Community  Partnership  of  the  Ozarks

Community  Forum  on  Marijuana
Presented  October  16,  2012 Glendale  High  School  Auditorium Springfield,  Missouri Transcription  provided  by  Springfield  NORML  volunteers. Includes  remarks  prepared  by  members  of  Springfield  NORML.

This  transcript  offers  a  complete  record  of  the  event.    The  time  indications  on  the  left  side  refer to  the  minutes  and  seconds  from  when  recording  began.    Statements  prepared  by  Springfield NORML  volunteers  are  presented  in  a  blue  color  and  different  font.

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"Community  Forum  on  Marijuana",  2012  October  16 Transcription  provided  by  Springfield  NORML  volunteers Includes  remarks  prepared  by  members  of  Springfield  NORML

Opening  remarks  from  Springfield  NORML  members The  October  16,  2012  Community  Forum  on  Marijuana  offered  an  opportunity  for  Community Partnership  to  have  a  civil  and  open  community  discussion  about  cannabis.    A  "forum",  as  defined  by  the New  Oxford  American  Dictionary,  is  "a  place,  meeting,  or  medium  where  ideas  and  views  on  a particular  issue  can  be  exchanged." This  event  was  advertised  as  a  forum  about  how  marijuana  affects  the  youth.    Springfield  NORML agrees  that  youth  substance  abuse  of  any  variety  is  a  legitimate  community  concern.    We  believe  youth should  steer  clear  of  all  medically  unnecessary  drugs,  and  science-­based  information  exists  that  supports that  position. We  believe  helping  parents  guide  their  children  in  this  regard,  without  resorting  to  misinformation  or scare  tactics,  is  also  highly  beneficial.    In  this  aspect,  we  think  the  Community  Partnership  has  done  its community  a  disservice  with  the  way  it  conducted  the  forum. There  was  a  decent  amount  of  factual  information  presented  that  kept  to  the  topic  at  hand.    However, several  speakers  departed  from  the  forum's  main  subject  to  spread  their  anti-­legalization  beliefs,  and  the moderator  failed  to  act  impartially. We  do  not  know  for  sure  if  Community  Partnership  intended  the  marijuana  prohibition  discussion  to  take place,  but  it  is  clear  they  were  not  willing  to  allow  statements  about  more  than  one  perspective. Although  behavior  remained  civil,  it  was  clear  within  the  first  several  minutes  that  several  members  of  the panel  were  stacked  in  favor  of  presenting  an  entirely  anti-­marijuana  message,  as  foreshadowed  by  the language  used  within  the  first  minute  of  recording. Furthermore,  speakers  presented  a  stunning  amount  of  leading  statements,  factual  inaccuracies,  statistical distortions,  misrepresentations,  while  avoiding  full  disclosure  about  the  wealth  of  recent  information  that shows  cannabis  can  be  medically  and  industrially  useful  and  responsibly  used  by  a  society. Finally,  while  the  audience  was  invited  to  submit  questions  on  index  cards,  and  while  a  range  of  those questions  were  presented,  many  questions  were  answered  inaccurately,  without  offering  opportunity  for audience  comment,  or  saying  "we  don't  know  the  answer"  and  offering  an  avenue  for  further  research and  discussion. In  light  of  these  shortcomings,  we  are  sharing  the  full  transcript  of  this  event  with  the  hope  that  it  will serve  as  a  useful  continuation  of  the  discussion.  We  have  also  included  remarks,  written  and  reviewed  by Springfield  NORML  members,  to  inform  the  reader  further  about  certain  topics  that  we  feel  were misrepresented.

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"Community  Forum  on  Marijuana",  2012  October  16 Transcription  provided  by  Springfield  NORML  volunteers Includes  remarks  prepared  by  members  of  Springfield  NORML

0:00 Moderator ...tonight. I'm  vice-­chair  of  the  board  of  directors  for  Community  Partnership. And  very  happy  to  be  here  to  moderate  this  community  forum  on  marijuana. Now  the  bottom  line  is,  the  purpose  for  this  evening,  why  we're  here,  why  folks  went  to  the  trouble  to  put  on  this event,  is  that,  in  fact,  there's  an  awful  lot  of  misinformation. There's  a  lot  of  half  truths  about  marijuana,  its  effects,  its  long  term  effects. 0:30 ...[inaudible]  have  been  promulgated  by  people  that  should  know  better,  in  my  opinion.

This  language  sets  the  tone  of  this  forum  by  showing  antagonism  toward  those  who  do  not agree  with  the  information  or  sentiments  shared  by  the  invited  panelists.

But,  nonetheless,  what  this  evening's  about  really,  is  hopefully  to  raise  awareness,  certainly,  in  the  community, about  the  facts  regarding  marijuana  and  its  long-­term  use,  and  so  forth. So,  that's  kind  of  where  we're  headed. And  we  have  a  really  wonderful  and  distinguished  panel  of  folks  who  can  speak  directly  to  this  issue  here  tonight. 1:00 And  we're  going  to  get  to  them  in  a  minute. And  we're  going  to  have  a  chance  for  you  to  weigh  in  with  questions,  and  hopefully  we'll  make  this  a  lively  evening of  discussion,  and  learning,  and  awareness-­raising. So  I'd  like  to  recognize  a  couple  of  key  folks  in  the  audience  here  tonight. Is  Chuck  Daugherty  here? Chuck  Daugherty's  here. He  is  the  executive  director  of  ACT  Missouri,  in  Jeff  City  (Jefferson  City,  MO),  a  state-­wide  resource  center  for prevention  in  Missouri. 1:30 Thanks  for  being  here,  sir. We  have  Springfield  City  Councilman  Doug  Burlison  is  here  somewhere,  maybe. There's  Doug,  thanks  for  coming. And  from  the  Greene  County  Prosecutor's  Office,  Dan  Patterson. And  lots  of  other  VIPs  and  important  folks,  too. And  lots  that  I  won't  take  time  to  mention  all  of  you,  but  thank  you  all  for  coming. 2:00 Appreciate  your  attendance,  bringing  your  expertise  and  perspective  to  the  event  tonight. So,  here's  the  thing. The  way  this  thing  is  going  to  proceed  is  that  we're  going  to  have,  as  I  said,  this  panel  is  going  to  come  and  each deliver  remarks  in  the  range  from  six  (6)  to  eight  (8)  minutes. And,  I  ain't  scared.  I  will  take  some  people  out  if  they  mess  with  me  too  much. 2:30 Except  the  guy  who's  packing  heat. Audience [laughter] Moderator So  we're  going  to  have  some  remarks  from  each  of  the  panelists,  and  we  have  a  keynote  address  to  close  that. But,  we're  also  going  to  have  an  opportunity  for  you  all  to,  on  three  by  five  (3"  x  5")  note  cards  provided  to  you. More  cards  will  be  available  if  the  questions  get  really  out  of  hand. But,  we  have  a  chance  for  you  to  write  down  your  questions. And  following  each  of  the  speakers,  as  I  understand  it,  Chris,  they're  going  to  be  collected.

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"Community  Forum  on  Marijuana",  2012  October  16 Transcription  provided  by  Springfield  NORML  volunteers Includes  remarks  prepared  by  members  of  Springfield  NORML

3:00 Folks  will  be  coming  up  and  down  the  rows  collecting  those. So,  keep  your  questions  fresh  in  your  mind. After  the  keynote,  we  will  take  a  few  minutes  break  to  sort  of  gather  our  thoughts,  gather  through  the...  sort  through the,  hopefully  the  onslaught  of  questions,  prepare  them  for  me,  and  I  will  then  sort  of  deliver  them  in  some  priority order,  the  questions  that  you've  asked. 3:30 It  may  not  be  possible  to  respond  to  all  questions,  certainly. It's  a  pretty  good  sized  turnout,  for  which  we're  grateful. But,  we'll  try  to  get  through  as  many  as  possible. Alright,  so  having  said  that,  we're  going  to  have  folks  in  this  order  coming  up. Let  me  just  introduce  the  entire  panel  very  quickly. Major  Kirk  Manlove,  from  Springfield  Police  Department. Brad  Shelton,  from  Greene  County  Juvenile  Office. Jean  Graebeel  and  Julie  Steiger. 4:00 Is  Julie  going  to  be  joining  as  well? Unknown Yes. Moderator Yes,  tag  team,  from  Springfield  Public  Schools. And  Micheal  Tadre  (?)  from  Burrell,  John  Bertsch,  I'm  sorry,  CSTAR  (?)  program. And  our  keynote  speaker,  Ron  Griffin. So,  without  further  ado,  we  begin  with  Major  Kirk  Manlove,  who  has  been  with  the  Springfield  Police  Department  for almost  twenty  (20)  years,  is  currently  a  commander  of  Investigation  and  Support  Services,  and  has  significant narcotics  enforcement  experience. Major? 4:30 Major  Kirk  Manlove I  want  to  thank  the  Community  Partnership  of  the  Ozarks  for  inviting  the  Police  Department  to  participate  in  tonight's forum. Chief  Williams  had  another  engagement  tonight,  so  I  won't  come  to  disappoint  those  who  wanted  to  speak  to  him, and  I'll  do  my  best  to  answer  your  questions  or  address  concerns. Drug  usage  can  be  a  very  broad  field  of  discussion,  and  a  discussion  about  marijuana  can  also  be  very  broad,  so  I want  to  keep  my  comments  fairly  narrow  in  keeping  with  the  forum. 5:00 I'll  try  to  focus  on  the  impact  marijuana  can  have  on  our  youth  and  the  community  overall. I've  been  with  the  department  for  nineteen  (19)  years. I  will  not  pretend  to  be  a  marijuana  expert,  or  have  all  the  answers  to  every  question. I  do  think  I  can  offer  some  expertise  with  regard  to  our  agency's  experience  with  users  and  traffickers  of  marijuana. So  I  can  share  with  you  our  perspective,  as  your  police  department,  and  some  of  our  observations  as  to  our  current situation  in  Springfield.

