bad. Unlike alcohol and tobacco which heavy use result in doubling or tripling or worse of various diseases or cancers, mj use increases risks not far from the margin of error.

It is truly amazing that after all these years of mj use that people are still struggling to find a medical reason to justify why MJ should be illegal.

It is actually easier to link sugary drinks to obesity and all those resulting medical issues than mj usage to medical issues.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 3 months ago

The typical effective program to reduce teen mj use is to be honest about use and effects of alcohol, tobacco and mj. Which, among other things, is willing to discuss the difference between lower impact light use and heavy chronic usage.

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steamboatsconscience 3 years, 3 months ago

Thanks Kevin for pointing out that all we ever get from the anti marijuana folks are innuendos and false statistics. Links to the statistics they quote are never provided, even from out esteemed medical community. Fear is a powerful tool For the Victory crowd, I haven't heard of marijuana smokers doing this http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/09/08/medford-pharmacy-massacre-suspects-due-in-court-today/ The Long Island couple arrested in connection with the execution-style murders of four people at Haven pharmacy in Medford, pleaded guilty Thursday.

David Laffer, 33, pleaded guilty to all charges of committing first-degree murder and robbing the pharmacy of thousands of prescription pills on June 19 — Father’s Day. After their arrest, Spota released details about the deadly Father’s Day shooting.

He said a surveillance camera captured the cold-blooded killing spree as Laffer, wearing a disguise, methodically fired off round after round.

Officials said the last two victims were customers who walked into Haven Pharmacy at the wrong time and didn’t even see Laffer before they were shot from behind.

Assistant District Attorney John Collins had called the shootings “the most cold-blooded robbery-homicide in Suffolk County history.”

Keep pushing those legal prescription drugs Doc V.

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Phoebe Hackman 3 years, 3 months ago

I'm really getting tired of these types of articles. Yes; where are the statistics for alcohol, prescription drugs ... and tobacco, for that matter? And, btw, it turns out sugar consumption may be more of an indicator as to whether a child develops problems with drugs, alcohol, eating disorders, behavioral problems, mental disorders, gets gallstones, diabetes, has a bad reaction to immunizations, or ends up in prison. From macrobiotics.co.uk:

"Another serious problem with sugar that is now coming to the forefront is the various levels of mental problems. Our brains are very sensitive and react to quick chemical changes within the body. As sugar is consumed, our cells are robbed of their B vitamin, which destroys them, and insulin production is inhibited. Low insulin production means a high sugar (glucose) level in the bloodstream, which can lead to a confused mental state or unsound mind, and has also been linked with juvenile criminal behavior." And ... "Studies show that “sugar” is just as habit-forming as any narcotic; and its use, misuse, and abuse is our nation’s number one disaster." And ... "Sugar manufacturers are aggressive in defending their product and have a strong political lobby which allows them to continue selling a deadly food item that by all reason should not be allowed in the American diet."

Every one of the symptoms listed above can also be attributed to a high-sugar diet. Sugar is far more dangerous than marijuana. I think I'd like to see these anti-marijuana people use their considerable energies more productively by trying to ban sugar, shut down the candy stores, prohibit sugar signage, etc. etc. etc. Marijuana is the least of your worries. Educate children about marijuana, just like we do about alcohol. Legalize and regulate it so that it is not so easy for children to obtain. Then let it go and jump on some other bandwagon.

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rhys jones 3 years, 3 months ago

While we're all jumping back and forth, between these fascinating forums, the ads keep popping up, making me miss my link, half the time; the screen jumps all over. Open, Close, get out of my face. The Pilot accomplished their goal by printing this trash and getting us all squabbling about the same old news, it's a subliminal thing, and I want the "Ski Town Lifestyle" too.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 3 months ago

Buried in the latest report that SAMSHA press release emphasized the change in MJ use is people who've used MJ in past 30 days is now about the same as number of heavy drinkers.

So what is the bigger health issue? Based upon medical studies, the health consequences from heavy drinking are far more severe than having used MJ in past 30 days.

And what gets mentioned as SAMSHA's big concern? Increase in people that say they've used MJ in past 30 days.

