By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
January 23, 2014
The marijuana movement is gaining ground across the nation and in North Carolina, despite compelling evidence of the drug’s dangers and facts that refute President Obama’s claims that it’s no worse than tobacco or alcohol.
“The push for so-called ‘medicinal marijuana’ is something the Christian Action League has fought for a number of years and will continue to fight,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the League. “No doubt, recent polling and the implementation of recreational pot sales in Colorado and Washington state will make the battle hotter in North Carolina.”
The Committee on Rules, Calendar and Operations of the North Carolina House gave a medical cannabis bill an unfavorable report last February. Similar bills stalled in 2011, though pot proponents have marched on Raleigh annually. And none other than former Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders paid a visit to the Tar Heel state to promote the hallucinogen as medicine as early as 2008. But state lawmakers, recognizing medicinal claims as step one in the strategy of full-fledged drug decriminalization, have fortunately resisted the push.
That hasn’t been the case in many other parts of the nation, as Colorado’s recreational marijuana sales topped $5 million their first week. In the state of Washington, which also legalized the drug with a 2012 referendum, a survey shows residents are smoking about 340 million joints a year even before the state has had a chance to issue licenses for selling the Schedule I drug.
To make matters worse, President Obama this week virtually endorsed marijuana use via comments in an interview with The New Yorker, comparing his pot smoking as a kid to his more recent use of cigarettes and saying he believes it is no more dangerous than alcohol, positions called out by the Drug-Free America Foundation among a number of medical and policy organizations.
“His laissez-faire attitude about legalization has drug policy and prevention experts scratching their heads in confusion as to why the president will not give clear guidance…either he is seriously ill-informed about the issue or is completely ignoring warnings from his highly-esteemed advisors,” the Foundation reported on its blog.
The president’s own drug czar, R. Gil Kerikowske, lists marijuana as one of the four “major drugs” along with cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. And the White House web site says that “confusing messages being presented by popular culture, media, proponents of ‘medical’ marijuana, and political campaigns to legalize all marijuana perpetuate the false notion that marijuana is harmless.”
That is certainly not the case, as Dr. David Stevens of the Christian Medical Association pointed out in the wake of the president’s comments.
“We know that even inhaling it, if you’re not using it, causes loss of coordination, dizziness, confusion, difficulty walking, blurred vision. This is not an innocuous drug,” he told the media. “It increases the chance of a major psychotic illness by a factor of four. It has twice as many substances in it that promote cancer than cigarette smoke does.”
The Washington Times pointed out that the president must have fallen prey to the pot proponents’ trick of linking danger with toxicity in comparing marijuana to alcohol.
“They adopt an extremely narrow definition of marijuana’s dangers by discussing solely on whether it is ‘toxic,’ meaning that high dosages become poisonous,” the newspaper reported. “Toxicity, however, has never been the sole measure of whether a substance is dangerous. Things need not be fatal to be harmful. Plus, things that are intoxicating and hallucinogenic can lead to fatal behavior without being poisonous.”
According to the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, marijuana accounts for the second highest number of drug-related emergency department admissions, only slightly behind cocaine. Further, the National Institute for Drug Abuse has documented brain damage among regular adolescent pot smokers that has no parallel among drinkers.
“Of course, even if it were true that marijuana represented no more danger than alcohol, why would we want to unleash a second dragon on the nation’s populace?” said Dr. Creech. “Marijuana takes a huge toll, not only on individual health but on society at large.”
Pot users have a 78 percent increase in absenteeism and 85 percent more injuries at work than non-users, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, one reason that places like the Netherlands, which have experimented with decriminalization, are realizing their error as young people, especially, become more and more enamored with the drug.
“The place that cannabis takes in their lives becomes so dominant they don’t have space for other important things in life,” Dr. Ernest Bunning, a Dutch health minister, told Foreign Affairs. “They crawl out of bed in the morning, grab a joint, don’t work, smoke another joint.”
Dr. Creech said it’s particularly troubling to hear that a growing number of North Carolinians — 42 percent — support legalization of marijuana for adult use. And even more, 63 percent, according to Public Policy Polling, say doctors should be able to prescribe pot to their patients. That is up 5 percentage points from a year ago.
“We knew that when the state Democratic Party made medical marijuana part of its platform in 2012 that support of the drug would grow, but we’re sad to see more people buying into the myth that pot is a viable medicine or that it can be successfully regulated for recreational use,” said Dr. Creech. “Obviously we have our work cut out for us as we expect a continued barrage of pot promoting proposals in the Legislature at some point.
Please be in prayer and consider a financial gift to help the Christian Action League wage this important war for the health and safety of our citizens and the future of our state.”
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