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"Community  Forum  on  Marijuana",  2012  October  16 Transcription  provided  by  Springfield  NORML  volunteers Includes  remarks  prepared  by  members  of  Springfield  NORML

5:30 I'd  also  like  to  tell  you  about  our  approach  to  drug  enforcement  in  our  enforcement  philosophy. Of  my  nineteen  (19)  years  in  our  agency,  I  spent  six  (6)  of  them  in  our  narcotics  enforcement  unit,  four  and  a  half (4.5)  of  which  were  undercover,  then  the  rest  as  a  supervisor. More  than  I  would  care  to,  I've  sat  in  many  houses  and  apartments  of  drug  users  and  dealers,  watching  them  use drugs,  marijuana  in  particular,  where  its  use  was  prevalent. And  watching  them  smoke  many  times  in  front  of  their  children.

In  one  13-­year  study  at  Columbia  University,  researchers  found  that  even  during  periods  of marijuana-­induced  intoxication,  people  are  able  to  engage  in  appropriate  social  behaviors and  even  respond  to  emergencies. Many  regional  experts  actually  agree  that  marijuana  is  not  addictive:

After  an  investigation,  we'd  often  learn  these  individuals  suffered  heavy  addictions  to  marijuana.

The  managing  director  at  the  University  of  Kansas  Hospital's  poison  control  center said  the  drug  is  not  addictive,  but  users  can  become  dependent  on  the  feeling  it causes. —  "Some  wonder  about  impact  of  Colorado  marijuana  law  on  Kansas  City  metro", KCTV  5  News,  Nov  8  2012,  http://m.kctv5.com/w/main/story/77793553/ The  National  Commission  on  Marihuana  and  Drug  Abuse,  commissioned  by  President Nixon,  concluded  that  marijuana  "does  not  lead  to  physical  dependence": Chapter  III,  "Social  Impact  of  marihuana  use" Addiction  Potential Unfortunately,  fact  and  fancy  have  become  irrationally  mixed  regarding marihuana's  physiological  and  psychological  properties.  Marihuana  clearly  is  not in  the  same  chemical  category  as  heroin  insofar  as  its  physiologic  and psychological  effects  are  concerned.  In  a  word,  cannabis  does  not  lead  to  physical dependence.  No  torturous  withdrawal  syndrome  follows  the  sudden  cessation  of chronic,  heavy  use  of  marihuana.  Although  evidence  indicates  that  heavy, long-­term  cannabis  users  may  develop  psychological  dependence,  even  then  the level  of  psychological  dependence  is  no  different  from  the  syndrome  of  anxiety  and restlessness  seen  when  an  American  stops  smoking  tobacco  cigarettes. —  http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/library/studies/nc/ncc3_17.htm

6:00 In  addition  they  could  [inaudible]  from  not  only  a  health  perspective,  but  financially  as  well. They  often  are  unemployed,  much  in  part  because  of  their  addiction. And  money  needed  for  food,  rent,  or  utilities  were  used  to  buy  marijuana  or  other  drugs. As  I  moved  from  case  to  case  I  often  wondered  what  becomes  of  those  children  in  terms  of  their  future  drug  usage, and  how  their  lives  were  impacted. I've  had  the  opportunity  of  interviewing  hundreds  (100s)  of  users  and  dealers. I've  had  the  opportunity,  and  I  need  to  point  out  that  they  often  [inaudible]  not  always,  but  often.

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"Community  Forum  on  Marijuana",  2012  October  16 Transcription  provided  by  Springfield  NORML  volunteers Includes  remarks  prepared  by  members  of  Springfield  NORML

6:30 I  would  occasionally  come  across  a  marijuana  user  or  dealer  that  never  used  other  drugs. But  for  those  using  other  drugs,  methamphetamine  or  cocaine,  the  vast  majority  of  the  time  they  had  been users  of  marijuana  at  a  very  young  age,  often  introduced  to  them  as  they  observe  their  parents  smoking  and  then becoming  continuous  users  of  the  drug.

A  real  world  example  of  what  happens  when  marijuana  is  readily  available  can  be  found  in Holland.  The  Dutch  partially  legalized  marijuana  in  the  1970s.  Since  then,  hard  drug use-­heroin  and  cocaine-­have  declined  substantially.  If  marijuana  really  were  a  gateway drug,  one  would  have  expected  use  of  hard  drugs  to  have  gone  up,  not  down.  This  apparent "negative  gateway"  effect  has  also  been  observed  in  the  United  States.  Studies  done  in  the early  1970s  showed  a  negative  correlation  between  use  of  marijuana  and  use  of  alcohol.  A 1993  Rand  Corporation  study  that  compared  drug  use  in  states  that  had  decriminalized marijuana  versus  those  that  had  not,  found  that  where  marijuana  was  more  available-­the states  that  had  decriminalized-­hard  drug  abuse  as  measured  by  emergency  room  episodes decreased.  In  short,  what  science  and  actual  experience  tell  us  is  that  marijuana  tends  to substitute  for  the  much  more  dangerous  hard  drugs  like  alcohol,  cocaine,  and  heroin.

This  observation  seems  to  be  supported  in  studies  by  the  AMA,  that  those  who  smoke  marijuana  would  be  four  (4) times  likely  to  use  cocaine  and  five  (5)  times  more  likely  to  use  hallucinogens. 7:00 I  definitely  interviewed  many  people  who  admitted  they  were  strongly  addicted  to  marijuana. These  individuals  often  appeared  to  be  apathetic,  not  very  motivated. Those  who  managed  to  stay  in  school,  whether  college  or  high  school,  were  making  poor  grades  or  not  performing very  well. I  was  disappointed  to  learn  that  marijuana  usage  in  modern  youth  has  gone  up  again  in  two  thousand  eleven (2011),  especially  after  having  experienced  no  increase  from  oh  four  (2004)  to  oh  seven  (2007)  and  then  climbing again  in  two  thousand  nine  (2009). 7:30 In  two  thousand  eleven  (2011),  two  point  six  million  (2,600,000)  persons  age  twelve  (12)  or  older  had  used marijuana  for  the  first  time  within  the  past  four  (4)  ?  months,  and  fifty  seven  point  seven  percent  (57.7%)  younger than  eighteen  (18). We  also  see  the  impact  of  marijuana  usage  in  our  driving  public  at  the  police  department. The  use  of  marijuana  definitely  impacts  motor  skills,  causing  physical  impairment  of  drivers. Of  our  approximately  over  one  thousand  (1000)  DWI  drivers  last  year  about  twelve  percent  (12%)  of  those  were impaired  by  drugs.

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"Community  Forum  on  Marijuana",  2012  October  16 Transcription  provided  by  Springfield  NORML  volunteers Includes  remarks  prepared  by  members  of  Springfield  NORML

8:00 Of  our  drug-­impaired  drivers,  sixty  five  percent  (65%)  were  impaired  by  marijuana.

1000  DWI  drivers  •  12%  impaired  by  drugs  =  120  drivers  impaired  by  non-­alcoholic  drugs 120  drivers  •  65%  impaired  by  marijuana  =  78  DWI  drivers  impaired  by  marijuana 1000  DWI  drivers  -­  120  impaired  by  non-­alcoholic  drugs  =  880  drivers  impaired  by  alcohol

In  over  seventy  five  percent  (75%)  of  our  drug-­impaired  drivers,  marijuana  is  a  secondary  detected  drug  in combinations  with  alcohol,  depressants,  or  stimulants. It  affects  the  body  two  (2)  to  three  (3)  hours  after  ingestion,  however  impairment  can  last  up  to  twenty  four  (24) hours,  without  the  user  being  aware  of  the  effects. It  slows  reaction  times,  depth  perception,  it  reduces  the  driver's  ability  to  devote  sufficient  attention  to  driving.

Statistical  Distortion  -­  Major  Manlove  give  statistics  on  body  effects  based  on  ingestion, when  people  typically  smoke  it,  where  effects  begin  .

From  the  NORML  report  on  impairment  from  smoking: Recently,  a  pair  of  scientific  reviews  of  automobile  crash  culpability  studies  have indicated  that  THC  levels  in  blood  serum  below  5  ng/ml  are  not  associated  with  an elevated  accident  risk.  (Levels  below  5  ng/ml  are  attained  in  recreational  marijuana users,  on  average,  within  1  to  3  hours  after  cannabis  consumption.)  Moreover, some  studies  suggest  that  "even  a  THC  serum  level  of  between  5  and  10  ng/ml  may not  be  associated  with  an  above  normal  accident  risk."  However,  additional  studies are  necessary  before  reliable  THC/blood  threshold  for  impairment  may  be  derived.

8:30 It's  important  to  point  out  that  with  improved  cultivation  techniques  and  technology,  the  THC  levels  now  are  not  what they  were  in  the  sixties  (1960s)  and  seventies  (1970s). In  nineteen  eighty  three  (1983)  the  average  THC  level  was  under  four  percent  (4%). It's  ten  point  one  percent  (10.1%)  now,  with  some  varieties  going  fifteen  (15%)  to  twenty  (20%). I'd  like  to  take  a  few  minutes  to  describe  our  drug  enforcement  efforts  in  our  department. As  with  any  drug,  we  focus  our  attention  at  the  distribution  and  the  trafficking  level. We  do  not  target  users  —  it  does  not  mean  we  don't  come  across  users  in  our  investigation,  nor  does  it  mean  that they  are  not  charged  with  possession.

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"Community  Forum  on  Marijuana",  2012  October  16 Transcription  provided  by  Springfield  NORML  volunteers Includes  remarks  prepared  by  members  of  Springfield  NORML

9:00 But  it  is  more  often  a  result  of  a  traffic  stop,  or  during  the  investigation  of  other  crimes,  that  we  come  across individuals  holding  small  amount  of  drugs,  and  this  of  course  includes  marijuana. Our  agency  seized  seventy  six  pounds  (76  lbs)  of  marijuana  in  two  thousand  eleven  (2011). The  local  DEA  office,  of  which  we  have  detectives  attached  as  part  of  a  local  drug  task  force...