Irony of the situation is that the study undercuts the argument that MJ is so terrible because where are the emergency rooms being swamped by MJ users and so on?

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Jeff_Kibler 3 years, 3 months ago

MJ is Bad and Evil. In Australia, it consumes too much energy: http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2011/09/smoking-weed-is-really-bad-for-the-environment/

Yet, MJ consumption can lead to a slimmer figure: http://healthland.time.com/2011/09/08/marijuana-slims-pot-smoking-linked-to-lower-body-weight/

Smoke 'em if you got 'em. Funny thing, as I tried to recall where I read the above and cite my sources, I back-traced both the aforementioned links from that crazy right-wing website:

http://www.americanparchment.com/

Go figure.

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freerider 3 years, 3 months ago

Dervia Lacy , please another self - empowered expert on pot , spewing forth wisdom and wit ,

Thank God the kids are high on pot instead of meth , nicotine , alcohol , pharma , crack , ecstasy ,

Remember kids God created Marijuana man creates all that other crap

Pilot please distribute this article to the schools with comments left in

thank you and live free

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kathy foos 3 years, 3 months ago

mroach,I would not be the one to answer your question about if letting kids drink would keep them from binge drinking and being killed like my son Sam say?Or what about Jules who is brain injured and disabled and living with that the rest of his life?I just don't know.I don't drink and hate alchohol,But would venture to say that if you would inforce the laws of buying the booze and giving it to kids ,it might help.But everyone knows you just blame the parent,NOT THE OIL COMPANY,heavens sake no way on that one.No one ever tried to find out who bought all of that booze in Jules accident and neither die they on Sams death,so you tell me? I simply read where (sorry I didnt dget the source('Ill find it again)that mj use was up and coke and meth are down.You can add the word kid to that, I didnt.Im not talking kids at all,but you want to take about kids? and booze and parents and death and permenent brain injury?Well I'm your person. FURTHERMORE IF COULD HEL.P ONE OF YOUR KIDS STAY OFF BOOZE WITH MY STORY, THAT WOULD BE WORTHWHILE.By the way he (Sam Hedemark was sitting on the side of the tank holdin his dog,not jumping or smoking a cigarette when the blast occurred.Others were on top jumping and they went down to get a beer (more beer saves lives?)so they lived and my SON who didnt drink another died.Oh yes there were guns and bullets and lots of other things to blame,(THEY DO NOT KNOW THE CAUSE TO THIS DAY)my kid takes the wrap.Not the Forest Service for letting kids drink up there FOREVER.Not the gas commission,not the owners for failure to sign and fence.Go blame me you ugly mother know it alls!

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1999 3 years, 3 months ago

Kathy I am so sorry for your loss. I just truly can not imagine.

your son did not know what would happen jumping on that thing. no one did. if the company that owned it knew what could happen it should have been fenced off

it was a tragic series of unfortunate events.

I am sad for your loss and hope that peace comes your way.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 3 months ago

Kathy, I hope that mtroach's comment was not directed at your tragic personal circumstances, but at the general issue of teaching moderation.

Teaching moderation is not about simply letting teens drink, but about sometimes being allowed to have a glass of wine with dinner with parents. It is about teaching teens that the "normal" way of drinking is one or two drinks and not drinking to intoxication.

And a frustrating thing is that kids are not being taught that, but that they are not supposed to drink until 21. So parents that attempt to teach their kids moderation are technically breaking the law as well as having to counteract what the schools say about alcohol.

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rhys jones 3 years, 3 months ago

Scott -- My parents rarely drank, so it was hard to drink together. They did little to discourage us, however; we drank elsewhere and the idea was to get drunk. I learned nothing the night I wrapped my '66 Mustang around a tree in a drag race, except to be more careful next time.

It has taken me decades to un-learn the "get drunk" philosophy, and I can't honestly say I'm entirely successful even now. mmj provides an alternate distraction, greatly reducing the temptation, and with far fewer negative consequences. If nothing else, I really appreciate it the next morning, head not throbbing.

