Whilst Yasmin is not in favour of trying to catch the bolted horse of legalisation, as with most scientists (a little naïve on the shark pool that is addiction for profit industry, and the real time data of the failed and failing legalisation models) believes ‘regulation and taxation’ will end the ‘bad practices’ of high THC weed.
With 93 percent of delegates voting in favour of the resolution, the Conservatives adopted elements of the Alberta provincial government’s strategy for combating drug addiction.
The Alberta model de-emphasizes “safe supply” policies, which involve the government providing substances to addicted persons to replace often fatally-toxic drugs purchased off the street.
Conservative MP Stephen Ellis says the Liberal government’s support for “safe supply” has been ineffective, and that the Conservatives want drug and addiction policies to move in a new direction.
QUEBEC CITY — The Conservative Party may have a reputation for bickering and in-fighting but its members were able to find one area of overwhelming consensus at the party’s policy convention in Quebec City this weekend.
With 93 percent of delegates voting in favour of the resolution, the Conservatives almost unanimously decided to adopt elements of the Alberta provincial government’s strategy for combating drug addiction.
It was one of the largest margins at the convention and a big endorsement of a policy that has been polarizing in Alberta, but has attracted the support of Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre as he campaigns against disorder in Canadian cities.
Officially titled the “Alberta Model: A Recovery-Oriented System of Care,” the strategy emphasizes recovery through the use of long-term recovery facilities across the province to help addicts overcome their addiction.
The Alberta model de-emphasizes “safe supply” policies, which involve the government providing substances to addicted persons to replace often fatally-toxic drugs purchased off the street.
“The truth is that what we’re doing in Canada, and the way that we’ve been thinking as a society, about addiction for the last 20 years, has been a failure,” says Dan Williams, Alberta’s minister of mental health and addiction, in an interview with The Hub. “And we see that both in the data, the literature, but we can also see it with our own eyes.”
Williams attended the convention in support of the resolutions inspired by the Alberta model.
He says Canadians will have a choice between the Alberta model, or the “safe supply” model endorsed by the federal government, which he says has helped to perpetuate the rampant addiction and homelessness crisis in Vancouver.
“We know that addiction running its course has one of two ends,” says Williams. “It either ends in pain, misery, and with enough time, death, or the alternative is treatment, recovery and a second lease on life.”
The Alberta model is often presented in sharp contrast to the B.C. government’s approach, which has embraced “safe supply” policies to help combat the province’s long-standing and deteriorating rate of addiction. While “safe supply” has been praised by the B.C. government and federal Liberals as a viable strategy, the rate of addiction and drug-related deaths in the province has only increased since “safe supply” policies were enacted.
Not surprised with permission models letting it all off the chain!
So, how is this working out for family, community and public health?
Marijuana Use, Binge Drinking Surge to Record Levels
Written by Lisa O’Mary
Aug. 18, 2023 – Young adults reported the highest ever rates of marijuana use in 2022, and middle-age adults reported the highest ever rates of binge drinking, according to results from an annual study.
Among 19- to 30-year-olds, a record 44% said they had used marijuana in the past year, and more than 1 in 10 said they used the drug daily, which was also a record. One in five young adults said they’d vaped marijuana in the past year, and one in four said they’d vaped nicotine, both of which also marked record highs.
Meanwhile, adults ages 35 to 50 reported record rates of marijuana and hallucinogen use, as well as the highest ever rate of binge drinking, which is defined as having five or more drinks in a row.
In 2022, 29% of middle-age adults said they had five or more drinks in a row in the past two weeks. Past year marijuana use was reported by 28% of middle-age adults, and 4% said they’d used hallucinogens like LSD, MDMA, shrooms or psilocybin, mescaline, or peyote.
Results also showed that people’s use of cigarettes, sedatives, and prescription opioids for non-medical reasons all continued to decline.
The study, called Monitoring the Future, takes an annual reading of substance use and attitudes among people ages 19 to 60 years old through online and paper surveys. People enrolled in the study are re-contacted to update their responses in the following years.
There were 4,628 people who responded in 2022 who ranged in ages from 19 to 30 years old, and there were 5,450 adults who ranged in age from 35 to 50 years old.