The  reasoning  behind  this  in  direct  violation  of  the  Missouri  constitution  and  against  the state  police  forces  oaths  of  office. All  interest  accruing  from  investment  of  the  county  school  fund,  the  clear  proceeds of  all  penalties,  forfeitures  and  fines  collected  hereafter  for  any  breach  of  the  penal laws  of  the  state,  the  net  proceeds  from  the  sale  of  estrays,  and  all  other  moneys coming  into  said  funds  shall  be  distributed  annually  to  the  schools  of  the  several counties  according  to  law. —  Missouri  constitution,  http://www.moga.mo.gov/const/a09007.htm There  are  many  articles  both  new  and  old  about  this  problem.  See  page  45  of http://auditor.mo.gov/press/2006-­38.pdf  (excerpted  below)  for  the  results  of  police  forces diverting  funds  from  the  School  Building  Revolving  Fund  (as  set  up  in  our  constitution)  to their  own  departments  as  well  as  their  pockets.

When  local  police  involve  any  of  these  five  federal  agencies,  80%  of  all  seized  assets  are diverted  back  to  the  police: ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ Bureau  of  Alcohol,  Tobacco,  Firearms  and  Explosives;; Drug  Enforcement  Administration;; Federal  Bureau  of  Investigation;; U.S.  Postal  Inspection  Service;; U.S.  Attorney’s  Offices.

Greene  County  diverted  $162,901  dollars  to  themselves  according  to  data  found  here: http://www.justice.gov/jmd/afp/02fundreport/2011affr/report2b.htm

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"Community  Forum  on  Marijuana",  2012  October  16 Transcription  provided  by  Springfield  NORML  volunteers Includes  remarks  prepared  by  members  of  Springfield  NORML

...and  in  conjunction  with  their  agencies  such  as  the  highway  patrol  seized  thirty  eight  hundred  pounds  (3800  lbs)  in two  thousand  eleven  (2011)  on  I-­44,  and  seventeen  hundred  pounds  (1700  lbs)  so  far  this  year.

99%  of  all  cannabis  seized  in  our  state  is  a  non-­psychoactive  plant  called  wild  hemp  (ditch weed)  which  grows  wild  in  ditches  along  the  highway.  You  can't  smoke  it,  it  is  simply  an inert  plant  that  they  cut  down  along  the  highways  each  year  at  the  tune  of  $500,000  in  taxes and  fees  placed  on  pharmacies. Source:  http://www.albany.edu/sourcebook/pdf/t438.pdf

9:30 The  majority  of  that  marijuana  is  smuggled  from  Mexico  by  the  drug  cartels,  and  tonight,  I'd  like  to  dispel  a  myth  I commonly  hear  and  that  is  our  jails  and  prisons  are  full  of  people  convicted  with  just  user  amounts  of  marijuana. It's  simply  not  the  case. Our  arrest  policy,  and  our  agreement  with  our  county  jail,  directs  our  officers  issue  a  ticket,  and  release  for misdemeanor  marijuana  possession  unless  there  are  other  factors  at  play.

While  this  is  true  that  the  jails  may  not  be  full,  it  downplays  the  effects  of  these  charges  on non  violent  offenders,  e.g.  the  offender's  employment,  which  can  effect  a  whole  families well-­being  in  Springfield.

10:00 For  example,  the  identification  of  the  person  cannot  be  established,  so  fingerprints  must  be  taken,  at  which  point they're  booked  into  the  jail  for  photographs  and  prints,  then  released. Or  they  may  have  an  arrest  warrant,  or  the  person  presents  a  threat  to  someone,  for  example. We  recently  reviewed  twelve  (12)  months  of  arrest  data  for  our  agency,  and  we  found  we  had  booked  no-­one  on probable  cause  only,  for  misdemeanor  possession  of  marijuana. We  did  make  a  hundred  thirty  seven  (137)  arrests,  city  warrants  issued  by  a  judge,  for  misdemeanor  possession  of marijuana. 10:30 These  are  often  issued  because  someone  did  not  follow  through  with  a  plea  or  a  judge's  directive. At  the  state  level,  the  Bureau  of  Justice  Statistics  showed  that  only  one  point  six  percent  (1.6%)  of  the  inmate population  were  convicted  of  a  marijuana-­only  crime,  including  trafficking,  with  only  point  seven  percent  (0.7%)  in prison  for  a  marijuana  possession  only  crime. Many  of  these  may  have  been  initially  charged  with  more  serious  crimes,  but  were  able  to  negotiate  reduced charges  for  lighter  sentences  in  plea  agreements.

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"Community  Forum  on  Marijuana",  2012  October  16 Transcription  provided  by  Springfield  NORML  volunteers Includes  remarks  prepared  by  members  of  Springfield  NORML

11:00 These  also  might  include  those  individuals  who  are  career  criminals  with  multiple-­felony  convictions. In  closing,  I  can  tell  you  that  I  believe  our  agency  and  local  justice  system  has  shifted,  in  what  I  think,  in  a  positive way,  in  the  past  twenty  (20)  or  more  years. Law  enforcement  and  the  justice  system,  with  regard  to  drug  enforcement,  has  always  been  a  three-­pronged approach,  with  enforcement,  education,  and  treatment. Often  times,  some  agencies  and  justice  systems  will  be  heavier  or  lighter  on  some  of  those  areas. 11:30 I  do  think  we  are  a  bit  more  balanced  than  in  the  past,  with  more  emphasis  on  treatment  ...  than  before. Greene  County's  drug  court,  for  example,  has  had  big  success  since  its  inception  over  six  (6)  or  seven  (7)  years ago. I  also  think  investigators  have  a  better  understanding  of  addiction,  how  a  treatment  referral  instead  might  be  a  better avenue,  and  offers  perhaps  a  more  long-­term  approach  to  crime  reduction,  than  a  temporary  trip  to  jail,  only  to  have someone  get  out  and  continue  with  their  addiction. 12:00 Again,  I'm  just  scratching  the  surface  here. These  are  just  a  few  of  our  observations,  and  what  we  experience  and  see  as  an  agency  in  southwest  Missouri. Thank  you. Audience [applause] Moderator Thank  you  Major. So  we're  going  to  do  a  collection  now. If  you  have  questions  on  those  three  by  fives  (3"  x  5"). Alright. 12:30 And  next  up,  we  have  the  hardest  working  man  in  juvenile  justice,  he  has  been  with  the  office  for  twenty-­two  (22) years,  born  and  raised  in  Springfield,  Deputy  Juvenile  Officer  and  Supervisor,  my  friend  Brad  Shelton. Brad  Shelton Thank  you,  Paul. I  just  wanna  kind  of  go  through  just  a  few  things  on  what  we  do  at  the  Juvenile  Office  when  when  we  get  one  of these  referrals. Early  intervention  is  an  important  key. When  we  get  a  referral,  we  set  up  an  intake  conference  with  parent  and  youth. We  evaluate  the  case  and  evidence  and  other  multiple  factors. 13:00 We  administer  a  risk  needs  assessment,  on  the  youth  to  determine  what  level  of  intervention  should  be  considered. Accountability  for  actions  is  definitely  part  of  the  consideration  for  disposition. A  CSTAR  assessment  is  also  done  to  look  at  what  kind  of  drug  or  alcohol  dependency  issues  we  have  and  how  we need  to  handle  that. Once  we  gather  all  this  information  in,  kind  of  make  a  decision  regards  to  how  we're  gonna  handle  the  case. There's  two  ways  we  can  go  with  the  case. We  can  either  go  informally,  or  formally. 13:30 We  try  to  to  utilize  all  informal  options  if  possible  before  we  even  look  at  going  to  court. We  have  a  great  probation  services  department  that  workers  work  with  these  kids  and  have  a  lot  of  resources  in  the community  that  we  can  direct  these  kids  to. That's  what  we  try  to  do  without  going  to  court,  if  we  can. If  it  requires  a  formal  petition  we  will  file  it  and  take  the  juvenile  to  court,  and  even  at  that  point  of  time,  we're  looking at,  we're  working  in  the  interest  of  the  kid  and  the  family.

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"Community  Forum  on  Marijuana",  2012  October  16 Transcription  provided  by  Springfield  NORML  volunteers Includes  remarks  prepared  by  members  of  Springfield  NORML

14:00 And  we  have  some  great  services  through  our  formal  probation  department  which  include  a  new  program  which  is called  RADAR,  Responding  Appropriately  do  Drug  and  Alcohol  Referrals. This  is  the  name  of  the  current  program  that  supervises  formal  youth  while  on  probation  for  any  offense  that  is  drug related  [inaudible]. I  pulled  a  statistic  from  our  detention  facility,  which  is  I  think  is  really  interesting,  and  I  want  to  share  with  you  tonight. 14:30 If  we  detain  any  youth  in  our  detention  facility  for  any  offense  and  that  could  be  assault,  burglary,  drug  offense,  or any  offense  whatsoever,  we  are  usually  looking  at  formal  court  action,  but  what  our  detention  facility  is  reporting  to us  on  an  average  of  kids  admitted  into  detention,  they  are  seeing  forty  to  fifty  percent  (40%-­50%)  of  those  kids admitted  into  detention  testing  positive  for  THC. That  kind  of  shows  you  that  the  issue  in  regards  to  marijuana  use  and  getting  into  some  serious  trouble.

Logical  Fallacy:  Correlation  proves  causation

The  implication  here  is  that  the  kids  admitted  into  detention  were  led  to  commit  other  crimes as  a  direct  result  of  the  use  of  marijuana  at  some  time  prior  to  the  crime.
15:00 Finally,  in  my  years  of  experience  with  working  with  youth  and  families,  referred  to  our  office,  and  I've  been  there  a long  time,  and  this  is  not  rocket  science,  I  mean,  it's  pretty  simple,  and  I  try  to  put  it  out  through  the  parent  and  the youth  that  I  work  with. I  can  state  without  a  doubt,  you  know,  marijuana  and  drug  use,  in  simple  terms  is  not  healthy,  it  leads  to  negative consequences,  leads  to  dangerous  situations  with  your  friends,  leads  to  family  problems,  leads  to  peer problems,  education  problems,  and  legal  problems,  and  that's  a  fact.

