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Kevin Sabet: Testimony Before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee

Found: Wed Sep 11 18:16:19 2013 PDT
Webpage: [translate]

topical analysis

propaganda analysis

Kevin Sabet: Testimony Before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee Kevin Sabet: Testimony Before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee Kevin A. Sabet, Ph.D.

Director, University of Florida Drug Policy Institute,

Department of Psychiatry, Division of Addiction Medicine

Director, Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana)

Author, Reefer Sanity: Seven Great Myths About Marijuana

Written Testimony

"Conflict Between State and Federal Laws"

Chairman Leahy, Ranking Member Grassley, distinguished members of the Committee, thank you for providing me with the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss marijuana policy, and more specifically, state laws authorizing the legalization of marijuana.

I have studied, researched, and written about drug policy, drug markets, drug prevention, drug treatment, criminal justice policy, addiction, and public policy analysis for almost 18 years. Most recently, from 2009-2011, I served in the Obama Administration as a senior drug policy advisor. I am currently the co-founder, with former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy, of Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana). I am also the author of Reefer Sanity: Seven Great Myths About Marijuana (Beaufort).

I am delighted to share with you my perspective, based on evidence and experience, on current marijuana policies in the United States.

Because I share the Obama Administration's drug control goals of reducing drug abuse and its consequences, as laid out in the President's National Drug Control Strategy, I found the recent guidance by the U.S. Deputy Attorney General (hereafter "Cole 2013") disturbing on both legal and policy grounds. The guidance, which expressly defers the Department of Justice's (hereafter "Department") right to challenge and preempt laws legalizing marijuana, contradicts both the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and policy principles designed to protect public health and safety.

Colorado and Washington have now been given the green light to become the first jurisdictions in the world to allow the retail sales and commercial production of marijuana, far surpassing more relatively modest marijuana policy liberalization measures taken up in countries like the Netherlands or Spain. Though marijuana use was not subject to federal criminal penalties in the United States until the 1930s, its mass commercial production and sales has never taken place here until now. Perhaps the most striking feature of Cole 2013 is that it explicitly omits the creation of large, for-profit entities in its criteria for possible federal action in the future.

The Importance of the CSA Indeed, besides having an effect of violating the CSA on legal grounds, the Department's guidance flies in the face of the evidence showing that marijuana should remain illegal. The new guidance endangers Americans since it will facilitate the creation of a large industry for marijuana use, production, trafficking, and sale. The CSA is an important tool for promoting public health. By keeping marijuana illegal, its use is lower than the use of our legal drugs. About 52% of Americans regularly drink, 27% use tobacco products, and yet only 8% currently use marijuana, though this number has been rising in recent years (about 25% since 2007) as we have become more accepting of marijuana as a country.1

I applaud the way the CSA has been so far used by the federal government ' not to go after low-level users with an addiction problem, but instead to target drug traffickers and producers. Now, with Cole 2013, we are entering a whole new world where those drug traffickers and producers are getting a "green light" from the federal government to proceed.

International Law By giving Washington and Colorado the go-ahead to start a massive for-profit, commercial industry for marijuana, the United States will violate its treaty obligations under the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 and its supplementary treaties, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1988 Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. These treaties make up the global system of drug control to which almost every country in the world has agreed. Already, with respect to laws authorizing both the recreational and medical use of marijuana, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), the quasi- judicial, independent body that interprets and enforces international drug laws, has sent several stern messages and warnings to United States officials about how such laws contradict our treaty obligations.2

1 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-46, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 13-4795. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2013.

Last week I was invited to speak about legalization to a group of Mexican lawmakers in Mexico City. Universally they asked, "Will people we (the Mexican government) consider criminals ' drug traffickers and producers ' now be able to flee safely to Colorado and Washington under your new laws?" They also asked me: "How can your government keep telling Mexico to stop producing and trafficking marijuana when your government is now openly approving and facilitating an increase in marijuana demand? Indeed, how can America discuss international law on any subject with authority anymore?" I had no good answers for them, and I worry about what Cole 2013 will mean for our diplomats abroad. Indeed, as the US increasingly cites international law as a reason for enforcing environmental regulations or military intervention, our case for doing so is severely weakened now that we are openly defying and indeed even promoting the violation of international law. The Consequences of Legalization

In its memo, the Department lists priority areas it will focus on to determine future intervention. The rest of my testimony is dedicated to showing how some of these areas have already been violated under existing marijuana laws since in many respects we have already witnessed the effects of the de facto legalization of retail marijuana sales under state laws authorizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes:

(1) The distribution of marijuana to minors

Colorado provides an instructive example here. Though they legalized marijuana as medicine in 2000, it was not until about 2009 that marijuana stores were established ' about 500 by 2012. The number of cardholders rose from about 1000 in 2006 to 108,000 in 2012.3

Anyone who has been to Colorado since 2009 can get a sense of what full legalization looks like already. Mass advertising, promotion, using items that are attractive to kids ' like "medical marijuana lollipops," "Ring Pots," "Pot-Tarts" etc. ' are all characteristics of current policy.

