How “Safe” is SAFE?

The marijuana legalization effort sweeping the nation comes with a big promise that marijuana is SAFE. This statement comes with various taglines, such as: no overdose deaths related to marijuana, safer than alcohol, safer than other drugs, not a gateway drug and not addictive.

Remember the saying, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”?

According to the World Health Organization’s statistics on alcohol-related deaths include alcohol-related diseases, accidents caused by impairment resulting in fatal injuries, road traffic crashes, violence and suicides. Marijuana-related deaths are not calculated in the same method to include like statistics. Efforts to legalize entitled “regulate like alcohol” should mean that we draw parallel comparisons and keep statistical data in the exact same manner.

In Colorado many voters are learning more information about the “safety” of marijuana. Feeling duped, people often ask, “How can I take my vote back?” Unfortunately for them, it is not going to be easy undoing their decision, but maybe others can learn from Colorado’s colossal mistake. Here is just how SAFE marijuana is proving to be in Colorado:

IRRESPONSIBLE LEVELS OF THC WITHOUT RESTRICTION

Unrestricted THC allowances have taken the norm from 2% up to a whopping 90%

European nations consider THC over 15% on par with hard drugs, such as heroin

Colorado is celebrating products with potencies never before seen in marijuana use without limitations or research as to the side-effects

Colorado’s Department of Revenue is engaged in helping refine the process for creating butane hash oil extractions

ADULT EMERGENCY ROOM VISITS

Marijuana is the greatest reason for Emergency Room visits over all other drugs combined

Symptoms for adults range from collapsing, painful cyclic-vomiting, extreme anxiety, elevated heart rate, hyper-ventilating and high blood pressure to fear of dying

Testing of edibles causing violent reactions shows no other laced substances present, only THC

CHILD ENDANGERMENT

Child poisonings have climbed significantly with calls to poison control centers increasing 30%

Children require intensive care with extended hospitalization

Two children have required intubation because they stopped breathing on their own

What other action could cause a child this type of trauma and yet be hailed as “safe”?

OTHER HEALTH RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH MARIJUANA USE

Myocardial infarction among those with pre-existing coronary artery disease

Lung disease and cancers of the head and neck

Marijuana-impaired traffic fatalities have increased 100% from 2007 – 2012

RISK OF MENTAL ILLNESS

Marijuana use is associated with increased risks for mental illness, psychotic episodes, schizophrenia, neuropsychological decline and suicide

Marijuana users are at a 17% increased risk for depression onset, regardless of age. For heavy users (weekly) the risk is increased to 62%

40% increased risk of psychotic symptoms or disorders in those who have used cannabis

Drug legalization is not a safe or productive response to mental illness and addiction

DEATHS ASSOCIATED WITH MARIJUANA USE

Foreign exchange student Levi Pongi, leapt to his death from a hotel room after suffering paranoia and erratic, hallucinatory behavior following ingestion of a marijuana cookie

48 year old Richard Kirk shot his wife to death after eating marijuana-laced candy

2 year old Levi Walton who tested positive for THC in a DHS investigation just hours before a fatal house fire took his life, as adults in another room smoked marijuana

Were these incidents caused by any other impairing substance we would read headlines screaming that the substance was responsible for their deaths

Why is the marijuana industry not taking proactive, public measures to issue warnings and disclaimers about the dangers associated with childhood exposures?

YES, MARIJUANA IS ADDICTIVE

The frequency of cannabis use is significantly associated with other illicit drug use and dependence

Addiction comes with associated risks and other diseases

1 in 6 adolescents and 1 in 10 adult users develop dependency to the point of requiring treatment

One of the most concerning items about marijuana-related illness, injury and death is that incidents pertaining to this substance are typically not tracked well. Due to the Schedule 1 nature of marijuana (listed as such because of potential for poisoning, addiction and lack of medical use) it has not historically been the subject of statistical data-gathering by hospitals or law enforcement and is not routinely included in criteria that would be managed in related outcome reports. Therefore, the actual numbers of deaths specifically related to marijuana are not known. That does not mean the statement can be made “no deaths related to marijuana.” It simply means, we do not yet know, as the outcomes have not been calculated.

New data gathering requirements will have no comparison numbers for decades. Futuristically, we will have data that causes our great-grandchildren to scratch their heads and wonder what we were thinking when we unleashed legal marijuana upon society and they will marvel at how we not only re-defined safe … but also: TRUTH.

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