Letter from Roger Morgan (Executive Director of CDCF)

Coalition For A Drug-Free California

P.O. Box 1450, Lincoln, Calif. 95648 (916) 434 5629 Fax 434 5676 rogermorgan339@gmail.com

 

3/25/2010

 

Mayor Chuck Reed

San Jose City Council

200 #. Santa Clara St.

San Jose, Ca 95113

                                                                                Fax 408 292 6731

Re:          Marijuana Dispensaries

 

Cc:          Council Members

Pete Constant      Ash Kalra  Sam Liccardo   Kansen Chu Nora Campos    Perluigi Oliverio

                Madison Nguyen  Rose Herrera Judy Chirco Nancy Pyle

 

Dear Mayor Reed: and Members of the Council:

 

I am writing to encourage you to establish a ban on marijuana dispensaries in the good city of San Jose, in line with what most communities in California have done. 

 

You are no doubt aware by now that dispensaries are actually illegal, even by State law, and are not necessary to serve the needs of people who need medication.  Marijuana can provide relief in some cases, but it is a Schedule I drug because it is harmful, addictive and has no accepted medical value according to the FDA.  The term “medical marijuana” was coined in 1979 by Keith Stroup, founder of NORML, as a red herring to give marijuana a good name as a first step towards legalization.  What we are witnessing now in California is evidence of their bold second step in trying to legalize pot for recreation use, which can never be done without impacting the health, safety and economic well being of all citizens.

 

The Governor recently suggested we look at what  experience in other countries has been with marijuana.  I am compiling a report for him and legislators and have attached a draft copy.  The experience with all has been disaster.  Pot dramatically elevates the level of mental illness and criminality, aside from the impacts on physical health, education, welfare and traffic safety.  In Sacramento County, over 50% of the mental health facilities have closed due to budget cuts, and emergency room visits by psychotic patients has increased 65%. 

 

The “medicine” is a direct cause of the illness, and in most cases is irreversible.  John Patrick Bedell from your neighboring community, the Pentagon shooter, is a case in point.  In San Diego surveys have shown only 2% of the those patronizing dispensaries are those for whom chronic relief was intended.  The other 98% are mostly healthy males, that are inflicting harm on themselves while self medicating to get high.  Because of the perception that marijuana is medicine and legal, there are more kids smoking pot in San Diego than tobacco.  433,000 Americans die annually from tobacco smoke, but marijuana is worse because it is also an intoxicant, causes mental illness and devastates memory, motivation, maturation, academic achievement and productivity.  Kids cap their potential before they even get to adulthood, and statistically, 12% to 21% will end up schizophrenic and paranoid. 

 

Any economic benefits of having a dispensary are vastly outweighed by the social costs.  With alcohol and tobacco, ever $1 in tax revenues results in $8.95 in back end costs.  (CASA Columbia U)  Marijuana combines the harms of both and will be worse.

 

Thanks in advance for doing the right thing.

                                                                                                Sincerely

 

 

                                                                                                Roger Morgan, Executive Director
 

 

MARIJUANA …..

Lets Just Talk INSANITY!

 

 

The evidence is consistent worldwide and compelling:  marijuana escalates the level of mental illness, crime and all related problems.   The problem is made worse by the age of onset, frequency of use, potency and genetics.  Pot caused mental illness when the THC content was less than 4%. The average THC content today is 10.4%, but ranging as high as 37%.  Not good! Here is what happened in other countries.

 

  • In the UK, under pressure from the pro-pot legalizers, the British Medical Association  ignored predictions by psychiatrists and downgraded pot in 2004 to a Class C drug.  By 2007 the Independent Newspaper, which had called for declassification, had the following headline:  CANNABIS:  AN APOLOGY.”  In 2006, 22,000 people were treated for cannabis addiction, over half under 18.  Skunk, a highly potent form of cannabis with 12 to 18% THC, was now considered as damaging as cocaine and heroin, leading to mental health problems and psychosis for thousands of teenagers.  People who smoked Skunk were seven times more likely to develop psychosis than those who use traditional cannabis, and the risk of developing psychosis much greater among frequent users and young people. The government has since reclassified cannabis to a class-B drug.  (The Independent)

 

  • In Australia, even 5 years ago, “…..national statistics were showing disturbing signs if new cases of psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia and further association with criminality.  Of 2,000 people facing criminal charges from 2001 to 2005, 75% used marijuana, and of the 75%, 60% had a mental illness.”  Recent studies of Aborigines have shown that in some remote communities, 70% smoke pot, with 90% of those claiming addiction.  “We’ve seen acute psychosis that is irreversible, as well as depression and dependence.  Suicide is linked not just to cannabis use, but to withdrawal.  And a worrying trend, kids are starting to smoke as early as 10 years old.  (www.theaustralian.com)

 

  • The French Government launched a media campaign in 2005 to inform young people about the detrimental effects of cannabis, including its links to mental illness.  The potency of pot is roughly 30% greater now than then.

