Cut Access to Marijuana, Spread the Word That It Harms Kids

The BAY Team in Barrington is part of a coalition that will deliver this message to RI legislators today in a special briefing in the State House.

Rhode Island must reduce access to marijuana by children and focus on spreading the word that it is harmful as supported by medical evidence.

Kathy Sullivan and Kristen Westmoreland, program managers for The BAY Team in Barrington, said this is the primary message to be delivered to Rhode Island legislators today at a special State House briefing.

The briefing will be led by representatives of the newly formed Ocean State Prevention Alliance, of which The BAY Team is a founding member, said Sullivan.

Two guest speakers also will brief the legislators on addiction and marijuana and how laws have an impact on taxing and regulating marijuana.

More and more kids use marijuana as the perception that it is harmful decreases, said Sullivan, and as legislation to legalize marijuana as a recreational drug increases.

Marijuana use affects learning, is addictive and it impairs driving, said Westmoreland, and there is plenty of evidence to support those findings.

The briefing, they said, will challenge RI legislators to play a proactive role to ensure that changing attitudes and legislation around marijuana do not have a negative impact on the state’s youth.

“The politically charged atmosphere around marijuana in Rhode Island and across the nation must not distract us from one of society’s most basic values: protecting our young people from harm,” said Nancy Devaney, chair of OSPA, in a press release sent out in advance of the briefing.

“OSPA’s mission is to be a voice for youth and families by building a broad coalition of Rhode Islanders who will work together to reduce or prevent the negative impact that current and new marijuana legislation, regulations and policies will have on kids throughout the Ocean State,” Devaney said. “Legislators and all Rhode Islanders must make youth health and safety a key benchmark in evaluating marijuana-related laws and policies.”

The state must follow an evidenced-based prevention strategy that can reduce or prevent the physical and neuropsychological harm, established by scientific studies, that result when adolescents use marijuana, she said.

Rhode Island is already in a “precarious situation,” Devaney said.  According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2010 and 2011, among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, Rhode Island ranked third for past-year marijuana use among 12+ year olds, second for 18 to 25 year olds, and fifth for 12 to 17 year olds. 

Devaney also said that in annual surveys of RI communities that receive Drug Free Community grants, many report that more than 50 percent of RI youth surveyed do not think daily marijuana use poses any serious risk of harm.

Today’s briefing will take place in the State Room of the State House at 3:15 pm.

