Marijuana may be Worse than Alcohol

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 15th, 2014

Week in Review

Walter White could cook the best meth on television.  And he could have had the greatest fake drug empire on TV.  But there was always one part of the drug business that continued to be the source of all of his trouble.  Distribution.  As his distributors all tried to kill him.  Krazy-8.  Tuco.  Gus.  Lydia.  He could cook the meth.  But he couldn’t move it.  Which forced him into dealing with these people who eventually wanted to kill him.  And they would have had Walter not killed them first.

Breaking Bad was only a television show.  But it showed a very difficult part of the drug business.  Distribution.  For you can make or grow all the drugs you want but if you can’t distribute them they won’t make you a dime.  Which is why Walter was forced into dealing with these people.  Because it’s not easy moving illegal drugs.  Even on television.

Colorado has decriminalized marijuana.  And they’ve had medical marijuana and medical marijuana pot shops for awhile.  A legal way to distribute marijuana.  Which may have caught the attention of people in the real drug business (see Colorado Pot Shops Raided By The Feds May Be Shut For Good by Matt Ferner posted 4/15/2014 on Huffington Post).

Four Denver-area medical marijuana businesses may be permanently shuttered after federal officials reportedly probing links with Colombian drug cartels raided the shops in November…

State regulators notified the four shops on April 3 that state licenses to operate as medical marijuana dispensaries and cultivation facilities would be denied. The state alleged violations of state code that in some cases stretched back to 2012, according to state Marijuana Enforcement Division documents.

“You have operated the licensed premises in a manner that adversely affects the public health or welfare or the safety of the immediate neighborhoods in which your establishments are located,” the state notice of denial reads…

The Department of Justice has released little about the raids, which came less than two months before Colorado’s legal recreational marijuana shops opened. Federal authorities suggested the businesses may not have complied with guidelines outlined in DOJ’s August memo that assented to the new retail marijuana laws in Colorado and Washington state…

The DOJ guidance says federal authorities will continue to prosecute to prevent:

•The distribution of marijuana to minors;

•Revenue from the sale of marijuana from going to criminal enterprises, gangs and cartels;

•The diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal under state law in some form to other states…

An unpleasant development for the ‘pot is no worse than alcohol’ crowd.  For pot does come with a little excess baggage.  A legal pot outlet may provide cover for illegal pot sales.  As the Feds’ raid on these Colorado pot shops would suggest.  But there is yet another unpleasant development for the ‘pot is no worse than alcohol’ crowd.  A study that shows pot may be worse than alcohol (see Casual marijuana use changes brain, new report shows by Kay Lazar posted 4/15/2014 on The Boston Globe).

Young adults who occasionally smoked marijuana show abnormalities in two key areas of their brain related to emotion, motivation and decision making, and the degree of changes appear to be directly related to the number of joints smoked per week, according to a new study by Boston researchers.

Other studies have revealed brain changes among heavy marijuana users, but this research is believed to be the first to demonstrate such abnormalities in young, casual pot smokers.

The scientists did not study whether the changes were linked to corresponding declines in brain function, but say the signs suggest young people might be especially vulnerable because their brains are still developing.

“This is when you are making major decisions in your life, when you are choosing a major, starting a career, making long-lasting friendships and relationships,” said lead author Jodi Gilman, a psychology instructor at Harvard Medical School and a brain scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital.

The findings, to be published Wednesday in the Journal of Neuroscience, come amid an increased debate about the long-term effects of marijuana, as a growing number of states legalize the drug for medicinal and recreational use.

This is a tough development for Democrats.  Long seen as the cool political party by the young.  Because Democrats are the anti-parents.  When Mom and Dad told their kids to wait until they were in a serious relationship before having sex the Democrats passed out free condoms and provided access to abortion.  And when Mom and Dad told their children to say ‘no’ to drugs like Nancy Reagan the Democrats have been all for relaxing the drug laws.  As the war on drugs was costly and filled our prisons while being ineffective.  So the Democrats have been the party of sex and drugs.  While the Republicans have been the party of their parents.