What has been the result of this de facto legalization for kids? For one, drug-related referrals for high school students testing positive for marijuana have increased. During 2007 ' 2009 an average of 5.6 students tested positive for marijuana. During 2010 ' 2012 the average number of students who tested positive for marijuana increased to 17.3 students per year. In 2007, tests positive for marijuana made up 33 percent of the total

drug screenings, by 2012 that num ber increased to 57 percent. A m em ber of the

Colorado Taskforce charged to regulate marijuana who also works for a drug testing

3 Rocky Mountain HIDTA. (August 2013). The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact , Preliminary Report (volume 1).

company commented to the press that "A typical kid (is) between 50 and 100 nanograms. Now we're seeing these up in the over 500, 700, 800, climbing."4

The journal JAMA Pediatrics reported that unintentional marijuana poisonings among kids have risen significantly since marijuana as medicine has become available.5 Other peer-reviewed papers are finding that medical marijuana is easily diverted to youth. The Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in 2012 surveyed 164 Denver-area teens in treatment, and 121 of them -- or nearly 74 percent -- said they had used someone else's medical marijuana.6

This is all consistent with a recent National Bureau for Economic Research paper conducted by some RAND researchers who found that specific dimensions of laws authorizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes, namely home cultivation and legal dispensaries ' two features found in Colorado and other states with similar laws ' are positively associated with marijuana use and "have important implications for states considering legalization of marijuana."7

(2) The revenue from the sale of marijuana going to criminal enterprises, gangs, and cartels:

Department of Justice officials have publicly said that the sales of marijuana for supposedly "medical" purposes are in some cases going to criminal enterprises and foreign drug trafficking groups.8 "It's very clear to me that there's outside sources," said Jeff Sweetin, Special Agent In Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency in Colorado, in a news article. "From my investigations, I can tell you what the foreign sources are; they're foreign cartel sources." The news story reported that "Sweetin says a large percentage of the pot consumed by medical marijuana patients 'absolutely' comes from Mexico." Sweetin continued, "These are real organized crime groups. There's a faction that wants you to believe that these are just guys that are listening to their music, they're driving their van, they're peaceful guys and they're moving a couple of ounces a week to people that are not doing any problems. That's not what's happening."

This is also the case in other states, like California, where the U.S. Secret Service and the DEA were involved in "what has amounted to a four-year investigation ... ... into an organized criminal enterprise involving large-scale marijuana distribution, not only in the Los Angeles area, but throughout the United States. This criminal enterprise hired known

5 Wang, S.G., Roosevelt, G., & Heard, K. (2013). Pediatric Marijuana Exposures in a Medical Marijuana State. JAMA Pediatrics, 167(7), 631.

6 Salomonsen-Sautel, S., et al. (2012). Medical Marijuana Use among Adolescents in Substance Abuse Treatment. American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 5(7), 5.

7 (Pacula, R. et al. 2013). "Assessing the Effects of Medical Marijuana Laws on Marijuana and Alcohol Use: The Devil is in the Details." NBER Working Paper No. 19302, August 2013, JEL No. I18,K32,K42

gang members as enforcers. This organization was involved in the operation of multiple retail marijuana dispensaries generating massive profits, repeatedly showing their willingness to use violence and intimidation to expand their operations and dissuade competition. To date, there have been 26 documented crimes..."9

As a Los Angeles newspaper mentioned in a story about dispensaries and criminal gangs, "Many of the dispensaries and grow houses have ties to organized crime and sell to street dealers as well, detectives said." The story quoted L.A. County Sheriff's Detective David Mertens who said, "Most of the dispensaries are getting pot from these indoor grows," said L, who specializes in narcotics investigations. "It's not just the dispensaries they're growing for. They're also selling to street dealers."10

(3) The diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal under state law in some form to other states:

Once again, this is already happening. And simple economics would dictate that this is hardly surprising. As the price for marijuana plummets in legalization states, we can expect cheap marijuana to be sold in non-legalization states for a handsome profit. As mentioned in a recent law enforcement report11, the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) has established the National Seizure System (NSS) for voluntary reporting interdiction seizures throughout the country. According to this law enforcement report, in 2012, there were 274 Colorado marijuana interdiction seizures destined for other states compared to 54 in 2005. This is a 407 percent increase. Of the 274 seizures in 2012, there were 37 different states destined to receive marijuana from Colorado. The most common destinations were Kansas (37), Missouri (30), Illinois (22) Texas (18), Wisconsin (18), Florida (16) and Nebraska (13). There were some seizures in which the destination state was unknown. In 2012, there were 7,008 pounds of Colorado marijuana seized by interdictions that were destined for other states in the country.

(4) State authorized marijuana activity being used as a cover or pretext for the trafficking of other illegal drugs or other illegal activity; also violence and the use of firearms in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana

Though most marijuana users do not commit violent crimes, the retail sales of de facto legal marijuana has been linked to violence, firearms, illegal activity, and other illegal drugs. A 2008 report from the California Police Chiefs Association documents how "marijuana storefront businesses have allowed criminals to flourish in California" and that "some monetary proceeds from the sale of harvested marijuana derived from plants grown inside houses are being used by organized crime syndicates to fund other

11 Rocky Mountain HIDTA. (August 2013). The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact , Preliminary Report (volume 1).

legitimate businesses for profit and the laundering of money, and to conduct illegal business operations like prostitution, extortion, and drug trafficking."12 Reports by the California Police Chiefs Association and Colorado law enforcement officials document numerous instances where murder, illegal drug trafficking, robberies, and other crimes take place at or near marijuana storefronts.