joe February 25, 2013 at 12:42 PM
So, reduce supply with high demand? Can anyone say prohibition? It's been illegal since 1937, this is not a new concept and apparently doesn't work. A plant, illegal... What sort of liberty is that? Freedom? Peace?
Malcolm Kyle February 25, 2013 at 12:47 PM
A kindly reminder to Kathy Sullivan and Kristen Westmoreland: Like all other past and futile attempts at curbing "man's desire to alter his consciousness", marijuana prohibition is rooted in hate, paranoia, racism, misinformation, half-truths, and outright lies —It's your right to disagree, just please try to remain factual.. There is no debate: Marijuana is absolutely safer than alcohol, tobacco, and all prescription and over-the-counter medicines, while Prohibition, a costly nightmare that enriches both criminals and corrupt politicians, is a threat to us all. Legal or not, millions of citizens are already using marijuana. What many sane people are now proposing, is to take the criminal aspect out of it, collect revenues from its sale, and instead of spending billions of precious tax dollars on doomed-to-failure enforcement, put it's 'taxable income' to work for the whole community.
Malcolm Kyle February 25, 2013 at 12:49 PM
In 1988, after reviewing all scientific evidence brought forth in a lengthy lawsuit against the government’s prohibition of medical marijuana, the DEA’s own administrative law judge (Judge Francis Young) wrote: “MARIJUANA, IN ITS NATURAL FORM, IS ONE OF THE SAFEST THERAPEUTICALLY ACTIVE SUBSTANCES KNOWN. IN STRICT MEDICAL TERMS, MARIJUANA IS SAFER THAN MANY FOODS WE COMMONLY CONSUME.” http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/show/109464 No person of any age, in all of recorded history, has ever died from marijuana, marijuana is nontoxic. Many have died from marijuana prohibition and tens of millions have been caged or otherwise seriously harmed. The US arrests someone on marijuana charge every 38 seconds. In 2010, 52.1% of the 1,638,846 total arrests for prohibition violations were for marijuana, making a calculated total of 853,839. Would you rather have your kid locked up with killers and child molesters or would you prefer to do your own proper parenting? http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/Marijuana#Total Here's a documentary about marijuana curing cancer. There are 7 parts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjhT9282-Tw If you still doubt that marijuana is good medicine then kindly check out Granny Storm Crow's Amazing MMJ Reference List: http://beyondchronic.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Grannys-List-July-2012.pdf
It’s more like a library than a list!
Malcolm Kyle February 25, 2013 at 12:51 PM
MARIJUANA CURES CANCER: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/cannabis/healthprofessional/page4 http://www.nowpublic.com/thc_marijuana_helps_cure_cancer_says_harvard_study http://patients4medicalmarijuana.wordpress.com/2010/01/04/marijuana-cures-cancer-us-government-has-known-since-1974/ http://www.rawstory.com/rawreplay/2011/08/pbs-documentary-sheds-light-on-marijuanas-cancer-killing-properties/ The following text is taken directly from the US government's National Cancer Institute website: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/cannabis/healthprofessional/page4 * ANTI-TUMOR EFFECTS One study in mice and rats suggested that cannabinoids may have a protective effect against the development of certain types of tumors. During this 2-year study, groups of mice and rats were given various doses of THC by gavage. A dose-related decrease in the incidence of hepatic adenoma tumors and hepatocellular carcinoma was observed in the mice. Decreased incidences of benign tumors (polyps and adenomas) in other organs (mammary gland, uterus, pituitary, testis, and pancreas) were also noted in the rats. In another study, delta-9-THC, delta-8-THC, and cannabinol were found to inhibit the growth of Lewis lung adenocarcinoma cells in vitro and in vivo. In addition, other tumors have been shown to be sensitive to cannabinoid-induced growth inhibition.
Gustavo Picciuto February 25, 2013 at 01:00 PM
"...Rhode Island must reduce access to marijuana by children and focus on spreading the word that it is harmful as supported by medical evidence..." You do that by legalizing so you have control over the industry and decide who can buy it and have regulations in place to stop under age sale of the drug and with the tax proceeds you fund a sold state wide prevention and education program. It is truly a win win situation for the community and our kids.
Jillian Galloway February 25, 2013 at 02:14 PM
By far, the best way to reduce children's access to marijuana is by getting it off the street. When we let stores sell legally-grown marijuana to adults at prices low enough to prevent illegal competition, we'll drive the drug dealers who sell marijuana to kids off the street making it much harder for our children to access marijuana. Marijuana prohibition is bad for America and makes children unsafe - we need to legalize marijuana like beer and wine.
Lakota February 25, 2013 at 03:39 PM
Another brilliant post where the commenters are much more informed that the writer. I'll specifically comment on the driving point, take a look at what CNN found in their test: http://www.weedist.com/2013/02/cnn-video-stoned-drivers-test-skills/
Mindy February 25, 2013 at 04:02 PM
Say the people who drink alcohol as if that doesn't harm or kill people... how about we invest in EDUCATION.. you know, just like how we educate minors about the effects of alcohol even though that doesn't stop them...
Kevin_Hunt February 25, 2013 at 04:06 PM
A non-psychoactive component of marijuana, CBD, may be useful in preventing or treating alzheimer's. Anyone caught with this lifesaving chemical contained in a marijuana plant faces jail time by the feds (except for a handful of federal medical marijuana patients). Is the government trying to kill us by denying us this plant? Perhaps it is sweet justice that anti-marijuana crusader Ronald Reagan would have been helped by this plant, but instead died in an alzheimer’s induced stupor? Source: “Alzheimer's disease; taking the edge off with cannabinoids? “ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2190031/
