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Archive for the ‘BARAK THE DRUGIE’ Category

NO JUSTICE

OBAMA’S ‘BREATHTAKING EXPANSION’ OF POWER IN THE NAME OF ‘CLIMATE CHANGE’

The litigants battling the Obama Administration’s new climate rule wrote:

“The rule’s restructuring of nearly every state’s electric grid would exceed even the authority that Congress gave to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the federal agency responsible for electricity regulation.”

We need to get behind and support the fight against these sweeping regulations that are purportedly being effected in the name of “climate change.”

The Hill: The dozens of states and energy companies suing to stop the Obama administration’s climate change rule for power plants are calling it a “breathtaking expansion” of the federal government’s power.

The litigants, led by West Virginia and a coalition of electric utility, lobbed their opening volley in federal court Friday night with their initial brief on the merits of their case.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rule, dubbed the Clean Power Plan, is already on hold, thanks to a surprise Supreme Court order earlier this month.

But the opponents of the regulation must still make their case on the merits, starting in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, where the Friday brief was filed.

Their arguments in the 192-page initial brief focus heavily on their position that the EPA has stepped outside the bounds of its authority under the Clean Air Act to limit pollution.

OBAMA’S PRIVATE ARMY HAS CREATED DOZENS OF PARAMILITARY FEDERAL SWAT TEAMS

Rise of the Warrior Cop

Regardless of how people feel about Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s standoff with the federal Bureau of Land Management over his cattle’s grazing rights, a lot of Americans were surprised to see TV images of an armed-to-the-teeth paramilitary wing of the BLM deployed around Bundy’s ranch.

They shouldn’t have been. Dozens of federal agencies now have Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams to further an expanding definition of their missions. It’s not controversial that the Secret Service and the Bureau of Prisons have them. But what about the Department of Agriculture, the Railroad Retirement Board, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Office of Personnel Management, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service? All of these have their own SWAT units and are part of a worrying trend towards the militarization of federal agencies — not to mention local police forces.
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“Law-enforcement agencies across the U.S., at every level of government, have been blurring the line between police officer and soldier,” journalist Radley Balko writes in his 2013 book Rise of the Warrior Cop.
“The war on drugs and, more recently, post-9/11 anti-terrorism efforts have created a new figure on the U.S. scene: the warrior cop — armed to the teeth, ready to deal harshly with targeted wrongdoers, and a growing threat to familiar American liberties.”

The proliferation of paramilitary federal SWAT teams inevitably brings abuses that have nothing to do with either drugs or terrorism. Many of the raids they conduct are against harmless, often innocent, Americans who typically are accused of non-violent civil or administrative violations.

Take the case of Kenneth Wright of Stockton, Calif., who was “visited” by a SWAT team from the U.S. Department of Education in June 2011. Agents battered down the door of his home at 6 a.m., dragged him outside in his boxer shorts, and handcuffed him as they put his three children (ages 3, 7, and 11) in a police car for two hours while they searched his home. The raid was allegedly intended to uncover information on Wright’s estranged wife, Michelle, who hadn’t been living with him and was suspected of college financial-aid fraud.

The year before the raid on Wright, a SWAT team from the Food and Drug Administration raided the farm of Dan Allgyer of Lancaster, Pa. His crime was shipping unpasteurized milk across state lines to a cooperative of young women with children in Washington, D.C., called Grass Fed on the Hill. Raw milk can be sold in Pennsylvania, but it is illegal to transport it across state lines. The raid forced Allgyer to close down his business.

Obama’s Private Army from Now The End Begins on Vimeo.

Brian Walsh, a senior legal analyst with the Heritage Foundation, says it is inexplicable why so many federal agencies need to be battle-ready: “If these agencies occasionally have a legitimate need for force to execute a warrant, they should be required to call a real law-enforcement agency, one that has a better sense of perspective. The FBI, for example, can draw upon its vast experience to determine whether there is an actual need for a dozen SWAT agents.”