(5) An increase in drugged driving and the exacerbation of other adverse public health consequences associated with marijuana use

The adverse consequences of marijuana use take a major toll on America. As the movement to legalize marijuana has gained momentum over the past decade ' legalization campaigners have spent tens of millions of dollars on pro-marijuana campaigns that have not only focused on changing state laws but also on creating marijuana producers associations and aiming messages at NASCAR and NFL players and fans ' youth perceptions of the harmfulness of marijuana has dropped dramatically. This is troubling because marijuana use has the potential to be very harmful to adolescents, whose brains are developing until age 25.

Marijuana advocates will claim that regulations surrounding legal marijuana will make it harder for youth to access marijuana, since they will have to produce identification to obtain marijuana. However, our experience with another intoxicant that can be deadly on the roads and also inhibit learning outcomes ' alcohol ' shows us that once a drug is accepted, normalized, and commercialized, youth will have an easier time accessing it than if it was illegal. For example, a study from Columbia University found that alcohol and cigarettes were the most readily accessible substances for youth, with 50% and 44%, respectively, of youth reporting that they could obtain them within a day. Youth were least likely to report that they could get marijuana within a day (31%); 45% report that they would be unable to get marijuana at all.13

Marijuana advocates will also claim that we can learn from our tobacco experience ' no one has been arrested for tobacco use and yet fewer young people use tobacco compared to marijuana. But this claim completely neglects the social norm and media environment that has emerged in the past two decades against tobacco. Tobacco is looked down upon by many young people precisely because of government and non-governmental efforts to make it so. There is no more a multimillion dollar campaign to legitimize tobacco like there is today for marijuana, and certainly no one is making claims that tobacco is harmless, as advocates routinely do. By contrast, marijuana use is regularly glorified and promoted ' and since the defunding of the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign there is virtually no well-financed voice getting the message out to young people that marijuana use is harmful.

12 White Paper on Marijuana Dispensaries, California Police Chiefs Association. (2009).

How harmful is marijuana use to adolescents? Despite popular myth and slick ad campaigns by pro-legalization advocates, scientists from the American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Association, American Society of Addiction Medicine, and other groups are universal in stating that marijuana use is harmful for young people.14 Marijuana use, especially among young people, is significantly associated with a reduction in IQ15, mental illness16, poor learning outcomes17, lung damage18, and addiction.19 According to the National Institutes of Health, one out of every six adolescents who use marijuana will become addicted20, and many more will develop some problems as a result of marijuana use. There are about 400,000 emergency room admissions for marijuana every year ' related to acute panic

15 See Meier, M.H.; Caspi, A.; Ambler, A.; Harrington, H.; Houts, R.; Keefe, R.S.E.; McDonald, K.; Ward, A.; Poulton, R.; and Moffitt, T. Persistent cannabis users show neuropsychological decline from childhood to midlife.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109(40):E2657'E2664, 2012. Also Moffitt, T.E.; Meier, M.H.; Caspi, A.; and Poulton, R. Reply to Rogeberg and Daly: No evidence that socioeconomic status or personality differences confound the association between cannabis use and IQ decline. Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences 110(11):E980-E982, 2013.

16 See for example: Andreasson S., et al. (1987). Cannabis and Schizophreia: A longitudinal study of Swedish conscripts. Lancet, 2(8574); Moore, T.H., et al. (2007). Cannabis use and risk of psychotic or affective mental health outcomes: a systematic review. Lancet, 370(9584); Large M., et al. (2011). Cannabis Use and Earlier Onset of Psychosis: A Systematic Meta-analysis. Archives of General Psychiatry, 68(6); Harley, M., et al. (2010). Cannabis use and childhood trauma interact additively to increase risk of psychotic symptoms in adolescences. Psychological Medicine, 40(10); Lynch, M.J., et al. (2012). The Cannabis-Psychosis Link. Psychiatric Times.

17 Yucel, M., et al. (2008). Regional brain abnormalities associated with long-term heavy cannabis use. Archives of General Psychiatry, 65(6).

19 See for example: Anthony, J.C., Warner, L.A., Kessler, R.C. (1994). Comparative epidemiology of dependence on tobacco, alcohol, controlled substances, and inhalants: Basic findings from the National Comorbidity Survey. Experiential and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 2; Budney, A.J., et al. (2008). Comparison of cannabis and tobacco withdrawal: Severity and contributions to relapse. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 35(4); Tanda, G., et al. (2003). Cannabinoids: Reward, dependence, and underlying neurochemical mechanisms ' A recent preclinical data. Psychoparmacology, 169(2).

20 Anthony, J.C., Warner, L.A., Kessler, R.C. (1994). Comparative epidemiology of dependence on tobacco, alcohol, controlled substances, and inhalants: Basic findings from the National Comorbidity Survey. Experiential and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 2.

attacks and psychotic episodes21 ' and marijuana is the most cited drug for teens entering treatment.22

