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US attorneys slam marijuana legalization in new report

A federal group of prosecutors in the United States has criticized efforts at the US state level to legalize marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes, saying that legalization has led to greater access by children to pot and created further challenges for impaired driving enforcement.

Earlier this year, the National District Attorney’s Association was charged with advising the newly formed Trump administration on law and policy changes regarding marijuana, and last week, the NDAA delivered its report, entitled, Marijuana Policy: The State and Local Prosecutors’ Perspective.

The report paints a negative picture of legalization and decriminalization as they have so far been rolled out across the US, arguing that such efforts “stand as an obstacle to the comprehensive federal framework.”

Citing the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution, which dictates that federal law preempts state law when state law conflicts with federal legislation, the report maintains that numerous federal agencies have repeatedly concluded that marijuana “has a high potential for abuse, has no accepted medical uses and lacks safety for use under medical supervision.”

Concerning impaired driving, the NDAA report cites a 2015 national roadside survey that recorded a 48 per cent increase in the number of drivers found with THC in their system, one of the active ingredients in marijuana, stating further that legislative changes have occurred “more quickly than the pace of scientific research” on the impact of marijuana on driving ability.

And on children’s health and safety, the report argued that state efforts to legalize pot for recreational and medicinal purposes are already affecting children’s health, as they “send a message to youth that marijuana is not dangerous” and allow children and youth greater access to the drug. “It is vitally important to do all we can to prevent access to marijuana by youth in America,” the report states.

Eight states in the US have made both the recreational and medicinal uses of marijuana legal, 21 states have decriminalized the drug and more than half now have legislation supporting marijuana use for medicinal purposes. But many in the marijuana business as well as pot users themselves are worried that the Trump administration will attempt to clamp down on legalization efforts. Both President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have come out against legalization at the federal level.

But the NDAA report has drawn criticism for its dubious claims.

“If anything, use is going down by children,” said Boulder, Colorado District Attorney Stan Garnett, to the Colorado Springs Gazette. “There’s a lot of urban myths out there about what’s going on in Colorado from people who don’t really know, and some of that is promulgated by the DEA and the prohibition groups who are funded pretty heavily to continue marijuana prohibition, They tend, on occasion, to distort the reality of what’s going on in Colorado,” he said.

In Canada, with legalization slated for sometime in 2018, the contrast between Canadian and US approaches to marijuana regulation could become a point of tension. Speaking at a forum on Monday, former justice minister Anne McLellan, who last year served as the head of a national task force on marijuana legalization, issued a warning about the potential “real mess” for Canadians crossing the border into the US once legalization takes place in Canada. “You see a much, much tougher line” towards cannabis coming from the Trump administration, said McLellan.

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About The Author /

Jayson is a writer, researcher and educator with a PhD in political philosophy from the University of Ottawa. His interests range from bioethics and innovations in the health sciences to governance, social justice and the history of ideas.

Comment

  1. It’s time for us, the majority of The People to take back control of our national marijuana policy. By voting OUT of office any and all politicians who very publicly and vocally admit to having an anti-marijuana, prohibitionist agenda! Time to vote’em all OUT of office. Period. Plain and simple.

    Politicians who continue to demonize Marijuana, Corrupt Law Enforcement Officials who prefer to ruin peoples lives over Marijuana possession rather than solve real crimes who fund their departments toys and salaries with monies acquired through Marijuana home raids, seizures and forfeitures, and so-called “Addiction Specialists” who make their income off of the judicial misfortunes of our citizens who choose marijuana, – Your actions go against The Will of The People and Your Days In Office Are Numbered! Find new careers before you don’t have one.

    The People have spoken! Get on-board with Marijuana Legalization Nationwide, or be left behind and find new careers. Your choice.

    Legalize Nationwide!

  2. The “War on Marijuana” has been a complete and utter failure. It is the largest component of the broader yet equally unsuccessful “War on Drugs” that has cost our country over a trillion dollars.

    Instead of The United States wasting Billions upon Billions more of our tax dollars fighting a never ending “War on Marijuana”, lets generate Billions of dollars, and improve the deficit instead. It’s a no brainer.