This  altruistic  viewpoint  presented  as  fact  should  be  balanced  by  looking  at  the  other  side.

One  testimony  you  can  watch  is  from  Dennis  Hill,  Biochemist  who  treated  his  prostate cancer  with  cannabis.  It's  an  interesting  story  by  someone  who  has  a  lot  of  credentials  in  the science  field. Video  (part  1):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ym0BSdEIjJA Video  (part  2):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_7gy7Dyta0&feature=relmfu Again,  if  dissuading  kids  here  is  the  goal,  the  available  evidence  shows  the  contrary.  Most of  the  negative  consequences  are  brought  onto  them  through  law  enforcement  and  the judicial  system.
15:30 I've  been  there  twenty-­two  (22)  years,  and  I  can  tell  you  without  a  doubt,  that  marijuana  and  drug  use  is  just [inaudible]  can  be  horrific  for  kids. Finally,  one  thing  I  do  tell  kids  and  the  parents  when  they  come  into  my  office,  you  know,  we're  there  to  try  to  work with  them  and  work  in  their  interests,  but  the  issue  that  comes  to  mind  is,  if  they  can't  get  it  under  control,  and  get  this activity  under  control,  when  they  turn  seventeen  (17),  if  they  go  out  and  get  arrested  they  will  have  an  adult  criminal record  for  the  rest  of  their  life. 16:00 And  it  doesn't  matter  if  they  are  adjudicated  on  that,  it  will  show  up  as  an  arrest. And  whenever  we  do  background  checks  on  people  that  are  coming  to  work  at  our  office,  I  will  see  that. There  will  be  an  arrest,  and  a  person  that's  applying  for  a  job,  that  doesn't  have  that  arrest  on  their  record's  going  to have  a  better  shot  at  doing  something  positive  and  getting  a  good  job  in  the  future.

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"Community  Forum  on  Marijuana",  2012  October  16 Transcription  provided  by  Springfield  NORML  volunteers Includes  remarks  prepared  by  members  of  Springfield  NORML

16:30 So,  in  closing,  I  just  want  to  make  sure  everybody  knows  that  tackling  these  issues  before  adulthood,  with  early  and appropriate  intervention,  is  absolutely,  and  a  key  and  a  must. Moderator Thank  you  sir. Audience [applause] Moderator He  ought  to  know. Next  up  we  have  a  team. Jean  Graebeel,  who's  been  Coordinator  of  Health  Services  for  Springfield  Public  Schools  for  the  past  twenty-­two (22)  years. Twenty-­two  (22)  years  seems  to  be  a  theme  tonight,  there's  three  of  you. 17:00 She's  a  Registered  Nurse  with  a  Masters  in  health  education,  was  recently  inducted  as  a  national  fellow  in  school nursing,  Jean  has  two  grown  children,  one  a  graduate  of  Kickapoo  High  School. And  helping  her  out's  going  to  be  Dr.  Julie  Steiger,  Springfield  Public  Schools  Director  of  Operations  for  Secondary Schools,  a  former  high  school  math  teacher,  middle  school  counselor,  middle  school  and  high  school  assistant principal,  and  principal. Ladies? Jean  Graebeel Thank  you. Well  good  evening. 17:30 Well  I'm  in  a  unique  position  this  evening,  because  I  get  to  share  with  Julie,  and  Julie  is  our  Secondary  Operations Director,  so  I'm  going  to  talk  a  few  minutes  about  prevention  and  early  intervention  with  our  students,  and  then Julie's  going  to  talk  on  the  side  of  our  policy  as  it  relates  to  our  discipline  policy,  participation  in  extracurricular activities,  and  the  potential  consequences  related  to  college  and  career  planning. So,  you  know,  the  old  adage,  "an  ounce  of  prevention  is  worth  a  pound  of  cure,"  and  that  is  still  very  relevant  today. 18:00 So,  we  begin  very  early  in  our  health  curriculum,  and  talking  with  our  kindergarteners,  for  instance,  on  good substances  and  bad  substances. What  is  safe,  and  what  is  unsafe  substances  that  can  be  taken  into  the  body. And  the  middle  school,  for  example,  in  the  sixth  (6th)  grade,  the  curriculum  covers  application  of  major  steps  in decision  making,  to  a  scenario  where  the  student  has  to  best  describe  how  they  would  do  resistance  to  drug  use. 18:30 Students  also  have  to  investigate  the  impact  of  drug  use  and  the  ability  to  make  sound  judgments. In  the  ninth  (9th)  grade  curriculum,  students  have  to  identify  and  assess  the  effects  of  drugs  use,  misuse,  and  abuse on  major  life  areas,  including  short  and  long  term  effects  of  various  drug  uses,  how  peer  pressure  and  media pressure  influence  drug-­taking  behavior,  and  who  you  can  turn  to  for  help  if  you  have  a  problem  with  an  illegal substance  use  and  abuse,  for  instance,  marijuana. 19:00 So,  for  an  example,  in  Springfield  Public  Schools,  if  a  student  discloses  to  the  school  counselor,  or  to  another  staff member,  that  they're  using  an  illegal  substance,  or  they're  concerned  about  a  drug  or  alcohol  use,  the  student  can be  referred  for  an  initial  screening  to  determine  whether  or  not  there's  in-­patient  or  out-­patient  substance  abuse counseling,  which  may  be  appropriate  for  them. 19:30 So  all  those  requests,  or  even  for  mental  health  screening,  at  this  point,  for  middle  school  and  high  school  students, we  have  a  relationship,  or  an  agreement,  with  Burrell  Behavioral  Health  Center  at  this  point,  between  us,  and Springfield  Public  Schools  and  Burrell  Behavioral  Health. So  they  can  be  referred  for  screening  by  an  administrator,  a  counselor,  or  even  you  as  a  parent.

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"Community  Forum  on  Marijuana",  2012  October  16 Transcription  provided  by  Springfield  NORML  volunteers Includes  remarks  prepared  by  members  of  Springfield  NORML

20:00 So  if  you  have  concerns  about  what's  going  on  with  your  student,  don't  hesitate  to  contact  the  school  counselor, have  a  discussion  with  them,  or  if  you  have  a  relationship  with  one  of  their  teachers,  or  an  administrator,  don't  wait until  too  late  to  have  a  discussion  with  them. If  you  are  seeing  signs  and  symptoms  of  things  that  are  not  going  well  within  the  home,  then  talk  to  the  school  about that. So  then  the  student  assistance  team,  or  the  teacher  support  team,  can  also  take  in  referrals  from  other  teachers  if they've  noticed  changes  in  the  behavior  of  the  student  within  the  classroom. 20:30 They've  changed  friends,  absences,  chronic  absences  from  school,  and/or  they're  tardy,  they  seem  to  be  sleeping  in class,  or  their  behavior,  again,  has  changed. So  then  those  screenings  are  free  for  any  student  that  is  under  the  age  of  eighteen  (18). If  they're  over  the  age  of  eighteen  (18),  eighteen  (18)  and  over,  then  there's  another  process  that  has  to  take  place, and  that  goes  through  our  Coordinator  of  Counseling,  which  is  Rhonda  Mammon. 21:00 So  if  you  have  any  questions  or  concerns  about  that,  then  certainly  she  is  the  person  to  go  to  for  that. So  if  there's  any  request  for  screening,  the  principal  or  the  counselor  can  make  recommendations  to  the  parent,  and screening  takes  place  only  with  parental  consent. And  the  parent  is  supposed  to  be  involved  with  that  screening. So  then  a  contact  is  made  to  Rhonda  Mammon,  and  then  from  there,  then  it  goes  on  and  she  makes  the appointment  for  that  screening  to  take  place,  and  parents  are  involved. 21:30 It  can  be  taken  place  at  the  school  site,  but  most  typically,  it's  done  off-­site  as  well. So  in  essence,  it's  a  team  approach,  for  us. It's  not  only  the  school  district  that  talks  about  prevention,  it's  up  to  parents,  it's  up  to  the  community,  it's  up  to students. We  try  to  build  essential  steps  for  the  students  in  order  to  be  able  to  create  a  healthy  lifestyle  for  them,  but  it  also takes  the  community  support. 22:00 And  isn't  that  wonderful,  that  as  many  of  you  that  came  out  this  evening,  to  become  better  informed  about  this  urgent concern  that  we  have  for  our  youth. We  all  want  our  youth  to  be  successful,  and  you're  part  of  the  solution  as  well. So  that's  my  ounce  of  prevention. So  next,  Julie  is  going  to  speak  about  our  discipline  policy,  and  the  potential  impact  for  future  and  consequences  for substance  abuse  and  use. 22:30 Dr.  Julie  Steiger First  I'd  like  to  give  some  good  news. Our  drug  and  alcohol  suspensions,  and  we  don't  differentiate  between  what  the  student  is  being  suspended  for,  it  all falls  under  drug  and  alcohol,  so  I  cannot  speak  to  how  many  of  these  are  specifically  for  marijuana. But,  since  two  thousand  seven  (2007),  our  suspensions  have  gone  down  each  year. We  had  one  year,  they  peaked  up  about  by  ten  (10),  but  in  two  thousand  six  two  thousand  seven  (2006-­2007), which  is  when  our  current  system  started  keeping  the  data,  we  were  at  two  hundred  ninety-­six  (296)  students  in  the entire  district  being  suspended  for  drug  or  alcohol  use  or  distribution. 23:00 And  last  year,  we  were  down  to  one  hundred  ninety-­seven  (197). And  I  think  that's  really  good. And  you  think,  we're  a  school  district  of  about  twenty-­five  thousand  (25,000)  students,  our  numbers  are  way  down, and  I  think  a  lot  of  it  has  to  do  with  all  the  different  things  we've  put  in  place  to  help  students  before  it  becomes  a  real problem. And  with  the  discipline  we  are  a  zero-­tolerance  school  district. Distribution  is  a  Safe  Schools  violation. We  run  by  Missouri  statute  with  how  we  make  our  policies.