As for drugged driving, a meta'analysis published in the peer-reviewed Epidemiological Reviews looked at nine studies conducted over the past two decades on marijuana and car-crash risk. It concluded, "drivers who test positive for marijuana or self'report using marijuana are more than twice as likely as other drivers to be involved in motor vehicle crashes."23 Indeed, we already know marijuana and driving is a growing problem in states with loose marijuana laws. In Colorado, though traffic fatalities fell 16 percent between 2006 and 2011 (consistent with national trends), fatalities involving drivers testing positive for marijuana rose 112 percent.24 Experience Shows That "Regulation" Is Anything But Finally, two independent reports released within days of each other last month documented how Colorado's supposedly regulated system is not well regulated at all. In the first of the two audits, the Colorado State Auditor concluded that there were inappropriate recommendations made, a whopping 50% of recommendations were made by only 12 physicians, that the state had not "established a process for caregivers to indicate the significant responsibilities they are assuming for managing the well-being of their patients," and that the state "cash fund" was out of compliance.25

The second audit26 reviewed the city of Denver's medical marijuana licensing practices by the Department of Excise and Licenses. In concluded that the city of Denver "does not have a basic control framework in place for effective governance of the... medical marijuana program." The auditors wrote how the medical marijuana records are "incomplete, inaccurate, inaccessible," and that many medical marijuana businesses are operating without valid licenses. Moreover, the Department does not even know how

21 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2011). Drug abuse warning network, 2008: National estimates of drug-related emergency department visits. HHS Publication No. SMA 11-4618. Rockville, MD.

22 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS): 2000-2010. National Admissions to Substance Abuse Treatment Services. DASIS Series S-61, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 12-4701. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2012

23 Mu-Chen Li, Joanne E. Brady, Charles J. DiMaggio, Arielle R. Lusardi, Keane Y. Tzong, and Guohua Li. (2011). "Marijuana Use and Motor Vehicle Crashes." Epidemiologic Reviews.

many medical marijuana businesses are operating in Denver. In addition, the audit reported that the Department's personnel lacked formal policies and procedures to govern the licensure process. Finally, the auditors concluded that the medical marijuana licensure fee was established arbitrarily and the Department does not know the extent to which the marijuana license fees cover the costs of administering the program.

As for implementing the laws passed in Washington and Colorado, earnest officials have the very difficult task of trying to create a regulatory regime that they consider responsible and safe. However, this has proven to be very difficult already. Even when trying to curb very reasonable things like advertising, or the selling of marijuana periodicals to minors, or the selling of items that would be attractive to children, they have faced obstacles. For example, the multimillion-dollar pro-legalization lobby in Colorado ' who financed Amendment 64 with upwards of $3 million ' has already placed a billboard promoting marijuana use along the main boulevard leading to the Denver Sports Authority Field. The marijuana industry also sued Colorado when the state sought to place marijuana publications behind a counter in public retail stores "where persons under twenty-one years of age are present."27 The state eventually changed the law and now magazines such as High Times and The Daily Doobie will be sold within reach of children there. We can expect further first amendment challenges to advertising restrictions. Finally, we have also seen the proliferation of marijuana vending machines generating millions of dollars in revenue dispensing "medicine." As Bloomberg Businessweek in May reported: "'We are in the right place at the right time,' says Bruce Bedrick, a 44-year-old chiropractor, occasional pot user, and chief executive officer of Medbox, maker of one of the world's first marijuana vending machines. 'We are planning to literally dominate the industry.'"28 After spending decades trying to rid America of tobacco vending machines because of the obvious effect on increased access to children, it seems we are about to repeat history with marijuana.

None of this bodes well for the ushering in of an entirely new industry that will allow for the production and sales of marijuana. Why would we assume that an infinitely more difficult task ' the full legalization of marijuana '' will be better managed than the so- called medicinal use of marijuana? Conclusion

The CSA explicitly states that the use, possession, trafficking, and sales of marijuana is against federal law. As the Department articulated in a 2011 letter to the city of Oakland, "Congress has determined that marijuana is a controlled substance. Congress placed marijuana in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and, as such, growing, distributing, and possessing marijuana in any capacity, other than as part of a federally authorized research program, is a violation of federal law regardless of state laws

27 Trans-High Corp v Colorado (Denver)

permitting such activities (my emphasis)."29

By deferring its right to challenge state laws in Colorado and Washington, the Department is effectively authorizing state entities to violate federal law. It is approving of state infrastructures to generate revenue from an illegal substance, and, more generally, it is contradicting the Administration's general posture on other issues ' immigration, voting rights, civil rights, healthcare, etc. ' that states cannot violate federal law at will.

Though the Department listed some "triggers" that might spur federal action, we do not have to wait for these phenomena to occur ' they already are at alarming rates. Our experience with state laws authorizing the medicinal use of marijuana tells us that no matter what controls are put on marijuana stores (e.g. no advertising or selling to minors), these regulations are routinely violated, rarely enforced, and the sheer number of marijuana stories tend to overwhelm federal and state resources.

Already, as marijuana laws have become more permissive over the last decade, marijuana use has skyrocketed. In 2007, drug use had dipped to its lowest levels since 2001, but has since been on the rise. Last week the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) released its annual drug use survey. Although 12-to-17 year old marijuana use for boys and girls combined was relatively unchanged since 2011, the survey revealed a 20% increase in marijuana smoking among girls aged 12-17 since 2007, a 50% increase in the number of daily marijuana smokers among those aged 12 and up, a 12% increase in marijuana use among 18-25 year olds since 2007, and a 25% increase in marijuana use among the general population. The perceived risk of smoking marijuana once a month has fallen almost 30% since 2007. One can only surmise how much legalization will further weaken these numbers. Because it will make these numbers worse, the decision by the Department of Justice will undermine the President's own efforts to boost education outcomes and improve health and healthcare in the United States.