A responsible introduction to alcohol via my parents might have reduced the intrigue, the forbidden aspect. It took several brushes with the law to make me reconsider my priorities Eventually I realized, the drunk me is not terribly attractive. My other meds are not nearly so debilitating.

So go ahead, parents, discourage the evil weed at all costs, but look the other way when your kids drink. Odds are they won't be around as long; it was only by the grace of God that I made it this far.

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rhys jones 3 years, 3 months ago

Hey, where's Duster and the good Doctor for all this? For people so concerned about our community, they sure stay quiet, until the Pilot yanks their specific chain. Curious.

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mtroach 3 years, 3 months ago

Kathy, you read what you wanted into my comments. I really didn't put that trajedy together with your comment, or you.

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kathy foos 3 years, 3 months ago

Sorry mtroach.I really didn't mean to make a personal attack and because I am such a smart ass I my have unintentionally hurt you.I am sorry.You did nothing and I took out my anger in totally the wrong place.I do not think kids need to drink,especially since I don't.I could never say its OK to do,its so uncontrollable and damaging.I don't look down on others that partake,I sometimes feel sorry for them,and wish they could see how great it feels to never drink.But not any of my efforts stopped this,but if they would have gone somewhere safe to drink ,sam surely wouldn't be blown uplIm just so sorry that these things still happen.There are kids going out and learing to drink that knew him and Jules before all of this and they still drink and more kids keep getting blown up since sam on oil tanks.This needs to stop.It seems no one cares.Its all the kids (mothers) fault.Why cant people keep their nasty oil production sites fenced off. That is the lamist thing that is so cheaply correctable,it really just makes me sick.Now they want to gas frack here.I say no .Dont trust them.They should be able to drill wells,but not the fracturing along with it.I found out the hardest way possible about oil.They think they are dealing with candy or something that isnt dangerous and if it blows up oh well.If someone would have stood up in 2007 when this happened to stop this nonfencing practice at oil tanks than the two teens in Mississippi might not have died in Oct,2008.I hate that they died,at least 44 and growing. When people buy booze for teens and ones not old enough to buy themselves,then there are deaths and injurys and no one is charged for the contribution,it says its OK.You say its OK to give kids booze,there is no penelty to stop it. The article I was refering to was by CBS News on Healthpop.comSept 9 2011.It says that M.J. use is upfrom 8.7percent 2007 to 8.9 percent 20010.It strongly advises that mj patients protect their children from exposure,Which is already in the laws I would think. Meth users are down from 731,000,2006 to 353,000in 2010Cocaine use down from 2.4 million in 2006 to 1.5 million 2010.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 3 months ago

The source for that report was a national survey by Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA). Buried in the numbers of the report is the interesting fact that number of MJ users (alarming according to the press release) has now caught up with the number of heavy drinkers.

So while alcohol causes 100,000 deaths a year, MJ is between 0 and a few hundred traffic fatalities. And now with the latest survey showing how many people use MJ then the difference in the number cannot be claimed to be due to more people using alcohol.

It is absolutely clear that alcohol is a far more damaging and dangerous drug than marijuana. It is also absolutely clear that just as alcohol prohibition completely failed to limit availability of alcohol, that classifying marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic has also completely failed to limit access or usage.

And yet Grand Futures is willing to step into the middle of the local debate over MMJ without once mentioning alcohol. As of this moment, lacking a clarifying explanation from Dervla Lacy, I think Grand Futures must be viewed as ideological hacks and most definitely have no role to play at the local schools. The school district should not provide Grand Futures any opportunity to indoctrinate our kids with proven lies. Nor should city or county provide any funding to these political hacks.