So of course the young gravitate to the Democrat Party.  As the Democrats support these destructive lifestyles they so enjoy.  But as our kids suffer with STDs, deal with a pregnancy while still high school age and suffer from brain damage from smoking marijuana they may have second thoughts about the cool political party.  For all Mom and Dad wanted was for them to remain healthy and to be successful.  While Democrats appear to facilitate a destructive lifestyle just to win the youth vote.


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Colorado’s Marijuana Tax Revenue likely to fall over time like New York’s Cigarette Tax Revenue

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 22nd, 2014

Week in Review

States with huge budget deficits are watching Colorado and their marijuana sales tax.  As they consider following Colorado.  The proponents of marijuana decriminalization point to Colorado and say, “See?  Make it legal and tax it.  And everybody wins.  People can smoke until they get lung cancer.  And the state can rack up tax revenue to pay for, of course, schools.  It’s always schools, you see, because if you oppose tax revenue for schools you hate children.  And taxing sin is good, too.  Because we shouldn’t be doing those nasty things anyway.  So sin taxes work.  Just look at how well those cigarette taxes are working (see As taxes on cigarettes go up, so does smuggling, study finds posted 3/22/2014 on FoxNews Politics).

More than half of the cigarettes for sale in New York are smuggled into the state illegally – the highest percentage in the country, according to a recent report from the Tax Foundation.

According to the non-partisan research group, increased excise taxes on cigarettes to discourage smoking have, in fact, created lucrative incentives for black market trafficking between states…

According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, even though authorities have taken steps to reduce cigarette smuggling, nearly $5 billion in revenue in 2010 was lost because of smuggling.

Well, as it turns out, sin taxes don’t work as well as they thought they would.  They increase crime.  Because smuggling cigarettes is less risky than smuggling class one narcotics.  For cigarettes aren’t illegal.  So criminals can turn from something more risky, like smuggling class one narcotics, to something less risky.  Smuggling legal cigarettes.  Tax revenue from Colorado’s marijuana tax will probably decline over time.  As a black market comes to Colorado to sell tax-free marijuana.  Just like a black market sells lower-taxed cigarettes in higher taxed cities.

So you have additional crime on the one hand.  A black market drug-dealer network much like what exists today.  But one that can operate in less fear as the penalty for getting caught is a lot less than what it used to be.  Making it easier for our kids to smoke marijuana.  Either by buying it from a better supplied illegal drug dealer.  Or stealing some from their parent’s stash.  Or someone else’s stash.  For there will be a lot of stashes to steal from.

So the crime element is bad.  But as the black market takes off tax revenue will fall from legal sales.  Just like it has for cigarettes.  Leaving an over-spending state still short of tax revenue.  But now with a marijuana black market that they must police.  And a state full of potheads that will likely NOT help the state produce the best and brightest for the high-tech jobs in their economy.  The higher-paying kind of jobs that pay more income taxes.  Because once you have your weed and some cool tunes what do you need a high-stressed job for?  Which will probably make the experiment in Colorado not go as they thought it would.  Something other states should consider before following Colorado down this road.


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Turning People into Potheads is Good for Colorado’s Treasury

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 15th, 2014

Week in Review

First it was alcohol and tobacco.  Getting people hooked on these items to solve all of a state’s funding woes.  Then it was the lottery.  States needed to get their people hooked on gambling to solve all of their school funding needs.  Then it was casino gambling.  Because the lottery alone was taking enough money from the people to solve all of a state’s funding woes.  And now it’s marijuana (see Colorado made $3.5 million in taxes and fees on first month of marijuana sales by Nick Allen posted 3/11/2014 on The Telegraph).

Colorado, the first US state to legalise cannabis for recreational use, made just over $2 million in tax revenue from selling the drug in January, according to its first officially released figures.