We are at a precipice. By threatening legal action, the Administration can prevent the large-scale commercialization and retail sales of marijuana. Instead, we are about to usher in a new era of marijuana usage. Already, an executive from Microsoft is teaming up with a former Mexican president to try and "mint more marijuana millionaires than Microsoft" in his goal to create a national brand, the "Starbucks of Marijuana."30 In states that have failed at creating any sort of robust regulatory framework for marijuana as medicine, the effects of retail marijuana sales are already known ' mass marketing and increased negative consequences. Authorizing the large scale, commercial production of marijuana will undoubtedly expand its access and availability. When we can prevent negative consequences of the commercial sale and production of marijuana now, why

29 U.S. Department of Justice. (Feb. 11, 2011). Letter from U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag to John Russo, Oakland City Attorney.

would we open the floodgates, hope for the best, and try with limited resources to patch everything up when things go wrong?

KEVIN A. SABET, PHD Kevin A. Sabet, Ph.D. has studied, researched, and written about drug policy, drug markets, drug prevention, drug treatment, criminal justice policy, addiction, and public policy analysis for almost 18 years. In 2000, he served in the Office of National Drug Control Policy in the Clinton Administration and from 2003-2004 he was the senior speechwriter at the Office of National Drug Control Policy in the George W. Bush Administration. From 2009-2011, he was a political appointee and senior drug policy advisor to President Obama's drug control director, R. Gil Kerlikowske. Currently, he advises several non-governmental organizations working to reduce drug abuse and its consequences in the United States, and serves in an international role as an advisor, in various capacities, to the United Nations and other multi-national organizations. In 2012- 2013, he served as one of thirty experts on the Organization of American States review panel analyzing hemispheric drug policy.

Earlier this year, he founded, with former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy, Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana), which advocates for an approach to marijuana policy that is focused neither on incarceration nor legalization ' but on health, prevention, treatment, recovery, and public safety. SAM's board comprises the most distinguished panel of public health physicians and addiction specialists in the country. He is also the Director of the Drug Policy Institute at the University of Florida, Department of Psychiatry, Division of Addiction Medicine. He is the author of numerous monographs, peer-reviewed journal articles, and op-eds, and his first book, Reefer Sanity: Seven Great Myths About Marijuana, was published by Beaufort in 2013.

He received his doctorate and M.S. from Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar in 2007 and 2002, respectively, and his B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley in 2001. He resides in Cambridge, MA. !

analysis of article text

prohibitionist hits:15 government drug warrior (prohibition_agency) hits:42 propaganda (drugwar_propaganda) hits:298 legalization hits:28 drug_reformer hits:0 reform_referenda hits:2 cannabis hits:207 stimulant hits:0 narcotic hits:4 hallucinogen hits:2
    prohibitionist     prohibition_agency     drugwar_propaganda     legalization     drug_reformer
    reform_referenda     cannabis     stimulant     narcotic     hallucinogen

incarceration/prison mentioned? yes .

propaganda analysis

explicit prohibition propaganda (explicit_propaganda) hits:11 hated group (propaganda_theme1) hits:22 madness, violence, illness (propaganda_theme2) hits:67 survival of society (propaganda_theme3) hits:22 gateway, use is abuse (propaganda_theme4) hits:56 children (propaganda_theme5) hits:38 demonize, war, epidemic (propaganda_theme6) hits:1 total prohibition (propaganda_theme7) hits:66 dissent attacked (propaganda_theme8) hits:15
EXP - explicit prohibition propaganda (explicit_propaganda) GRP - hated group (propaganda_theme1) MAD - madness, violence, illness (propaganda_theme2)
SOC - survival of society (propaganda_theme3) USE - gateway, use is abuse (propaganda_theme4) KID - children (propaganda_theme5)
WAR - demonize, war, epidemic (propaganda_theme6) TOT - total prohibition (propaganda_theme7) DIS - dissent attacked (propaganda_theme8)

 drug of abuse implied / mentioned

drug related
[news] [concept]

prohibition prohibitionist legalization prohibition agency drug policy illegal drugs drug ngo reform referenda  
drugwar_propaganda : a drug war propaganda event, campaign release, slogan, or themepropaganda

drugwar propaganda
[news] [concept]

explicit propaganda propaganda theme1 propaganda theme2 propaganda theme3 propaganda theme5 propaganda theme6 propaganda theme7 propaganda theme8 propaganda theme4 Why Are Americans So Easy to Manipulate? (Bruce E Levine, 2012)
Classic Modern Drug Propaganda
Themes in Chemical Prohibition
Drug War Propaganda (kindle edition)
explicit_propaganda : an explicit drug war propaganda event, campaign release, slogan, system, or programexplicit prohibition propaganda

explicit propaganda
[news] [concept]

"Anti-Drug Media Campaign" "National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign" "drug prevention" "billboard" "Media Campaign" "ad campaigns" "campaigns" "campaign"11SourceWatch: War on Drugs
Write What You're Told
Anti-Drug PSAs From the 80s and 90s
Lippmann, Walter; Public Opinion (1921)
Bernays, Edward; Propaganda (1928)
propaganda_theme1 : drug war propaganda theme: hated groupshated group

propaganda theme1
[news] [concept]

