policy

A POWERFUL NEW “STATEMENT OF CONCERN” ISSUED BY MASSACHUSETTS DOCTORS, CLINICIANS, AND SCIENTISTS

A powerful new “Statement of Concern” was published recently by a cohort of Massachusetts doctors, clinicians, and scientists. They strongly reject their state’s treatment of marijuana as an “ordinary commodity” that requires little or no consideration of its impact on the health of the citizens of Massachusetts, and call for it instead to be “Regulate[d] and govern[ed]… using a Public Health Framework…[that] prioritizes population-level health over commercial market interests…”

They observe that while not all marijuana users will experience negative effects, “the risk is substantial enough to require policies which discourage use.”

Among the key points of the Statement are:

  • that just like the previous “regulatory failure[s]” of the state regarding tobacco, opiods, and vaping, such regulatory failure is likely in the case of marijuana as well if the state does not prioritize public health

  • Marijuana is a potentially addictive drug, and its potency is ever-increasing, thereby increasing the risks of harm

  • “the tobacco industry has spent billions of dollars” to enter the vaping and marijuana markets, and they are likely to combine the two interests to produce high-THC vapes, which are of particular and growing risk to youth.

  • “Marijuana use by adolescents can impair brain development…reduce academic success, impact long-term career growth, and even lower user IQ. (These two points are a particular focus of IBH through its One Choice teen drug use prevention initiative.)

  • Massachusetts doctors and clinicians are seeing these effects first-hand in their own patients.

IBH encourages everyone who cares about public health to read this Statement of Concern, and to actively seek to implement its conclusions in their own states as well as at the federal level.

Click here to read the Statement of Concern via marijauna-policy.org

Click here to visit the Marijuana Policy Initiative’s web page about the Statement.

LINDESMITH AND BEJEROT - COULD THEY MEET TODAY?

The antagonists in the drug policy field, Alfred Lindesmith and Nils Bejerot, made completely different conclusions in the past. Could they have agreed today? IBH President Robert L. DuPont, MD presents an analysis in DrugNews. After reviewing this history, he notes, “Bejerot saw clearly the risks of compromising with drug use and the value of labeling this use as unhealthy and unacceptable. Sweden provides a model for the world in drug policy today.” Read more.

CHEMICAL SLAVERY NOW AVAILABLE

At a time when the nation is searching for ways to save lives from opioid and other drug overdoses as well as how to reduce the burden of addiction on individuals, families and communities, IBH President Robert L. DuPont, MD has written Chemical Slavery: Understanding Addiction and Stopping the Drug Epidemicfor parents, teachers, physicians and for everyone afflicted by addiction.  The book also guides leaders in public policy and planning positions, as well as drug abuse treatment. Chemical Slavery covers two crucial topics: First, the national drug epidemic including an understanding of its evolution to become a national emergency, and the science of addiction and recovery. Second, Dr. DuPont presents his experience-based guide to the intimate, day-to-day struggle with the disease of addiction from prevention to lasting recovery. This book shows the ways in which these two domains of addiction, the national and the personal, are intertwined and can be both understood and managed. Read more.

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A Strategy to Assess the Consequences of Marijuana Legalization

There is a pressing need for a formal repository of information related to the public health, safety and other consequences, both of marijuana use and of marijuana legalization itself, as well as changes in public attitude about marijuana use and policies.  This requires a sustained and systematic annual collection, analysis and reporting of these data to the public. Because of the burdens imposed and the controversies sure to result from managing an annual report on the consequences of marijuana use and legalization, it is likely that no federal agency will step forward on its own to systematically collect, analyze and report these data.  For this reason this Strategy calls on the US Congress both to designate an entity to perform this vital function and to providing adequate funding for it for a period of at least 10 years.

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