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Medical marijuana: Law enforcement group rips dispensary seizure letters

Thumbnail image for john walsh.JPG
John Walsh.
U.S. Attorney John Walsh says he's not bluffing when it comes to seizure letters sent to 23 medical marijuana dispensaries near schools. And Neill Franklin, executive director of Massachusetts-based Law Enforcement Against Prohibition fears he's in earnest.

That's why he's co-authored a letter, on view below, in which he criticizes Walsh's decision in no uncertain terms.

Here's an excerpt from the document, signed by Franklin, who served as a police officer in Baltimore for 34 years, and past Westword profile subject Leonard Frieling, an attorney and former judge:

For you to join maverick prosecutors in California, Montana, Rhode Island, Washington and other states in going out of your way to short-circuit the will of the people and their elected representatives and to place obstacles between patients and their medicine is short-sighted and inimical to the public health, safety and welfare. Your actions bring law-enforcement into disrepute with the spoken will of the voters and their state representatives.

In conversation, Franklin is just as emphatic. "Nobody really knows what's in the head of someone else when they make the decisions they make," he acknowledges. "We can only go by what they've communicated to us. And when U.S. Attorney Walsh sent these letters out to dispensaries that were already approved by state and local government in Colorado to operate under state law, it is my opinion that he was just hopping on the bandwagon of the U.S. Attorneys in California and other states.

neill franklin.jpeg
Neill Franklin.
"The people have decided that this is okay -- that this is what they want in Colorado. And that's who he should be serving, even though he's a federal public servant. He needs to respect the will of voters and abide by what they've put in place."

In Franklin's view, Walsh's actions "will lead to a couple of things. Those patients who have been receiving their medicine from these dispensaries will now have to seek out other avenues, and I'm afraid that many of them may resort to what is most convenient. That's the illegal trade, which the last place we want people to turn, because it's a dangerous environment -- a market run by criminals who use violence to control market share."

Moreover, "the medication these patients will receive through the illegal market has no quality control standards. They'll have no idea what they're going to be ingesting. And the illegal system makes drugs more accessible to our kids. We know that. In the illicit market, we have a drug dealer on every corner and in every one of our schools. But we can begin to eliminate that trade through regulation and control -- and that's what dispensaries are for when it comes to people who use medical marijuana. They give us a much better chance of keeping marijuana away from our children."

Walsh claims that one reason he's focusing on dispensaries near schools is due to the possibility of children getting access to an illegal drug. But Franklin has seen no evidence that kids have obtained marijuana from any Colorado MMC, due in part to the rigorous set of laws constructed around the industry.

leonard frieling.jpg
Letter co-author Leonard Frieling.
"Can any policy be circumvented?" he asks. "Yes, and we all know that. But with what you have established in Colorado, it makes it very difficult for a child to inappropriately access the system of a dispensary. That's what we're trying to do in this country -- make it difficult for children to access all drugs. You can't do that with an illicit trade, and that's basically what the U.S. Attorney will encourage by closing down dispensaries. He's sending people right back into the illicit market."

Why do Walsh and his counterparts in other states fail to see the situation in the ways espoused by LEAP?

"I equate it to being brainwashed," Franklin says. "I don't mean that in a bad way. It's just something that they've done for many years. And I know how they feel. I was in the law-enforcement business for three decades, and it wasn't an overnight adjustment for me. It didn't just happen at the drop of a dime. It took some educating, it took time to look at it from a different perspective, and it took time for people to share data and information with me that I hadn't seen before. That's why our organization is so important. We not only interact with ordinary citizens, but we interact with folks in the law-enforcement profession, encouraging them to take the time and go through the same process we went through.

"We understand that there will be some people who will refuse to hear or see what we have to say. But by far the majority, once we give them the information and they've had time to digest it, begin to see the truth. You can't help but do that, because it's based on science and facts, not on feelings or innuendos. If you've got a logical cell in your body, you're going to see this, but it's going to take time."

As for why Walsh and other U.S. Attorneys are cracking down now, Franklin has some theories about their timing, which he sees as aimed at wider legalization efforts.

Page down to read more of our interview with LEAP's Neill Franklin.