The amount was not far behind the $2.7 million the state recouped in excise taxes on alcohol in the same period and is expected to exceed that in subsequent months.

More than $14 million worth of the dug was sold over counters to recreational users in the 30 days after cannabis shops opened on Jan 1…

In Colorado the first $40 million in tax revenue will go towards school construction and Mr Hickenlooper wants additional revenue to be used for projects including anti-drug advertising aimed at children, campaigns against driving under the influence of cannabis, and public health projects.

Another $2 million taken away from the taxpayers.  To add to the $2.7 million from alcohol sales.  On top of what they got from tobacco sales.  And what they got from the lottery.  Each step down this road was supposed to be a cure-all.  But it never was.  For once they got a new tax it wasn’t long before they said they needed yet another new tax.  Because the previous tax just wasn’t adequate to cover their spending.  Which just begs the question.  What are they doing with all of that money?

So we have people dying from lung cancer.  We have people dying from liver disease.  We have people becoming impoverished because they’ve gambled all of their money away.  Now Colorado is going to turn a part of their population into potheads.  Who will suffer the same ailments as tobacco smokers do.  As well as suffering some lost cognitive ability.  And some will end up wards of the state.  Filling hospitals and nursing homes.  Suffering from costly diseases. And yet the state cheers this new money.  And dreams of future revenue as more people pick up this unhealthy and dangerous habit.  Giddy at the thought of every new person lighting a marijuana cigarette for the first time.

The worst thing about the state using these people to fund their out of control spending is the regressive nature of these taxes.  Alcohol, tobacco, the lottery, casino gambling and marijuana hurt the poor the most.  Those who have the least money to spare now have to give more of it to the taxing authority.  The very people these progressive-thinking people are supposed to help.  Who instead use them for their selfish needs.  And don’t care a whit about the lives they destroy.


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FT206: “If we got rid of Jim Crowe Laws we can get rid of another bad law like Obamacare.” —Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 24th, 2014

Fundamental Truth

Colorado has allowed Recreational Use of Marijuana even though Federal Law prohibits its Sale and Use

Everyone on the left is saying it.  Those in the mainstream media are saying it.  Even some on the right are saying it.  Obamacare is the law of the land.  And it isn’t going away.  As no law ever goes away.  So get used to it.  And quit your bitching, conservatives.  Especially you radical Tea Party extremists.  With all of your Constitutional this and Constitutional that.  If you’re all about the rule of law then follow the rule of law.  And quit trying to repeal Obamacare.

Marijuana is a class one narcotic.  Federal law prohibits its sales and use.  Yet those on the left have tried long and hard to decriminalize it.  Comparing it to alcohol.  Which is not a class one narcotic.  For the left does not like the law criminalizing the sale and use of marijuana.  And have bitched so much about it that at first states have allowed medical marijuana.  And now Colorado has allowed recreational use of marijuana.  Washington, too.  Even though federal law prohibits the sale and use of this class one narcotic.

There are millions of illegal aliens in the United States.  Who are in the country illegally.  But those on the left want to change our laws so they aren’t here illegally.  They want to grant them amnesty.  Forgive their law-breaking.  And give them citizenship.  Because they are sure that if they do they will then thank those on the left (i.e., the Democrat Party) by voting Democrat.  Especially when they’re telling them that the only reason why they are illegal is that Republicans hate Hispanics.

The Supreme Court made Law the People or Congress would not by Decriminalizing Abortion

The Second Amendment to the Constitution grants the people the right to keep and bear arms.  The left doesn’t like guns.  And they especially don’t like people owning guns.  So the left hates the Second Amendment.  Have long campaigned to curb gun ownership.  And have used every opportunity to advance new gun control legislation.  Whenever a mentally troubled individual goes on a shooting spree they blame the gun and not the mentally troubled individual.  Adam Lanza, James Holmes, Jared Loughner and Seung-Hui Cho were all mentally troubled people.  Yet the discussion is always about taking guns away from law-abiding gun owners.  Not identifying these mentally troubled people before they hurt someone.  Which they could still do even if you take other people’s guns away.