“Behaviors and public perception of drug use can shift rapidly, based on drug availability and other factors, said researcher Megan Patrick, PhD, of the University of Michigan, in a statement. “It’s important to track this so that public health professionals and communities can be prepared to respond.” (Source WebMD August 2023)
On May 24, 2022, Salvador Ramos fatally shot nineteen students and two teachers and wounded seventeen others at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Earlier that day, the perpetrator shot his grandmother in the face, severely wounding her. It appears Salvador is likely another mass murderer who used pot. He said he hated his mother and grandmother who restricted his marijuana use. It has now been a year since that horrific day and some are beginning to make the connection between marijuana use and violence. Some studies from May of 2023 Heavy Marijuana Use Increases Schizophrenia in Men, Study FindsMassive Danish study finds strong link between marijuana addiction and mental illness For over 6 years AALM has been warning about the connection between marijuana use and mass murder. This warning was given to US Attorney General Merrick Garland in March. Our letter received no response. Please refer to exhibit 5 for a list of mass murderers who where also marijuana users. In the wake of recent mass shootings and mass murder events, AALM demands toxicology reports of shooters be released to the public.Marijuana use and psychotic violence go hand-in-hand.More Sources: In 2007 the prestigious medical journal Lancet recanted its previous benign view of marijuana, citing studies showing “an increase in the risk of psychosis of about 40 percent.” A seminal long-term study of 50,465 Swedish army conscripts found those who had tried marijuana by age 18 had 2.4 times the risk of being diagnosed with schizophrenia in the following 15 years than those who had never used the drug. Heavy users were 6.7 times more likely to be admitted to a hospital for schizophrenia. Another study, of 1,037 people in New Zealand, found those who used cannabis at ages 15 and 18 had higher rates of psychotic symptoms at age 26 than non-users. A 2011 study in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) of 2,000 teenagers found those who smoked marijuana were twice as likely to develop psychosis as those who didn’t. Another BMJ study estimated that “13 percent of cases of schizophrenia could be averted if all cannabis use were prevented.” In 2014, people who had cannabis use disorder made up about 1.5 percent of Americans. But they accounted for eleven percent of all the psychosis cases in emergency rooms—90,000 cases, 250 a day, triple the number in 2006. The National Academy of Medicine found in 2017 that “cannabis use is likely to increase the risk of developing schizophrenia and other psychoses; the higher the use, the greater the risk.” Also, that “regular cannabis use is likely to increase the risk for developing a social anxiety disorder.” A Study showed cases in which marijuana led to unnecessary violence, health risks, and, in many cases, both. In a Secret Service study (pg 13) over half of the attackers had a history of illicit drug use and/or substance abuse. This abuse, which included alcohol and marijuana, was evidenced by such factors as the attacker receiving treatment for the abuse, suffer legal consequences, or having significant problems in their personal lives stemming from the abuse. Marijuana and PsychosisAALM calls on public officials to release the toxicology reports on all mass murderers.
Below is a shortlist of some of the well-known murderers who were pot users. Most often toxicology reports are not made public. Perpetrators’ marijuana use is often discovered via interviews with acquaintances, military records, or some other secondary source. Darrel Brooks, The Waukesha Wisconsin driving rampager was a user of marijuana with domestic abuse and multiple episodes of violence in his past. He had more recently been caught with meth which is a natural progression from marijuana. On his twitter profile he describes himself as a stoner and avid user of pot. Ian David Long Killed 13 people on November 7, 2018, in Thousand Oaks, California, United States, at the Borderline Bar and Grill, a country-western bar frequented by college students. Toxicology later revealed he had marijuana in his system Nikolas Cruz On February 14, 2018, opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, killing 17 people and injuring 17 others. He blamed his marijuana use for his actions. Manchester terrorist Salmon Abedi blew himself up and killed 22 in the United Kingdom on 22 May 2017. Abedi was a pot-smoking university dropout. A toxicology report on Devin Patrick Kelley, who shot and killed 26 at a church in Texas, revealed marijuana. November 5, 2017 Diagnosed with cannabis-induced psychosis, Satoshi Uematsu killed 19 handicapped people in Japan and injured many others. July 26, 2016 Nice terrorist Mohammed Bouhlel smoked very strong weed in high school, and had his first psychotic break at 19. July 14, 2016 Omar Mir Seddique Mateen was an American mass murderer and domestic terrorist who murdered 49 people and wounded 53 others in a mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, on June 12, 2016, before he was killed in a shootout with the local police. He was an avid pot user. Robert Dear, Planned Parenthood shooter, November 27, 2015. He was described as a “marijuana newcomer” by neighbors brought to Colorado by the promise of legal weed. Noah Harpham, was in mania when he shot three people in Colorado Springs. He had marijuana metabolites in his urine at the time of his deathin 2015. Eddie Routh, veteran with PTSD, smoked pot the morning before he killed Chris Kyle Chad Littlefield. February 2, 2013 James Holmes, Aurora shooter used to smoked weed behind his apartment constantly. 2012 Jared Loughner killed six and injured many in Tucson, AZ, 2011. He was a habitual pot user. Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh killed 168 in 1996. He experimented with marijuana and meth.“Senseless violence and mass murders are in the news and in the minds of Americans once again. Mental health problems are also considered a potential contributing factor. With the dramatic increase in the potency and use of marijuana, senseless violent acts are and will become more and more common.” – Carla Lowe, President of AALM“The link between marijuana use and psychosis, depression, and schizophrenia has been known for decades. Yet, the general public is not being informed.” -Scott Chipman, Vice President of AALM
Marijuana legalization as we’ve done it so far has been a policy failure, a potential social disaster, a clear and evident mistake.