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"Community  Forum  on  Marijuana",  2012  October  16 Transcription  provided  by  Springfield  NORML  volunteers Includes  remarks  prepared  by  members  of  Springfield  NORML

23:30 When  a  student  has  the  first  offense  for  possession,  they  are  assigned  a  ten  (10)  day  out  of  school  suspension, which  may  be  reduced  to  seven  (7)  days,  if  they  and  their  parent  elect  to  go  through  the  assessment  that  Jean talked  about  that  is  run  through  CSTAR. Out  of  our  one  hundred  ninety-­seven  (197)  suspensions  last  year,  fifty-­three  percent  (53%),  one  hundred  nine  (109) of  those  students  did  choose  to  do  the  assessment,  to  have  their  suspension  reduced  to  seven  (7)  days. We  want  kids  in  school. They  don't  learn  when  they're  not  in  school. 24:00 They're  not  learning,  they're  not  going  to  be  graduates,  and  our  graduation  rate  continues  to  go  up  every  year, which  is  another  good  thing  to  hear  about. On  sale  and  distribution,  on  the  first  offense,  that's  a  maximum  ten  (10)  day  out  of  school  suspension  that  would  not be  reduced  with  the  assessment. So,  with  that,  they  could  still  do  the  assessment,  that  is  still  available,  but  it's  a  mandatory  ten  (10)  day  out  of  school suspension. When  we  talk  about  second  offenses  for  possession  or  use,  that  does  go  up  to  also  to  the  ten  (10)  day  out  of  school suspension,  and  a  recommendation  for  a  review  meeting. 24:30 We  have  review  officers,  who  are  retired  principals,  who  will  come  in  and  sit  and  listen  to  the  circumstances  and decide  if  they  will  go  beyond  the  ten  (10)  days,  because  by  state  law,  the  superintendent  cannot  suspend  somebody for  more  than  ten  (10)  days  without  having  that  review  meeting. One  of  the  things  that  is  a  real  big  concern  is  extracurricular  activities. Our  students  do  sign  a  citizenship  agreement. They  are  representing  the  school,  they  are  representing  the  activity  they  are  participating  in,  so  they  are  held  to  a little  bit  higher  standard. 25:00 If  they  have  a  drug  or  alcohol  violation,  they  would  have  a  twenty-­eight  (28)  day  athletic  suspension  from  that participation. So,  in  the  high  schools  and  in  the  middle  schools,  while  they  are  on  the  out  of  school  suspension,  they  may  not participate  in  that  activity  at  all. When  they  are  back  in  school,  even  though  they  still  have  that  twenty-­eight  (28)  day  window  where  they're supposed  to  be  excluded  from  participation,  they  may  not  participate  in  games,  or  speech  and  debate,  or  whatever, they  may  participate  in  the  practices  if  the  coaches  choose  to  let  them  do  so. 25:30 They  also  may  sit  on  the  bench  or  attend  if  the  coach  decides  that  they  may  do  that,  or  the  sponsor  decides  they may  do  that. The  final  point  that  we  were  asked  about  was  college  admissions  and  scholarships,  and  I  did  call  one  of  our  high school  counselors,  and  I  said, "Okay,  just  be  blunt  with  me,  very  honest. "If  a  student  has  a  drug  or  alcohol  suspension,  or  if  they  have  something  that  has  been  sent  over  to  juvenile, because  we  do  school  police  reports  whenever  these  happen,  what's  the  likelihood  that  that  college  will  process that  application?" 26:00 And  she  said  pretty  much  what  I  thought. Some  of  the  schools  that  have  very  strict  policies,  they  won't  even  look  at  it. Other  schools,  they  will  want  to  talk  to  that  student,  see  what  the  circumstances  are. There's  not  a  blanket  answer  for  that,  so  it  does  vary,  and  like  Brad  said  though,  when  a  student's  over  seventeen (17),  the  costs  are  a  lot  higher  in  terms  of  that. And  in  terms  of  federal  aid,  I  just  went  to  a  very  good  workshop  in  Indianapolis  on  FAFSA,  which  financial  aid  for students. This  is  all  sponsored  by  Bill  &  Melinda  Gates  Foundation,  there's  no  taxpayers  on  getting  this  program  going.

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"Community  Forum  on  Marijuana",  2012  October  16 Transcription  provided  by  Springfield  NORML  volunteers Includes  remarks  prepared  by  members  of  Springfield  NORML

26:30 But  it's  to  help  students  hook  up  with  the  money  they  can  access  to  go  to  college. Because  a  lot  of  students  do  not  know  how  much  money's  available  out  there  for  them. So  this  whole  program's  to  help  kids  go  to  college. So  when  you're  talking  about  federal  funding  for  scholarships,  some  federal  grants  do  have  rubrics  that  they  will look  at,  and  with  a  first  offense,  in  which  a  student  is  charged,  they  could  look  at  not  being  eligible  for  the scholarship  money  for  a  year. 27:00 Second  offense,  it  could  be  two  years  from  the  time  that  they  had  that  infraction  to  where  they  would  be  eligible,  and on  the  third  infraction,  they  may  not  be  eligible  at  all. That  is  not  necessarily  for  every  grant  that  is  out  there,  but  that  is  kind  of  the  general  rule  for  scholarships. Thank  you. Audience [applause] Moderator Thank  you  Jean  and  Julie. Okay,  I  forgot  last  time,  so  we're  going  to  make  sure  we  come  through  and  pick  up  the  three  by  fives  (3"  x  5"). 27:30 If  you  have  questions,  please  write  on  those  cards  and  get  them  to  the  folks  that  are  collecting  them. That's  whats  going  to  make  this  fun. The  last  panelist  before  the  keynote  is  my  friend  John  Bertsch,  who's  been  with  Burrell  Behavioral  Health  for  seven (7)  years. He's  director  of  our  adolescent  substance  abuse  treatment  program. He's  a  licensed  clinical  social  worker,  who's  been  in  counseling  and  social  services  for  twenty  (20)  years,  not twenty-­two  (22),  but  just  twenty  (20). So,  John? 28:00 John  Bertsch I'm  going  to  state  a  few  facts  about  marijuana  use,  and  then  I'm  going  to  describe  a  little  bit  about  our  program,  and what  we  see  in  our  program. As  Paul  described,  I'm  director  of  the  adolescent  substance  abuse  program  and  the  CSTAR  that  Jean  referred  to. Marijuana  use,  especially  among  youth,  has  many  health  hazards. 28:30 Studies  indicate  the  continued  use  as  an  adolescent  can  drop  a  person's  IQ  by  as  many  as  eight  (8)  points.

A  2002  longitudinal  study  published  in  the  Canadian  Medical  Association  Journal  — http://www.cmaj.ca/content/166/7/887.long  —  concluded  that  "marijuana  does  not  have  a long-­term  negative  impact  on  global  intelligence,"  and  that  "current  marijuana  use  had  a negative  effect  on  global  IQ  score  only  in  subjects  who  smoked  5  or  more  joints  per  week." The  study,  which  monitored  subjects  since  birth,  examined  IQ  scores  before,  during  and after  cessation  of  regular  marijuana  use,  found  current  light  users  and  former  users  showed average  IQ  gains  of  5.8  and  3.5  respectively,  compared  to  an  IQ  gain  of  2.6  for  those  who had  never  used  cannabis.  The  study  showed  an  average  IQ  decrease  of  4.1  for  heavy  users. If  the  speaker  was  referring  to  a  recently  released  longitudinal  study  of  more  than  1000 New  Zealanders,  of  important  note  is  that  the  study  only  showed  a  decrease  in  IQ  for adolescents. The  effect  of  persistent  cannabis  use  on  intellectual  functioning  is  really  confined  to adolescents,  (which)  suggests  that  adolescents,  in  particular,  are  vulnerable  to  the effect  of  cannabis,"  says  lead  author  Madeline  H.  Meier,  a  psychologist  and postdoctoral  researcher  at  Duke  University  in  Durham,  North  Carolina. —  http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/27/health/health-­teen-­pot/index.html

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"Community  Forum  on  Marijuana",  2012  October  16 Transcription  provided  by  Springfield  NORML  volunteers Includes  remarks  prepared  by  members  of  Springfield  NORML

There  are  also  studies  that  indicate,  for  males,  it  can  double  the  chances  for  testicular  cancer.

The  study  actually  shows  that  the  heaviest  users  of  cannabis  have  less  testicular  cancer  than moderate  users.  It  also  shows  that  using  cocaine  decreases  the  cancer  risk.  It  only  utilized  a small  number  of  people  (163  men)  and  much  of  the  data  doesn't  add  up.  The  media  didn't report  on  the  cocaine  connection  in  the  same  study  which  throws  the  whole  study  off. Dr.  Mitch  Earleywine  discusses  the  statistical  problems  with  this  study  at  the  27:54  mark  on this  video  interview:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALX4uwWIscY&t=27m54s The  study  itself:  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cncr.27554/abstract

Marijuana  use  can  double  the  chance  of  having  a  car  accident.

It  is  important  to  note  that  legal  pharmaceutical  drugs  are  as  much,  or  more,  of  a  problem  as cannabis. In  conducting  the  study,  the  researchers  compared  drug  use  in  nearly  5,200  people involved  in  major  car  accidents  with  that  of  more  than  31,000  similar  people  with no  record  of  serious  accidents. The  study,  published  Sept.  13  in  the  British  Journal  of  Clinical  Pharmacology, found  the  people  involved  in  car  accidents  were  more  likely  to  have  been  taking psychotropic  drugs  for  any  length  of  time. —  http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=668525,  September  13,  2012

Marijuana  use...  teens  who  smoke  three  (3)  or  more  times  a  week  are  three  (3)  times  more  likely  than  non-­users to  have  thoughts  about  committing  suicide.