Since 9/11, the feds have issued a plethora of homeland-security grants that encourage local police departments to buy surplus military hardware and form their own SWAT units. By 2005, at least 80 percent of towns with a population between 25,000 and 50,000 people had their own SWAT team. The number of raids conducted by local police SWAT teams has gone from 3,000 a year in the 1980s to over 50,000 a year today. source – National Review

GEORGE SOROS WANTS TO DUMB DOWN OUR POPULATION – We Apparently are Falling into His Trap

How twin drug epidemics – one illegal; the other legal are turning America into a nation of addicts

pot-soros-300x204
A new national love affair is blossoming in America
– a giddy, almost celebratory infatuation with marijuana. But that’s just the beginning of the story.

We are about to explore what is really unfolding in the once-noblest nation on earth, starting with the legalization of marijuana, but then broadening our scope to reveal, quite incredibly, that America today is being transformed into an entire nation strung out on mind-altering drugs.
‘FEEDING FRENZY’
The reader is already no doubt familiar with the legalization of “medical marijuana” – which, despite some apparently legitimate medicinal uses, has degenerated into a national farce, with people being encouraged to score marijuana prescriptions not just for oft-cited maladies like cancer and glaucoma, but for conditions ranging from headaches to diarrhea, whiplash, stuttering and eczema. Also panic attacks, autism, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, Alzheimers, incontinence, nightmares, AIDS, tobacco dependence and menopause. And genital herpes. In other words, smoking pot, we’re being told, is good for pretty much everything that ails us.
Then on Jan. 1, flat-out legalization took center stage, when Colorado and Washington opened their doors to exhilarated pot-smokers, while numerous other states – from Alaska, Oregon and California in the west to Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Washington, D.C. in the east – announced plans to push for legalization in the coming months.
Already, stock prices for cannabis companies are soaring (“The demand for marijuana is insatiable,” says one entrepreneur, “you have a feeding frenzy for the birth of a new industry”), the New York City-based publication “High Times” has announced a new private- equity fund to “raise $ 100 million over the next two years to invest in cannabis-related businesses,” and ad agencies are GEARING UP TO SUPPORT AN INDUSTRY estimated to already be generating revenues in the billions of dollars.”
Likewise, the entertainment industry has long been on board. While hit shows like “Glee,” “Parenthood” and “Mad Men” portray cannabis consumption in a positive light, Hollywood’s “beautiful people” lead pot’s de facto PR campaign. There’s actor Morgan Freeman, who told the London’s Guardian he’ll “never give up the ganja,” calling it “God’s own weed.” And Whoopi Goldberg, who was high when she accepted the Oscar for her role in “Ghost” (later saying, “I learned a great lesson, though. Never smoke pot before there’s a possibility of having to talk to a hundred million people”).
The list of admitted, current pot-smokers runs the gamut from actresses like Jennifer Aniston, Cameron Diaz, Susan Sarandon and Kristin Duntz (“If everyone smoked weed, the world would be a better place”), to director Oliver Stone (well, of course) and every singer imaginable – including Justin Bieber, Willie Nelson, Lady Gaga (“I smoke a lot of pot when I write music”) and Justin Timberlake (“Sometimes I have a brain that needs to be turned off. Some people are just better high”).
Now – that is, if we can all just come back down to earth for a moment – let s put this development in context:
While America in the Age of Obama spins spectacularly out of control – as her culture, morals, laws, institutions, government, economy and overall wellbeing continue to disintegrate before our eyes, and as the forces of evil worldwide wax stronger and more menacing in the shadow of Americas ever-growing feebleness – our solution is: Get high!
This disturbing trend is reflected in a recent CNN poll headlined “Support for legal marijuana soaring.”
“In a major turnaround from past decades, a majority of Americans support legalizing marijuana,” trumpets the network. With 55 percent now favoring legalization (a similar Gallup poll shows 58 percent), support “has steadily soared over the past quarter century – from 16 percent in 1987 to 26 percent in 1996, 34 percent in 2002, and 43 percent just two years ago.”
The poll’s biggest surprise was the number of people who no longer consider smoking pot immoral. In 1987, seven in 10 Americans believed it was, “making it a sin in the minds of more Americans than abortion or pornography,” said the report.