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USPTO PATENT APPLICATION
USPTO PATENT APPLICATION

LEAP was founded on March 16, 2002 by five officers.[1] It is modeled after Vietnam Veterans Against the War, an organization which earned its credibility by utilizing speakers who had been on the frontlines of the war they later denounced. LEAP now has more than 15,000 members but does not disclose how many of those are sworn law enforcement officers.[3] There are 143 speakers living in thirty-eight different states in the United States and more than fifteen other countries.[4] LEAP now has members in 86 countries.[3]

patriot1701
patriot1701

This is basically a federal "usurpation of Power" issue and is an illegal act, perpetrated against the states and the people. U.S. Attorney John Walsh is violating his oath of office and should be prosecuted, under the delegated powers clause and the 9th and 10th Amendments, for this blatant violation of the U.S. Constitution.

For information on states rights I recommend a book by Thomas Woods, titled: "Nullification - How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century."

For information on how to resist such tyranny in the courtroom, see: www.FIJA.org

patriot1701
patriot1701

Biggovernment has always been the enemy of freedom, as is the case withMMJ dispensaries. They not only have to contend with excessive cityfees to grow and sell marijuana, they also must contend with anout-of-control federal government, which violates its authority underthe U.S. Constitution by trying to control drugs – a power which isNOT delegated to it by the Constitution. This abuse of power isillegal, and should be fought by the state and by individuals,especially under the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the U.S.Constitution.Colorado has an obligation to protect itscitizens from unlawful federal interference in their affairs, andunder the auspices of the Tenth Amendment has the right to tell theU.S. Attorney’s Office to go take a hike – preferably off acliff!

joeyrockx
joeyrockx

I'm tired of these fake conservative hacks trying to pretend they represent me. Since when did the "nanny state knows best" become conservative? How is it "conservative" to spend over 1.3 trillion dollars on an "alleged" problem, only to find the situation worse then before you started? Freedom is a conservative pillar, you keep your nose in your business, and ill keep mine in my own. How have these lunatics taken the party along for this ridiculous circus ride? Its really infuriating, there is nothing "conservative" about keeping medicine from sick people. There is nothing conservative about ignoring the will of people, nothing conservative about ignoring votes. There is nothing conservative about grovelling to the "all knowing" federal government. This is a perversion of conservatism and it needs to be purged from our party. We don't elect kings and queens around here for a reason. This country belongs to the people, not the government, not the politicians, the people. And the people have spoken on this issue, just because some ignorant politicians disagree doesn't mean anything whatsoever. If you don like democracy, if you hate freedom, if you can stand personal responsibility, if you have trouble minding your own business, take your sorry a$$ to Iran, I promise, you will LOVE it there. If freedom bothers you, leave. This is America, and we are taking this country back.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

BREAKING NEWS -- 

Dozens of homes raided in marijuana investigation dubbed 'Operation Sweet Leaf," many arrested !!

DENVER - Twenty-five homes were raided across the Denver metro area as part of a large-scale marijuana investigation, 9Wants to Know has confirmed.The North Metro Drug Task force is leading the investigation into the large-scale grow operation.

SWAT teams began conducting raids Wednesday at about 6 a.m.

At least 12 people have been arrested in what officials have deemed "Operation Sweet Leaf." There are more arrests expected, according to 9Wants To Know's sources. Seven kids were taken to social services after arrests were made.

http://www.9news.com/news/loca...

Phillip Barton
Phillip Barton

 Tobacco, alcohol,timber, chemical, petrol and pharmaceut­ical companies are laughing at all thepeople who are ONLY talking & taking action on MEDICAL MARIJUANA. There isso much more the CANNABIS plant can produce. Research, educate, and get involvein the BIG PICTURE.

Peace!!!

leftover crack
leftover crack

who cares anymore? what a shit show everyone involved has allowed this to become, either thru action or inaction. your all guilty. colorado mmj is dead and has been born again as a circus and you're all the clowns. have fun with the feds you shit stains. no one has your back. not your state, not your city, not your county, not your municipality or even your industry peers. 'colorado mmj' has become laughable. fuck you all. kinda happy to see the feds gearing up to roll in and smash this shit show into the ground. you all deserve it.

niemo99
niemo99

Given that the Federal government has a patent on cannabis medicines, why is the attack on dispensaries happening? Uncle Sam knows that cannabis does, indeed, have medicinal properties - despite what it continually says about it being Schedule 1 in the (so-called) Controlled Substances Act. Which is the supposed basis for drug prohibition: lack of medical use or proven harm.