"users" "user" "marijuana smokers" "cannabis users" "pot user" "dealers" "cartels" "cartel" "drug traffickers" "gang members" "gang" "gangs" "organized crime" "organized criminal"22Hated Groups (propaganda theme 1)
America's Racist Drug laws
Labeling theory
 addiction 60%
[news] [concept]
"Addiction" "addicted20" "dependence"12Twelve-Step Snake Oil (2012)
Ceremonial Chemistry: The Ritual Persecution of Drugs, Addicts, and Pushers (Thomas Szasz)
propaganda_theme2 : drug war propaganda theme: madness, violence, illness caused by drugsmadness, violence, illness

propaganda theme2 80%
[news] [concept]

"violence" "violent" "murder" "crime" "crimes" "criminal" "criminals" "inappropriate" "harmfulness" "harmful" "neuropsychological decline" "IQ decline" "reduction in IQ15" "alarming" "deadly" "threatening" "poor learning outcomes17" "damage18" "poisonings" "lung damage18" "problem" "problems" "mental illness16" "psychotic" "Psychosis" "perceptions" "health and safety" addiction reefer madness49Madness Crime Violence Illness (propaganda theme 2)
Distortion 18: Cannabis and Mental Illness
propaganda_theme3 : drug war propaganda theme: survival of societysurvival of society

propaganda theme3 75%
[news] [concept]

"Society" "Americans" "America" "American" "public safety" "public health" "the country"22Survival of Society (propaganda theme 3)
 use is abuse

use is abuse
[news] [concept]

"Substance Abuse" "drug abuse" "Drug Use" "pot user" "cannabis users" "cannabis use" "marijuana use" "marijuana users" "use marijuana" "abuse"56Use is Abuse (propaganda theme 4)
propaganda_theme4 : drug war propaganda theme: all use is abuse, gatewaygateway, use is abuse

propaganda theme4
[news] [concept]

use is abuse Use is Abuse, Gateway (propaganda theme 4)
propaganda_theme5 : drug war propaganda theme: children corrupted by drugschildren

propaganda theme5 80%
[news] [concept]

"Child" "children" "kids" "kid" "teens" "Adolescent" "Adolescents" "minors" "high school students" "youth" "young people" "messages" "message" "prostitution"38Children Corrupted (propaganda theme 5)
propaganda_theme6 : drug war propaganda theme: demonize; use of drugs is epidemic; wardemonize, war, epidemic

propaganda theme6 60%
[news] [concept]

"Devil"1Demonize, War (propaganda theme 6)
List of wars on concepts
Perpetual war
The Failed War on Drugs (2012)
propaganda_theme7 : drug war propaganda theme: total prohibiton or accesstotal prohibition

propaganda theme7
[news] [concept]

"legalization" "legalizing" "legalized" "legalize" "legalization of marijuana" "legalizing marijuana" "legalization of retail marijuana" "legalized marijuana" "legalize marijuana" "marijuana plummets in legalization" "marijuana to be sold in non-legalization" "legitimize" "legalization advocates" legalization38Total Prohibition or Access (propaganda theme 7)
propaganda_theme8 : drug war propaganda theme: dissent attackeddissent attacked

propaganda theme8
[news] [concept]

"legalization advocates" "legalization lobby" "pro-marijuana" "Marijuana advocates" "advocates" "pro-legalization" "millionaires"15Dissent Attacked (propaganda theme 8)
ONDCP law: studying legalization disallowed
Right to petition
 drug of abuse

illegal drugs
[news] [concept]

cannabis narcotic various illegal drugs addiction hallucinogen  
 drugs 95%
[news] [concept]
various drugs  
 drug ngo
[news] [concept]
prohibitionist ngo  
 drug law
[news] [concept]
"drug laws" "CSA" "Controlled Substances Act" "Controlled Substances" "controlled substance" "Schedule I" "marijuana laws" "Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs" "Convention on Psychotropic Substances" "Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances"23 
 reform referenda 80%
[news] [concept]
reg mj 2012 colorado  
 reg mj 2012 colorado 80%
[news] [concept]
"Amendment 64" "Marijuana Laws on Marijuana and Alcohol"
 drug policy
[news] [concept]
"Drug Policy"
 compassion club

compassion club
[news] [concept]

"marijuana dispensaries" "dispensaries"9 
[news] [concept]
"Patrick J. Kennedy" government prohib2Prohibition
Cognitive liberty
Lobbyists Getting Rich Off Drug War (2012)
Calvina Fay halts interview, 8/2013
 infamous prohibitionist (gov't.-hired)

government prohib
[news] [concept]

"Kevin A. Sabet" "Kevin Sabet" "Sabet" drug czar10A Drug War Carol, page 22
Prohibition era political cartoons
 oft-mentioned government prohibitionist

govt prohib other 75%
[news] [concept]

"U.S. Attorney" "Police Chiefs" "Melinda Haag" "Haag"6A Drug War Carol, page 18
prohibition_agency : various drug prohibition and propaganda agencies and police; tax-supported entities dependent on continuing prohibitiongovernment drug warrior

prohibition agency
[news] [concept]

"Narcotics Control Board" "INCB" "Police" "law enforcement" "Enforcement Agency" "enforcement officials" "interdiction" "interdictions" "military" "DEA" "Drug Enforcement Agency" "Drug Enforcement" "Department of Justice" "Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration" "SAMHSA" "Drug abuse warning network" "HIDTA" drug propaganda agency33Drug Enforcement Administration
The Top Five Special Interest Groups Lobbying To Keep Marijuana Illegal
 government drug propaganda agency

drug propaganda agency
[news] [concept]