 

  • In New Zealand, a 25 year study concluded there is a direct link between cannabis use and psychotic symptoms …… and that the early onset of cannabis use, before age 15, constituted a stronger risk factor for psychosis than later adolescence.  Cannabis use by age 15 to 18 predicted later schizophrenia symptoms.  (NSW Health)

 

  • Sweden assessed 50,087 18-20 year olds from 1970 to 1996 and concluded the risk for schizophrenia was increased, the extent depending on the dose.  Those who used cannabis more than 50 times before the initial assessment were 6.7 times more likely to develop schizophrenia.  The potency of marijuana today is 10 to 20 times what it was during those studies.  In 2003 a Salvation Army Bridge Program reported that 90% of heroin users commenced illicit drug use with cannabis.  Sweden has a zero tolerance policy for drugs, and the lowest percentage drug use in Europe.  (NSW Health)

 

  • In the Netherlands according to the DEA, after legalization cannabis use by the age group 18-20 went from 15 % in 1984 to 44 percent in 1996, and heroin addiction tripled, and perhaps even quadrupled.  The head of Holland’s best-known drug abuse rehab center says, “…The strong form of marijuana that most young people smoke produces a chronically passive individual – someone who is lazy, who doesn’t want to take initiatives, doesn’t want to be active – the kid who prefers to lie in bed with a joint in the morning rather than getting up and doing something.”

 

In California and throughout the U.S., budget cuts have already eliminated funding for about 50% of the non-profits and government facilities for mentally ill patients resulting in a 65% increase in emergency departments seeing psychiatric patients.  “ Many have just given up getting help (i.e. medications and treatment) and are out on the streets.” (Sac Bee) 

 

The Pentagon shooter, John Patrick Bedell illustrates the problem.  He came from a good family and was well educated, but after 20 years of smoking pot, starting at age 16, he was paranoid and schizophrenic.  Seeking professional help, he went to one of California’s infamous “pot-doc’s” who provided him with a “medical marijuana” ID card so he could access more of the substance that caused the disease to begin with.  At age 36, in March 2010, he drove from California to the Pentagon and shot three guards before they shot and killed him. 

 

Not all mentally ill people have snapped, like Bedell.  But many are homeless, depressed and suicidal. They commit crimes and burden public health and welfare.  Many more are just a lesser shade of gray.  They diminish worker performance and productivity, cause accidents, domestic violence, rape, murder, child abuse and create a threat to the health, safety and economic well being of society. 

 

In some areas, like San Diego, more kids are now smoking pot than tobacco because of the perception that it is medicinal and legal.  Many of these young people are capping their life’s potential before they even reach adulthood, and are headed for a life of chaos, crime and welfare. Statistically, 12 to 21% will develop mental illness, depending on thee age when they started and their level of use.

 

 

 

 

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ROGER MORGAN  Chairman and Executive Director of the Coalition for A Drug-Free California  has been an entrepreneur and businessman in California for 30 years.  Formerly, he was Vice President of Volvo of America and General Manager of Volvo Penta of America; and engaged in sales, marketing and dealer administration with Caterpillar Tractor Company and Caterpillar Overseas.  He is a graduate of Colorado College (1963) and The Thunderbird Graduate School of Global Management (1964).  He was Founding Chairman of the Coronado SAFE Foundation, a non-profit dealing with drug prevention; prior Board Member of the San Diego Prevention Coalition; member of the National Coalition for Student Drug Testing; Co-Founder of Californians for Drug-Free Schools and Special Advisor to the Golden Rule Society in Coronado.   His passion for drug prevention stems from two step-children who became drug addicted at age 12 and 14 roughly 29 years ago, and two nephews who died from drug related causes.

 

 

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