Can it be that the Feds might be playing favorites? Such as in awarding a no-bid contract to a company called KannaLife to produce those meds? And given that GW Pharmaceuticals is about to market a soon-to-be-approved FDA-approved cannabis-based medicine as well, and that sitting on its' board is ex-Number Two Dr. Andrea Barthwell from the Office of National Drug Control Policy, (who while on our dime and our time said again and again that cannabis had NO medicinal qualities and who is now singing the odd tune that it's only smoked cannabis that has no value) if you don't smell something fishy, your schnozz is busted and you should see a doctor.

This is Big Pharma using the friendly muscle of the Feds to stamp out any competition to their plans of complete control of cannabis-based meds. The prohibitionists always make the most moral noises, but in the end its' all money-grubbing.

pfroehlich2004
pfroehlich2004

If you live in Connecticut and want to end marijuana prohibition in our state, please take a minute to visit www.ctprimaryproject.com.

Please pass this on to anyone you know in Connecticut!

Duncan20903
Duncan20903

“Never let the facts get in the way of disseminating an effective piece of hysterical rhetoric"

 ~~The motto of the Know Nothing prohibitionist

Duncan20903
Duncan20903

 5 hours ago in reply to Ka Dargo, Yerkiddinme regugitated this fallacious nonsense: "No, it didn't escape me.  You absolve yourself of any responsibility for murders resulting from the drug trade, while being part of the demand that sustains the drug trade.  I get it.  You don't care about killing unless it's happening in your back yard." ---------My reply: Those on my side of the table didn't sanction the existence of the cartels by prosecuting the abject failure of public policy that we call the war on (some) drugs. The black market vendors of bootleg drinking alcohol in countries who still insist on absolute prohibition of that substance are just as, if not more vicious than the Mexican cartels.

Have you ever heard of Mexican cartel members raping the competition? I do mean man on man forcible sodomy:http://www.thenational.ae/news...

You really need to take a remedial course in the relationship between cause and effect.

malcolmkyle
malcolmkyle

In addition to the many societal costs of prohibition, it has a long history of driving the spread of harder or more dangerous drugs.

* Poppies to morphine to heroine to krokodil

* Coca to cocaine to crack

* Ephedra to ephredrine to speed to methamphetamine

* Marijuana to skunk to dangerous synthetic concoctions such as 'spice' or 'bath salts'

* Mushrooms to ecstasy to 2CB/designers

At every step the reasons for the rise in popularity of the new form of the drug are one or more of the following: 

* It may easier to smuggle.

* It may be more addictive, thus compelling the buyer to return more frequently. 

* It may be cheaper to produce therefore yielding more profit. 

* Like a game of "whack a mole" a shutdown of producers in one area will mean business opportunities for another set of producers with a similar product.

Prohibition's distortion of the immutable laws of supply and demand subsidizes organized crime, foreign terrorists, corrupt cops & politicians and feeds the prejudices of self-appointed culture warriors. So called Tough-On-Drugs politicians have happily built careers on confusing drug prohibition's horrendous collateral damage with the substances that they claim to be fighting, while the big losers in this battle are everybody else, especially taxpayers. 

How come so many of us have been deluded into believing that big government is the appropriate response to non-traditional consensual vices? 

Imagine if we were to chop down every single tree on the planet as a response to our failure to prevent tree-climbing accidents. That's what our misguided drug policy looks like. Isn't it time we all stood up and told the government we're tired of being beaten and jailed so that pharmaceutical companies can poison and kill us for obscene profits?

Prohibition Prevents Regulation : Legalize, Regulate and Tax!

malcolmkyle
malcolmkyle

Alcohol is a factor in the following:

* 73% of all felonies * 73% of child beating cases * 41% of rape cases * 80% of wife battering cases * 72% of stabbings * 83% of homicides.

