“Daddy, I want to have coffee when I grow up.”
Here we go with another episode of everyone’s favorite cannabis podcast, the Hot Box. We have a fantastic episode for you this week. Join us as we talk about marijuana news of the week including Senator Tom Coburn’s response to the reclassification of marijuana, Congress gets passed the buck for rescheduling cannabis, a new study showing the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes does NOT pose a danger, go easy on those edibles, overturning previous marijuana convictions in Colorado, Senate Bill 124 in Kentucky, Florida passes a measure legalizing Charlotte’s Web to help children with Dravet Syndrome, and so much more. Thanks for listening, enjoy the show notes.
This is the best. Remember when one of our awesome listeners wrote his senator in Oklahoma? Yeah, well he got a response from Senator Tom Coburn. I posted this in it’s entirety so you can read the whole thing without our silly commentary. Check it out.
Thank you for your message about the reclassification of marijuana. I appreciate you writing me and would like to share with you my thoughts on this issue.
As a practicing physician and three time cancer survivor, I oppose the legalization of marijuana for medicinal or recreational use, based upon sound public health factors. I also support the federal government’s classification of marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance, and I support policies that seek to prevent and treat drug abuse. I have met with many Oklahoman families whose lives have been devastated by the use of marijuana, particularly since it acts as a “gateway drug” to other much more dangerous substances. As a physician who has seen its effects firsthand, I cannot support the legalization of marijuana in good conscience.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has conducted numerous studies on the medicinal value of marijuana—and every time finds that it has no medicinal value and should not be approved as safe or effective for the American people. Recent studies have also indicated marijuana smokers have a 2.3 times greater risk of stroke, and regular marijuana smoking may damage the pituitary, which is involved in blood pressure, metabolism, and other body processes.
In the past I have offered an amendment to give the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority over “medical” marijuana. My amendment would have tasked the FDA with the responsibility to conduct any scientific studies deemed necessary to determine the safety and efficacy of medicinal marijuana. In lieu of my amendment, it is my sincere belief that the District of Columbia and 18 states with “medical marijuana” laws are violating federal law by allowing patients to use a potentially harmful drug without FDA-approval.
The body of evidence surrounding the dubious claims about “medical” marijuana is significant. In 2001, HHS completed an extensive analysis in response to a request to reschedule marijuana to a less restrictive schedule. After looking at all the relevant data on marijuana, HHS concluded that the weight of the scientific evidence supported the findings that marijuana should continue to be classified as Schedule I because it has a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in the United States, and a lack of accepted evidence about the safety of using marijuana under medical supervision.
While all of the long-term effects of marijuana use are not yet known, there are studies showing serious physical and mental health concerns. The volume of literature detailing the harmful effects of whole, smoked marijuana, in fact, continues to grow. Marijuana can be harmful in a number of ways, through both immediate effects and damage to health over time. Marijuana hinders the user’s short-term memory, and may cause trouble for a user when handling complex tasks. With the use of more potent varieties of marijuana, even simple tasks can be difficult. Because of the drug’s effects on perceptions and reaction time, users could be involved in auto crashes. Furthermore, the immune system protects the body from many agents that cause disease. Both animal and human studies have shown that marijuana impairs the ability of T-cells in the lungs’ immune defense system to fight off some infections. Findings show that the regular use of marijuana or THC may play a role in cancer and problems in the respiratory and immune systems. Marijuana smoking could also contribute to early development of head and neck cancer.
In addition, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has found that “high doses of marijuana can induce psychosis (disturbed perceptions and thoughts), and marijuana use can worsen psychotic symptoms in people who have schizophrenia. There is also evidence of increased rates of depression, anxiety, and suicidal thinking in chronic marijuana users.” According to the American Psychiatric Association, “Marijuana use may trigger panic attacks, paranoia, even psychoses, especially if you are suffering from anxiety, depression or having thinking problems.”
Furthermore, you may be interested to know that in Amsterdam, a city with a relaxed attitude toward drugs, officials have been closing marijuana dispensaries due to an increase in crime associated with their operation. California is seeing a similar increase in crime surrounding medical cannabis dispensaries. According to a 2010 Heritage Foundation report, “In Los Angeles, police report that areas surrounding cannabis clubs have experienced a 200 percent increase in robberies, a 52.2 percent increase in burglaries, a 57.1 percent increase in aggravated assault, and a 130.8 percent increase in burglaries from automobiles. Current law requires a doctor’s prescription to procure marijuana; full legalization would likely spark an even more acute increase in crime.”