    The Prohibition of Marijuana has also ruined the lives of many of our loved ones. In numbers greater than any other nation, our loved ones are being sent to jail and are being given permanent criminal records which ruin their chances of employment for the rest of their lives, and for what reason?

    Marijuana is much safer to consume than alcohol. Yet do we lock people up for choosing to drink?

    The government should never attempt to legislate morality by creating victim-less marijuana “crimes” because it simply does not work and costs the taxpayers a fortune.

    Marijuana Legalization Nationwide is an inevitable reality that’s approaching much sooner than prohibitionists think and there is nothing they can do to stop it!

    Legalize Nationwide! Support Each and Every Marijuana Legalization Initiative!

  3. There is absolutely no doubt now that the majority of Americans want to completely legalize marijuana nationwide. Our numbers grow on a daily basis.

    The prohibitionist view on marijuana is the viewpoint of a minority and rapidly shrinking percentage of Americans. It is based upon decades of lies and propaganda.

    Each and every tired old lie they have propagated has been thoroughly proven false by both science and society.

    Their tired old rhetoric no longer holds any validity. The vast majority of Americans have seen through the sham of marijuana prohibition in this day and age. The number of prohibitionists left shrinks on a daily basis.

    With their credibility shattered, and their not so hidden agendas visible to a much wiser public, what’s left for a marijuana prohibitionist to do?

    Maybe, just come to terms with the fact that Marijuana Legalization Nationwide is an inevitable reality that’s approaching much sooner than prohibitionists think, and there is nothing they can do to stop it!

    Legalize Nationwide!…and Support All Marijuana Legalization Efforts!

  4. If prohibitionists really want to protect families from a drug proven to destroy lives and families, then they should be up in arms, protesting the legality of booze.

    Alcohol is the number one cause for traffic fatalities and domestic violence by a huge landslide.

    Alcohol is also infused into literally a ton of deserts and fruity drinks that “The Children” find appealing.

    Why doesn’t the much more harmful yet perfectly legal use of alcohol concern you prohibitionists more than relatively benign marijuana? It should.

    Regarding “The Children”,

    Let’s not use “The Children” as an excuse to prohibit and criminalize adult use of a natural plant far less dangerous than perfectly legal alcohol because nobody condones child use, and this is about allowing adults only to choose marijuana.

    It’s our responsibility as parents by to educate our children on drug use. It’s not the government’s job to force Draconian Marijuana Laws upon every adult citizen under the guise of protecting “The Children”.

    What message are we sending our children when it is easier for them to obtain marijuana now with it being illegal than it is for them to buy alcohol?

    It doesn’t take the intellect of a genius to understand that stores card kids for I.D. Thugs and gang members do not. They also push the real hard drugs on children. Stores do not.

    Marijuana legalization will make it harder for children to obtain it.

    What message does it send our children when several Presidents of The United States themselves, alongside a long list of successful people openly admit regular pot use at one time or another in their lives?

    While we tell our kids how it will ruin their futures, and then ensure so, by allowing our government to to jail our children and give them permanent criminal records when they get caught with a little Marijuana. Especially, if they are the wrong skin color or from the “wrong neighborhood”. Which in turn, ruins their chances of employment for life.

    The Prohibition of Marijuana is the wrong message to send our children while we glorify, advertise and promote the much more dangerous use of alcohol like it’s an all American pastime.

    The worst thing about marijuana and our children is what happens to them when they get caught up in the criminal justice system due to it’s prohibition.

    Protect “The Children” and Our Neighborhoods Through The Legalization and Regulation of Marijuana Nationwide!

  5. Legalizing Marijuana will not create a massive influx of marijuana impaired drivers our roads.

    It will not create an influx of professionals (doctors, pilots, bus drivers, etc..) under the influence on the job either.

    This is a prohibitionist propaganda scare tactic.

    Truth: Responsible drivers don’t drive while intoxicated on any substance period!