Abortion was illegal everywhere in the United States.  The left did not like this.  So they campaigned long and hard to decriminalize abortion.  Which they could not do.  At least, in Congress.  Because the majority of the people opposed decriminalizing abortion.  And they never had the votes in Congress to pass a law allowing abortion.  Which is why there has never been an abortion debate in Congress.  Not liking their odds in Congress they turned to the courts.  On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court made law the people or Congress would not.  And decriminalized abortion.

The progressives in the early 20th century saw the people were just not smart enough to know what was best for them.  And drinking was not.  Husbands drank away their paychecks, came home drunk and beat their wives and gave them (and their unborn children) the syphilis they caught from prostitutes hanging out in saloons.  So the progressives got a new amendment added to the Constitution to prohibit the sale and transportation of alcohol.  The Eighteenth Amendment.  A law the people didn’t like.  And they repealed the Eighteenth Amendment with the Twenty-first Amendment.  The only Constitutional amendment to be repealed.

The Left tries to Change or Go Around via the Courts Laws they Don’t Like

During the 1950s and 1960s Jim Crowe laws kept America segregated.  Separate but equal went the mantra.  The Southern Democrats made it difficult for blacks to vote.  And treated them as second class citizens.  Giving us race riots in the Sixties.  And a civil rights movement.  From the Montgomery Bus Boycott to Martin Luther King’s I have a Dream speech in Washington the movement grew in intensity.  Leading to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Overturning the Jim Crowe laws and desegregating America.  Thanks to a united Republican Party that was able to overcome Democrat opposition in Congress to pass the bill.

The Southern Democrats did not lose the American Civil War well.  They did not like the Fifteenth Amendment allowing their former slaves to vote.  And they did not like the Thirteenth Amendment freeing their slaves.  So the planter elite and their fellow Southern Democrats created the KKK.  And began passing Jim Crowe laws to keep the defeated South racially segregated.  The way it was written into the U.S. Constitution.  The way it had to be written into the Constitution to get the Deep South to join the new United States of America.  As the planter elite made clear.  If there was no slavery there would be no United States.

We’ve had a lot of bad law in this country.  Laws that we’ve repealed.  Sometimes even over Democrat opposition.  In fact the Southern Democrats pulled the southern states out of the union and into civil war with the northern states to defend the planter elite’s right to own slaves.  Just as the planter elite forced those who wrote the Constitution to leave slavery alone if they expected their states to join the new union.  And we’ve had laws the left just doesn’t like.  Laws they’ve worked long and hard to change.  Such as criminalizing gun ownership and decriminalizing marijuana.  Or to get around them via the courts.  Such as abortion.  So the argument to just accept Obamacare because it’s the law of the land is a pretty weak argument.  And chastising Republicans for not accepting laws they don’t like is hypocritical to say the least.  We should be able to get rid of bad law.  And Obamacare is a bad law.  As it is doing the opposite of what it was supposed to do.  So why not repeal it?  I mean, if we were able to get rid of Jim Crowe Laws we should be able to get rid of another bad law like Obamacare.


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Two-Year old Colorado Girl Eats Pot-Laced Cookie when Marijuana was still Illegal

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 4th, 2014

Week in Review

Pot smokers everywhere hail Colorado’s decriminalization of marijuana so responsible adults can enjoy this harmless substance.  As only responsible adults will be using it.  And they will keep it away from children (see Two-year-old girl who was acting ‘odd’ after eating cookie tests positive for marijuana in Colorado one day before the drug is legalized by Daily Mail Reporter posted 1/3/2014 on the Daily Mail).

Police are investigating how a two-year-old Colorado girl who spent New Years Eve in hospital came to test positive for THC, the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

The incident started on Tuesday when Aida Hernandez stumbled upon her daughter eating a cookie left sitting in the front yard of an apartment complex in Longmont.