Today, that number has been cut in half, with just 35 percent of Americans having any moral problem with potsmoking, a conclusion bolstered by Barack Obama who recently equated pot with alcohol and tobacco, telling the New Yorker, “I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.” Obama, who admits he “smoked pot as a kid,” even told interviewer David Remnick he viewed marijuana as “not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life.”

Hit the pause-button, please: Seeing “recreational” pot use as moral is much more consequential than it might seem. For many, legal equals moral. So not only does calling something moral lead to its legalization, but once legal – whether it’s abortion, same-sex marriage, polygamy, marijuana or other drugs – millions now come to regard the forbidden as moral. That in turn multiplies the numbers of participants – it happens every time.

This syndrome was exemplified when abortion was legalized. As Bernard Nathanson, M.D., co-founder of NARAL and one of the early architects of the movement to legalize abortion, admitted to me in an interview years ago, “[We told the public] legalizing abortion would only mean that the abortions taking place illegally would then be done legally. In fact, of course, abortion is now being used as a primary method of birth control in the U.S. and the annual number of abortions has increased by 1,500 percent since legalization.”

To this day, more than a million babies are aborted annually in America. Likewise, pot legalization is already turning Colorado and Washington into havens for the outright celebration and encouragement of every aspect of marijuana cultivation, marketing, sale and consumption. But that is just the beginning.
IT’S THE STUPIDITY, STUPID

Somehow, in all the hoopla, it apparently doesn’t register that pot use lowers the IQ of young people. A massive, four- decade study published in 2012 by the National Academy of Sciences, titled “Persistent cannabis users show neuropsychological decline from childhood to midlife,” followed more than 1,000 subjects from birth until they were 38 years old! The researchers’ core finding? Repeated marijuana use by teenagers lowers their IQ – permanently.
And if irreversible “neuropsychological decline” and other long-proven hazards of cannabis aren’t enough, a loud discordant note is being sounded right at ground zero by Dr. Christian Thurstone, professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado. As head of an adolescent rehab center called STEP (Substance Abuse Treatment Education & Prevention), Thurstone says virtually all of the patient referrals to his program – 95 percent of them – result from marijuana use.
“But,” some might protest, “I thought marijuana was, you know, mellow, and not bad for you like alcohol and tobacco.”
Not exactly, says the doc, who told ABC News, “Were seeing kids in treatment here who have paranoia and seeing things and hearing things that aren’t there. Adolescent exposure to marijuana [raises] risk of permanent psychosis in adulthood.”
Just what a seriously troubled America needs right now – hordes of new psychotics!
‘UNDER THE INFLUENCE’
Since so many people are interested in getting high these days, let’s get way high – like 35,000 feet up – and survey a broad aerial panorama of the American mindscape.
First, the stats. According to a 2010 study by the federal Department of Health and Human Services, over 22 million Americans use illegal drugs, comprising marijuana/ hashish, cocaine (including crack), heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants or prescription-type psychiatric drugs used without a prescription, A few highlights as of 2010 – and remember, the trend is strongly upwards since then:
22.6 million Americans aged 12 or older – that’s 8.9 percent – were current illicit drug users.
Marijuana was the most commonly used illicit drug, with 17.4 million users.
There were also 1.5 million cocaine users aged 12 and up, plus 1.2 million using hallucinogens (including 695,000 taking Ecstasy), and another 353,000 using metham- phetamine.
7 million people aged 12 or older used prescription-type psychotherapeutic drugs non-medically in the previous month.
10.6 million Americans aged 12 or older – 4.2 percent – reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs during the past year.
As of 2010, some 1,700 new people per used cocaine for the first time (in at least a year), 384 new users tried heroin for the first time each day, and 288 newbies started on methamphetamine. Each day, some 3,288 started on hallucinogens, 1,033 took LSD for the first time, 2,567 were initiated into Ecstasy, 2,173 started on inhalants, and a mind-boggling 6,575 new people 12 and up started using illegally obtained psychotherapeutics. Remember, that’s every single day.
In short: Over 20 million of us are strung out on illegal drugs and fully half of those admit to driving on the public roadways under the influence of drugs!
Now, when we think of driving “under the influence,” our minds turn to alcohol, so fasten your seat belts:
In 2010, nearly one-quarter of all Americans aged 12 and up participated in binge drinking, about 58.6 million people. (“Binge drinking” meant having five or more drinks on the same occasion on at least one day in the 30 days prior to the survey.)
Heavy drinking was reported 16.9 million people 12 and older. (“Heavy drinking” meant binge drinking on at least five days in the past 30 days.)
Among young adults aged 18 to 25, the rate of binge drinking was an astonishing 40.6 percent, and the rate of heavy drinking 13.6 percent.
•An estimated 10 million underage (12 to 20) drinkers included 6.5 million binge drinkers and 2 million heavy drinkers.
An estimated 11.4 percent of persons 12 or older drove under the influence of alcohol at least once in the past year.
Bottom line, according to the Department of Health and Human Services: “In an average year 30 million Americans drive drunk [and] 10 million drive impaired by illicit drugs.”
In case you’re concerned about tobacco – and yes, nicotine is a drug (stimulant), and yes, every year tobacco kills more Americans than died in World War II – the same federal study showed that about one in three Americans use it, with 58.3 million Americans smoking cigarettes, 13.2 million smoking cigars, 8.9 million using smokeless tobacco and 2.2 million smoking tobacco in pipes.