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hereandthere 3 years, 3 months ago

Great comment Scott. I was hoping with a headline of "Our drug problem." that we were going to get a serious discourse from this organization about the real drug problem that our community is facing. You almost would think these "concerned" citizens never read the daily police call log. That they can completely ignore the death and destruction that occurs in our community due to alcohol speaks volumes about their true social agenda. People, our neighbors, are actually dying from this drug alcohol , but nary a word of concern from Captain Rae, Sherriff Wiggins, the good doctors ("I got a pill for that"), Grand Futures, and the Lisa Watts crowd. Shameful. And the hit and run tactics that they employ (state a bunch of baloney, with no factual evidence to back their claim, and then disappear off the comment board) is pretty juvenile. After all the discussion that we have seen on these forums, there still has not been any evidence presented from this crowd (mob?) to justify why we need to even worry about pot. It basically boils down to the fact that they just don't like pot users, and think they have the right to eliminate our civil rights. The reasons vary I'm sure (racial, political, snowboarders, college students, etc.), but bottom line it is bigotry, plain and simple. So much for American ideals. So much for persoanal freedoms and responsibilities (they sure like to fly that flag when anyone brings up gun control). And lastly, I agree that any public funding of Grand Futures needs to be stopped. This is apparently a political organization with a narrow social agenda that has no justification to recieve public money.

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cheesehead 3 years, 3 months ago

wow, our drug problem no longer includes coke, booze, meth, or opiates, just marijuana. Where the hell was I when this happened?

I couldn't agree with you more Scott.

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1999 3 years, 3 months ago

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last year reported an 89 percent increase in emergency room visits nationwide related to nonmedical benzodiazepine use between 2004 and 2008

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1999 3 years, 3 months ago

nonmedical benzodiazepine

thats xanax people.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 3 months ago

Did anyone else see today's ad in the SB Pilot by Grand Futures solely focused on MJ? The ad that alarmingly stated that MJ today is 4 times stronger than 40-50 years ago? Yeah, and so people use less. It is also true that vodka has 8 more time more alcohol content than beer. Which is why standard serving of beer is a glass and vodka is a shot. The ad also alarmingly stated that brains are still developing until 25. And so apparently people should need to be 25 prior to drinking alcohol. Certainly, still more young adults still drink alcohol than use MJ so if Grand Future's motivation was to help the youth of the region then the ad should have focused upon alcohol.

But no, an organization that receives funding from both SB City and Routt County has decided to write an anti-mj letter to the editor and run an anti-mj ad coincidentally during the election season (typically described as after Labor Day for a November election). It certainly looks like Grand Futures has decided to influence the election using OUR TAX DOLLARS. It is probably within their legal right to run an anti-MJ campaign that just happens to occur when the region has MMJ dispensary on local ballots.

But SB City and Routt County should expect recipients of public funds to retain an appearance of impartiality in local elections. Not much anyone can do about it now, but now Grand Futures has turned their future funding into a political question. And if Grand Futures loses the election then I see no reason for them to receive any future government funds.

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1999 3 years, 3 months ago

I will never aid or promote Grand Futures again. NEVER!

their lack of common sense is appalling.

apparently...they are not the organization they advertise.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 3 months ago

Or put another way, their organization.is revealed from their advertising.

Oh, look at this, Grand Futures is openly leading the anti mmj movement so it is entirely expected for them to act this way.

http://grandfuturesprevention.wikispaces.com/Marijuana+Education

I note a whole lot of the claims are not even what is claimed by the cited studies. For instance, the studies on marijuana link with schizophrenia say it is unclear to what extent people with mental health issues choose to use mj or if marijuana is a cause. But Grand Futures is absolutely confident that it is the mj.

Likewise, they suggest that marijuana smoke is more carcinogenic than tobacco smoke, but somehow forget to mention that marijuana is nowhere linked to heart disease or lung cancers at a rate compared to tobacco. You'd expect with millions using marijuana for up to 50 years now that harmful health effects would be more apparent if marijuana was anywhere as harmful as claimed by Grand Futures.

BTW, here is their position regarding alcohol: As a community we have a duty to prove to our youth that alcohol may be enjoyed responsibly, moderately and without the legal and health issues that it can foster when abused.

So alcohol can be used responsibly even as it kills 100,000 people a year, but marijuana is uniformly evil even as it directly kills no one a year and is linked to far fewer fatal traffic accidents than alcohol.

By their own words and actions, they are openly a propagandist organization.