Hernandez told police she instructed the toddler to stop and throw the random sweet back in the garden…

The incident occurred the day before Colorado ended prohibition laws on Marijuana.

This happened while marijuana was still an illegal substance.  And it was left sitting in the open in the neighbor’s front yard.  Where a two-year-old girl surprisingly picked it up and put it in her mouth.  Just imagine how more often this will happen now that marijuana is no longer illegal.  As people can eat their pot-laced cookies and brownies in the open. Lucky for Coloradans that people high on marijuana are very sharp-witted and sober.  So they can make sure there are no uneaten pot-laced cookies and brownies left anywhere where a child can get to it and put it into his or her mouth.  Like they could when it was illegal to use.  Something they’re not likely to do with a bottle of beer or a glass of bourbon lying around.  Because these will taste icky to a child.  Unlike a cookie or a brownie.  Yet marijuana is no worse than alcohol.


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It will be Easier and as Expensive to Smoke Marijuana in Colorado than Regular Cigarettes

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 10th, 2013

Week in Review

The stoners, the high school and college kids and the baby boomer-hippies of yesteryear are ecstatic about Colorado decriminalizing marijuana.  For now they don’t have to sneak around and buy their weed from some shady drug dealer.  No, today they can walk down the road any time and walk into Harry’s and hold their head up high and say in a loud steady voice, “Harry, I want you to sell me some marijuana.  In fact, today I think I’ll have some Acapulco Gold, for I am a Coloradan.  But people in other states?  They cannot.  Because their states have never made the great leap out of the Middle Ages and the domination of alien Episcopal supremacy.”

(Okay, so I borrowed a little from Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life.  And by a little I mean a lot.  From the scene where the Protestant goes on about being able to buy condoms unlike his Catholic neighbors.  You can see a clip of that scene here but be warned.  It is not appropriate for the workplace.  And not suitable for young children.  If you’re not a man-boy with a somewhat sophisticated yet sophomoric sense of humor you may find this scene somewhat offensive.  But if you are go and buy the two-disc collector’s edition for your personal collection.  So you, too, can impress your friends by quoting these scenes verbatim.  Or alienate everyone around you.  Depending on who your friends are.  But I digress.)

Where was I?  Oh yes, Colorado has solved all of their problems.  They’ve decriminalized marijuana so responsible adults can enjoy this drug responsibly while no kids will.  (Yeah, right.  Pull the other.)  And they’ve figured out a way to bring more money into the state treasury by encouraging people to smoke marijuana.  Even though they frown on people smoking regular cigarettes.  And pretty much banned cigarette smoking everywhere.  For that stuff can get into your lungs and kill you.  First-hand smoke.  Second-hand smoke.  Even third-hand smoke.  That ashtray smell left behind long after a smoker extinguished his or her cigarette.  So Colorado is serious about the harmful effects of smoking tobacco.  Unless it gets you high.  Then apparently the smoke isn’t that bad for you after all.  But just don’t dare light up a cigarette in public anywhere in Colorado.  But if you do, to be safe and save yourself from the judgmental stares of others just make you regular cigarette look like a marijuana joint.  And then you can light that up anywhere and everyone will be cool with you.  Apparently.

So Colorado is doing the responsible thing for responsible adults who will now all follow the letter of the law.  Even though they used to violate state and federal law before Colorado decriminalized marijuana.  Which was and still is classified as a schedule I controlled substance.  Along with heroin and cocaine.  Which carry some pretty stiff penalties if you’re caught carrying.  So these people were willing to break a law that carried stiff penalties when the drug was still illegal.  But that shouldn’t be a problem now that it’s legal (see Tax, and tax again: America’s first market for recreational marijuana will be far from free posted 3/9/2013 on The Economist).