Local Bargain Jerk February 25, 2013 at 04:16 PM
Yippee! The final five paragraphs tell us all we need to know: Nancy Devaney is back on the case! For further background, please see: http://bristol-warren.patch.com/blog_posts/marijuana-legislation-puts-teens-at-greater-risk I believe the comments various readers (including yours truly) made to her prior post sum up the thoroughness and validity of anything Ms. Devaney says on the subject. Stay tuned for our next episode of "Devaney's Crusaders" where we'll learn: - Will Ms. Devany, noted anti-drug-poobah, again litter these Patch sites with links that point to nothing? - And when her links do point to actual websites, will the data presented have precious little to do with the points in her article? - Will Ms. Devaney come clean this time and cite the "scientific studies" that she recommends for implementing an "evidenced-based prevention strategy"? I'm antsy about this because I happen to be in a good position to assess strategies for minimizing the effects of mind-numbing substances. It seems my mind is a little fuzzy this morning, but only because I stayed up late last night watching the blasted Oscars...
mac February 25, 2013 at 04:39 PM
"Rhode Island ranked third for past-year marijuana use among 12+ year olds, second for 18 to 25 year olds, and fifth for 12 to 17 year olds." Are you ignorant or just plain stupid? The reason for all these kids using pot is because DRUG DEALERS don't have a minimum age requirement. They will sell to a 6 year old. Legalization gets it into the hands of adults, prevents the sale to minors and wipes out the major money-maker for these drug dealers, helping clean the streets! I have yet to see a pro-probition"er" argue against this. Unless you have some brilliant idea on keeping marijuana off the streets (you'd be the first), this statistic you just gave us doesn't change! Kids have the Internet, it doesn't matter what propaganda you shove down parents and kids throats, they are one-click away from finding all the information they need to know about pot. All a child cares about is will it kill me or affect me in the short-term...which both answers are no. After that they are just a text message or phone call away from scoring some reefer. Nancy, wake up. If you want safer, healthier youth, you will support the legalization of pot for retail and regulation.This isn't the 80s anymore, just say no doesn't work.
jud February 25, 2013 at 04:59 PM
Actually its not scientifically accurate to say it causes those things in kids. The studies linking lower IQ to marijuana use were refuted by another study, published a month or so later that demonstrated severe problems with the study. Most notably that kids with lower socio economic indicators were not controlled for. Anybody that has studied any of these issues knows that poorer children tend to self medicate at a higher rate due to the fact that they have reduced access to traditional medicine. Lower SEI's as well as other issues not controlled for (abuse, divorce of the parents, etc) that are known to negatively impact IQ. When these things were accounted for the differences disappeared. Additionally a new study to be published in April has done real time MRI imaging and brain scans of high school students before and after their usage of marijuana. What they have found is that marijuana does NOT affect the brain, but that Alcohol does. Previous studies have found that those using both, have less damage than those using just alcohol suggesting it actually has a protective effect. \ http://www.nature.com/news/pot-smokers-might-not-turn-into-dopes-after-all-1.12207
FlyingTooLow February 25, 2013 at 06:09 PM
Many, many years ago, I was a dealer of marijuana. I had just over a pound in my closet in a laundry hamper. I woke one morning to find the few buds remaining scattered on my bedroom floor. My two Irish Setter puppies lay in the middle of the mess. They slept for almost 2 days. When they came to, they were hungry, happy, and just like brand new. Yes, I weighed the pot to see how much was missing...they had left me about an ounce. The benefits available from cannabis far outweigh any 'made up' dangers. If the concern is for 'the children,' keep it out of their hands. That's what parents are for.
Krymsun February 25, 2013 at 06:20 PM
"Marijuana .. is addictive .." 'Marijuana does not cause physiological dependence though in some, it can cause slight psychological dependence, but is not as addictive as coffee.' ["In fact, numerous polls of scientists and extensive research on humans and animals reveal that the plant’s addictive potential is less than that of caffeine." - http://dailycaller.com/2012/07/22/marijuana-isnt-a-gateway-drug-and-doesnt-increase-aggression/#ixzz23R96CXPg] “While some studies have found that a small percentage of the general population that uses cannabis may develop a dependence on this substance, a growing body of research on cannabis-related substitution suggests that for many patients cannabis is not only an effective medicine, but also a potential exit drug to problematic substance use. Given the credible biological, social and psychological mechanisms behind these results, and the associated potential to decrease personal suffering and the personal and social costs associated with addiction, further research appears to be justified on both economic and ethical grounds. Clinical trials with those who have had poor outcomes with conventional psychological or pharmacological addiction therapies could be a good starting point to further our understanding of cannabis-based substitution effect.” http://www.theweedblog.com/study-shows-cannabis-is-a-potential-exit-drug-to-problematic-substance-use/ So much for that arguement. My next coment(s) will address driving.