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Kristopher Hammond 3 years, 3 months ago

Thank you for the link, Scott. Clearly, MMJ is the witch GF is hunting. Substitute the word "liquor store" for "dispensary" and see what kind of Mad-Lib you get. YVB, I totally agree with your observation about every culture's need for an altered state. In Vino Veritas. Organizations with an agenda like GF put on a public facade of "helping people", but their real motives are simply prohibition. http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQJssBCIRaLDUcL67wZHOcZrWyjHUUmpwpOVC11mfjT4IWwhMHxlg Would we be better off without alcohol and other drugs? Seems to be working in Saudi Arabia. Happiest people on earth.

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hereandthere 3 years, 3 months ago

Wow. This particular forum has been enlightening. Thanks Scott for leading on this issue. To think that an organization with such an obvious political agenda is recieving public funding (where are the "tea partiers"?) is disturbing, to say the least. Of course this is not right, and needs to be stopped. And still no justification from Mr. Lacy, as head of this organization, of why the sole focus of there existance is to promote the prohibition of mj, while completely ignoring the damage that alcohol is causing to our community. I hope his position is voluntary, and not paid with public dollars.
Maybe we need to ask him directly; Mr. Lacy, as the head of this organization, please supply justification for your position, and why it should be allowed to exist thru public dollars. These same quetions should be asked of the city council and county commissioners.

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mtroach 3 years, 3 months ago

Once again I find myself asking why the hard questions are asked in the forum and not by reporters from the Pilot and Today?

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jk 3 years, 3 months ago

"And the hit and run tactics that they employ (state a bunch of baloney, with no factual evidence to back their claim, and then disappear off the comment board) is pretty juvenile."

Actually this may be the smartest thing they are doing. They get all of their comments in the print version of the paper, which I am guessing has a broader following than the online version. The pro mj group sits on here and debunks all of their bs only reaching the online following.

It seems as if this battle is to be won, the the pro mj group and dispensery owners had better get some of these facts and figures into the paper.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 3 months ago

Hereandthere, From the picture on the website, Dervia Lacy is a woman.

And Grand Futures has tried to do other helpful stuff like a place to text to get a ride, but on the marijuana they have decided to hang out with the extremists and interject themselves into the ballot issues.

It is disappointing how completely they've gone with the extremists. I cannot tell if Dr Victory took Grand Futures statement on MMJ or if they took her statement. The two seem identical.

And that is what our city and county tax dollars are funding.

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1999 3 years, 3 months ago

I agree with mtroach. why has the pilot not picked up on these questions regarding GF?

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 3 months ago

BTW, demographically the dispensaries should win the vote by 60+%. There are two ways to lose this election. One is by failing to get out the vote (stoners too lazy to vote) while the other side has an effective church based voting effort. Second is by doing something so stupid (ie something Aloha's would think of) that convinces the voters of a need to close these particular dispensaries.

The anti dispensary people are not winning and the pro dispensary people do not have to do anything at this time to change the situation.

The dispensaries are currently playing it smart. They have a substantial natural lead and they need to avoid making mistakes or being complacent. So they can wait until the other side makes a move.

Stuff like Dervia's letter plays into the hands of the pro MMJ side. What is so alarming to Grand Futures is teen pot use that is comparable to that of the teen's parents. And the parents see high school CSAP math scores among the highest in the state. The letter is so one-sided that it only further convince each side that it is right.

Now if Grand Futures had taken a moderate position accepting moderate MJ use in adults and still had issues with the local dispensaries then that would need a response..

But I'd expect that Kevin Fisher is currently happily letting the days count down to the election and is spending time getting ready for a strong get out the vote push.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 3 months ago

1999, why has the pilot not picked up on these questions regarding GF?

Because the Pilot has the investigative talent of a lemming.

So EVERYONE ASK OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS. Ask why they fund Grand Futures when Grand Futures takes an active role in the upcoming election. Ask it enough to get our elected officials to give an answer and maybe that will get printed in the paper.

ASK our candidates for City Council if they would fund Grand Futures anti-mmj efforts. These candidates will be on same ballot as the dispensary ban. If we can get the candidates to answer questions then maybe we can get a city council that doesn't put something on the ballot because a few people complained. If stop SB 700 needed to collect signatures to get on the ballot then every issue needs to collect signatures.

