BY RUTH HILL R.N.
Patrick Kennedy, Senator Ted Kennedy’s son, and Kevin Sabet wrote a commentary in the Wall Street Journal June 14th titled: “This is no time to go to Pot”. Kevin Sabet is the President and CEO of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), Preventing Another big Tobacco. Both are opposed to the bill sponsored by Corey Booker and Elizabeth Warren. Basically, Kennedy and Sabet believe pot is the next tobacco business. This belief alone damages their credibility.
Kennedy states high potency pot will be in candy and gummies. They obviously have not researched the various state laws, or they would know products are prohibited from looking like candy or taking the image of an animal with the purpose of appealing to children. Statistics can support any position unless one has the time and effort to analyze how they were compiled which most readers are not able. The article points out the harm marijuana can do to children ignoring the harm of alcohol. Studies show marijuana has a 9% dependency level as opposed to 33% for tobacco, and 15% for alcohol. (Fox, S. Armentano, P. and Tvert, M. Marijuana is safer so why are we driving people to drink? Chelsea Green Publishing updated 2013.)
Kennedy’s article lacks credible research to back up their contention the cannabis industry is targeting children and minorities. To besmirch an industry that has been giving medical cannabis access to thousands of suffering people is beyond the pale and adds to the unfounded myths about cannabis. I do not know any cannabis dispensary or business in the Coachella Valley that is targeting children. I have found no evidence that legalized cannabis is more rampant in the minority communities. In fact, the opposite is true. The excise and sales taxes have put legal medicinal cannabis out of reach of seniors and minority individuals. Prices have doubled in the past year. Kennedy’s religious sobriety is fear based instead of science based. Drug gangs and drug dealers are targeting children and minorities not the legal cannabis industry.
The SAM website that Kennedy and Sabet founded and support is remarkable in its lack of scientific references. The staff are all communication gurus. The SAM at https://learnaboutsam.org/ continues the myths and lies propagated by the government and the pharmaceutical companies in the last 70 years. They conflate medical cannabis with smoking cigarettes, confusing the public and doing a disservice to the scientific community that continues to prove cannabis is safe. Kennedy and SAM want us to be stuck in the 70’s negating the advances in cannabis molecular chemistry.
In contrast websites that educate on cannabis, i.e. https://www.green-flower.com/ or https://www.leafly.com/, offer references from a multitude of sources that use, research, and cultivate this herb. The American Cannabis Nurses Association https://cannabisnurses.org/ is another reliable source for education. Newspapers and TV media pundits like Laura Ingram and Bill O’Reilly do not help with their outdated conservative views. Liberal pundits are just as culpable as they focus on the opioid crisis, conflating medical cannabis as being a gateway drug. Dr. Dustin Sulak at https://healer.com/ disputes Kennedy’s position.
There are seven different bills in the House and Senate dealing with legalizing cannabis. H.R. 1227 Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017- 2018, introduced by Rep. Thomas Garrett (R-VA), has the most cosponsors, six Republican and 29 Democrats. CA has 53 Representatives. Why are only two Republicans, Dana Rohrabacher and Duncan Hunter, and seven Democrats, cosponsoring this bill? Where are the other CA Democrats and Republicans?
S.1689 The Marijuana Justice Act sponsored by Sen. Corey Booker in the Senate and the duplicate H.R 4815 sponsored by Rep. Barbara Lee, has 5 Senators and Representatives from CA as cosponsors. Why are CA legislators abandoning the industry we worked so hard to legalize? It gives unnecessary credence to politicians like Patrick Kennedy who cannot separate his own addiction from the miraculous benefits of this herb.
“Marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.” — Hon. Francis Young (deceased), DEA Administrative Law Judge, 1988
Ruth Hill RN educates the public on medical cannabis email@example.com