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The National District Attorneys Association Is Lying About Marijuana

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director April 27, 2017

    Cannabis PenaltiesA recently released white paper published by the National District Attorneys Association is calling for the federal government to strictly enforce anti-cannabis laws in states that have regulated its production and distribution for either medical or recreational purposes.

    The working group, which consists of D.A.s and prosecutors from more than a dozen states (including representatives from adult use states like California and Colorado), hopes to influence the Trump administration to set aside the 2013 Cole memorandum. That memorandum, authored by former US Deputy Attorney General James Cole, directs state prosecutors not to interfere with state legalization efforts and those licensed to engage in the plant’s production and sale, provided that such persons do not engage in marijuana sales to minors or divert the product to states that have not legalized its use, among other guidelines.

    “To maintain respect for the rule of law, it is essential that federal drug enforcement policy regarding the manufacture, importation, possession, use and distribution of marijuana be applied consistently across the nation,” the NDAA paper concludes.

    Predictably, authors repeat numerous falsehoods about marijuana and marijuana policy in an effort to bolster their call for a federal crackdown. Specifically, authors allege that cannabis damages the brain to a far greater extent than alcohol and that statewide regulations have increased young people’s access to the plant. Both claims are demonstrably false.

    The NDAA opines, “[Marijuana] is not like alcohol … because alcohol use does not cause the same type of permanent changes to teens’ ability to concentrate and learn.” Yet, well controlled studies dismiss the contention that cannabis exposure causes permanent structural damage to the brain.

    Specifically, a 2015 study assessed brain morphology in both daily adult and adolescent cannabis users compared to non-users, with a particular focus on whether any differences were identifiable in the nucleus accumbens, amygdala, hippocampus, and the cerebellum. Investigators reported “no statistically significant differences … between daily users and nonusers on volume or shape in the regions of interest” after researchers controlled for potentially confounding variables. In contrast to marijuana, researchers acknowledged that alcohol “has been unequivocally associated with deleterious effects on brain morphology and cognition in both adults and adolescents.”

    The NDAA further claims, “Legalization of marijuana for medical use and recreational use clearly sends a message to youth that marijuana is not dangerous and increases youth access to marijuana.”

    But data from the US Centers for Disease control reports that young people’s access to marijuana has fallen by 13 percent since 2002. The agency further reports, “Since 2002, the prevalence of marijuana use and initiation among U.S. youth has declined” – a finding that is consistent with numerous prior studies.

    Moreover, state-specific post-legalization data published in March by the Colorado Department of Public Health concludes: “[M]arijuana use, both among adults and among youth, does not appear to be increasing to date. No change was observed in past 30-day marijuana use among adults between 2014 (13.6 percent) and 2015 (13.4 percent). Similarly, there was no statistically significant change in 30-day or lifetime marijuana use among high school students between 2013 (lifetime: 36.9 percent, 30-day: 19.7 percent) and 2015 (lifetime: 38.0 percent, 30-day: 21.2 percent).” 2016 data compiled by Washington State Department of Social and Health Services similarly finds that “rates of teen marijuana use have remained steady” post legalization.

    The National District Attorneys Association is the largest and oldest prosecutor organization in the country. Their mission is to be “the voice of America’s prosecutors and strives to support their efforts to protect the rights and safety of the people in their communities.”

    The full text of the their paper, entitled “Marijuana Policy: The State and Local Prosecutors’ Perspective,” is available online here.

    34 Responses to “The National District Attorneys Association Is Lying About Marijuana”

    1. saferinneworleans says:

      A last gasp effort from a bunch of alcoholics. Well, we don’t need them anyway.

    2. Hulkster says:

      So Paul. Whatchagonnado!

    3. Donna says:

      While cannibus enforcement is a economic disaster on a federal level there is money to be made elsewhere within the system. Furthermore, if marijuana were to be made legal many would be hard pressed to defend their 6 figure salaries and multimillion dollar budgets. Look hard and you will see much of our economy is based off the inherent weakness’ of our species. From the common cold to seemingly harmless vices if there is a buck to be made it will surely be follow by a rule, law, fee and /or regulation.

      • Mark Mitcham says:

        Trump is a liar and a scumbag. To hell with him
        and his supporters.

        • Bstr says:

          While I agree with most of what the trump haters are saying I believe that Hillary would have ruined this country and the fight for cannabis is not worth having if it meant she was in power.so instead of all this hate toward the man how bout we fight for what’s right and see if he ends up on our side we won’t get anywhere with all this hate ,im neither a republican nor democrat I’m a human and so is he.

          • Julian says:

            And “he” is a human on finasteride. I’d be angry if I had a little dick too.

            Do you realize that appointing the biggest prohibitionists (Tom Marino- Drug Czar, Sessions, USAG) to his cabinet who are putting the Cole memos Obama wrote into question makes Trump a prohibitionist, right? Hillary would have kissed the ground Obama walked on to keep her party in line, i.e., kept the Cole memos. I know, I know, too much cable news. I recommend a cable-news-fast and a hit of some good pinene-smelling Trainwreck. You’re gonna be alright kid.

    4. Joel says:

      Too bad so many well intentioned cannabis users support Trump even though his cabinet picks are hell bent on imprisoning them.

      • Mark Mitcham says:

        Dude, at some point you can’t call Trump supporters “well-intentioned” when they continue to support such an obvious fraud and scumbag as Trump. Drop your support for the motherfucker, or rot in hell with him.

        • dave says:

          so, leme get this straight… If we get Trump to end prohibition, you will be ok with using the old law and going to jail while the rest of us are free…. am I getting that right?

