Every Brain Matters does not support the legalization of marijuana. Six years of marijuana commercialization in Colorado and Washington gives us an informed perspective, and the policy of legalization failed at all levels.
We believe that states that have legalized adult use of marijuana need to repeal it or get stricter regulations. The tax money does not make the social costs worth it. States with legalization break federal law, even if the federal government does not enforce the law. Legalizing and commercializing marijuana should not be a states’ rights issue.
The Best Harm Reduction is Drug Prevention.
Keeping drugs illegal is the best harm reduction. It decreases use and accessibility, thus decreases the harms.
All harm reduction techniques should be science-driven by professionals, not advocates.
True medicine approved by the FDA undergoes rigorous trials and research. Due to potential complications noted during those trials, many new medications do not make it to the market. A drug that becomes available for prescription purposes comes with a dosage guideline.
Marijuana advocates put out many product claims of treatment and cures without adequate scientific proof. They also put out products without consistency in their chemicals or compounds. In other words, dosing irregularities, chemical composition variations, and contaminants all exist within final products. Several studies have shown that many final products contain heavy metals, bacteria, fungus, insecticides, etc. (1,2) For the person who purchases these products, it is becomes a guessing game to know if your product is contaminated.
It is popular to say that marijuana was made illegal because of racism. The truth is marijuana was first banned in a military hospital in Mexico City in 1882, where it was used to treat pain, in an effort to prevent violence and disorder. Mexico then banned all production, sales and recreational use in 1920, and export in 1927. This was a result of Egyptian officials asking the international community to join in a treaty to make it illegal around the globe in 1925. It wasn’t until 1985, some 60 years later, that a book by a U.S. author referred to marijuana laws as racist.
Any claims that marijuana is illegal in America because of racism are in conflict with history.
Will more pot shops in our neighborhoods and marijuana in our homes really reduce incarceration rates and improve the quality of life for minorities? We don’t think so. Marijuana is an equal opportunity destroyer. And we know every brain matters.
–Child access increases and it is impossible to keep away from children under age 21.
–Child & dog poisonings are occurring in the home, or at school when youth take the drug or edibles to school.
–Property crimes such as breaking and entering and personal injury/homicide crimes increase.
–Nuisance to neighbors is a problem (odor, people coming and going at all nights, drive by shootings).
–Squatter grows in rented units may make it harder to sell home after the growers leave.
–Landlords will be stuck with huge utility bills and drywall damage due to odor permeating drywall, requires expensive remediation.
–Hash oil manufacturing can cause explosions. At least two children died in hash oil explosions, one in Colorado and one in California.
–Every home grower is a potential drug dealer as they can turn into an illegal black market home-based seller.
— –Energy use is many times the normal household electricity consumption when growing indoors because of the extra lighting required.
Changing this aspect of the laws represents a chance to learn from other states. Colorado and Washington are now trying to put in THC potency caps on what is sold in cannabis shops.