    Irresponsible drivers are already on our roads, and they will drive while intoxicated regardless of their drug of choice’s legality.

    Therefore, legalizing marijuana will have little impact on the amount of marijuana impaired drivers on our roads.

    The same thing applies to people being under the influence of marijuana on the job.

    Responsible people do not go to work impaired, period. Regardless of their drug of choice’s legality.

  6. Nobody can deny the Medical effectiveness of Medical Marijuana.

    When a loved one is wasting away unable to eat due to Chemotherapy, AIDS Wasting Syndrome, or Multiple Sclerosis, and needs this marvelous herb in order to increase their appetite, reduce the overwhelming pain, and live as as healthy and happily as they can with the time they have left, let’s have the compassion to allow them to have it.

    Stop treating Medical Marijuana Patients like second rate citizens and common criminals by forcing them to the dangerous black market for their medicine.

    Risking incarceration to obtain the medicine you need is no way to be forced to live.

    Support Medical Marijuana Now!

    Below is a small sampling of quotes and a list of just a few of the many Professional Medical Organizations Worldwide that attest to Medical Marijuana’s effectiveness and Support Legal Access to and Use of Medical Marijuana.

    Along with thirty U.S states that have already legalized medical marijuana.

    Are they ALL wrong?

    “[A] federal policy that prohibits physicians from alleviating suffering by prescribing marijuana for seriously ill patients is misguided, heavy-handed, and inhumane.” — Dr. Jerome Kassirer, “Federal Foolishness and Marijuana,” editorial, New England Journal of Medicine, January 30, 1997

    “[The AAFP accepts the use of medical marijuana] under medical supervision and control for specific medical indications.” — American Academy of Family Physicians, 1989, reaffirmed in 2001

    “[We] recommend … allow[ing] [marijuana] prescription where medically appropriate.” — National Association for Public Health Policy, November 15, 1998

    “Therefore be it resolved that the American Nurses Association will: — Support the right of patients to have safe access to therapeutic marijuana/cannabis under appropriate prescriber supervision.” — American Nurses Association, resolution, 2003

    “The National Nurses Society on Addictions urges the federal government to remove marijuana from the Schedule I category immediately, and make it available for physicians to prescribe. NNSA urges the American Nurses’ Association and other health care professional organizations to support patient access to this medicine.” — National Nurses Society on Addictions, May 1, 1995

    “[M]arijuana has an extremely wide acute margin of safety for use under medical supervision and cannot cause lethal reactions … [G]reater harm is caused by the legal consequences of its prohibition than possible risks of medicinal use.” — American Public Health Association, Resolution #9513, “Access to Therapeutic Marijuana/Cannabis,” 1995

    “When appropriately prescribed and monitored, marijuana/cannabis can provide immeasurable benefits for the health and well-being of our patients … We support state and federal legislation not only to remove criminal penalties associated with medical marijuana, but further to exclude marijuana/cannabis from classification as a Schedule I drug.” — American Academy of HIV Medicine, letter to New York Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, November 11, 2003

    International and National Organizations

    AIDS Action Council
    AIDS Treatment News
    American Academy of Family Physicians
    American Medical Student Association
    American Nurses Association
    American Preventive Medical Association
    American Public Health Association
    American Society of Addiction Medicine
    Arthritis Research Campaign (United Kingdom)
    Australian Medical Association (New South Wales) Limited
    Australian National Task Force on Cannabis
    Belgian Ministry of Health
    British House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology
    British House of Lords Select Committee On Science and Technology (Second Report)
    British Medical Association
    Canadian AIDS Society
    Canadian Special Senate Committee on Illegal Drugs
    Dr. Dean Edell (surgeon and nationally syndicated radio host)
    French Ministry of Health
    Health Canada
    Kaiser Permanente
    Lymphoma Foundation of America
    The Montel Williams MS Foundation
    Multiple Sclerosis Society (Canada)
    The Multiple Sclerosis Society (United Kingdom)
    National Academy of Sciences Institute Of Medicine (IOM)
    National Association for Public Health Policy
    National Nurses Society on Addictions
    Netherlands Ministry of Health
    New England Journal of Medicine
    New South Wales (Australia) Parliamentary Working Party on the Use of Cannabis for Medical Purposes
    Dr. Andrew Weil (nationally recognized professor of internal medicine and founder of the National Integrative Medicine Council)