According to the Australian National Drug Research Institute (2003): "Tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs are prematurely killing around seven million people worldwide each year, and robbing tens of millions more of a healthy life. The research into the global burden of disease attributable to alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs found that in 2000, tobacco use was responsible for 4.9 million deaths worldwide, equating to 71 percent of all drug-related deaths. Around 1.8 million deaths were attributable to the use of alcohol (26 percent of all drug-related deaths), and illicit drugs (heroin, cocaine and amphetamines) caused approximately 223,000 deaths (3 percent of all drug-related deaths)."

According to DrugRehabs.Org, national mortality figures for 2009 were:  tobacco  435,000;  poor diet and physical inactivity  365,000;  alcohol  85,000; microbial agents  75,000;  toxic agents  55,000; motor vehicle crashes  26,347; adverse reactions to prescription drugs 32,000;  suicide  30,622;  incidents involving firearms  29,000;  homicide  20,308;  sexual behaviors  20,000;  all illicit drug use, direct and indirect  17,000; and marijuana 0.

Researchers led by Professor David Nutt, a former chief drugs adviser to the British government, asked drug-harm experts to rank 20 drugs (legal and illegal) on 16 measures of harm to the user and to wider society, such as damage to health, drug dependency, economic costs and crime. Alcohol scored 72 out of a possible 100, far more damaging than heroin (55) or crack cocaine (54). It is the most harmful to others by a wide margin, and is ranked fourth behind heroin, crack, and methamphetamine (crystal meth) for harm to the individual. 

The American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that in the U.S. alone, an estimated 79,000lives are lost annually due to "excessive" drinking. The study estimates that the overall cost of excessive drinking by Americans is $223.5 billion each year.

Health-related costs per user are eight times higher for those who drink alcohol when compared to those who use marijuana, and are more than 40 times higher for tobacco smokers, according to a 2009 review published in the British Columbia Mental Health and Addictions Journal.

It states, "In terms of [health-related] costs per user: tobacco-related health costs are over $800 per user, alcohol-related health costs are much lower at $165 per user, and cannabis-related health costs are the lowest at $20 per user."

Having three or more alcoholic drinks a day increased lung cancer risk by 30 percent.

“Heavy drinking has multiple harmful effects, including cardiovascular complications and increased risk for lung cancer,” - lead researcher Stanton Siu, MD, of Kaiser Permanente

Apart from the fact that legal drugs kill far more people than all the illegal drugs combined, debating whether a particular drug is harmless or not is missing the whole point. Are drugs like Heroin, Meth or Alcohol dangerous? It simply doesn't matter, because if we prohibit them then we sure as hell know that it makes a bad situation far worse. If someone wants to attempt to enhance or destroy their lives with particular medicines or poisons, that should be their business, not anybody else's. Their lives aren't ours to direct. And anyway, who wants to give criminals, terrorists and corrupt law enforcement agents a huge un-taxed, endless revenue stream?

Mdonmyers
Mdonmyers

Yerkiddinme  you have to be the biggest DA i have ever seen, first of all, I dont smoke for recreation or medical use at all, second prohibition didnt work with alcohol and is not working with Pot,third alcohol kills people everyday it is legal for me to drink but if i am drunk and decide to drive and kill someone, I have broken the law.  the cartels and dealers that kill each other do so because the US government allows them to exist..WHY because keeping pot illegal is Big Business for the feds and the courts ......so educate yourself before you make such a stupid comment   it is obvious that you will have a long employment life in the fast food business

Monkey
Monkey

Good story, I especially like the last paragraph, very logical. I am a bitch so I do have to clarify one thing, even though other statements were misinterpretations, the one that bothers me most was, "the medication these patients will receive through the illegal market has no quality control standards. They'll have no idea what they're going to be ingesting". Colorado legislators and all their regulations never made cannabis any safer, no third party is performing quality control. We assume regulations protect the customer but in this case it does not. Potency tests done privately is not the same as quality tests, harmful properties such as mold/mildew, bugs and contaminants are just as important as THC or CBDs. While some might perform extra tests, there is no standardization and nothing preventing them from putting crap on the shelf. Colorado weed is great, always has been, but legislators should not get any credit for making it better, they have not, if anything they made it worse through mass production policies with a severe lack of quality control.

