Why are they surprised .......
You can bet your balls to a barn dance ...there is as much illegal weed .....as there is legal .......even more ........legalizing weed ....... was only introduced ..........because government want taxes .........they do not care about your health.......no..... no...... no sirree bob !!!!!!!!....govt do not care if you drop dead on the pavement ........and they even want tax ..after you are gone!!!!!! ......so that's pretty much tells you how much they care about your dumb ass ......and you go and vote ......still drives me nuts ......you never gonna stop people from black market ......and the black market stuff is usually better .....stronger...... and fucks up people ....people do not care about THC and all relevant ladee da shit ....they only care about getting high ....escapism ....that's its ///no one wants shit that kils the pain .....yes !!!!it helps .....but the whole idea of smoking weed is to get fucking high !!!!....people love getting high ......you know ...taking the elevator to the top floor ....reality sucks ......for lots....... and i mean lots of people...... they do not wat to deal with the real life........its hard ........yes and i agree ........but there is only one problem ......once you come back down .....you problems are right there......... waiting for you ........yes ....sorry to be a bad news bear ......but that's the truth ......you can only escape for so long .....it tells you in the words ........escape ......eventually it catches up with you ......all the shit and bills and stuff and things .......responsibility .......over rated ..........
There was a time in America when legalizing marijuana was a partisan issue, but that was a very long time ago.
Polling today shows overwhelming support for legalizing pot in some form, either medical or recreational. Roughly 9 out of 10 Americans told Pew Research Center in 2021 they supported legal pot one way or the other.
In Arizona, we permanently legalized medical marijuana in 2010 and recreational pot in 2020. Nineteen states and Washington, D.C., have approved recreational marijuana, and 37 states and D.C. have approved medical weed, The New York Times reports.
Now progressive Democrats are pressing President Joe Biden to use executive action to legalize marijuana in federal law as a way of building momentum for the 2022 midterm elections.
But major new developments on marijuana are beginning to tell us that legalizing pot was loaded with serious unintended consequences we’ve only just begun to understand.
In fact, they tell us we were fools to ever think we could legalize pot. Because it’s beginning to look like it might not be possible.
Legal marijuana has boosted the black market
A stunning special report in the Los Angeles Times this week shows that legalization in that state has given rise to a massive black market, California’s largest ever, that is undercutting new legal markets, stoking violent criminal behavior and putting rural communities at risk.
Pop-up greenhouses or “hoop houses” are rising in the remote forests and deserts of California by the tens of thousands to grow illegal, unregulated pot. There are so many it is impossible to police.
Raid raises question: How do you know if a marijuana store is legit?
“It’s like taking on a gargantuan army with a pocket knife,” Mendocino County (Calif.) Sheriff Matt Kendall told The Times.
In fact, there so many illegal pot operations they are causing environmental damage, diverting precious water resources and are exploiting California workers in ways reminiscent of John Steinbeck’s “Okies” in “The Grapes of Wrath” and Cesar Chavez’s beleaguered farm workers.
New concerns about the health effects of THC
On the health-care front, a new meta-analysis published in the British medical journal Lancet Psychiatry reveals that more-potent marijuana sold today, as opposed to the mild weed Boomers smoked in their youth, poses a significant risk of mental health problems and much higher addiction.
One study reviewed in the meta-analysis reports that higher-potency pot is four times more addictive than the lower-potency form, reports Psychology Today.
And finally, The New York Times reported in June that as weed grows more potent, teenagers are growing “highly dependent and dangerously ill.”
THC, the psychoactive chemical in marijuana, has been increasing in modern forms of legal pot while going largely unregulated, The Times reports.
Such high levels of THC “can have potentially harmful effects – especially for young people, whose brains are still developing,” The Times reports. “In addition to uncontrollable vomiting and addiction, adolescents who frequently use high doses of cannabis may also experience psychosis that could possibly lead to a lifelong psychiatric disorder, an increased likelihood of developing depression and suicidal ideation, changes in brain anatomy and connectivity and poor memory.”
“(There is) no doubt that higher concentration products are increasing the number of people who have bad experiences with cannabis,” Dr. Sharon Levy, director of the Adolescent Substance Use and Addiction Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, told The Times.
As result, California is now considering adding a mental health warning label to legal marijuana to inform consumers that the drug can contribute to psychotic disorders.
California legalized pot thinking it would cut crime
Los Angeles Times reporter Paige St. John has done extraordinary reporting that is going to change the way we talk about marijuana in the future.
In 2016, California voters passed Proposition 64 believing a legal market for marijuana would undercut the drug’s black market and thus reduce its parallel criminal violence and environmental destruction.
Instead, they opened “the door to a global pool of organized criminals and opportunists.”
In rural communities across the state, residents describe “living in fear next to heavily armed camps,” St. John reports.
Examining satellite imagery of thousands of square miles across the state, The Times found there has been a “dramatic expansion in cannabis cultivation where land is cheap and law enforcement spread thin.”
Residents live in fear, workers exploited
Adding to this outgrowth, are new cultivation techniques that use hoop houses to produce three to five harvests per year, instead of the single annual harvest of outdoor plots, St. John reports.
The massive growth in black market operations “fed a glut that crashed wholesale prices last year, jeopardizing even those in the licensed market. Small-scale legal farmers unable to sell their crop have been pushed toward financial ruin,” The Times reports.
Meanwhile, criminal enterprises armed with assault-style weapons “have exacerbated cannabis-related violence, bringing shootouts, robberies, kidnappings and, occasionally, killings. Some surrounded residents say they are afraid to venture onto their own properties.”
Laborers working in this unregulated underground are often exploited and cheated out of paychecks while forced to toil in dangerous conditions, St. John reports.
“In four counties alone since legalization, carbon monoxide from generators and charcoal braziers has killed seven workers as they labored or tried to stay warm in sealed greenhouses on illegal farms, and eight more inside uninhabitable buildings, coroner records show.”
The legalization debate is far from over
When you legalize marijuana and heavily tax it, as states have done to fund public services, you also make pot more expensive. You create the rationale for a black markets.
To push back, you need to cut taxes and probably retail prices, undermining one of the key reasons for states, wholesalers and retailers to get into the legal enterprise in the first place.
The pot we have made legal today is not the same pot John Belushi and Willie Nelson huffed in the 1970s. It is a super-concentrated version that causes many more times the health problems and far greater addiction.
Given the threat to children, we are going to hear calls for greater regulation of THC, which is largely unregulated in states that have legalized. Regulate THC and you create yet another rationale for black markets: If the legal market won’t meet the demand for highly potent pot, the marijuana underground will.
In an op-ed in The Hill, Marc Siegel, a professor of medicine at New York University’s Langone Health and a Fox News analyst, argues it is time to get serious about regulating THC, given that in high concentrations it is leading to higher rates of addiction and cannabis-induced psychosis.
He quotes Aubree Adams, director of the nonprofit Every Brain Matters, who said, “Cannabis-induced psychosis is real and it’s destroying thousands of families across America. Once the brain is broken, once it’s addicted, it’s really hard to get it back.”
Legalization has been a giant experiment in public policy. We are now beginning to see the consequences.
Five years ago I thought the legalization debate was over. I was wrong.