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1999 3 years, 3 months ago

I totally agree scott and I will ask.

thank you. I know Brent Boyer is reading this right now and going..."oh crap."

what he should be saying is "hey...front page story"

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 3 months ago

1999, I'd guess Brent is thinking easy articles being handed to reporters, woohoo!

I'd guess there are some SB City Council candidates reading this and going "on crap, going to have to take a public position on the issue".

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1999 3 years, 3 months ago

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44550135/ns/health-childrens_health/

The most likely explanation for these trends is a rise in the number of medications prescribed to adults, and thus available for small children to access in homes, Bond said. A 1998 survey found that half of adults had taken at least one prescription medication in the preceding week, and 7 percent had taken five or more. In 2006, the same surveyors found that 55 percent had taken at least one prescription medication in the preceding week and 11 percent had taken five or more.

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brian ferguson 3 years, 3 months ago

I'd love to see a story and the discussion that would follow about the influx of cocaine and meth that goes along with the ever increasing immigrant population in our mountain communities. Not to say those drugs havent been here for years, but personally I'd prefer the cartels members to stay in mexico, ect. and not live right next door to me. I've had the "pleasure" of working over nights here in town for the last month or so, and have seen so many shady people its scary.

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brian ferguson 3 years, 3 months ago

I recently attempted to move to california to ski some different mountains. I had been here a while and felt I needed a change. Ended up in South lake Tahoe, and boy oh boy....what a steaming pile that place is. I assumed it was a ski town but it ended up being a total nightmare. Within a couple days of being there I saw numerous fights, Tons of grafitti and pretty much couldnt drive down my street (ski run blvd) without some young wanna be gang banger throw gang signs at me. Actually had a kid (maybe 15 yrs old) walk in front of our car, making us stop, so he could show us how bad he was, tossing gang signs at us. We had to drive around him, he wouldnt leave the center of the road. Later that day I got online and typed in " south lake tahoe gangs" and read up on what was going on there and which gangs were calling SLT home. It was quite an eye opener. The next morning, not 100 yards from my apartment( which by the way was only about 200 yards from the ski lifts) some new graffiti was painted on a fence. XVI I think it was, which stood for some mexican gang, I dont remember the name but was one of the big 3 now in america. lately here in S.B i,ve been noticing quite a bit of grafitti and thought to myself, oh boy here we go. Today, while waiting for the library to open I rode my bike to the entrance of dream island to see if there was anything painted on the busstop or signs there....and what do ya know......"puro" was tagged on the speed limit sign. So i looked it up and It stands for the "lil mafia" gang. Now heres a real threat to our sleepy little ski town.Not medical mmj.

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steamboatsconscience 3 years, 3 months ago

Actually the real problem is the doctors who rail against the dispensaries, who are in bed with the pharmaceutical "cartels" who would love to take over the growing and distribution of MMJ to rake in more profit for them and their distribution model, i.e., the same doctors trying to end the dispensary model. I believe Dr. C.V. has expressed that is the model she would want to see in some of her previous comments, IMO. As for the Grand Futures article, all I can say is, who hypnotized these people into believing all that garbage? Barely a word on the website about alcohol, prescription drugs or tobacco? All of which are MUCH greater hazards than marijuana. Unbelievable, to say the least.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 3 months ago

Well, as has been shown many times, the driving force for gangs is law enforcement busting the local drug dealers. Gangs have the organization and depth of personnel to withstand law enforcement, but when the local drug dealers get busted and go away.

If you believe Sheriff Wiggins that drug prices are twice as high here as elsewhere then gangs know there is a lot of money to be made here.

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hereandthere 3 years, 3 months ago

Still no justification offered by GF regarding their lack of concern for the real drug problems our community faces. Apparently they feel no need to defend their anti pot campaign in this forum. Is it to much to hope that the Pilot will demonstrate some real journalistic integrity and produce a report on why this organization is able to use public money to promote their narrowly defined social agenda? Hopefully we can also ask for some accountability from our elected officials for enabling this special interest group to access public money.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 3 months ago

Well, I think by now it is obvious that GF, Dr Victory and Lisa Watts have decided not to engage the debate, but to preach to the converted. I'm sure if you are rabidly anti drug then you can get these people to tell you that you are right.

