How state officials snuck themselves into Georgia’s Hope Act, sticking taxpayers with the cost of regulating medical marijuana so officials can profit from its production

How state officials snuck themselves into Georgia’s Hope Act, sticking taxpayers with the cost of regulating medical marijuana so officials can profit from its production

Because no tax was levied to pay for the costs of regulating a medical marijuana industry in Georgia, taxpayers will bear that burden so that state-wide public officials and legislators – maybe even some who were actually all in that same room – can make money growing and processing medical pot.

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Stop ignoring the brutal downside of legal pot

Stop ignoring the brutal downside of legal pot

Politicians are pushing to legalize recreational marijuana in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, following 10 other states. But the Parent Teacher Association, local health officials and pediatricians are pushing back, warning about the permanent damage to youngsters’ brains caused by weed. If you have children, trust the PTA, not the pols.

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Promises about legal weed benefits are false

Promises about legal weed benefits are false

In California, voters were sold the line that the state could collect upwards of $1 billion in revenue. The reality is the state has failed to bring in anywhere close to that mark — it fell 75 percent short of it through September. All this prompted outgoing California Gov. Jerry Brown to say, “I have not counted on any revenue from marijuana. Who’s counting on the marijuana revenue? People said that to make it more plausible for voters.”

So what’s the issue? It appears the black market is nimbler than anyone thought. In fact, it's growing stronger. One in five marijuana users in the state continue to purchase the drug off the street as opposed to buying it from retail stores. The situation is so bad that foreign cartels and criminal gangs are turning whole neighborhoods into pot-growing operations and even growing the drug on national lands.

And yet Big Marijuana — whose components now include Big Alcohol and Big Tobacco — keep claiming they can end the illicit trade of the drug through “regulation.”

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Why America will regret legalizing marijuana

Why America will regret legalizing marijuana

Chuck Schumer is trotting out old canards about how cannabis "doesn't hurt anybody else." Hearing him tout the virtues of legalization in Colorado and Washington ("lots of good and no harm!"), one is reminded of Purdue Pharma, the pharmaceutical company that spent years (and millions) telling doctors that opioids weren't seriously addictive when prescribed to pain patients. It's stunning that educated people ever believed this, but many did. Today, many are equally anxious to believe that legal pot probably has little to do with Colorado's sharp increase in auto accidents. And there are homeless people everywhere, right? Correlation doesn't equal causation.

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What voters really mean when they say they support marijuana legalization

What voters really mean when they say they support marijuana legalization

Given more options from which to choose, respondents’ support for legalization dropped by a third, from 60 percent to 40 percent. Apparently, some of the poll respondents who had previously expressed support for legalization assumed they were being asked about the legality of medical marijuana or of personal marijuana possession. The “60 percent support” was thus actually a mix of people who supported legalization and those who opposed it but wanted marijuana to be accessible to severely ill people, opposed criminal penalties for personal consumption, or both.

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Mexican drug cartels may use legal marijuana to take over Northern California pot trade.

  Mexican drug cartels may use legal marijuana to take over Northern California pot trade.

Part of the legalization argument is that regulating and taxing marijuana could give California enforcement agencies the funds they need to eradicate illegal farms. But Gabriel thinks it will take years before enforcement can put a dent in the illegal grows that he estimates pop up by the hundreds every year. He points to Humboldt County, about five hours northwest of Calaveras, where authorities are combing through 2,300 applications for growers who want to start selling in California’s recreational market. But there are also an estimated 12,700 illegal farms in the county.

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As legalization of pot ramps up in California what should citizens be considering?

As legalization of pot ramps up in California what should citizens be considering?

The “medipot” industry has been lawless. Those willing to break the law are not likely to obey new, weak and unenforced regulations. Local law enforcement throughout the state, including our own Chief Zimmerman pled for banning commercial pot drug dealing operations. Most jurisdictions in the state have listened. Sadly several cities, including San Diego City, have not.

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Marijuana devastated Colorado, don’t legalize it nationally

Marijuana devastated Colorado, don’t legalize it nationally

Our country is facing a drug epidemic. Legalizing recreational marijuana will do nothing that Senator Booker expects. We heard many of these same promises in 2012 when Colorado legalized recreational marijuana.

In the years since, Colorado has seen an increase in marijuana related traffic deaths, poison control calls, and emergency room visits. The marijuana black market has increased in Colorado, not decreased. And, numerous Colorado marijuana regulators have been indicted for corruption.

In 2012, we were promised funds from marijuana taxes would benefit our communities, particularly schools. Dr. Harry Bull, the Superintendent of Cherry Creek Schools, one of the largest school districts in the state, said, "So far, the only thing that the legalization of marijuana has brought to our schools has been marijuana."

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Dangers of Marijuana Experienced Firsthand

Dangers of Marijuana Experienced Firsthand

I recently finished my residency in emergency medicine and began to practice in Pueblo, Colorado. I grew up there, and I was excited to return home. However, when I returned home, the Pueblo I once knew had drastically changed. Where there were once hardware stores, animal feed shops, and homes along dotted farms, I now found marijuana shops—and lots of them. As of January 2016, there were 424 retail marijuana stores in Colorado compared with 202 McDonald’s restaurants.1

These stores are not selling the marijuana I had seen in high school. Multiple different types of patients are coming into the emergency department with a variety of unexpected problems such as marijuana-induced psychosis, dependence, burn injuries, increased abuse of other drugs, increased homelessness and its associated problems, and self-medication with marijuana to treat their medical problems instead of seeking appropriate medical care.

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Teens tend to think marijuana use is no big deal, but they’re wrong.

Teens tend to think marijuana use is no big deal, but they’re wrong.

While teenagers might be binge-drinking less and having less sex than the previous generation did, marijuana use among teens, which had declined from the late 1990s through the mid-to-late 2000s, is on the rise again. This is a problem because, despite our culture’s increasingly casual attitudes toward pot, research suggests that marijuana use can damage the developing teen brain.

If kids are behaving more conservatively than their parents did as teens and engaging in fewer risky or harmful activities, why are they smoking more pot? Why do 60 percent of high school seniors say they think marijuana is safe? And why are more of them using marijuana than smoking cigarettes or drinking? How have our kids gotten the idea that pot is no big deal?

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In Colorado, It's Still The Wild West For Home-Grown Marijuana

In Colorado, It's Still The Wild West For Home-Grown Marijuana

Since 2014, when Colorado’s legal, recreational marijuana sales began, Rist Canyon residents say they’ve seen the arrival of a handful of new neighbors. These newcomers buy a plot of land, and rather than build a house and move in, they put up greenhouses or start planting marijuana right in the ground.  

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