Of all the ways to win a culture war, the smoothest is to just make the other side seem hopelessly uncool. So it’s been with the march of marijuana legalization: There have been moral arguments about the excesses of the drug war and medical arguments about the potential benefits of pot, but the vibe of the whole debate has pitted the chill against the uptight, the cool against the square, the relaxed future against the Principal Skinners of the past. As support for legalization has climbed, commanding a two-thirds majority in recent polling, any contrary argument has come to feel a bit futile, and even modest cavils are couched in an apologetic and defensive style. Of course I don’t question the right to get high, but perhaps the pervasive smell of weed in our cities is a bit unfortunate …? I’m not a narc or anything, but maybe New York City doesn’t need quite so many unlicensed pot dealers …? All of this means that it will take a long time for conventional wisdom to acknowledge the truth that seems readily apparent to squares like me:
Marijuana legalization as we’ve done it so far has been a policy failure, a potential social disaster, a clear and evident mistake...
Four Corners barely uncovers what most in the prevention sector already know…
“We’ve sold to football players, professional athletes, lawyers, celebrities on TV, people in the media, surgeons, doctors, nurses…It’s so ubiquitous, even those meant to be upholding the law are using cocaine. I’ve personally seen judges take it with a glass of single malt.”
‘As Australia’s appetite for cocaine grows, dealers and traffickers like Jason are getting on with the business of meeting that demand.’
This is the reason why we are having a War FOR Drugs! Many of those best suited to create and model a safer, healthier and more ethically sound society are the ones pretending they are above such practices and can ‘play’ in the shadows – but want to be able to come out of those shadows and use with impunity. Change the laws and you get your wish – to hell with the consequences for children, families and communities.
Demand Reduction is the imperative, but all ‘permission models’ do is increase demand!
The text from her son Randy that Heather Bacchus received at at 1:26 AM on July 17, 2021, seemed like good news.
“I’m quitting weed for good and want to surround myself with healthy and happy people,” he wrote. “This has been too much for me and for you guys.”
Less than an hour later, at 2:09 AM, a second text arrived.
“I love you and am sorry for everything. I love dad and the same to him. I wish I would have been a better person.”
It was his suicide note. That night, Randy killed himself.
His death followed a months-long struggle with psychotic episodes and paranoid delusions — something his parents, Heather and Randy Sr., say was triggered by years of heavy cannabis use.
Now research suggests they were right: a study published by the National Institutes of Health warns that cannabis use is implicated in 30% of cases of schizophrenia among men aged 18 to 30.
The study links schizophrenia to cannabis use disorder: the inability to stop using cannabis despite the negative impacts it is having on the user’s life. And separately, the Centers for Disease Control say a third of pot-smokers are plagued by the disorder.
At the same time an NIH-supported study last year found young adult cannabis use is at a historic high, with 43% of 19- to 30-year-olds using within the previous year.
Former Drug Dealer Tells How San Francisco Failed the Homeless – Ricci Wynne
When we confuse a care-less pity with genuine compassion, you get the chaos that San Francisco is now unleashing on it’s citizens.
Pity cares little for outcomes and is so often one-dimensional in its focus. Compassion – true compassion (geared to more than the now demanding ‘felt need’ of a broken individual) always seeks to restore to wholeness. Anything less is either pointless or pandering; Or worse a belief that this deeply damaged, but precious individual is little more than a self-harming ‘entity’ who has invoked a ‘human right’ to self-destruct and been given pass by the ‘careless’ to do just that.
In a recent opinion piece by Sam Quinones for the Washington Post – Only one thing will solve the fentanyl crisis – a number of valid concerns about this egregious mess were expressed, and possibilities for a way forward tabled, mostly geo-political. Again valid and worthy of pursuit
One excerpt as follows…
The trafficking world’s shift to synthetics is all about supply creating demand. Many towns and counties are at the mercy of this supply. Money dislodged from drug companies in lawsuits over their role in creating the nation’s opioid epidemic now risks being squandered on stopgap measures required by the urgency of combating these supplies — rather than being invested in the longer-term initiatives that might fortify communities to help people with addictions successfully recover.
In Mexico, the cost of that corruption is the annual slaughter of the country’s citizens and the corrosion of its civic institutions. In the United States, the price of those guns is measured in cheap and potent meth and fentanyl, available everywhere, deranging and killing Americans.
Mexican drug traffickers are technically not terrorists; they are criminal capitalists, albeit with an increasingly global vision. But the drugs and assault weapons that enable them are wreaking a more complete devastation in Mexico and the United States than any ideological terrorist could.