‘FASTEST GROWING DRUG PROBLEM’
With well over 80 million Americans thus stupefied on illegal drugs or excessive alcohol and 40 million of them driving under the influence, the nation undeniably suffers from a massive “substance-abuse” problem.
But there is another parallel drug problem, the devastation of which is arguably just as severe and detrimental to American society as that involving illegal drugs and alcohol abuse – some would say it’s actually worse.
And that is the astonishingly vast, and rapidly increasing, number of people taking medically prescribed but poorly understood, mind-altering psychiatric drugs.
Ironically, after marijuana (which is rapidly becoming legal), the most-abused drugs in America are psychiatric drugs, obtained and used “non-medically,” that is, without a prescription from a doctor.
As revealed in a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in one recent year “approximately 27,000 unintentional drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States, one death every 19 minutes.” Surprisingly, states the CDC, “Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the United States.”
The skyrocketing rate of drug overdose death rates “has been driven,” says the report, “by increased use of a class of prescription drugs called opioid analgesics” – drugs like hy- drocodone (brand names Norco, Vicodin), hydromorphone (Dilaudid, Exalgo), oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet) and morphine (Astramorph, Avinza).
“Opioid analgesics suppress your perception of pain,” explains WebMD, “and calm your emotional response to pain by reducing the number of pain signals sent by the nervous system and the brain’s reaction to those pain signals.” For the last decade, “more overdose deaths have involved opioid analgesics than heroin and cocaine combined,” reports the CDC. In addition, “for every unintentional overdose death related to an opioid analgesic, nine persons are admitted for substance abuse treatment, 35 visit emergency departments, 161 report drug abuse or dependence, and 461 report nonmedical uses of opioid analgesics.”
In other words, we’re talking about an epidemic.
America’s traditional drug paradigm has been something like this: On the one hand is the respectable, legal, medical world where enlightened doctors prescribe their patients wonder drugs that relieve their symptoms and make them feel more comfortable – OxyContin, anti-anxiety drugs (Valium, Xanax), sleeping pills, stimulants, mood stabilizers, and more recently, marijuana, hallucinogens and so forth.
On the other hand is the sleazy, criminal world of drug pushers who supply low-life users and addicts with drugs to satiate their habits, make them feel better and relieve their stresses, troubles and anxieties – drugs like OxyContin and other illegally obtained psych meds, marijuana, stimulants, cocaine, hallucinogens and so forth.
If the distinction between legal and illegal seems disturbingly indistinct and fluid – in some ways even unreal , it gets much more bizarre.
By David Kupelian
WND.com