    State and Local Organizations

    Alaska Nurses Association
    Being Alive: People With HIV/AIDS Action Committee (San Diego, CA)
    California Academy of Family Physicians
    California Nurses Association
    California Pharmacists Association
    Colorado Nurses Association
    Connecticut Nurses Association
    Florida Governor’s Red Ribbon Panel on AIDS
    Florida Medical Association
    Hawaii Nurses Association
    Illinois Nurses Association
    Life Extension Foundation
    Medical Society of the State of New York
    Mississippi Nurses Association
    New Jersey State Nurses Association
    New Mexico Medical Society
    New Mexico Nurses Association
    New York County Medical Society
    New York State Nurses Association
    North Carolina Nurses Association
    Rhode Island Medical Society
    Rhode Island State Nurses Association
    San Francisco Mayor’s Summit on AIDS and HIV
    San Francisco Medical Society
    Vermont Medical Marijuana Study Committee
    Virginia Nurses Association
    Whitman-Walker Clinic (Washington, DC)
    Wisconsin Nurses Association

    Additional AIDS Organizations

    The following organizations are signatories to a February 17, 1999 letter to the US Department of Health petitioning the federal government to “make marijuana legally available … to people living with AIDS.”

    AIDS Action Council
    AIDS Foundation of Chicago
    AIDS National Interfaith Network (Washington, DC)
    AIDS Project Arizona
    AIDS Project Los Angeles
    Being Alive: People with HIV/AIDS Action Committee (San Diego, CA)
    Boulder County AIDS Project (Boulder, CO)
    Colorado AIDS Project
    Center for AIDS Services (Oakland, CA)
    Health Force: Women and Men Against AIDS (New York, NY)
    Latino Commission on AIDS
    Mobilization Against AIDS (San Francisco, CA)
    Mothers Voices to End AIDS (New York, NY)
    National Latina/o Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual And Transgender Association
    National Native American AIDS Prevention Center
    Northwest AIDS Foundation
    People of Color Against AIDS Network (Seattle, WA)
    San Francisco AIDS Foundation
    Whitman-Walker Clinic (Washington, DC)

    Other Health Organizations

    The following organizations are signatories to a June 2001 letter to the US Department of Health petitioning the federal government to “allow people suffering from serious illnesses … to apply to the federal government for special permission to use marijuana to treat their symptoms.”

    Addiction Treatment Alternatives
    AIDS Treatment Initiatives (Atlanta, GA)
    American Public Health Association
    American Preventive Medical Association
    Bay Area Physicians for Human Rights (San Francisco, CA)
    California Legislative Council for Older Americans
    California Nurses Association
    California Pharmacists Association
    Embrace Life (Santa Cruz, CA)
    Gay and Lesbian Medical Association
    Hawaii Nurses Association
    Hepatitis C Action and Advisory Coalition
    Life Extension Foundation
    Maine AIDS Alliance
    Minnesota Nurses Association
    Mississippi Nurses Association
    National Association of People with AIDS
    National Association for Public Health Policy
    National Women’s Health Network
    Nebraska AIDS Project
    New Mexico Nurses Association
    New York City AIDS Housing Network
    New York State Nurses Association Ohio Patient Network Okaloosa AIDS Support and Information Services (Fort Walton, FL)
    Physicians for Social Responsibility – Oregon
    San Francisco AIDS Foundation
    Virginia Nurses Association
    Wisconsin Nurses Association

    Health Organizations Supporting Medical Marijuana Research

    International and National Organizations

    American Cancer Society
    American Medical Association
    British Medical Journal
    California Medical Association
    California Society on Addiction Medicine
    Congress of Nursing Practice
    Gay and Lesbian Medical Association
    Jamaican National Commission on Ganja
    National Institutes of Health (NIH) Workshop on the Medical Utility of Marijuana
    Texas Medical Association
    Vermont Medical Society
    Wisconsin State Medical Society