Randy
Randy

Where are all the growers to stand up for the illegal market?

Franklin destroys his credibility with statements like this:"the illegal market has no quality control standards"

huh?

And shows his true colors in his desire to "eliminate that trade through regulation and control ".

Guess that's why LEAP is on the Init. 30 tax and control and regulate out of existence bandwagon. More pro-corporate lobbyists intent on securing the industry for the 1%-ers. Stick it! My caregiver's weed is better than any dispensary weed. Stop trying to shut them down with your "control" model. "Control" = "prohibition". Doesn't that make LEAP hypocrites?

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Neill Franklin looks stoned in that photo ...

Ka Dargo
Ka Dargo

Meanwhile, bars and breweries continue to spew impaired drivers onto our roadways who continue to endanger our children.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

A True Patriot would not hesitate to take up arms against a tyrannical government.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Most patients and caregivers in Colorado realize that we would best safeguard their right to medicine by ending Prohibition generally, and I have tried to represent their interests.

Crank
Crank

Issues?  Yeah, you have them.

Yerkiddinme
Yerkiddinme

"My reply: Those on my side of the table didn't sanction the existence of the cartels by prosecuting the abject failure of public policy that we call the war on (some) drugs."

No, you sanction the existence of the cartels by being their biggest customer. 

Now who really needs a lesson in cause and effect?  Oh, sorry, you're stoned.  I don't expect you to get it.

Duncan20903
Duncan20903

In Georgia, there are still a few vestigial bootleggers of drinking alcohol. In that State modern day bootlegging leads to the scourge of stripper poles and the tragedy of illegal buffets:

http://www.gainesvilletimes.co...quoted from article linked above:

Though the squads focus on drugs and gangs, they address a few bootlegging cases each year. "They pop up every now and then. People want to make a little extra money," Ware said. "They'll buy beers and then sell it for two or three times more."

In early November, three people were arrested and accused of selling alcohol illegally out of a home on Brown Street. The suspects allegedly were selling beer, wine, mixed drinks and shots of moonshine.

There was also a buffet and a stripper pole set up at the house, Ware said./snip/

Yerkiddinme
Yerkiddinme

Exhibit A to the argument that pot interferes with clarity of thought, unless you were born stupid.  Come back when you can consruct a sentence and we'll trade postings.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Word up!

The political, legal and financial best interests of MMJ Patients and Private personal Care-givers are IN DIRECT CONFLICT with those of the Greedy Big $$ Retail Dispensary Industry and their parasitic bedfellows at the Colorado Dept. of REVENUE !!

Boycott the greedy, for-profit big $$ dispensary industry and the DOR pigs! ... Support your local private Caregiver or GROW YOUR OWN !!

Free the Weed!

Bairnsfather
Bairnsfather

Your non-sequitor attacks are difficult to address.

I do not call or consider LEAP hypocrites. It is the Drug Warriors and Prohibitionists who use the word “control” hypocritically (and nonsensically) as in “Controlled Substances Act,” and as in “we the government control those substances.” Because as commenter Yerkiddinme pointed out, it’s the traffickers (and underground dealers) who control the distribution lanes, the hours of operation, who they will sell to, age limits, etc…  

When alcohol was prohibited government abdicated ALL control of it to the black market.

It
It

Hahahahaha, isn't that cute!  You think people will believe you have children.

Derp
Derp

Dude, give it a rest. Did you actually read the article, above, or did you just have a case of keyboard diarrhea and this is where you had to let it fly?

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

So which is it?  Do we live under a tyrannical regime which we should oppose by any means necessary, or should we be bound by Federal law until and unless we are able to change it?

leftover crack
leftover crack

issues? fuck that. i gots me the whole subscription. and so doesn't CO mmj. it's dead. give it up already.

joeyrockx
joeyrockx

You really need to open a history book and look up his little known period of time identified as "prohibition". Your embarrassing yourself.