Companies Can’t Fire People Because of ObamaCare Costs – HUH?

by Gary DeMar

“Obama officials made clear in a press briefing that firms would not be allowed to lay off workers to get into the preferred class of those businesses with 50 to 99 employees. . . . Firms will be required to certify to the IRS – under penalty of perjury – that ObamaCare was not a motivating factor in their staffing decisions. To avoid ObamaCare costs you must swear that you are not trying to avoid ObamaCare costs.”
Once again, power has been deferred to the IRS where the Fifth Amendment does not apply and the agency is lawless with the tacit approval of the President. Try pleading the Fifth when you sign your tax return.
Then there’s the EEOC, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. People who are fired for whatever reason will have cause to appeal to the EEOC. I can tell you from personal business experience, it’s an expensive and time consuming enterprise, even if you win like my company did.
You know it had to happen. Once the government got control of our healthcare (we were warned), there wouldn’t be any area that it would not be involved in. Once people get used to the idea of government regulating their lives in small areas where they do not believe the law will adversely affect them, they will acquiesce in more significant areas where they will be negatively affected.

“The paternal state not only feeds its children, but nurtures, educates, comforts, and disciplines them, providing all they need for their security. This appears to be a mildly insulting way to treat adults, but it is really a great crime because it transforms the state from being a gift of God, given to protect us against violence, into an idol. It supplies us with all blessings, and we look to it for all our needs. Once we sink to that level, as [C.S.] Lewis says, there is no point in telling state officials to mind their own business. “Our whole lives are their business.”[1]
“The paternalism of the state is that of the bad parent who wants his children dependent on him forever. That is an evil impulse. The good parent prepares his children for independence, trains them to make responsible decisions, knows that he harms them by not helping them to break loose. The paternal state thrives on dependency. When the dependents free themselves, it loses power. It is, therefore, parasitic on the very persons whom it turns into parasites. Thus, the state and its dependents march symbiotically [in close union with one another] to destruction.”[2]
It was President Obama who said, “That’s the good thing about being president. I can do whatever I want.”

Read more at http://godfatherpolitics.com/14334/companies-cant-fire-people-obamacare-costs/#URJ5uc2ULCxPpP7e.99

Obama: ‘As a president, I can do whatever I want’

2014

During a Monday visit to Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia home, President Barack Obama declared that, as president, he “can do whatever” he wants.

The statement was presumably intended as a joke.

“At 4:45 [Obama] and [visiting French President Francois] Hollande walked out from a portico and strolled in Front of your pool with Leslie Bowman, president of the Monticello Foundation,” wrote French journalist Tangi Quéméner in the presidential “pool report” distributed to journalists Monday afternoon. “Looking at a terrace she said that Jefferson loved to admire the landscape from there. [Obama] said that he’d like to take a look and seemed delighted to ‘break the protocol.’”
“‘That’s the good thing as a President, I can do whatever I want,’ he quipped, walking to the terrace with his guest and Ms. Bowman.”

Obama’s guest on Monday was embattled French President Francois Hollande, who is unpopular at home and embroiled in a sex scandal.

Jefferson was a noted Francophile and served as the American ambassador to France after the Revolutionary War.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2014/02/10/obama-as-a-president-i-can-do-whatever-i-want/#ixzz2tPRVUjB4

Obama stoned during Olympics interview with Bob Costas


On Friday, a sleepy-eyed President Obama was interviewed with fluff questions by NBC’s Bob Costas a few minutes into coverage of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. A number of viewers later said the president appeared to be stoned, Twitchy reported.