          • Mark Mitcham says:

            No. That makes no goddamn sense. What I’m saying, in summary, is: Fuck Trump and all his racist, asshole supporters.

    5. Neal says:

      One name come to to mind they need to resurch and remember, Harry J. Anslinger. Time for them to relize the truth is out their. This one man took marijuana and made it illegal illegally. Their are those of us that know he truth about your lies.

      • Julian says:

        Anslinger achieved prohibition by blaming our socioeconomic inequalities and a lies about marijuana madness on Mexicans… so much so that farmers didnt even realize they were outlawing the hemp that sustained their farms. Say… just like how Trump started his campaign!
        It never ceases to amaze me when a Trump supporter is crying about losing millions of dollars invested in some marijuana cruise line business that he’s getting conned out of because “Trump said he would respect states rights.” Really? So if Trump blaming Mexicans on made-to-fail US drug policy wasnt a clue 2 years ago what about when Jeff Sessions ENDORSED Trump in February of last year? Did that set off any red flags? Or was their ego too busy getting inflated? Does anyone research before they vote? For fucks sake weve got smart phones with DATA now!! CELL TOWERS with ACCESS POINTS & SATELLITES ORBITING THE EARTH TO FEED OUR information-deficient MINDS!!! But you settled on TRUMP?!
        Trump’s failures during his first 100 days isnt the big story; Its whether supporters finally figured out they got conned…

        And what about Congress? A fully Republican Red Congress gets nothing good done in their first 100 days:
        1). Cant pass Trumpcare (after 7 years of “Repeal Obamacare”… pathetic): And
        2). we’re actually talking about a possible government shutdown tonight, not because Trump’s hollow threats he caved on for his precious “wall to keep drugs out” (whoever believes that should get hit right in the head with some dirty, moldy brick weed over the walls we already have) …but because Republicans cant even agree with THEMSELVES over the budget!
        We cant get marijuana-reforming Progressive Democrats in Congress fast enough.

        • john says:

          it was my understanding that randolph hearst was racist and the reason pot was made illegal (to grow it you needed a tax stamp and to get a stamp you needed to bring your bud , illegally, to the tax office). he used his newspapers to further his cause and anslinger was his boy.

        • AnAmericanSoldier says:

          Your ignorance of actual facts is exactly why Americans can not stand Liberals.

          • john says:

            if you are referring to my comment, please explain what the “facts” are, as you see them. also, to set the record straight, i have more conservative views than liberal. to say americans hate liberals is a statement of your personal beliefs and does not represent all americans. since you don’t speak for all americans you should think about sticking to the facts and not a wholesale condemnation of a group of people with different views than your own.

            • Julian says:

              I think ol numb-nuts was referring to me. But lets not feed the Russian bears.
              As to your comments on Hearst, we are truly coming full circle on the old hemp conspiracy of Jack Herrer, since his book The Emperor Wears No Clothes discussed the connection between Hearst and Anslinger. Naturally, if I had a source of free lumber and paper from the US Forestry Service I wouldn’t want to compete with a legal domestic hemp market either.
              Some of those original timber and petroleum patents that would lose value under a legal domestic hemp industry were sold by DuPont to Koch Industries in 2004. Since then we’ve seen a series of “Think Tanks” from Koch sponsors and moles trying to undermine the marijuana debate.
              During the campaign Trump tried to distance himself from the Kochs, pretending to be financed by his “own money” while he loaned out to his own campaign with Russian mob money. But the Kochs need this orange fraud.
              Earlier this week Trump declared a trade war on our biggest trading partner, Canada, by placing a %20 tariff on soft woods. Does that not include hemp? Canada is in the process of legalizing marijuana, including a strain of cannabis that produces lucrative amounts of oil and fiber for industrial use to supply a demanding US economy through NAFTA.
              The one hope to restore the farms of small American farmers, hemp, is being attacked by the Trump administration on all fronts. So much for “America first.”

    6. Joel: the other Joel says:

      It is not about lying. It’s a prelude to power over states as a “stepping stone” to something bigger. It has been done before in United States History.

    7. Julian says:

      The hilarious irony is that since the DA’s didnt sponsor their message on Fox news or Breit-Fart Trump isn’t even listening. If we only had access to the remote in the Oval office?

      Even better, we now have accumulating evidence of what an honest DA can accomplish with sensible marijuana reform with DA Kim Ogg from Harris County (which includes Houston) Texas.

      I just had to copy this little gem:

      “…because alcohol use does not cause the same type of permanent changes to teens’ ability to concentrate and learn.”

      How true. Only because marijuana is nontoxic and inspires us to learn by stimulating neurogenesis while alcohol shuts our brain cells down to protect itself from the incoming poison.

      If we threw these parasites into a pit of molten steel they would change faces like the T-1000 telling us all the lies from the last 80 years of prohibition… “Mexicans bring their drugs and rape our white wome…” (Ggggglubbb)…
      “Marijuana Gateway…” (ggglub-glub) “What about the childre…” (Gllubbb!) “Have you seen this boy? His name is John Conner…” (glub…) “Say…That’s a nice bike…”

    8. Mitch says:

      Someone’s been drinking the spiked Kool-aid from S.A.M.

    9. David says:

      It’s all about the forfeiture money. Rest of it is just gravy; throwing poor minorities in jail while winking at the white users.

      • Mark Mitcham says:

        Right, but white stoners will have to choose between support for legalization and support for Trump. Can’t have both! If you support Trump, then you’re a racist fucking asshole, and the legalization movement doesn’t want you or need you.

        Fuck Trump, now and forever!

    10. Keith Kropf says:

      Another example of lies and deceit from our elected officials. Who voted for these idiots? We need to reform our government alright. Vote these liars out of office!

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