"Office of National Drug Control Policy" "Office of National Drug Control" "National Drug Control Policy" drug
 a drug propaganda chief

drug czar
[news] [concept]

"Gil Kerlikowske" "Kerlikowske" "Ward"3A Drug War Carol, page 22
Drug Czar: Required by Law to Lie
 prohibitionist ngo
[news] [concept]
"Smart Approaches to Marijuana" "Project SAM" "Smart Approaches" "SAM" "Police Chiefs Association" "California Police Chiefs" "American Society of Addiction Medicine"23The Top Five Special Interest Groups Lobbying To Keep Marijuana Illegal
Vested Interests of Prohibition: The Police
Police Are the Prohibitionist Lobby
this is what a police state looks like
Pot Threatens Booze Profits
A Center for Statistics Abuse?
Califano's CASA - Pharmaceutical Corporation Lobby
[news] [concept]
"legalizing marijuana" "legalized marijuana" "legalize marijuana" "legalization of marijuana" "legalization for kids? For one, drug-related" "legalization" "legalized" "legalize"
[news] [concept]
An Address By Senator Pierre Claude Nolin
ACLU Brief: Against Drug Prohibition
The Secret Of World-wide Drug Prohibition (PDF)
History of Alcohol Prohibition
Milton Friedman: Prohibition and Drugs
hallucinogen : the hallucinogens or psychedelics; also disassociativeshallucinogen 50%
[news] [concept]
Wikipedia: Psychedelics, dissociatives and deliriants
 psychoactive chemical

chemicals 50%
[news] [concept]

alcohol inhalants
 psychoactive plant

[news] [concept]

cannabis tobacco
 dissociative 50%
[news] [concept]
 anaesthetic 50%
[news] [concept]
[news] [concept]
"intoxicant" cannabis inhalants1 
 depressant intoxicant 50%
[news] [concept]
medical_cannabis : cannabis for medical usemedical cannabis
[news] [concept]
"marijuana for medical purposes" "medical marijuana" "medical use of marijuana" "medicinal use of marijuana" "marijuana for medical" ""medical"" "marijuana patients" "Medical Marijuana Laws on Marijuana" "marijuana for supposedly "medical" "Marijuana Exposures in a Medical" "medicine, the effects of retail marijuana" "marijuana as medicine" compassion
[news] [concept]
"Narcotic" "Narcotics"4Managing Pain
 alcohol 50%
[news] [concept]
"Alcohol"5Stanton Peele Addiction Web Site
Pot Threatens Booze Profits

inhalants 50%
[news] [concept]

cannabis : cannabis (marijuana) product or usecannabis
[news] [concept]
"Marijuana" "cannabis" "Cannabis-Psychosis" "Reefer" "pot" "Pot-Tarts" medical cannabis reefer madness cannabis industry156Cannabis: Religious and Spiritual Uses
Cannabis-Driving Studies Cannabis Link DB
Schaffer Library: Marijuana
 cannabis industry 85%
[news] [concept]
"marijuana industry" "marijuana sales are already known ' mass marketing"
reefer_madness : (violent) mental illness, allegedly caused by cannabis usereefer madness

reefer madness 60%
[news] [concept]

"Cannabis Use and Earlier Onset of Psychosis" "Cannabis-Psychosis" "Cannabis use and risk of psychotic" "Cannabis use and childhood trauma interact additively to increase risk of psychotic" "psychotic episodes21 ' and marijuana" "Cannabis use and risk of psychotic or affective mental"6Link Between Marijuana and Mental Illness
Relief from Schizophrenia using Cannabis
Study Indicates Cannabis-Associated Psychosis Risk Is Minimal
Study: Pot Doesn't Exacerbate Schizophrenia
Cannabis Use May "Improve" Brain Function In Schizophrenics, Study Says
Distortion 18: Cannabis and Mental Illness
"Reefer Madness"
"Reefer Madness" 1936 screenplay
Hypnosis and "Reefer Madness"
Behavior Under Nazi Regime, vs Drug User Personality
Study: Marijuana Linked to Lower Mortality Rate for Patients with Psychotic Disorders (2012)

[news] [concept]

"cigarettes" "tobacco"
 various drugs 95%
[news] [concept]
"Psychotropic" "Drug" "drugs" "drug-related" "drugged"54 
 various illegal drugs
[news] [concept]
"drug laws" "drug-related" "illegal drugs" "illegal drug" "drug traffickers" "drug trafficking" "drug abuse" "Psychotropic" "Controlled Substances" "controlled substance" drug
DEA's Drugs of Abuse booklet
 drug testing

drug test
[news] [concept]

"drug testing"
[news] [concept]
"incarceration"1Prison Hell in America (Stephen Lendman, Oct. 2011)
Understanding the U.S. Torture State
this is what a police state looks like
Torture and the United States and... drugs.htm
Profit Driven Prison Industrial Complex (2012)
The Top Five Special Interest Groups Lobbying To Keep Marijuana Illegal
Sing a Little Louder
Prison Rape Widely Ignored by Authorities
Jury Nullification Can Help Push Back Against the Prison Industry
 youth 80%
[news] [concept]
propaganda theme5
[news] [concept]
"school" "University"
 forfeiture 50%
[news] [concept]
"Seizure" "seizures"
 legalism 80%
[news] [concept]
"against federal law" "violation of federal law" "violate federal law"
The Book of Lord Shang
Legalism (Chinese philosophy)
Ham Sandwich Nation: Due Process When Everything is a Crime (2013)
Yes, YOU are a Criminal...You Just Don't Know It Yet (2013)
Three Felonies a Day
 aggrandizing government

