PETITION TO STOP MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION
Petition To: PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA
Submitted By: NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL NETWORK TO STOP MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION
WHEREAS Colorado and Washington have voted to legalize marijuana for recreational use, we herewith petition the federal government to prohibit this action by honoring our country’s international drug treaties and enforcing the federal Controlled Substance Act (CSA). Allowing individual States to defy the CSA undermines the progress we have made with our global partners to stop and prevent the distribution and use of illicit drugs. We urge you to use all resources at your disposal, including economic sanctions, to prevent the legalization of marijuana for any illegal use.
Based on the following scientific evidence, marijuana is a dangerous drug;
Brain Changes – Australian scientists study of 59 people who had been using marijuana for 15 years on average, proved that “…persistent heavy marijuana use damages the brain’s memory and learning capacity …causes a reduction in the volume of white matter of more than 80% … adding to previous evidence showing that the hippocampus, the area of the brain involved in memory, shrunk in heavy users.” The earlier people developed their cannabis habit, the worse the damage. New Zealand studies revealed that when marijuana was smoked prior to age 18 and continued into adulthood, there was an average loss of 8 points in IQ by age 38. Stopping did not reverse the outcome.
Addiction – The human brain is not fully developed until roughly age 25, and until then, it is much more vulnerable to harm and addiction. HHS report marijuana users have increased from 15 million to over 17 million from 2008 to 2010; 17% of those under age 18 will become addicted and 9% of those over age 18. The two highest consuming age groups are 18-25 followed by 12-17, both below the threshold of a mature brain.
Mental Illness – Lack of white matter is known to be a causal factor in mental illness, including schizophrenia, paranoia and suicidal depression. Scientific research has shown that marijuana use hinders the growth of brain white matter and changes its volume, strength, and integrity. Due to the high potency, emergency room visits due to psychotic episodes have escalated to roughly 400,000 per year. A Harvard Medical School report states “…Marijuana, particularly in teen boys, leads to a measurable increase in the future development of schizophrenia.”
Birth Defects – Recent studies at Texas A & M confirmed earlier studies that marijuana use can cause fatal brain damage and birth defects to a fetus only two weeks after conception, before the mother even knows she is pregnant. She can stop but it may be too late for the baby.
Impact On Education – America has declined to 26th in the world academically with one-third (1.2 million) of students dropping out of school before graduation. In the African American and other underserved communities, the drop out rate is as high as 68%, exacerbated by gangs, drug dealing and drug using. Marijuana is the most used drug and because of its impact on memory, motivation, maturation and ability to learn. According to UC Santa Barbara research, the lifetime cost of a high school drop out is $392,000, which would make the annual national cost $470 billion.
According to the PATS study released May 1, 2012, by Partnership at Drugfree.org, heavy marijuana use by young people has increased by 80% from 2008. Is it simply a coincidence that this alarming increase coincides with the ever increasing number of states that allow “medical” marijuana?
Impact On Crime – According to the 2010 Adams Survey, 52% to over 80% of male arrestees test positive for any drug; 35-58% test positive for just marijuana.
Impact on Traffic Safety – Marijuana use doubles the risk of motor vehicle crashes leading to serious injury and death according to the British Medical Journal. Recent surveys showed 14% of weekend drivers tested positive for all drugs, 7.3% for alcohol and 7.4% for marijuana. 26.9% of seriously injured drivers test positive for pot.
Impact on Health – According to the American Lung Association “…Smoked marijuana has 70% more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco.” Because it is fat-soluble and thus has long staying power, it clogs the cells and weakens the immune system. It is also a major cause of chronic bronchitis and contributes to the $700 billion annual cost for illnesses caused by substance abuse leading to hospitalization.
In summary, the social, human and economic harms of marijuana vastly exceed any perceived benefits. It is imperative that the Administration act immediately and aggressively to enforce federal law on this issue. The future of our Country will be determined by having our children grow up safe, healthy and drug-free.
Seal, Dr. Marc of Melbourne’s Murdock Children’s Research Institute (MCRI), Melbourne University,
As reported by Michelle Henderson, AAP National Medical Writer Aug 09, 2012.
Pickford, D. Mary, Harvard Medical School, March 2010.
Psychoyos, Dr. Delphine. .High Potency Pot in Pregnancy May Cause Brain Damage. Health Day News,
August 16, 2012.
California Drop Out Research Project, University of California, Santa Barbara. (UCSB)
Adam Survey published by ONDCP, available on the ONDCP website.
Dr. Robert DuPont, Institute of Behavior and Health. (IBH.com)
Adolescent Substance Abuse: America’s Number One Health Problem. A research project by CASA
Columbia University. www.casacolumbia.org.