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steamboatsconscience 3 years, 3 months ago

Drug deaths now outnumber traffic fatalities in U.S., data show Fueling the surge are prescription pain and anxiety drugs that are potent, highly addictive and especially dangerous when combined with one another or with other drugs or alcohol. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-drugs-epidemic-20110918,0,5517691.story

Propelled by an increase in prescription narcotic overdoses, drug deaths now outnumber traffic fatalities in the United States, a Times analysis of government data has found.

Drugs exceeded motor vehicle accidents as a cause of death in 2009, killing at least 37,485 people nationwide, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Public health experts have used the comparison to draw attention to the nation's growing prescription drug problem, which they characterize as an epidemic. This is the first time that drugs have accounted for more fatalities than traffic accidents since the government started tracking drug-induced deaths in 1979.

Fueling the surge in deaths are prescription pain and anxiety drugs that are potent, highly addictive and especially dangerous when combined with one another or with other drugs or alcohol. Among the most commonly abused are OxyContin, Vicodin, Xanax and Soma. One relative newcomer to the scene is Fentanyl, a painkiller that comes in the form of patches and lollipops and is 100 times more powerful than morphine. Such drugs now cause more deaths than heroin and cocaine combined. "The problem is right here under our noses in our medicine cabinets," said Laz Salinas, a sheriff's commander in Santa Barbara, which has seen a dramatic rise in prescription drug deaths in recent years. How about focusing on THIS Grand Futures? THE REAL PROBLEM!! Keep prescribing those pills our esteemed MD's tout. But no, its that evil marijuana thats the problem............... just hope no one's child gets a hold of a Fentanyl lollipop..........

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muck 3 years, 2 months ago

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A study by the RAND Corp. on medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles is likely to fan the debate over their impact on crime.

The study found that crime rates rose in surrounding neighborhoods after hundreds of dispensaries were closed last year. That runs counter to law enforcement arguments that the dispensaries, or collectives, attract crime.

The study reviewed crime reports for the 10 days before and the 10 days after 430 dispensaries were closed.

A Los Angeles city councilman says the results are an "eye-opener," and urges more examination. But the city attorney's office calls the study "deeply flawed."

It says the study "relies exclusively upon faulty assumptions, conjecture, irrelevant data, untested measurement and incomplete results." - 9news.com

Best part of this article is the last 2 paragraphs. Thats exactly how i feel when our country's Marijuana laws.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 2 months ago

Well, I was Oak Creek Town Budget workshop and heard how they'll lose $8,000 in fees if the anti mmj business measure passes while the collapse of property values means $44,000 less revenues. For their budget, $8K is real money.

And then I got the privilege of hearing board member Wes Woodford tell me that businesses need to get things going at the same time he says nothing about the folly of a struggling town considering outlawing one of it's largest business sectors both in terms of commercial space and employees. And this is the same anti-business town that had me wait 34 days for a pre-application hearing only to be told the application could be heard by the planning board in 9 weeks.

Oh well, maybe one of these decades they'll realize there is a connection between abusing your tax base and weak tax revenues.

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mmjPatient22 3 years, 2 months ago

Well, hopefully, it won't be long before the now non-existent back-and-forth with the likes of "dr. victory" will be completely obsolete and out-dated. It never seems like the back-and-forth really ever goes anywhere anyway but soon it REALLY won't matter. Sure, we're still going to hold the vote here in November on whether or not this community accepts the current dispensary model(the one that's been permitted and licensed and regulated enough times for it to be ridiculous to vote on now anyway). But the National landscape of the issue may change completely in the not so distant future.

Here's the petition on the White House's website.

https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions#!/petition/legalize-and-regulate-marijuana-manner-similar-alcohol/y8l45gb1 .

