In 1997, this newspaper launched a campaign to decriminalise the drug. If only we had known then what we can reveal today. Record numbers of teenagers are requiring drug treatment as a result of smoking skunk, the highly potent cannabis strain that is 25 times stronger than resin sold a decade ago. More than 22,000 people were treated last year for cannabis addiction – and almost half of those affected were under 18. With doctors and drugs experts warning that skunk can be as damaging as cocaine and heroin leading to mental health problems and psychosis for thousands of teenagers, The Independent on Sunday has today reversed its landmark campaign for cannabis use to be decriminalized.
Reclassification of cannabis ‘fuels youth crime wave’
Young offenders are taking up to 75 per cent more of the drug. Nine out of 10 in some areas take cannabis – those who work with them say the situation is ‘out of control.’
Cannabis use among Britain’s young offenders is “out of control”, up by 75 percent in some areas and fuelling a crime epidemic, with youngsters stealing to fund their addictions, according to two studies.
The decision to reclassify the drug three years ago has had another, more sinister impact, with organized crime taking a much more active role in the production and distribution of cannabis.
A rise in young people smoking cannabis openly has led to a rise in the fear of crime in the community leading Sheffield’s police chief to warn of the threat that cannabis poses to the “social fabric of society”.
The government today defied the advice of drug experts and upgraded cannabis from class C to class B.
Tougher sanctions will replace the current system of police warnings, and officers will be able to arrest first-time offenders.
Jacqui Smith, home secretary, justified her decision by highlighting the strength of "skunk" strains of herbal cannabis now widely available.
Last week, Gordon Brown warned of the "more lethal quality" of much of the cannabis now available, described it as a gateway drug, and said that the reclassification was needed to "send a message to young people that it was unacceptable".
Smith said it accounted for 81% of cannabis available on the streets compared to just 30% in 2002.
RESOLVED, BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE ONE HUNDRED FIRST GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we urge lawmakers to slow the process of legalizing recreational marijuana in Illinois, so that lawmakers, stakeholders, and experts alike have the chance to consider the societal impact of legalization and examine all of the data from other states that have passed similar legislation; and be it further
RESOLVED, That lawmakers should not rush irresponsible legislation purely for tax revenues but should consider the health and safety of Illinoisans as their first priority when considering the question of legalization; and be it further.
Two key Chicago Democratic lawmakers, Sen. Heather Steans and Rep. Kelly Cassidy, have met with interested groups around Illinois and are expected to introduce legislation soon.
Meanwhile, however, Rep. Carol Ammons, D—Urbana, already has introduced a bill that is drawing attention. It would open the door to a much more expansive legal pot industry than most others have envisioned.
Ammons’ bill, the Cannabis Legalization Equity Act, would allow anyone age 21 or older with valid identification to buy or sell marijuana. Driving under the influence of the drug still would be illegal. And the legislation makes specific mention that only “legitimate, tax-paying business people” would be permitted to sell cannabis.
Under the measure, Illinoisans could possess as many as 224 grams, or about a half-pound, of marijuana at time. It also would allow individual to grow as many as 24 plants in their own homes for personal consumption, and it would provide for the licensing of cultivation facilities and retail dispensaries.
Press Release, Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, December 13, 2018
New data shows a troubling increase in teenagers’ use of marijuana in Illinois, and a significant increase in vaping by teenagers. Those are two major results from the second annual survey of School Resource Officers, who are police officers with primary responsibilities in schools throughout Illinois.
In the first survey, nearly 60 percent of respondents said that marijuana was the primary drug facing schools. Then, 30 percent of respondents had seen an increase in marijuana-related incidents. Since then, new reports show about an 8 percent increase in the number of school resource officers that say more students are abusing the drug.
In October of this year, the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association, the School Resource Officers Association and Illinois Partners/Educating Voices, conducted its second annual statewide multi-disciplinary study on the impact of marijuana on the health and safety of Illinois residents. More than 100 of the state’s School Resource Officers answered survey questions and recorded a variety of case examples of drug-related incidents that occurred in their schools.
A 12-year-old boy allegedly handed out gummy bears ingested with marijuana during the school’s gym class. He faces felony charges of one count of possession of THC or marijuana resin, six counts of distribution of THC within 1,000 feet of a school and possession of paraphernalia.
The offspring of lab rats that were exposed to marijuana smoke during pregnancy took longer to learn and comprehend tasks than rats whose mothers weren’t exposed to THC, researchers found.
At Washington State University, researchers placed pregnant rats in a small transparent chamber, and 60 times a day, for 2 minutes at a time, the moms-to-be got hit with a blast of vaporized cannabis extract.
Photographs show the white haze, sometimes shooting right at the nostrils of the curious animals, sometimes engulfing their tiny heads. The female rats began getting stoned during the week of their mating period, and then for the 21 days of gestation.
The results were another warning for mothers-to-be who like to light up. The offspring of the rats that ingested marijuana during pregnancy showed slowed development. Or, in layman’s terms, “It was like something wasn’t clicking with them,” explains Ryan McLaughlin, an assistant professor in WSU’s Department of Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience.
Parents Opposed to Pot, October 25, 2018
Chicago is the most corrupt city in the country and Illinois is a pay-to-play state. Billionaire JB Pritzker hopes to become the next governor of Illinois. When he talked to young voters at Northwestern University, he highlighted a plan to legalize marijuana. But do these students know the true dangers of the drug? Do they know that the marijuana industry is Big Tobacco 2?
Illinois has budget woes, but legalization of marijuana will bankrupt the state even more. The relatives of billionaire Pritzker invest in marijuana companies and donate nationwide to legalization campaigns. Their companies contribute to the politicians in California with its burgeoning marijuana industry. (See chart below from CALMatters.org.)
Imagine how the legalization of marijuana will add to the crime in crime-ridden as Chicago, while auto insurance rates rise 27% as they did in other states. In Washington State, marijuana figures strongly in the crimes the teens commit against each other. Amazingly, Pritzker said that marijuana is part of his crime-fighting plan. “We don’t need more studies on this. We need to act.”
Claire Z. Cardona, Dallas News, October 17, 2018
A driver’s marijuana and prescription sedative use led to the head-on crash that killed 13 people on a church bus last year, the National Transportation Safety Board determined …
Toxicology test showed Jack Dillon Young had marijuana and clonazepam, a sedative used to treat seizure and panic disorders, in his system. Young also said he took twice the prescribed dosage before the March 29, 2017, crash, according to a summary of the NTSB report.
Young’s truck crossed into on U.S. Highway 83 … and slammed into the bus carrying members of First Baptist New Braunfels.