FREE-THE-WEED campaigners speak not of “legalising” marijuana but of “taxing and regulating” it. True to their word, the ballot measure they placed before Colorado’s voters last November, which won the support of 55% of them, was called the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act and contained provisions for a 15% excise tax. Now that the law is taking shape, the signs are that one of the world’s first fully legal marijuana markets (Washington state also backed legalisation) will have all the taxes and rules anyone could have wished for…

Most importantly, the group wants to maintain, for three years, the “vertical integration” model that has governed Colorado’s medical-marijuana industry. Under this system retailers must grow at least 70% of the dope they sell. This forces licence-holders to master a suite of skills from cultivation to distribution. The task-force also suggests that for the law’s first year, only established medical-marijuana dispensaries should be granted retail licences. Some campaigners mutter about protectionism, though grudgingly admit that dispensaries deserve some reward for their pioneering (and risky) work.

Mr Finlaw admits that vertical integration makes it hard to apply the excise tax: licence-holders will have an incentive to undervalue their product. That may help explain another proposal: to slap a tax on marijuana sales, on top of existing state and local sales taxes and the proposed excise tax. No figure will be presented to the legislature, but an “example” of 25% was floated in hearings.

Regulators say they need the funds to enforce their rules. But set taxes too high, fear campaigners, and you leave the illegal market in place, which destroys one of the principal purposes of legalisation in the first place. Either way, any new taxes will have to be approved again by Colorado’s voters, probably in November.

With that level of taxation it is unlikely to make it any less expensive than the weed they used to buy.  And now that the penalty for buying ‘improper’ marijuana may be only as severe as being caught with cigarettes on you purchased in a low-tax state.  Unless you have a tractor trailer full the punishment will be a slap on the wrist.  When Canada raised their cigarette tax drug dealers turned to smuggling cigarettes.  Just as lucrative.  With far less risk.  Yes, the illegally imported marijuana may sell at a lower price than in the past but with it being legal they will be able to make up for a lower profit per sale on volume.  Because a lot more people will be smoking marijuana now.  Besides, a lot of those kids will not be able to walk into Harry’s.  They’ll still need to buy their stuff on the black market.

Over-tight rules create opportunities for and cosy relationships between the industry and regulators. But Colorado’s legislators must perform a balancing act, because they are being watched by the federal government. Marijuana remains illegal under federal law…

Some members of the prohibition industry are running out of patience. On March 5th the president of the International Narcotics Control Board, an arm of the UN, said that marijuana legalisation in America violated international treaties and threatened public health.

Ironic, really.  It’s the Left that is pushing for the decriminalization of marijuana.  Despite their relentless assault on Big Tobacco and making it pretty much illegal to smoke a regular cigarette anywhere outside your home or car.  And they’re closing in on those, too.  If you have children.  Because of that third-hand smoke.  It is also the Left that wants to keep ceding power and sovereignty to the United Nations.  And here they are.  Violating an international treaty of that august body that they hold so dear.  Go figure.

The Left is an inscrutable bunch.  With politics driving their every action.  They champion individual liberty when it comes to sex and drugs but want to put you in jail for smoking a legal cigarette.  Because smoking is bad for your health.  Unless that smoke is from marijuana.  Then it’s no big deal.  They want a big world government to pass environmental regulations they can’t pass in their own country to regulate and punish capitalism but then ask who does the UN think they are telling them they can’t violate a treaty they don’t like?  Like decriminalizing a schedule I controlled substance?

Individual liberty for those who think like them.  And oppressive and punishing regulations for those who don’t.  This is the political Left.  Which is also the way things were in an absolute monarchy.  A totalitarian fascist, Nazi or communist regime.  An Islamist theocracy.  And any other oppressive regime where those in power lived by a different set of rules than those who they ruled over.  Despite expressing equality and egalitarianism it was more times than not like life for the poor animals on George Orwell’s Animal Farm.  Where everyone was equal.  Only some were more equal than others.