“President Obama looks exhausted. Or stoned. Is he in Colorado?” one person asked.

“Obama looks as high as a kite on @NBCOlympics,” another person tweeted.

“Obama is stoned for sure,” added Twitter user “Mother of Dragons.”

While a search revealed a number of people on Twitter shared the same concern, one person said otherwise.

“Folks, without seeing Obama’s eyes fully open, you can’t tell if he’s stoned. Let’s use some brain cells!” tweeted “Stuck in New England.”

One person sarcastically said the real question is: “When is Obama not stoned?”

Costas asked the president why no high-ranking U.S. official would be at the Olympics in Sochi, prompting Obama to complain that he has not attended any Olympic games during his administration.

“Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to go to the Olympics since I’ve been president,” he said.

Obama said Janet Napolitano and other “wonderful Americans” would represent the United States at the winter games.

Costas also asked about U.S. working with Russia, reminding Obama that he promised to “reset” relations with the nation.

After mentioning Syria and other issues, Costas said it appears Vladimir Putin is the one doing the resetting.

Obama said there have been “ups and downs” in the relationship between the two leaders, adding that Putin seems to look bored in public interviews, calling it his “schtick.”

It’s not the first time Obama has been accused of using drugs while in the White House. Some, for example, have suggested the president was high on cocaine the night of the Benghazi terrorist attack.

Smoking marijuana= the dumbing down of America

WHY DO PEOPLE TAKE DRUGS?

marijuana
People take drugs because they want to change something about their lives.

Here are some of the reasons young people have given for taking drugs:

To fit in
To escape or relax
To relieve boredom
To seem grown up
To rebel
To experiment
They think drugs are a solution. But eventually, the drugs become the problem.

Difficult as it may be to face one’s problems, the consequences of drug use are always worse than the problem one is trying to solve with them. The real answer is to get the facts and not to take drugs in the first place.

HOW DO DRUGS WORK?
Drugs are essentially poisons. The amount taken determines the effect.

A small amount acts as a stimulant (speeds you up). A greater amount acts as a sedative (slows you down). An even larger amount poisons and can kill.

This is true of any drug. Only the amount needed to achieve the effect differs.

But many drugs have another liability: they directly affect the mind. They can distort the user’s perception of what is happening around him or her. As a result, the person’s actions may be odd, irrational, inappropriate and even destructive.

Drugs block off all sensations, the desirable ones with the unwanted. So, while providing short-term help in the relief of pain, they also wipe out ability and alertness and muddy one’s thinking.

Medicines are drugs that are intended to speed up or slow down or change something about the way your body is working, to try to make it work better. Sometimes they are necessary. But they are still drugs: they act as stimulants or sedatives, and too much can kill you. So if you do not use medicines as they are supposed to be used, they can be as dangerous as illegal drugs.

DRUGS AFFECT THE MIND
Normally, when a person remembers something, the mind is very fast and information comes to him quickly. But drugs blur memory, causing blank spots. When a person tries to get information through this cloudy mess, he can’t do it. Drugs make a person feel slow or stupid and cause him to have failures in life. And as he has more failures and life gets harder, he wants more drugs to help him deal with the problem.

DRUGS DESTROY CREATIVITY
One lie told about drugs is that they help a person become more creative. The truth is quite different.

Someone who is sad might use drugs to get a feeling of happiness, but it does not work. Drugs can lift a person into a fake kind of cheerfulness, but when the drug wears off, he or she crashes even lower than before. And each time, the emotional plunge is lower and lower. Eventually, drugs will completely destroy all the creativity a person has.