[news] [concept]

"officials" "experts" "authorizing" "authorized" "authority"16What is Statism?
Conservapedia: Statism
Wikipedia: Statolatry
Bought Priesthood
Worship of the U. S. Government (2011)
Bureaucratic Thrust
Tyranny of Experts
The Threat of Authority (2012)
The Media As Enablers of Government Lies
The Statist Mindset (Jacob Hornberger, 2011)
Thinking Critically about Experts and Authority
Statism, Stalinism, and Satanism - What are the Limits?

st:0.01 fo:0 s:0.01 d:2.08 c:0 db:0.364 a:2.87 m:11.72 t:17.32 (f)

text of article used for CRITICAL ANALYSIS, under FAIR USE provisions of the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 107, et al.

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Bot's analysis of: "The Dangers and Consequences of Marijuana Abuse" the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Demand Reduction Section, May 2014
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    article tags


    aggrandizement concept - terms of aggrandizement (of government)
    legalism concept - unreasonable, abusive elevation of laws, government secrecy, rulers
    forfeiture concept - forfeiture
    school concept
    youth concept
    incarceration concept - Prisons, Jails and Probation
    drug_test concept - a test or procedure to detect (illegal) drug use
    various_illegal_drugs concept - general terms for illegal drugs
    various_drugs concept - general terms for drugs
    tobacco concept - Tobacco is an annual or bi-annual growing 1-3 meters tall with large sticky leaves that contain nicotine. Native to the Americas, tobacco has a long history of use as an shamanic inebriant and stimulant. It is extremely popular and well-known for its addictive potential. (Solanaceae, Nicotiana, rustica; tabacum L.; ...)
    reefer_madness concept - (violent) mental illness, allegedly caused by cannabis use
    cannabis_industry concept - cannabis industry - (emerging) marijuana, cannabis industries; marijuana businesses; stock market marijauna plays; pot venture capital
    cannabis concept - cannabis (marijuana) product or use
    inhalants concept - Our understanding of the literature is that there is no such thing as safe use of most volatile solvents, aerosols or other street inhalants : their psychoactive effects may be inseparable from nerve and organ damage. (Various)
    alcohol concept - ethyl alcohol for intoxication
    narcotic concept - a drug that dulls senses, relieves pain, induces sleep
    medical_cannabis concept - cannabis for medical use
    depressant_intoxicant concept
    intoxicant concept
    anaesthetic concept
    dissociative concept
    plants concept - Plants listed in this section are those which have been used by humans for their mind- or emotion-altering properties.
    chemicals concept - Psychoactive Chemicals are chemicals which have mind- or emotion-altering properties.
    hallucinogen concept - the hallucinogens or psychedelics; also disassociatives
    prohibition concept - drug prohibition terms
    legalization concept - drug decrim. or legalisaton
    prohibitionist_ngo concept - prohibition non-governmental organization
    drug_czar concept - a chief government drug propaganda official
    drug_propaganda_agency concept - governmental anti-drug propaganda agencies, offices
    prohibition_agency concept - various drug prohibition and propaganda agencies and police; tax-supported entities dependent on continuing prohibition
    govt_prohib_other concept - prohibitionist who gets (or has gotten in the past) a government paycheck or money to bolster prohibition, but mentioned in many non-drug-related articles, too
    government_prohib concept - infamous prohibitionist who gets (or has gotten in the past) a government paycheck or money to buttress prohibition
    prohibitionist concept - infamous prohibitionist
    compassion_club concept - organization that legally distributes medical cannabis to doctor-approved patients
    drug_policy concept - policy about how drugs and users be treated (esp. concerning government-initiated violence), in general
    reg_mj_2012_colorado concept - Amendment 64 - Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act of 2012 (Colorado)
    reform_referenda concept
    drug_law concept
    drug_ngo concept
    drugs concept
    illegal_drugs concept - drugs of abuse, so-called
    propaganda_theme8 concept - drug war propaganda theme: dissent attacked
    propaganda_theme7 concept - drug war propaganda theme: total prohibiton or access
    propaganda_theme6 concept - drug war propaganda theme: demonize; use of drugs is epidemic; war
    propaganda_theme5 concept - drug war propaganda theme: children corrupted by drugs
    propaganda_theme4 concept - drug war propaganda theme: all use is abuse, gateway
    use_is_abuse concept - drug war propaganda theme: all use is abuse
    propaganda_theme3 concept - drug war propaganda theme: survival of society
    propaganda_theme2 concept - drug war propaganda theme: madness, violence, illness caused by drugs
    addiction concept - addition or drug dependency
    propaganda_theme1 concept - drug war propaganda theme: hated groups
    explicit_propaganda concept - an explicit drug war propaganda event, campaign release, slogan, system, or program
    drugwar_propaganda concept - a drug war propaganda event, campaign release, slogan, or theme
    drug_related concept - related to illegal drugs and prohibition