Former White House Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey Lays Out Case Against Legalizing Marijuana as California Prepares to Vote

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 General News
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As Featured Speaker, Presents 16-slide detailed analysis to Conference in San Diego

SAN DIEGO, May 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Four-Star General Barry R. McCaffrey (Ret), the former White House "Drug Czar" who was Director of National Drug Control Policy in the Clinton Administration, laid out the case against legalizing marijuana as California prepares to vote on the issue in a referendum. As the featured speaker today at the 2010 National Marijuana Initiative and California Campaign Against Marijuana Planting Conference in San Diego, McCaffrey, now Adjunct Professor at West Point and a media expert on drugs and national security, presented a sixteen-slide detailed analysis.

For McCaffrey's full presentation see:

Among points raised by McCaffrey:

Contact: Bob Weiner/Rebecca Vander Linde 301-283-0821 or 202-306-1200

-- While 90% of Americans did not use marijuana last year, marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug. -- 6.7% of 12- to 17-year-olds and 16.5% of 18- to 25-year-olds reported past month use of marijuana. 42.6% of twelfth graders reported lifetime use. -- According to HHS, the younger children are when they first use marijuana, the more they are likely to use cocaine and heroin and become dependent on drugs as adults. -- Detrimental health effects include respiratory illnesses, problems with learning and memory, increased heart rate, and impaired coordination. Chronic marijuana use is associated with anxiety, depression, suicidal ideas, and schizophrenia. -- Cancer of the respiratory tract and lungs may also be promoted by marijuana smoke, which contains 50 to 70 percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco smoke. -- HHS Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) data indicate marijuana is involved in nearly 300,000 Emergency Room visits annually. -- For treatment facility admissions, marijuana was the primary drug of abuse in some 200,000 cases in 1997 but 300,000 ten years later, in 2007. -- If you got locked up for marijuana, you were most likely doing significant criminal activity. Among Federal offenders sentenced for marijuana-related charges, 97.8% of cases involved trafficking. -- Most of the marijuana produced in Mexico is destined for U.S. drug markets. In addition, California's illegal marijuana fields are controlled by employees of or people working with Mexican drug trafficking organizations carrying high-powered assault weapons. -- Drug Prevention is a must in schools, athletic programs, religion, pediatric offices, and extra-curricular activities. Kids that are busy are less likely to abuse drugs. Parent-led and community-supported programs are essential. -- Inhaled marijuana smoke is not "medical" but dangerous. Marijuana smoke is a crude THC delivery system that also sends harmful substances into the body. -- The Institute of Medicine concluded that "marijuana is not a modern medicine." -- Medicines should not be approved by popular vote but must undergo rigorous clinical trials and then be approved by FDA. -- Medical pot has been a stalking horse for the normalization of marijuana use. Law enforcement agencies routinely report that large-scale drug traffickers hide behind and invoke Proposition 215 even when there is no evidence for a medical claim. -- Medical marijuana already exists as Marinol, a pharmaceutical product widely available through prescription which has been studied and approved by the medical community and FDA. -- There are no FDA-approved medications that are smoked. -- There are more marijuana dispensaries in San Francisco than Starbucks coffee shops. Marijuana legalization will soon be a reality unless concerned Californians act now. Drugs are not harmful because they are illegal -- they are illegal because they are harmful.

SOURCE Robert Weiner Associates and BR McCaffrey Associates

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