“During the whole time I was on drugs I thought I had control over my life and that I had it great. But I destroyed everything I had built up and fought for in my life. I cut ties to all my drug-free friends and my family, so I hadn’t any friends but my drug mates. Every day revolved around one thing: my plan for getting the money I needed for drugs. I would do everything possible to get my amphetamine—it was the only thing in my life.” —Pat

“I felt that I was more fun when I was drunk. Soon after [I started drinking] I was introduced to marijuana . . . . Later, I was hanging out at a friend’s house smoking marijuana when someone pulled out a bag of cocaine. Snorting cocaine quickly became a daily habit. I was stealing money from my parents’ business and from my grandparents on a daily basis to support my alcohol, cocaine, marijuana and LSD habits. Then I was introduced to OxyContin and began using it on a regular basis. By the time I realized I was addicted, snorting OxyContin was part of my daily routine. I needed something stronger—and was introduced to heroin. I would stop at nothing to get high. My addiction was winning. And every time I tried to kick it, the physical craving would send me back for more.” —Edith

The conversation were not having

BY KAREN BAILEY – Special to The Tampa Tribune

In September 2011, I lost my son to a drug overdose. He was a typical homegrown Florida boy who admired Bobby Bowden, Tony Dungy and Tim Tebow. He had a huge heart and enjoyed playing football, wakeboarding on the lake, and riding four-wheelers in the mud.

Unfortunately, he also liked to smoke pot. His attitude toward marijuana was like that of many people who are in favor of legalizing it. He viewed it as a natural rite of passage, safer than alcohol, and something that would soon be legal. It is only after burying him that I see how dangerous this point of view can be. Florida should not legalize marijuana because it is a gateway- drug that is addictive and damaging to the teenage brain. Moreover, without FDA regulation there is no way to monitor the drug’s potency.

Marijuana can lead a person to experiment with more dangerous drugs. Although this isn’t always die case, sadly it was my son’s case.

In one of the last conversations I had with him, he shared with me that his addiction to prescription pills had started with marijuana. He told me that he initially smoked pot because it lowered his inhibitions when socializing. He then fell into the habit of taking pills in order to maintainthe buzz he got from pot.

Those pills became an addiction he could not control, and ultimately they took his precious life.

According to the latest survey released by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 60 percent of teenagers do not think marijuana is harmful. But there is ample evidence that marijuana is addictive and damaging to the undeveloped teenage brain.

According to a study published in Experiential and Clinical Psychopharmaeology, one in six children become addicted to marijuana after using it just once.
My son shared with me that he first tried marijuana in middle school. Ninety percent of addictions startup the teenage years.

Addiction can happen at any age. However, the best reason of all not to legalize marijuana would be the fact that the human brain is not fully developed until the age of 25.

New research by Asaf Keller, Ph.D., University of Maryland, finds that marijuana can cause permanent brain abnormalities in adolescence. Marijuana use in these formative years can lower a person’s IQ by as many as eight points, according to an August 2013 report by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

My other major concern with legalized medical marijuana in Florida is the lack of regulation from the FDA. Levels of THC (the active ingredient in pot) have risen from 4 percent in 1980 to 15 percent in 2012. So marijuana is far more potent than ever.

There is no quality or dosage control in the proposed ballot initiative to legalize medical pot in Florida, so there would be no way to prevent sales to minors or to stop diversion to minors. There is also no way to assure legitimate use of medical marijuana. If it becomes legal, how many teens will use it simply to get high, versus to treat a medical condition?

My mother was a tenacious Hatfield raised in the Appalachia Mountains of West Virginia. She had a rare spinal tumor that left her bedridden the last four years of her life. My family understands the need for pain management during difficult medical circumstances, but there are other, already approved medical options for them.

We also understand our children are our biggest asset, and we owe it to them to ensure they have a chance at a bright future. I have seen and lived with the damage marijuana can do.

Saying “no” to legalizing marijuana in Florida does not make us a less compassionate or loving state.

It is out of love for our children, for those like my son, that we must say no.

Karen Bailey is a mother and real estate professional who resides in Ocala with her husband, a dentist. She serves on the board of directors for the state of Florida Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Foundation. ••