Ka Dargo
Ka Dargo

Well, there's what you think, then there's what you know, then there's what you can prove.... :)

Ka Dargo
Ka Dargo

Apparently I'm not being heard.  I will NOT stop until the insanity stops. So, you have no problem with drunks on the road after leaving the bar? Why are these business allowed to continue to enable this behavior which puts all of us in danger?

I'll tell you what I'm tired of....I'm tired of the idea of coming down on consumers of cannabis while consumers of alcohol are causing all the problems. I read all the time in the news about all the problems that drunks cause. I rarely read anything about the problems stoners cause.

It's plain wrong to persecute one group for another group's actions.

patriot1701
patriot1701

Yes, we live under a semi-tyrannical regime now, but while there's still a chance to set things right peacefully - such as by electing Ron Paul for president - we should do it. Violence really should be a LAST resort.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

The 1% and their fearmongering client-demagogues do.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Who elected -- and continues to re-elect -- the Tyrants ?

joeyrockx
joeyrockx

There is nothing to "own". Prohibition creates a black market, try to channel your inner intelligence and maybe you'll be able to grasp basic concepts. When you take a product that people use like, marijuana. You drive the production and distribution underground, that puts the market in the hands of criminals. You take a plant that is probably worth 10 dollars a pound, and because you attack the supply, the price rises to thousands of dollars a pound. Now no matter how many people you arrest, no matter how much you attack the source, you still have people willing to grow and sell it. You make the economic benefits so great that you will never be rid of it, and the multi billion dollar industry balloons out of control to the point that over a hundred million people are able to use something with ease that is supposed to be illegal. Marijuana has been used for thousands of years, its not harmful and it no going anywhere. This is really basic, if you can't understand it your not that smart.

Yerkiddinme
Yerkiddinme

I've read your other postings.  If anyone knows how to embarrass oneself, it's you.

Now tell me about the time that marijuana was legal in this country, then prohibited.  Didn't think so.  It can't be compared to alcohol prohibition.  Your demand created the supply that then became managed by the cartels.  Own it.  With blood on your hands.

Sblmwhtigt
Sblmwhtigt

Who are you referring to? If you would have read the other post I said I do not smoke and go to work. I never have never will. I said I was an occasional smoker and I prefer to smoke after I workout right before bed and as for as smoking and then me being worthless thats bullshit. I work, eat, lift, smoke, do the dishes or whatever other cleaning before bed and then sleep. I have a 4yr degree and still attending school part time, I work full time, I work out religiously, I go to church, I coach U-8 soccer in the fall and Im getting married in a few weeks. So NO Im not a worthless "stoner". Its not like smoking a joint turns you into some pathetic loser. Most people who smoke are normal, everday, hard working people who prefer a joint over a beer every now and then and they have every right to do so.

joeyrockx
joeyrockx

Lets take it a step further you warrior of the workplace, anyone who consumes coffee, cigarettes, or soda while working should all be fired...

Crank
Crank

Well, seeing as how you admitted on a public forum that you get high while working at a hospital, I think it wouldn't be too difficult to prove it to the hospital administrators with a simple drug test.  How many people have been hurt by your selfish, lackadaisical sense of work ethic?  What, are you so addicted that you can't wait until you get home to be worthless?

Duncan20903
Duncan20903

...and almost everyone misses the fact that the robust decline in the incidence of youth use of drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco to their lowest levels in 30 years was achieved without making those substances illegal for adults. Meanwhile, youth use of cannabis is at a 30 year high.

Sam
Sam

Yea, and like tobacco and alcohol aren't drugs in the statement that "drug use is up"...

That's how they succeed.  They pretend that alcohol and tobacco aren't dangerous drugs then say things like "drug use is up among the children" when referring to cannabis sparking fear in the minds of parents. 

The sad thing is that most parents buy it not having a clue that cannabis is a benign substance when compared to alcohol.  Then the kids grow up learning that the more harmful substances are the things to abuse.  I mean they are legal so they must be better, right?

malcolmkyle
malcolmkyle

Why the fear of information concerning the dangers of alcohol? Do you own a bar?

Alcohol is a factor in the following:

* 73% of all felonies * 73% of child beating cases * 41% of rape cases * 80% of wife battering cases * 72% of stabbings * 83% of homicides.