  7. “A federal group of prosecutors in the United States has criticized efforts at the US state level to legalize marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes, saying that legalization has led to greater access by children to pot and created further challenges for impaired driving enforcement”.
    I just have to believe that they came to these conclusions after having a few cocktails.
    Common sense should kick in someday and they should realize that they don’t check ID’s on the street like they do in a controlled dispensary.
    At what point do these “leaders” realize they can’t control morality .
    They do NOT have that right.
    Children are overdosing on pharmaceuticals at an alarming rate. Yet they waste time with their antiquated misinformation so they can capitalize before the inevitable.
    Hey boys the answer is when not if, so climb onboard and stop trying to take freedom from adults that would rather have a joint, not Ethel alcohol.

  8. They can protest all they want,,the jurors that they face in any cannabis trial voted to legalize cannabis,,not the legislators or elected/appointed office holders.
    Choose your cases very carefully or spend more funds on mistrials.
    All it takes is one juror refusing to convict!

  9. The argument that there is no way to detect impaired drivers is an argument frequently raised by prohibitionists. However, this argument fails, because I have developed called DRUID (an acronym for “DRiving Under the Influence of Drugs”), now in the App Store for the iPad and iPhone (Android version coming soon). DRUID measures reaction time, hand-eye coordination, balance, time estimation, and decision making and integrates all the measures into an overall impairment score. DRUID demonstrates that measuring marijuana impairment is available now. The app also permits individuals to assess their own level of impairment (or that of the designated driver) and determine whether they are impaired. See more at http://www.druidapp.com

    DRUID was recently featured on All Things Considered: http://www.npr.org/2017/01/25/511595978/can-sobriety-tests-weed-out-drivers-whove-smoked-too-much-weed

    and on television: http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2017/02/28/science-lags-behind-marijuana-impairment-testing/

    After getting my Ph.D. at Harvard, I have been a professor in the Psychology Department at UMass/Boston for 40 years, with a specialty in research methods, measurement and statistics.

    Michael Milburn, Professor
    Psychology Department
    UMass/Boston

  10. One argument against legalizing marijuana is the lack of a way to measure impairment. This argument is made while ignoring that there are impaired drivers and workers right now. People have not stopped smoking marijuana because there is no way to measure their impairment. I maintain that for the present time, observation is the best way to determine impairment. To explain why, I want to remind you about the history of blood alcohol testing in Minnesota.

    It was not until 1955 that Minnesota law set the first presumptive blood alcohol level at .15 percent. This was more than 20 years after the end of prohibition in 1933. The law was changed to .10 percent in 1967 and then to .08 in 2006. It took many decades of data gathering and research to develop our present blood alcohol standards and tests.

    With the enticement of a large reward, scientists all over the world are rushing to develop a reliable field test. Many are being tested right now. These tests will be rigorous in order to withstand the close scrutiny and challenges of our courts. Good science requires time and loads of data. Ending marijuana prohibition will enable the collection of all that data. Then we will have what we do not have now, a reliable way to measure marijuana impairment.

  11. Buckley
    “Narcotics police are an enormous, corrupt international bureaucracy … and now fund a coterie of researchers who provide them with ‘scientific support’ … fanatics who distort the legitimate research of others. … The anti-marijuana campaign is a cancerous tissue of lies, undermining law enforcement, aggravating the drug problem, depriving the sick of needed help, and suckering well-intentioned conservatives and countless frightened parents.” – William F. Buckley, Commentary in The National Review, April 29, 1983

  12. Whaaat? Federal law enforcement opposes weed legalization (so they can use a stinky substance as an excuse to shred 4th amendment protections)? I’m shocked, I tell you! Shocked!

    I suppose they also support alcohol prohibition and raiding cop bars and arresting cops, too? No?

  13. Not to mention the fact that the easy prosecutions and forfeited property of cannabis users and growers are not getting tallied on their plus column…has nothing to do with safety, health or any other reason

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