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The Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, which coordinates federal and state drug enforcement efforts in Colorado and nearby states, conducted a study to determine if Colorado's “medical” marijuana is being diverted for unintended purposes. The report cites more than 70 public record examples of diversion by patients, caregivers, and dispensaries within Colorado and 23 different states. The assessment is just a sampling of what is suspected of being diverted. The Colorado program is not effective in stopping diversion.
A recent study examining California's average “medical” marijuana patients found that the average “patient” was a 32-year-old white male with a history of drug and alcohol abuse and no history of a life-threatening disease.
Our children are being hurt
Mr. Holder, last month, during your testimony before the House Appropriations Committee, you were asked what factors would be weighed by the Department of Justice in deciding how to respond to the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington. You stated that: “When it comes to these marijuana initiatives, I think among the kinds of things we will have to consider is the impact on children.”
It is time for you to act. Our kids are being hurt.
A recent Colorado study surveyed kids from adolescent drug treatment programs in the Denver area and found that 73.8 percent of them reported using medical marijuana that had been recommended for someone else and was diverted to the kids.
A recent article from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics edition found that there is “a new appearance of unintentional marijuana ingestions by young children after modification of drug enforcement laws for marijuana possession in Colorado.”
A major study recently published by researchers at Columbia University in New York found that “medical” marijuana states have significantly higher rates of marijuana use and of marijuana abuse and dependence than states without such laws.
In California, drugged driving is more prevalent than drunk driving nowadays.
“Medical” marijuana negatively affects public health especially in regard to our youth. Since the message that “marijuana is medicine” has been popularized, perceived harm from smoking marijuana among kids has steadily decreased.
America is violating international law
In addition to the harm being visited upon our children by recreational and medical” marijuana, your failure to adequately enforce federal law is also in violation of international law – the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, to which the United States is party. America has been warned by the International Narcotics Control Board about this violation. The UN can place sanctions on the US for violating the treaty. How could you let that happen?
To date, your enforcement has been spotty and only in a few states. Most of the marijuana states have seen no enforcement or even threats of enforcement by your office.
Please take action in Colorado and Washington and all the “medical” marijuana states. In many of the “medical” marijuana states, a simple letter from you that you were going to enforce federal law would have stopped “medical” marijuana laws from being passed or implemented.
Put our kids first and enforce the law.
David G. Evans
Executive Director of the Drug Free Schools Coalition
Special advisor to the Drug Free America Foundation