The bottom line is marijuana is a dangerous, addictive drug that poses significant health threats to users and society. Therefore, I support the classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug and cannot sign Congressman Earl Blumenauer’s letter in good faith.
Again, thank you for your message. Best wishes.
March 26, 2014
Tom A. Coburn, M.D.
United States Senator
Pretty unbelievable right? This guy is still stuck in 2001 with his so called facts. You should all take the time to write a letter to him, or email Senator_Coburn@coburn.senate.gov. You can check out the letter by Earl Blumenauer to Obama on removing marijuana from the drug schedule. Michael McAuliff wrote about it on the Huffpo.
In other news, Eric Holder came out with another memo or something stating they would be open to working with Congress on this whole pesky marijuana scheduling thing. Which basically means they are passing the buck to Congress, which hasn’t been all that efficient at getting anything done… Other than wasting time and money. If you need time or money wasted, Congress will get it done. Ryan Reilly wrote about it on the Huffpo.
We should send Michele Leonhart to Turkey. Because your services are soon no longer necessary here in America. Russ Belville wrote about what’s wrong with her here on High Times.
Everyone should send this research to good doctor Coburn. A study on PLOS One shows that the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes does NOT pose a danger to public health in terms of violent crime and property crimes. Check out the study here.
Let’s talk about the weed stuff you eat. Of course, if you have mental problems, you should be careful what you put in your body, because it might affect you differently than it affects the rest of us. Dr. Scott Bentz works in emergency medicine and says, “It’s the easiest emergency medicine case you’re going to see.” But he says it’s far easier to overconsume edibles than it is to smoke too much weed. It will hit you harder and differently, so watch out for that. You shouldn’t eat a whole pan of pot brownies, unless you plan on taking a nap about an hour later. John Ingold wrote about it on the Denver Post.
Also, if you are high on edibles, and think you might jump out of a window, maybe try and eat them on the first floor, away from windows. Just a little helpful tip from the Hot Box to you!
Nice work Kentucky. They have passed Senate Bill 124, which is sponsored by Sen. Julie Denton, a Republican in Louisville. It would allow the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville medical schools to do research and let anyone enrolled in a U.S. Food and Drug Administration trial to be treated with marijuana oil. Gregory Hall wrote about it on the Courier Journal.
On Thursday, Colorado ruled that certain people convicted on for possessing small amounts of marijuana can ask to have the convictions tossed out under the new recreational weed law. This is one small step to letting all of the non violent drug offenders out of jail one day. One day… Check it out here.
A Florida House panel has passed a measure that would legalize Charlotte’s Web, a high CBD low THC strain. This will definitely help the kids who have a rare form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome that can cause hundreds of seizures a day. This is amazing news, especially if you have a child suffering from this. The sponsor of the bill is House Criminal Justice Chairman Matt Gaetz, in case you were wondering. Dara Kam wrote about it here on WPTV.
Are you in Denver? Do you have your tickets for Dabroots 2014? If not, you better get them! It looks like it’s going to be a pretty awesome time. Maybe next year we can get some tickets! Here’s the information:
Dabroots is set to take place Friday, April 18th through Sunday, April 20th at the Darkstar Lounge, 1630 Federal Blvd. in Denver, Colorado. This 21+ event marks Grassroots California’s fifth-year anniversary and is set to be the best yet of their series of cannabis-friendly gatherings. There will be live music, outdoor smoking areas, vendors, comedians, laser tag, and of course plenty of dabs. More information about ticket packages can be found here. There are packages available for everyone at every price range so don’t be shy!
The pre-party begins at 4 PM on Friday, April 18th, and lasts until 1 AM. Gates will be open from 1 PM to 1 AM on both Friday and Saturday. Bands that will be playing include Nappy Roots, The Malah, David Starfire, P-Nuckle, Papa Skunk, Krooked Drivers, and many, many more.
We would also like to invite Senator Tom Coburn to come on the show and receive some of this new fangled updated information we have. We promise to be civil.
That’s it for this week. Please be sure to write us a review on iTunes if that’s how you subscribe. You can also check us out on Stitcher! If you have any thoughts to share with us, call and leave us a message at 406.204.4687 or send us a form. Thanks again for listening!