Krymsun February 25, 2013 at 06:24 PM
A 2002 review of seven separate crash culpability studies involving 7,934 drivers reported, “Crash culpability studies [which attempt to correlate the responsibility of a driver for an accident to his or her consumption of a drug and the level of drug compound in his or her system] have failed to demonstrate that drivers with cannabinoids in the blood are significantly more likely than drug-free drivers to be culpable in road crashes.” [Chesher et al. Cannabis and alcohol in motor vehicle accidents. In: Grotenhermen and Russo (Eds) Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Therapeutic Potential. New York: Haworth Press. 2002: 313-323.] But, unlike with alcohol, the accident risk caused by cannabis, particularly among those who are not acutely intoxicated, appears limited because subjects under its influence are generally aware of their impairment and compensate to some extent, such as by slowing down and by focusing their attention when they know a response will be required. [Allison Smiley. Marijuana: On-Road and Driving Simulator Studies] See also the United Kingdom's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. 'The Classification of Cannabis Under the Misuse of Drugs Act of 1971. See specifically: Chapter 4, Section 4.3.5: "Cannabis differs from alcohol; ... it seems not to increase risk-taking behavior. This may explain why it appears to play a smaller role than alcohol in road traffic accidents."
Krymsun February 25, 2013 at 06:24 PM
Cannabis use is associated with only marginal increases in traffic accident risk, comparable to anti-histamines and penicillin. An investigator from Aalborg University and the Institute of Transport Economics in Oslo assessed the risk of road accident associated with drivers’ use of licit and illicit drugs, including amphetamines, analgesics, anti-asthmatics, anti-depressives, anti-histamines, benzodiazepines, cannabis, cocaine, opiates, penicillin and zopiclone (a sleeping pill). His study reviewed data from 66 separate studies evaluating the use of illicit or prescribed drugs on accident risk; the study found that cannabis was associated with minor, but not significantly increased odds of traffic injury (1.06) or fatal accident (1.25). By comparison, opiates (1.44), benzodiazepine tranquillizers (2.30), anti-depressants (1.32), cocaine (2.96), amphetamines (4.46), and the sleeping aid zopiclone (2.60) were all associated with a greater risk of fatal accident than cannabis. Anti-histamines (1.12) and penicillin (1.12) were associated with comparable odds to cannabis.
Krymsun February 25, 2013 at 06:25 PM
Ethanol, marijuana, and other drug use in 600 drivers killed in single-vehicle crashes in North Carolina, 1978-1981. [ Journal of Forensic Sciences, Oct., 1984 by A. P. Mason, A. J. McBay ] Blood ethanol concentrations (BECs) were usually high; 85.5% of the drivers whose bloods contained ethanol and 67.8% of all drivers had BECs greater than or equal to 1.0 g/L. Drug concentrations were usually within or were below accepted therapeutic or active ranges. Only a small number of drivers could have been impaired by drugs, and most of them had high BECs. Multiple drug use (discounting ethanol) was comparatively rare. Ethanol was the only drug tested for that appears to have a significantly adverse effect on driving safety.
Krymsun February 25, 2013 at 06:25 PM
Is Driving High on Marijuana Safer Than Driving Drunk? [ or driving sober?!! ] For decades, marijuana advocates have argued that pot has a significantly different effect on driving ability than alcohol. But if you take the word of one auto insurance company, stoned is actually the safest way to drive. 4AutoinsuranceQuote.org is making that case based on years’ worth of scientific studies, including some from the US National Highway Transportation Safety Administration that found motorists under the influence of marijuana tended to drive slower and have accident responsibility rates lower than those of drug-free drivers. http://blogs.lawyers.com/2012/04/cruising-the-high-way-safer-than-drunk-driving/
Esoteric Knowledge February 25, 2013 at 06:54 PM
A ha ha ha! "More and more kids use marijuana as the perception that it is harmful decreases." Oh no, people are going to become more conscious and perceive better!...Noooooo! Smoking marijuana would probably be good for kids, but the people terrified of plants is going to stop that! Gotta make sure you stay stupid for the first 20 years of your life so we can saddle you with college and credit card debt, then you'll be wage slave to your bills and debt for the rest of your life, so you'll have a teenagers brain inside of a 45 year old!...And you will be miserable and defer pleasure for your entire life so God won't be mad! Muhahahaha!
TJ March 17, 2013 at 04:35 PM
Kevin_Hunt March 17, 2013 at 04:47 PM
Prohibitionist Pill Pusher! Many famous ‘drug warriors’ have been and are guilty of using, smuggling, or pushing drugs. Nixon was addicted to the narcotic Dilantin. Ronald Reagan was a spokesman for Chesterfield cigarettes, the most deadly drug on the planet. Ronnie’s Iran Contra operation was a front for coke smuggling. Nancy Reagan (a child abuser) was addicted to tranquilizers. Bush H. (a Halicion addict) was on the board of Eli Lily, makers of the dangerous and defective Darvocet. Bill Clinton inhaled. Bush W. was an alcoholic that refused to deny doing illegal drugs. Rush Limbaugh was busted for pills. Mitt Romney was working at Bain Capital when they were pushing cigarettes on the poor in the former Soviet Union. The list goes on and on. It seems that the harder someone campaigns to prolong the misery of the ‘war on some drugs’, the more they have to hide.
TJ March 17, 2013 at 10:40 PM
Kevin_Hunt March 18, 2013 at 01:50 AM
TJ = Habitual drunk.


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