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Methadone Overdoses kill more Teens and Young Adults than Guns Do

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 10th, 2013

Week in Review

Colorado and Washington have recently decriminalized marijuana.  Pot shops can now legally sell marijuana without violating state law.  They are still violating federal law but the Obama administration has stated that they won’t prosecute recreational users in those states.  Even the United Food and Commercial Workers union (UFCW) is looking to organize these pot shops.  It seems everyone wants to cash in on greater drug use.  And why not?  What could possibly go wrong with that (see Drug Users Turn Death Dealers as Methadone From Bain Hits Street by Sydney P. Freedberg posted 2/8/2013 on Bloomberg)?

While the number of U.S. overdose deaths involving methadone peaked in 2007, it was still almost six times higher in 2010, the most recent year for which data are available, than in 1999.  The data don’t reflect the source of the methadone—whether it’s addiction clinics or pain prescriptions.  More than one drug might be involved in each death.

So how many overdose deaths where there in 2010?  About 4,500.  More than the 3,889 dead from firearms in 2010 for ages 15-24.  Common ages for drug addiction.  So to stop these needless deaths we should do everything we can to prevent drug addiction.  From keeping addictive opiates illegal.  And any drugs that may serve as a gateway to these harder and more dangerous addictive drugs.  Such as marijuana.   Often the first drug many addicts start with.  We should do everything we can to get these drugs away from our kids.  Even if it only saves one life.  The rational President Obama uses for sweeping changes in gun control laws that many on the Left even concede will not prevent the kinds of tragedies like that in Newtown, Connecticut.  Yet President Obama has stated that he won’t prosecute recreational marijuana users in Colorado and Washington.  Even though more teens and young adults die from drug overdoses than from guns.

In the small towns where CRC has clinics, its methadone has surfaced in criminal cases, police and prosecutors say. Dearborn County, Indiana, officials are planning a $10 million expansion to the local jail, needed partly because of crimes tied to CRC’s clinic in Lawrenceburg, said prosecutor F. Aaron Negangard.

“We’ve had people come down to the methadone clinic and rob a bank because they need money to pay for methadone,” he said. “We’ve had people at the McDonald’s shooting up. Whether it’s dealing or someone giving take-homes to a friend, it’s been a huge problem…”

In Virginia, 3-year-old Trevor Hylton died on Sept. 30, 2009, after drinking methadone that his mother, Lisa Michelle Hylton, said she left on a kitchen counter in a cough-syrup cup.

Not only does drug addiction destroy the lives of the drug addicts but of the people around them.  Those people robbing banks to pay for their legal methadone.  And once they get it they go and shoot up at the local McDonald’s.  Where young and impressionable kids can be found.  It’s a “huge problem.”  Also, a 2-year old died from this legal substance when it was brought into the house.  Clearly something should be done to stop drug use.  Even if it only saves one life.  Because it is  destroying the lives of addicts.  And those around them.

In methadone maintenance treatment, an almost 50-year-old field, drug addicts get daily doses of the synthetic narcotic. In appropriate amounts, it alleviates the symptoms of withdrawal from heroin or other opiates without getting users high. In combination with counseling, methadone can help addicts stay off illegal drugs and live with more stability, research shows.

Counseling is “the backbone of addiction treatment,” said Elinore F. McCance-Katz, a physician who has advised California state officials on treating opiate dependency. Without it, there’s a “good possibility” that patients won’t reduce or stop their drug use, she said.

Once addicted it’s a bitch to kick.  A lot of people fail trying.  Some don’t even try.  As getting high is more fun than trying to get clean.  Further proof that we need to do something to stop drug use.  Even if it saves only one life.

With the Obama administration looking the other way to flagrant violations of federal drug laws in Colorado and Washington and the UFCW helping to decriminalize marijuana to profit off of drug use one has to wonder why anyone cares about a story about methadone addiction.  This is not the kind of story you want to run when you’re trying to ease drug laws to lock in the youth and drug addict vote.  So why is this even in the news?

Bain Capital, the private equity firm co-founded by former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, paid $723 million for CRC in 2006, corporate filings show. Romney, who left Bain in 1999, had no input in its investments or management of companies after that, he has said…

“With a nonprofit, the incentive is to get people to treatment and wean them off,” Bragg said. “When you have a for-profit and cash-only business, there is no incentive to detox them. In fact, there’s an incentive not to detox them because of the continual cash flow.”

