An anti-marijuana advocate accused lawmakers of being dishonest about THC’s effects on young adults and society as Senate Democrats push to legalize cannabis.
“When our lawmakers talk about legalizing marijuana, they talk about it like it’s chamomile tea and it has no side effects and no downside to using it,” said Pot. Protesting Parents board member Heidi Swan told LBL. “But have they told us about the physical side effects, the mental side effects and the growing problems of the society?”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D.N.J., Senate Finance Speaker Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Sen. Cory Booker, D.N.J. introduced a discussion draft for the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act last week, which aims to legalize marijuana at the federal level.
bill will treat marijuana Like alcohol or tobacco, allowing it to be taxed and regulated. Buyers must be at least 21 years of age, and retail sales transactions shall not be limited to an amount exceeding 10 ounces of cannabis or an equivalent amount of any cannabis derivative.
“They want to legalize ultra-high potency THC products,” Swan, of California, told LBL. “And then when you say that, people say, ‘What are you talking about? It’s just marijuana.’ No, it’s not just marijuana. It’s a highly processed product.”
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Hans pointed out that some of these products are processed with butane hash oilAccording to the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, the highly potent concentrate poses an extreme risk to those who both produce and consume it.
“It’s not quite natural and it hasn’t been there for quite some time,” Hans, who occasionally smoked marijuana as a teen, told LBL.
“Once I was getting high, I had an experience where all of a sudden I didn’t know where I was, and I didn’t know who I was with,” she recalled. “I didn’t know until years later that it had a name. It’s called cannabis-induced psychosis.”
According to the Psychiatric Times, cannabis-induced psychosis There is a potential side effect of excessive marijuana consumption. In people with a mental disorder, cannabis can act as a trigger, relieving symptoms of psychosis that are commonly associated with conditions such as schizophrenia.
Hans rarely used cannabis after a negative experience. But his brother, K. Anderson once enjoyed the “fun house” effect the drug gave him, Swann told LBL.
“He continued to use marijuana,” said Swan, until he was in middle school, receiving his bachelor’s degree every day.
“He went on to try crack and became a homeless drug addict with schizophrenia,” she continued. “He was lost to us for a decade.”
According to National Institute of Drug Abuse, “Several studies have linked marijuana use to an increased risk of psychiatric disorders including psychosis (schizophrenia), depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders.”
Recent research cited by the Government Institute suggests that “smoking high-potency marijuana every day can increase your chances of developing psychosis by about five times. The amount of drug used, age of first use, and genetic vulnerability all have a higher risk of developing psychosis.” It has been shown to affect the relationship.”
Hans and his brother were eventually reunited when Anderson contacted his sister after spending a year in prison and receiving treatment at a rehab facility.
Hans and her husband agreed to take her in and help her get back on her feet. It was only about a year later that Swann realized that his brother was suffering from an unknown mental illness.
The pair wrote a book based on Anderson’s life titled “One Night in Jail” To raise awareness of the risks of marijuana use among adolescents.
Despite his personal experiences with the substance, Swann was not always such a vocal opponent of marijuana and even voted in favor of legalization during the 2016 California election.
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“When I voted for it, I thought they were talking about marijuana from the 1970s or ’80s when I used it,” she said. “I felt like the reasons for legalization were still right. Get rid of the black market, bring in taxes, all the other things.”
“And then as time went on, I saw what was happening here in California because of legalization, and it wasn’t at all what they promised,” Swan continued.
The results he mentioned included an increase in homelessness and the amount of water being used to grow highly water-intensive crops. Swan said that California has seen an increase in homelessness after legalization, which has prompted him to originally be interested in researching the topic. Since 2016, California has experienced a larger increase in homelessness than any other state, according to US Interagency Council on Homelessness.
Additionally, amid a worsening drought, illegal producers have stolen so much water from agricultural wells, aqueducts and fire hydrants that in March, falling water pressure compromised firefighting operations, the Los Angeles Times Reported. As a result, the Los Angeles County Fire Department ordered the removal of 100 hydrants in Antelope Valley.
However, the most notable effect, Swann said, has been the impact on quality of life.
“People are smoking pot while driving. You can smell it everywhere,” she said. “Kids, pregnant women, people with cancer, people trying to exercise – we’re exposed to it all the time. This attitude of ‘it’s legal, I can do whatever I want, where I want, whenever I want’ is.” ‘”
Hans’s biggest concern remains the potential long-term effects on young people. “We are doing an experiment on the minds of our youth and they are paying the price and their families are paying the price.”
“Even proponents of legalization say young people shouldn’t be using it, but young people are using it and it’s being marketed to them,” Swann told LBL. “It comes on their phones, it’s on billboards, it’s everywhere.”
“I would like Senator Schumer to be honest with the American public about what the study says,” Swann called on the majority leader, who announced he would use his “pressure” to make the issue a top priority in the Senate. do. “We don’t need any more studies. There are a lot of studies and most of them are being suppressed.”
Supporters of the bill argue that communities of color and the poor have been unfairly affected by the “failed federal prohibition of cannabis”. The bill calls for the elimination of nonviolent marijuana-related arrests and convictions from federal records and would set aside new tax revenue for restorative justice programs.
“It’s not just an idea whose time has come, it’s long overdue,” Schumer said at last week’s press conference. “We have all seen the agony of a young man arrested with a small amount of marijuana in his pocket. And because of the historical over-criminalization of marijuana, he has a very serious criminal record, with him his entire life. have to stay.”