According to the Australian National Drug Research Institute (2003): "Tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs are prematurely killing around seven million people worldwide each year, and robbing tens of millions more of a healthy life. The research into the global burden of disease attributable to alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs found that in 2000, tobacco use was responsible for 4.9 million deaths worldwide, equating to 71 percent of all drug-related deaths. Around 1.8 million deaths were attributable to the use of alcohol (26 percent of all drug-related deaths), and illicit drugs (heroin, cocaine and amphetamines) caused approximately 223,000 deaths (3 percent of all drug-related deaths)."

According to DrugRehabs.Org, national mortality figures for 2009 were:  tobacco  435,000;  poor diet and physical inactivity  365,000;  alcohol  85,000; microbial agents  75,000;  toxic agents  55,000; motor vehicle crashes  26,347; adverse reactions to prescription drugs 32,000;  suicide  30,622;  incidents involving firearms  29,000;  homicide  20,308;  sexual behaviors  20,000;  all illicit drug use, direct and indirect  17,000; and marijuana 0.

Researchers led by Professor David Nutt, a former chief drugs adviser to the British government, asked drug-harm experts to rank 20 drugs (legal and illegal) on 16 measures of harm to the user and to wider society, such as damage to health, drug dependency, economic costs and crime. Alcohol scored 72 out of a possible 100, far more damaging than heroin (55) or crack cocaine (54). It is the most harmful to others by a wide margin, and is ranked fourth behind heroin, crack, and methamphetamine (crystal meth) for harm to the individual. 

The American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that in the U.S. alone, an estimated 79,000 lives are lost annually due to "excessive" drinking. The study estimates that the overall cost of excessive drinking by Americans is $223.5 billion each year.

Health-related costs per user are eight times higher for those who drink alcohol when compared to those who use marijuana, and are more than 40 times higher for tobacco smokers, according to a 2009 review published in the British Columbia Mental Health and Addictions Journal.It states, "In terms of [health-related] costs per user: tobacco-related health costs are over $800 per user, alcohol-related health costs are much lower at $165 per user, and cannabis-related health costs are the lowest at $20 per user."

Having three or more alcoholic drinks a day increased lung cancer risk by 30 percent.“Heavy drinking has multiple harmful effects, including cardiovascular complications and increased risk for lung cancer,” - lead researcher Stanton Siu, MD, of Kaiser Permanente

Apart from the fact that legal drugs kill far more people than all the illegal drugs combined, debating whether a particular drug is harmless or not is missing the whole point. Are drugs like Heroin, Meth or Alcohol dangerous? It simply doesn't matter, because if we prohibit them then we sure as hell know that it makes a bad situation far worse. If someone wants to attempt to enhance or destroy their lives with particular medicines or poisons, that should be their business, not anybody else's. Their lives aren't ours to direct. And anyway, who wants to give criminals, terrorists and corrupt law enforcement agents a huge un-taxed, endless revenue stream?

Ka Dargo
Ka Dargo

So your position is that my post is not related to the article. I disagree. If the law makers are really serious about protecting children, then they might want to instead focus on the problem of children being killed on the road by drunks, not children not being killed by cannabis.

No, I DO NOT support any child consuming cannabis and I DO NOT support anyone driving impaired on ANY substance, but more importantly, I am long past tired of this push to persecute stoners for the problems being caused by drunks. Making it possible for people to drive up to a bar, go in and get impaired, then drive off is insanity.

Every song that I know the lyrics to, I know the lyrics to because I have heard it over and over and over...at some point maybe my repeating this will begin to sink in to those who insist on this insanity.

Ryan
Ryan

Nothing to do with alcohol, ha, must be a troll. The comparison is very simple, valid, and can be reiterated until the end of mj prohibition.

Derp
Derp

I agree that stoners cause fewer problems than drunks.  I don't agree, however, with your insistence on making irrelevant comments on articles that have nothing to do with alcohol.  Find a forum that addresses your argument and discuss it there. Which part of the title "Law enforcement rips dispensary seizure letters" made you regurgitate the bullshit you've been spewing for the last several days?  

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