Oh, that’s why.  It’s Mitt Romney’s fault.  Of course.  And that contemptible profit incentive.  It’s never the drug addict’s fault.  Or the societal decay that condones drug use.  Because kids are going to be kids.  They’re going to experiment with drugs as much as they will experiment with sex.  No point telling them not to.  Because kids have to be kids.  Besides, who are they hurting?

Virdie Channing Compton, 30, of Council, Virginia, was on methadone maintenance for more than four years at a CRC clinic in Cedar Bluff after opiate abuse that began in his teens, he said in an interview. After a year or two, he was shooting up his take-homes, he said, and abusing other drugs.

“I was strung out” worse than before, Compton said. He beat the clinic’s drug tests, he said, by sneaking in clean urine in a bottle tucked in his underwear.

On June 3, 2011, Compton had gotten his dose at the clinic and was driving through Council in an unlicensed farm truck when he veered into some oncoming motorcycles. He hit William Van Nortwick, a retired teacher from Safety Harbor, Florida, who was traveling with two sons and a friend on vacation.

Van Nortwick died. Tests showed Compton was under the influence of methadone and Alprazolam, an anti-anxiety drug. He pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter. He’s serving a nine- year prison sentence.

Kids can hurt a great deal of people when they grow up into drug addicts.  Would that have happened if Bain Capital didn’t take over these methadone clinics?  Probably not.  As these clinics would have been shut down by the state due to budget problems.  Which is why they were privatized in the first place.  So these people may have survived.  But this guy would have still been a drug addict.  An untreated drug addict.  Who may have continued to work his way up to harder drug use.  And turned to crime to support his habit.  Perhaps even becoming a drug dealer.  Possible taking even more lives in the long run with his untreated addiction.  Maybe sharing needles in a heroin addiction.  Catching and spreading AIDS.  Or simply dying earlier from a drug overdose.

Some states are more stringent than others. Ohio has banned for-profit methadone clinics for decades, after state mental- health advocates and leaders decided addiction care was “more in line with the mission of not-for-profit organizations,” said Stacey Frohnapfel-Hasson, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services.

That doesn’t keep CRC from treating Ohio addicts. The company’s East Indiana Treatment Center in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, saw 2,479 patients in 2011, state records show; only 380 of them were Indiana residents. Almost 45 percent, or 1,111 were from Ohio. Most of the others, 987, were from Kentucky.

Part of the reason for the inflow: Indiana’s rules on take- home doses are more lenient than those in Kentucky or Ohio, said Vidya Kora, a past president of the Indiana State Medical Association. Kora, a LaPorte County commissioner and former coroner, has called for turning all methadone clinic operations over to non-profit agencies.

While Indiana adopted legislation in 2008 aimed at mandating marijuana testing for methadone patients, creating a central registry of patients and decreasing the maximum number of take-home doses to 14 from 30, the rules are still less stringent than others, said state Senator Ron Grooms, a Republican whose southern Indiana district includes a CRC clinic in Jeffersonville.

Apparently using marijuana is a problem for methadone patients.  Do they test for beer and bourbon?  For according to marijuana proponents smoking marijuana is no different from drinking beer or bourbon.

When the Netherlands decriminalized marijuana one of the unintended consequences was the drug tourism that it attracted.  And the crime.  Causing them to later demand proof of residency before buying marijuana in their coffee shops.  The more potent marijuana with higher levels of THC has caused further unintended consequences.  Which they want to prevent the sale of.  Complicating their drug policies.  Something Colorado and Washington will have to deal with.  And the states that are in close proximity to them.

If they kept all drugs illegal there would probably be at least one child less that experiments with marijuana.  And moves on to a heroin addiction and a methadone detoxification.  Shouldn’t we do this?  Even if it only saves one child?


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