Logical  Fallacy:  Correlation  Proves  Causation

It  may  just  be  that  teens  who  are  already  suicidal  end  up  using  marijuana.  This  data  does not  prove  that  marijuana  causes  an  increase  in  thoughts  about  suicide.

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"Community  Forum  on  Marijuana",  2012  October  16 Transcription  provided  by  Springfield  NORML  volunteers Includes  remarks  prepared  by  members  of  Springfield  NORML

29:00 Marijuana  use,  marijuana,  is  addictive,  and  heavy  users  develop  withdrawal  symptoms  and  tolerance  issues just  like  those  with  other  drug  addictions.

Factual  Error  —  it  has  been  standard  knowledge  for  many  years  that  marijuana  does  not lead  to  withdrawal  or  tolerance  issues  the  way  many  other  drugs  do.

Herkenham's  earlier  research  mapping  the  locations  of  the  cannabinoid brain-­receptor  system  helped  establish  scientific  evidence  that  marijuana  is nonaddictive.  This  new  tolerance  study  builds  on  that  foundation  by  explaining  how cannabinoid  tolerance  supports  rather  than  contradicts  that  finding. "It  is  ironic  that  the  magnitude  of  both  tolerance  (complete  disappearance  of  the inhibitory  motor  effects)  and  receptor  down-­regulation  (78%  loss  with  high-­dose CP-­55,940)  is  so  large,  whereas  cannabinoid  dependence  and  withdrawal phenomena  are  minimal.  This  supports  the  claim  that  tolerance  and  dependence are  independently  mediated  in  the  brain." In  other  words,  tolerance  to  marijuana  is  not  an  indication  that  the  drug  is addictive. —  http://www.marijuanalibrary.org/brain2.html  ("Marijuana  and  the  Brain,  Part  II: The  Tolerance  Factor",  High  Times,  July  1995)
Teens  can  become  addicted  in  as  little  as  six  (6)  months. The  majority  of  youth  entering  drug  treatment  reported  primary  drug  use  of  marijuana.

This  is  true,  however  the  users  in  this  case  are  given  the  option  of  going  to  jail  or  treatment before  a  judge.  This  choice  is  presented  regardless  of  whether  or  not  they  have  a  real problem  with  cannabis. The  majority  go  for  the  treatment,  then  government  uses  this  information  to  lead  to  the notion  that  marijuana  is  a  problem  for  so  many  people. Many  people  drink  alcohol  socially,  but  if  it  were  prohibited  as  marijuana  is,  and  social users  were  treated  as  above,  it  would  lead  to  the  belief  that  the  social  users  of  alcohol  need treatment  for  being  "alcoholics",  even  if  many  didn't  have  problems  and  simply  chose  a treatment  system  in  lieu  of  imprisonment. In  light  of  this,  the  speaker  is  making  an  exaggeration  of  a  true  statement.  It  throws  off  the rest  of  the  statistics  presented  by  the  speaker:  you  don't  know  what  percentage  of  his  clients have  a  real  problem  with  cannabis,  vs  those  placed  in  his  care  due  to  enforcement  reasons and  may  only  rarely  use  cannabis.

The  national  figures  of  current  marijuana  use  is  about  eight  percent  (8%)  of  those  twelve  (12)  through  age seventeen  (17).

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"Community  Forum  on  Marijuana",  2012  October  16 Transcription  provided  by  Springfield  NORML  volunteers Includes  remarks  prepared  by  members  of  Springfield  NORML

29:30 In  our  adolescent  substance  abuse  program,  the  drug  that  is  abused  the  most  is  marijuana.

Since  THC  in  cannabis  stays  in  your  system  longer  than  other  drugs  (up  to  30  days),  more people  get  caught  and  are  told  to  go  into  rehabilitation  institutions  in  higher  numbers  than for  other  substances. See  also  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis_drug_testing

Of  the  two  hundred  seventy-­five  (275)  clients  we  saw  in  treatment  this  past  year,  ninety  percent  (90%)  reported marijuana  use. Some  other  facts  about  our  program  is  that  most  of  our  clients  are  male,  which  is  at  sixty-­seven  percent  (67%). 30:00 Of  the  two  hundred  seventy-­five  (275)  clients  we  saw  this  past  year,  eighty  percent  (80%)  reported  co-­occurring diagnoses. That  means  depression,  anxiety,  ADHD. We  have  also,  we  are  also  asked  very  many  times  about  our  program,  "What  is  your  success  rate?" Given  that  substance  abuse  is  a  long-­term,  relapsing  disease,  we  do  expect  that  some  clients  will  relapse. Last  year,  at  the  three  (3)  month  follow-­up,  fifty-­two  percent  (52%)  of  the  clients  reported  no  use. 30:30 At  the  six  (6)  month  follow-­up,  fifty-­three  percent  (53%)  reported  not  using  any  drugs. And  at  the  one  (1)  year  mark,  fifty-­eight  percent  (58%)  reported  not  using. That  concludes  my  report. Thanks. Moderator Thank  you  John. Audience [applause] Moderator And  again,  any  questions. And  I'm  sure  all  these  interesting  remarks  are  sparking  all  kinds  of  questions  in  your  mind,  so  make  sure  you  write those  down,  and  the  folks  will  come  pick  them  up. 31:00 Alright. Ron  Griffin  is  our  keynote  speaker  this  evening. Anybody  want  to  guess  how  long  he's  been  in  substance  abuse  treatment,  anybody? Twenty-­two  (22)  years,  yeah. I  don't  make  this  stuff  up. This  is  [inaudible]  sixty-­six  (66)  plus  twenty  (20)...  it's  like  a  hundred  and  eighteen  (118)  years  of  experience,  it's crazy. Ron  comes  to  us  with  over  twenty-­two  (22)  years  of  experience  in  working  with  individuals,  families,  and communities  in  both  drug  treatment  and  prevention. 31:30 He's  been  a  national  trainer  in  drug  prevention,  as  well  as  a  drug  treatment  counselor,  and  program  administrator. Currently  Ron  is  a  professor  at  Longview  College  in  Kansas  City,  and  is  active  in  Missouri's  fight  against  marijuana legalization. Welcome  Ron  Griffin. Audience [applause] Ron  Griffin Thank  you. Can  you  hear  me  okay? Okay,  I  know  you're  out  there,  I  can  hear  you  breathing.

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"Community  Forum  on  Marijuana",  2012  October  16 Transcription  provided  by  Springfield  NORML  volunteers Includes  remarks  prepared  by  members  of  Springfield  NORML

32:00 Could  you  do  me  a  favor? Could  all  the  young  people,  all  the  teenagers  and  younger,  please  just  stand  up  for  a  second. Just  humor  me  for  a  second. If  nothing  else,  it's  good,  a  chance  to  stretch  your  legs,  there  you  go. Thank  you  very  much. Look  around. I  want  to  say  a  special  thank  you  to  you  for  coming  out  here  tonight,  giving  up  part  of  your  evening  to  come  listen  to this,  and  I  want  everybody  in  the  room  to  look  at  these  people,  because  this  is  why  I'm  here  tonight,  and  I  hope  this is  why  you're  here  tonight,  too. 32:30 Thank  you  all  very  much. Give  these  guys  a  round  of  applause. Audience [applause] Ron  Griffin [inaudible]  have  a  seat. What  we  are  working  for,  and  what  we  are  paying  attention  to,  and  what's  important  to  us  is  the  future  that  we're going  to  have,  that  we're  going  to  hand  off  to  the  kids  that  are  in  this  room  that  just  stood  up. And  there  are  things  that  we  can  do  to  make  things  better,  and  things  that  we  can  do  to  make  things  worse. Whenever  we  look  at  marijuana,  and  I've  been  fighting  marijuana  for  twenty-­two  (22)  years  now,  as  a  drug  treatment counselor,  I  still  do  counseling. 33:00 As  a  preventionist  within  the  state  of  Missouri. And  one  of  the  things  I  constantly  see  are  people's  perceptions  of  this  drug  driving  choices  which  put  these  young people  at  further  risk. Marijuana  is  the  most  misunderstood  drug  I've  ever  dealt  with,  and  I've  dealt  with  all  of  them,  from  ecstasy  to  heroin to  crack,  all  the  way  through. 33:30 Marijuana  is  the  number  1  (#1)  most  misunderstood  there  is  out  there. There  are,  if  you  go  to  the  Internet,  and  where  do  most  young  people  get  their  information  from? Audience [several  utterances  of  "Google"] Ron  Griffin From  the  Internet. And  you  type  in  the  word  "marijuana"  and  you're  going  to  get  dozens,  or  even  thousands  –  I  shouldn't  say dozens  –  thousands  upon  thousands  of  pages  of  information,  and  most  of  that  information  is  going  to  be skewed  towards  the  pro  side,  towards  the  positive  side.

This  argument  is  often  used  to  show  how  information  on  the  Internet  must  all  be misinformation.  Our  entire  government,  medical  institutions,  doctors,  chemists,  engineers and  more  are  also  on  the  Internet.  Statistics  show  that  63  percent  of  people  has  mistrust  in the  media,  mainly  because  the  truth  often  times  comes  out  on  the  internet  by  independent researchers,  commentators  and  reporters  who  blog  and  create  videos. See  also:  http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/14/business/media/14survey.html?_r=0

So  again,  I'm  glad  to  have  the  young  people  here  tonight. 34:00 Whenever  we  look  at  the  information,  that  positive  marijuana  information,  most  of  it  stems  from  a  group  called NORML,  the  National  Organization  to  Reform  Marijuana  Laws. They  are  the  impetus,  they  key  driving  force  behind  this,  nationally,  and  even  here  within  the  state. And  so  we  hear  about  things  like  medicalization  of  marijuana. We  hear  about  the  agricultural  reasons  and  why  we  shouldn't  prosecute  marijuana  at  all,  because  we  could  save tax  dollars.