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rhys jones 3 years, 2 months ago

I made sure my voter registration is up-to-date today -- coulda done it online, but digital is so overrated; had a few chuckles with our County folks instead. Register!!

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 2 months ago

MmjPatient, I doubt a petition will have any impact at the federal level.

I think the critical event will be when some state, possibly Colorado, wins in federal court that the state's rules and regulations remove that state's mmj from interstate commerce and is thus the feds lack jurisdiction to bust dispensaries or their grow operations.

Once there is a legal decision for one state then other states can copy it and the feds will be left with enforcing MJ as a class I narcotic in only some states.

Which is presumably why the feds have been unwilling to bust any Colorado dispensary despite the DOJ's insistence that they are breaking federal law. Maintaining doubt serves their purpose of maintaining fear. Taking action risks losing.

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Kristopher Hammond 3 years, 2 months ago

The Supremes have already ruled that mmj is still interstate commerce. Raich v. Ashcroft.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 2 months ago

Shawant, Yes, but the facts in Raich v. Ashcroft is a California MMJ grower and California never passed state laws anything comparable to Colorado's regulations on MMJ dispensaries.

Thus, there was really no claim that Raich's MMJ couldn't be sold illegally to drug dealers that then moved it across state lines. Just that since Raich was a small grower and it wouldn't make sense. And the majority decision said that any is enough.

But if you read Raich v. Ashcroft and see what Colorado passed for dispensaries then I think you might see that Colorado attempted to meet the conditions which Raich failed to meet. Colorado's dispensary laws that allow State to track plants from seed to sale at dispensary to registered customers. So certainly if a Colorado dispensary is busted that is conforming to State law then the feds should expect a lawsuit that they could lose.

Irony of the situation is that since personal and caregiving MMJ growing is guaranteed by a Constitutional amendment then the state legislature cannot alter it to conform to federal law. So feds can bust those people following Raich v. Ashcroft.

But the dispensaries are not constitutionally protected so the State could regulate them in a way that can prevent the Commerce Clause from being triggered.

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John Fielding 3 years, 2 months ago

. First let me say that I am not a user nor a advocate of the use of mood altering drugs, but I recognize that many people have a legitimate need for them.There was a time in my life when I too had rather get happy the quick and easy way. I also think that if they are controlled by a prescription, simply making the case to need to feel better is adequate reason, it can get you Valium or Xanax. But alcohol and marijuana are too easy to produce at home for a prohibition to be effective, it only encourages highly profitable dangerous gang activity.

I do not support the ballot proposal to ban dispensaries. A form of legal marijuana apparently is here to stay. If it is not sold in dispensaries, it is still legally grown by the consumers singly or cooperatively. As a city or county, we cannot make it illegal to possess, consume, or produce it. If we force it into that more private role we lose any opportunity to regulate it and require it to mitigate the negative effects it has on the community.

I also recognize the destructive effect of recreational drug use on young people. I propose that dispensaries be given a significant funding requirement for programs that provide a constructive alternative for the youth who could be attracted to drug use.

Much research has shown that the most effective deterrent is to create a culture of competitiveness or striving for excellence that are naturally incompatible with drug use, and thus a peer pressure to not use. (After all it is the peer pressure that is the main reason for youth to begin use). A couple of examples for the funding are the Winter Sports Club and the Youth Orchestra, outstanding programs that are in need of fee reductions or scholarships to permit greater accessibility for young people from families with lesser financial means.

Drugs and alcohol will always be here, always have been.We need to make the alternatives more attractive and accessible.

To be completely fair let me say here that I propose the same thing for acohol. A majority of our police force activity is in response to alcohol based incidents. An assessment specific to the alcoholic beverage industry would be appropriate to fund DUI prevention, juvenile possession prevention,and an increase in officer staffing to provide more extensive assistance to the intoxicated visitors, (especially in the form of foot patrols in the Old Town entertainment district).

A little bit of good undercover detective work would apprehend many of those who purchase alcohol for minors and identify the habitual intoxicated drivers. The investment in those activities would save lives and prevent other tragic consequences. If we keep the distribution of marijuana out in plain sight it could be subject to the same scrutiny. .

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