By Keith Mansur
Oregon Cannabis Connection
The director of the National Marijuana Initiative, part of the federal Office of National Drug Control Policy (The “Drug Czar” office), told a group of Wisconsin youth and adults that marijuana is a “generational nightmare” because youth think it is safe. Youth 2 Youth 4 Change, a small non-profit in Rock County, Wisconsin, arranged for the presentation at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Beloit.
According to gazettextra.com, only about 35 people attended the event which gathered Ed Shemelya from NMI, a retired Kentucky state trooper, and Dr. James MacNeal, the local Mercyhealth EMS coordinator. They addressed the prevalence of recreational marijuana and the decreased perception of risk they believe is putting our youth in danger, twisting the truth and making ominous claims. Gazettextra.com reported:
“Today, marijuana isn’t what it was 10 years ago,” Shemelya said. He noted that the drug is more potent now than it once was. Twenty-nine states have legalized some form of marijuana for medicinal use, and eight states and Washington, D.C., have legalized it for recreational use. Still, Shemelya said, it’s the most misunderstood and dangerous drug on the market.
Dr. James MacNeal, Mercyhealth EMS coordinator, agrees that marijuana use can be dangerous, but describing it as the most dangerous drug on the market might not be a fair assessment, he said.
It’s hard to rank one drug over another because no one knows what’s in a drug that’s produced in someone’s basement, he said, noting that it’s best to avoid drugs altogether.
“It’s not a respiratory depressant, but that doesn’t mean it’s not dangerous,” MacNeal said. “You can hallucinate and walk out in front of a car, and that can kill you just as much as not breathing from a heroin overdose.”
Their statistics are debatable but the idea that people hallucinate on marijuana and would “walk out in front of a car” is taken straight from the reefer madness playbook. What is even more amazing is that the director of NMI found it a good use of his time to speak to 35 people with unfounded fears that wasted part of their day to attend this event.
This is not the first time Shemelya has spoken to such a small group and spread his nonsense and fear. just last September he gave a similar talk in Kentucky, his home state. In that presentation he showed an image of his cousin lying in a hospital bed on a respirator and claimed the young man “overdosed” on edibles and a dab he obtained in Colorado. He went on to say, “This is an everyday occurrence in Denver,” and claimed this happened 3 or 4 times a day to “kids”.
I think the Drug Czar’s office is wasting taxpayers money to perpetuate bad science, reckless prohibition, and incorrect information about a plant that is safer than Alcohol, cigarettes and prescription drugs. Time for our so-called President to clean house at the NMI, but that’s just a dream.
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