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"Community  Forum  on  Marijuana",  2012  October  16 Transcription  provided  by  Springfield  NORML  volunteers Includes  remarks  prepared  by  members  of  Springfield  NORML

34:30 Let's  take  a  second  to  look  at  NORML's  mission  statement. NORML's  mission  is  to  move  public  opinion  sufficiently  to  achieve  the  repeal  of  marijuana  prohibition  so  that  the responsible  use  of  cannabis  by  adults  is  no  longer  subject  to  penalty. What  did  you  hear  in  there? Did  you  hear  medicinal  care,  palliative  care  for  sick  people? 35:00 Did  you  hear  "growing  marijuana  so  we  can  use  it  for  rope  or  fuel"  or  anything  like  that?

NORML  has  a  branch  called  the  NORML  Hemp  Alliance.  Hemp  is  the  product  used  to create  rope  and  fuel. See  also:  http://norml.org/component/zoo/category/norml-­hemp-­alliance

No,  what  did  you  hear? This  is  about  smokin'  dope,  and  not  gettin'  busted. People  that  do  drugs. Help  me  out  with  this. People  that  do  drugs  do  not  want  to  get  busted. Am  I  right? So  far  I'm? Okay,  I  haven't  said  anything  crazy  yet.

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"Community  Forum  on  Marijuana",  2012  October  16 Transcription  provided  by  Springfield  NORML  volunteers Includes  remarks  prepared  by  members  of  Springfield  NORML

35:30 When  we  look  at  all  the  different  ploys  that  the  marijuana  industry  will  use,  number  one  (1),  the  thing  that  they're getting  the  most  mileage  of  out  of  it  right  now,  is  medicinal  marijuana. Convincing  people  that  marijuana  is  good,  it's  healthy.

There  is  a  vast  amount  of  testimony  about  the  benefits  of  cannabis  for  medical  reasons. There  are  also  mainstream  products  available  that  make  use  of  THC-­free  edible  hemp products,  which  have  been  praised  for  being  nutritious  and  health-­promoting.

Here  are  just  two  of  the  many  videos  you'll  need  to  ignore  in  order  to  believe  the  speaker's statement. ■ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJ_UBW_IITw ■ http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=b84_1351611295
And  I  have  to  say,  these  guys  are  doing  a  great  job. When  it  comes  to  their  mission  statement,  they  are  dedicated,  and  they  are  working  together  and  doing  a  great job  swaying  public  opinion,  convincing  young  people  that  it's  no  big  deal.

"Principles  of  Responsible  Cannabis  Use": I.  Adults  Only Cannabis  consumption  is  for  adults  only.  It  is  irresponsible  to  provide  cannabis  to children. Many  things  and  activities  are  suitable  for  young  people,  but  others  absolutely  are not.  Children  do  not  drive  cars,  enter  into  contracts,  or  marry,  and  they  must  not use  drugs.  As  it  is  unrealistic  to  demand  lifetime  abstinence  from  cars,  contracts and  marriage,  however,  it  is  unrealistic  to  expect  lifetime  abstinence  from  all intoxicants,  including  alcohol.  Rather,  our  expectation  and  hope  for  young  people is  that  they  grow  up  to  be  responsible  adults.  Our  obligation  to  them  is  to demonstrate  what  that  means. —  http://norml.org/about/intro/item/principles-­of-­responsible-­cannabis-­use-­3 "Children,  Teens,  and  Pot": NORML  is  absolutely  against  the  use  of  cannabis  by  minors.  While  we  obviously don't  condone  this  practice,  we  understand  the  reality  that  adolescents  will  be experimenting  with  mind-­altering  substances. —  http://norml.org/about/item/children-­teens-­and-­pot

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"Community  Forum  on  Marijuana",  2012  October  16 Transcription  provided  by  Springfield  NORML  volunteers Includes  remarks  prepared  by  members  of  Springfield  NORML

36:00 One  of  their  lines,  and  the  group's  name  is  NORML,  one  of  their  lines  is  that  it's  "NORML  to  smoke  pot".

This  is  not  a  tag  line  representing  NORML  and  its  broad  member  base.  "It's  NORML  to Smoke  Pot"  was  used  as  a  promotional  slogan  in  2002  after  New  York  City  Mayor Michael  Bloomberg  admitted  to  smoking  cannabis. See  also  http://norml.org/about/it-­s-­norml-­to-­smoke-­pot-­campaign.

No  it's  not. How  many  people  in  here  do  you  remember,  raise  your  hands  with  me,  how  many  people  remember  when  we voted  on  acetaminophen  being  a  medication? None  of  us  do. Because  we  don't  vote  on  what's  medication. That's  the  job  at  the  institue  of  medicine.

As  mentioned  elsewhere  in  this  response,  the  DEA  and  other  institutes  actually  hinder research  done  into  cannabis  due  to  the  stigma  attached  to  it.    This  makes  it  less  likely  for  the institute  of  medicine  to  approve  of  its  use,  regardless  of  its  true  effectiveness.

It's  not  done  by  popular  vote. 36:30 But  all  of  the  sudden,  now  we're  starting  to  vote  on  what  we  will  accept  as  medication. Does  anybody  know  what  classification,  and  I'm  not  talking  Schedule,  what  classification  marijuana  is? Say  it. Audience [one  member]  Schedule  one  (1). Ron  Griffin No,  not  schedule,  what  classifica...  is  it  a  depressant,  is  it  a  narcotic,  is  it  a  stimulant,  is  it  a  hallucinogen? Audience [several  members]  It  could  be  all  of  them. Ron  Griffin [laughs]  It's  a  hallucinogen.

It  is  important  to  note  that  just  because  something  can  act  as  a  hallucinogen,  does  not  mean it  will  at  all  doses,  or  that  its  potential  hallucinogenic  effects  are  not  tolerated  or  regulated  by individuals  and  society. For  example,  Dextromethorphan  (DXM),  is  an  unscheduled,  over-­the-­counter  drug  that  is  a common  ingredient  in  cough  syrup  products,  including  children's  preparations.  At  labeled doses,  it  has  no  hallucinogenic  side-­effects.    At  several  times  the  labeled  dose,  the side-­effects  include  strong  hallucinations. Several  prescription  drugs  may  also  act  as  hallucinogens.    See http://www.livestrong.com/article/28843-­list-­hallucinogenic-­antidepressant-­medications/.

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"Community  Forum  on  Marijuana",  2012  October  16 Transcription  provided  by  Springfield  NORML  volunteers Includes  remarks  prepared  by  members  of  Springfield  NORML

37:00 And  these  are  things  that  people  don't  pay  attention  to  and  don't  understand. Whenever  we  look  at  the  other  arguments,  the  agricultural  argument,  it  is  not  about  being  able  to  grow  marijuana  for hemp,  to  be  able  to  make  rope  products. There's  no  market  for  it.

Current  industry  estimates  report  that  U.S.  retail  sales  of  all  hemp-­based  products  may exceed  $300  million  per  year.  Because  there  is  no  commercial  industrial  hemp  production in  the  United  States,  the  U.S.  market  is  largely  dependent  on  imports,  both  as  finished hemp-­containing  products  and  as  ingredients  for  use  in  further  processing. [  …  ] In  the  early  1990s  a  sustained  resurgence  of  interest  in  allowing  commercial  cultivation  of industrial  hemp  began  in  the  United  States...  To  date,  nine  states  have  legalized  the cultivation  and  research  of  industrial  hemp,  including  Hawaii,  Kentucky,  Maine, Maryland,  Montana,  North  Dakota,  Oregon,  Vermont,  and  West  Virginia.  However, because  federal  law  still  prohibits  cultivation,  a  grower  still  must  get  permission  from the  DEA  in  order  to  grow  hemp,  or  face  the  possibility  of  federal  charges  or  property confiscation,  despite  having  a  state-­issued  permit. —"Hemp  as  an  Agricultural  Commodity",  Congressional  Research  Service,  January  2012, http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL32725.pdf "The  lighter  the  car,  the  less  fuel  you  need  to  propel  it,"  explains  Alan  Crosky  of  the  School of  Material  Science  and  Engineering  in  the  University  of  New  South  Whales  in  Australia. German  car  companies  including  Mercedes  (Daimler/Chrysler),  BMW  and  Audi Volkswagen  have  been  leading  the  way  in  incorporating  plant  fibers  in  their  models... The  next  trend  could  be  in  building  the  shells  of  cars  from  plants.  Crosky  says  he  and  his team  are  now  looking  at  building  exterior  car  panels  from  hemp. —  http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=98529&page=1#.UIWu1ml24Sp
But  there's  a  huge  market  for  the  drug. We  hear  all  the  time  from  the  pro-­marijuana  group  that,  oh  my  gosh,  if  we  quit  prosecuting  marijuana,  do  you  know how  much  money  we  would  save?

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"Community  Forum  on  Marijuana",  2012  October  16 Transcription  provided  by  Springfield  NORML  volunteers Includes  remarks  prepared  by  members  of  Springfield  NORML

37:30 Millions  and  millions  of  dollars. My  answer  to  that  is  just  because  the  system  isn't  working  perfectly  doesn't  mean  we  just  throw  it  away.

The  war  on  drugs  has  had  no  effect  on  drug  addiction  as  shown  in  this  chart:

Source:  "[Updated  With  Correction]:  Forty  Years  of  Drug  War  Failure  Represented  in  a Single  Chart",  http://reason.com/blog/2012/10/11/forty-­years-­of-­drug-­war-­failure-­in-­a-­sin
If  we  were  to  say,  you  know,  if  we  just  took  away  all  the  speeding  limits,  then  we  wouldn't  have  so  many  people getting  speeding  tickets,  and  that  would  make  life  better  for  all  of  us.

When  using  this  as  an  analogy  to  marijuana  prohibition,  it  would  follow  that  those  who  are caught  exceeding  speed  limits  are  often  punished  with  imprisonment  or  permanent  legal records.  This  is  not  the  case,  though,  so  does  not  make  a  useful  comparison.