Many U.S. communities have found that local collaboration — involving a wide range of groups in anti-drug task forces, teaming up social workers and police, rethinking jail as a place of recovery — sparks synergies that lead to a more unified defense.
I believe this can be true of Mexico and the United States. How about starting with a sustained attempt to gain control of and regulate the supply of chemicals entering Mexican ports? How about a far more aggressive approach to stopping weapons heading south into Mexico?
These days, there’s a saying on U.S. streets: “Fentanyl changes everything.” It refers to illicit fentanyl’s transformative effect on drug production, smuggling, addiction, overdose and treatment. But my hope is that it will also change relations between the United States and Mexico — for the sake of people on both sides of the border. (For complete article go to Washington Post )
One would think all drug use prevention and recovery focused vehicles would be a significant factor in policy applications in any of the strategies for change being tabled. However, the policy ‘microphone’ seems to have been unceremoniously ‘secured’ by a emerging sector bully. This now amplified voice is increasingly indifferent, and at times adversarial to what is still best practice drug policy of demand reduction, primary prevention and recovery.
Options, advice and even evidence-based practice that does not align with this new mantra, is a best ignored – at worst impugned.
Reducing harm by maximizing prevention is still – on all health and fiscal metrics – overwhelming better than mere ‘damage management’.
If we are going to invest in saving lives, then we cannot ignore or worse impede practices and policies that would enable those enslaved by the tyrant of addiction to exit said drug use, not merely maintain a life diminishing ongoing engagement with these toxins.
However, reducing harm always starts with prevention – always. This includes logistical interdictions like ever diminishing, not increasing, trafficking routes. Genuine harm reduction also always seeks to separate the drug user from the agent of perpetual harm – the drug, in this instance, Fentanyl – not enable, equip or empower it.
The following commentary by Drug Watch International President, John J. Coleman is one such example of helpful but excised, opinion….
Where Is Our National Fentanyl Strategy?
Last year, for the third year in a row, fatal drug overdoses in the U.S. topped 100,000. The primary culprit was illicit fentanyl manufactured in China. The fentanyl is sold to drug cartels in Mexico where it is mixed with heroin or fabricated to resemble well-known branded prescription drugs like OxyContin®, Percocet®, Roxicodone®, and Xanax®. The fentanyl-laced heroin and pills are smuggled into the U.S. via our open southern border. To date, the Biden administration has shown very little interest in ending this deadly commerce that already has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans while generating billions of dollars a year for the criminal cartels in charge of a border that they – not we – control.
Don’t bother trying to Google our National Fentanyl Strategy. It does not exist. The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Office of National Drug Control Policy – the latter home to President Biden’s drug czar – have issued no such strategy. The reason is simple. To have any hope of making a difference, a national fentanyl strategy would have to begin by describing how smugglers manage to get tons of the deadly drug across a border that the White House continues to insist is “secured.” No presidential appointee is about to risk his or her job by publishing something that openly disputes this demonstrably false claim.
As required by law, last April President Biden presented his annual National Drug Control Strategy to Congress. The plan has a dozen chapters, but don’t look for the one on fentanyl. It didn’t make the cut. But a chapter specifically titled Harm Reduction did make it into the report. The chapter begins by defining this controversial strategy: “Harm reduction is an approach that emphasizes working directly with people who use drugs ….” For anyone wishing to see the results of this approach, it is in plain view in every major American city where the disease of addiction is facilitated in the twisted idea of reducing harm.
Last year, an estimated 2.3 million migrants unlawfully entered the country via our secured southern border. According to a DEA press release, enough fentanyl was seized last year “to kill every American.” In promising to step up the fight against the Mexican drug cartels, the DEA’s press release tactfully ignored mentioning the southern border.
Make no mistake: drug addiction is a serious, life-threatening, chronic condition. Treatment can be highly effective and even complete recovery is possible. Helping street addicts to remain addicted by facilitating and enabling their drug use is not a drug control strategy. Our failed experiments over several decades with misused and prevention separated harm reduction strategies have destroyed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, many of whom died alone and abandoned during what should have been their most productive years. Our decaying and crime-ridden cities are further proof of this failure.
It is not too late to begin to turn this around.
First, we need to admit the obvious, that our past policies have not worked. We must implement specific diplomatic objectives in source countries like Mexico and China, focus law enforcement resources on identifying, arresting, and prosecuting criminal cartel networks at home and abroad, and, above all, we must ensure that our border security forces are sufficient in number and equipped with the latest technology to prevent the smuggling of people and drugs. Treatment policies that focus on restoring the addict or at least managing the problem should be supported over those that facilitate the disease. If we just do these things as part of a National Fentanyl Strategy, we will save many lives and, in the process, restore the beauty and tranquility of our once great cities.
– John J. Coleman, MA, MS, PhD, retired Assistant Administrator of Operations, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and current President of the Board of Directors of DrugWatch International, Inc.