It  just  doesn't  work  that  way. Especially  when  we  look,  and  here's  the  important  part,  the  long-­term  ramifications  to  the  community. 38:00 The  long-­term  ramifications  to  the  people  who  stood  up  here  just  a  little  bit  ago,  who  we  need  to  help  provide  clear and  healthy  beliefs  and  standards  to  help  them  ensure  a  better  life. Whenever  we  look  at  the  pro-­marijuana  arguments,  one  of  the  things  that  we'll  hear  is  taxes. I've  heard  this  so  often:  "You  know  if  we  just  make  it  legal,  and  we  tax  it,  then,  we're  going  to  have  money  flowing  all over  the  place,  we're  going  to  have  cash  everywhere." 38:30 Whenever  we  look  at  the  tax  on  alcohol  and  tobacco,  do  you  know  where  Missouri  stands  in  the  fifty  (50)  states  on the  tax  on  alcohol  and  tobacco? We're  number  fifty  (50). We're  at  the  very  bottom. When  we  look  at  the,  I  don't  remember  the  exact  numbers,  I  wasn't  planning  on  talking  about  this,  so  don't  hold  me tight  to  this,  so  the  rough  numbers  were  like,  we're  bringing,  I  can't  remember,  twenty-­nine  million  dollars ($29,000,000),  but  it  costs  us  like  two  point  five  billion  ($2,500,000,000).

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"Community  Forum  on  Marijuana",  2012  October  16 Transcription  provided  by  Springfield  NORML  volunteers Includes  remarks  prepared  by  members  of  Springfield  NORML

39:00 We  don't  tax  it  enough. We  don't  bring  in  enough  money. If  we  were  to  legalize  marijuana,  we  would  spend  a  lot  more  on  the  ramifications,  the  problems  created  by  it, than  we  would  by  what  we  get  out  of  it,  just  like  we  do  with  alcohol  and  tobacco.

Jeffrey  A.  Miron,  Department  of  Economics,  Harvard  University  and  the  Cato  Institute, contributed  to  a  report  that  says  otherwise:

This  report  estimates  the  reduction  in  government  expenditure  and  the  increase  in tax  revenue  and  that  would  result  from  legalizing  marijuana  in  Missouri. Legalization  would  reduce  government  expenditure  by  about  $90  million  annually. Legalization  would  also  generate  tax  revenue  of  roughly  $59  million  annually  if marijuana  were  taxed  at  rates  comparable  to  those  on  alcohol  and  tobacco.  These estimates  assume  that  all  other  states  and  the  federal  government  also  legalize marijuana. —  "The  Budgetary  Implications  of  Legalizing  Marijuana  in  Missouri" http://nationalcannabiscoalition.com/budgetary-­implications-­marijuana-­missouri/
Some  people  will  say,  "forbidden  fruit",  have  you  heard  this  argument? If  you  make  something  illegal,  then  people  are  just,  they're  gonna  want  to  do  it. 39:30 If  you  make  it  illegal,  then  "forbidden  fruit",  and  they're  gonna  be  driven  to  go  out  there  and  forced  to  do  it.

After  decriminalizing  cannabis  in  Portugal,  less  people  used  it.

See:  http://bjc.oxfordjournals.org/content/50/6/999.full, http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1893946,00.html
Well,  most  people,  most  people,  even  young  people,  will  live  within  the  parameters  of  what  is  legal  and  acceptable by  society's  standards. There  are  going  to  be  that  fringe  element,  that  if  you  say,  "Hey,  don't  go  stick  your  tongue  on  that  spark  plug,"  they're just  gonna  have  to  go  over  and  stick  their  tongue  on  it. 40:00 They're  out  there. But  most  people,  by  and  large,  are  going  to  live  within  what  is  acceptable  by  the  state,  or  by  the  community standards. When  you've  got  a  real  loud  voice  saying,  we  should  change  these  community  standards  to  be  able  to  include alcohol,  or,  I'm  sorry,  be  able  to  include  marijuana  use,  people  are  gonna  start  paying  attention  to  that,  and  they're gonna  start  to  follow  along  with  that  as  well. 40:30 One  of  the  things  I  always  hear,  over  and  over,  is,  "Well,  I  did  it,  and  I  turned  okay." "I  smoked  marijuana  and  I  turned  okay." "No  problems  with  me." Well,  okay,  I'll. I'm  forty-­seven  (47)  years  old. I  know,  for  some  of  you  that  doesn't  so  bad,  for  some  others  that's  ancient. When  I  was  growing  up,  there  were,  we  didn't  have  seat  belts  in  our  cars.

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"Community  Forum  on  Marijuana",  2012  October  16 Transcription  provided  by  Springfield  NORML  volunteers Includes  remarks  prepared  by  members  of  Springfield  NORML

41:00 And  when  we  did,  how  many  people  can  recognize  this? When  you  did  have  'em,  you  never  used  'em. And  we  can  all  look  around  and  say,  "You  know  what,  I've  never  used  a  seatbelt,  and  I'm  okay." When  I  was  young  there  was  even,  there  was  no  such  thing  as  a  bicycle  helmet. They  didn't  exist. I  rode  bicycles  for  years  without  a  helmet. I'm  okay. 41:30 So  does  it  make  sense  that  we  should  say,  "Just  because  I  turned  out  okay,  just  because  I  didn't  get  some  sort  of horrible  problem  from  a  risky  behavior,  then  it  should  then  be  okay  for  the  masses." No. Because  it's  going  to  be  the  individual  that  bears  the  brunt,  that  bears  the  weight,  of  the  problems  that's  gonna  be created  in  their  lives,  when,  coming  back  to  what  the  lady  said,  "an  ounce  of  prevention  is  pound  of  cure." Am  I  standing  outside  of  your  camera  range? I'm  sorry  about  that. 42:00 I'm  glad  to  see  so  many  parents  here  tonight. Parents  play  a  major  role  in  prevention. It's  not  just  a  parent's  responsibility. It's  not  all  put  on  the  parents,  but  parents  play  a  major  role. If  you  set  your  standards  high  for  kids,  kids  will  try  to  live  up  for  'em,  live  up  to  'em. If  you  set  your  standards  low,  kids  will  definitely  live  down  to  'em. Part  of  what  parents  need  to  do  is  continuously  have  the  conversation  with  your  young  people  about  your  values. 42:30 About  why  it's  important  to  stay  clean  and  sober. About  the  risks  and  dangers  of  not  just  marijuana,  but  everything  out  there,  that  I  think  marijuana,  in  particular. It  has  to  be  the  adult  that  brings  it  up,  because  kids  won't. It  has  to  be  the  adult  that  makes  it  a  priority,  and  just  to  share  your  values  and  your  hopes  and  dreams  for  what  your kids  are,  and  where  they're  going  to  go,  and  what  their  life  is  going  to  be  like. 43:00 I  think  a  lot  about  coaches  and  parents. Coaches  and  parents. Parents,  I  think,  should  be  more  like  coaches. A  coach,  when  they're  out  there  running  practice,  and  they're  doing  drills  and  stuff,  they  don't  just  look  out  at  a  player messing  something  up,  and  say,  "Well,  you  know,  it's  probably  just  a  phase." Audience [laughter] Ron  Griffin "If  I  just  leave  him  alone,  he's  gonna  be  fine,  he's  gonna  work  his  way  through  it,  and  it's  just  a  normal  thing,  all  wide receivers  drop  balls  like  that,  so,  you  know,  I'm  just  gonna  let  it  go." 43:30 No. Coaches  pay  attention. They  watch  everything  that's  going  on. They  monitor  behavior. They  pay  attention  to  the  steps  that  the  people  are  taking,  the  kids  are  taking,  and  when  something's  wrong  they come  in  and  they  say  "Hey,  you  know  what,  here's  a  better  way,  try  it  this  way,  do  this,  this  is  going  to  get  you  better results." So  I  encourage  parents,  be  more  like  a  coach.

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"Community  Forum  on  Marijuana",  2012  October  16 Transcription  provided  by  Springfield  NORML  volunteers Includes  remarks  prepared  by  members  of  Springfield  NORML

44:00 Pay  attention,  be  willing  to  step  in  there  and  say  "Hey,  something  needs  to  change,  something  needs  to  be different." Don't  be  like  the  fan. What  do  fans  do? They  show  up  once  a  week. They  sit  in  the  audience,  and  they  scream. Be  a  coach. Invest  your  time  and  your  efforts  with  your  kids,  and  really  focus  on  perception  of  harm. And  marijuana  is  harmful. That's  part  of  the  perception  that  we've  lost  in  this  country. 44:30 What  John  Lennon  called  the  "harmless  little  giggle"  back  in  the  nineteen  sixties  (1960s)  is  not  a  harmless  little giggle. We  heard  earlier  about  the  levels  of  THC  going  up  nine  percent  (9%),  eleven  percent  (11%)  in  some  areas,  for  the special  stuff  thirty-­three  (33%)  THC  in  marijuana. It's  causing  more  and  more  problems. I'm  still  a  chemical  dependency  counsellor  to  this  day. I  am  missing  group  tonight  to  be  here. 45:00 And  let  me  tell  you,  I  have  a  lot  of  clients  in  group  that  are  having  problems  with  marijuana. But  it's  funny,  that  perception  still  sticks  with  'em,  "it's  not  a  big  deal." And  part  of  getting  healthy,  I  think  for  the  individual,  and  the  community,  is  to  realize  it  is  a  big  deal. The  community's  job? Get  to  know  factual  information. Get  out  there  and  actually  research,  or  better  yet,  get  in  touch  with  Chris  Davis,  because  he's  already  done  all  the research,  and  find  out  the  factual  information  about  marijuana. 45:30 That  it's  not  a  harmless  little  giggle. This  is  a  dangerous  drug. It  alters  people's  perceptions,  putting  them  in  danger  for  addiction,  and  for  getting  into  all  kinds  of  trouble. It's  also  the  community's  norm  to  help  set  the  standards  of  what  the  community  is  going  to  stand  for. We  can't  be  a  passive,  quiet  majority.

Three  polls  within  the  last  year  show  that  marijuana  prohibitionists  are  in  the  minority.

46:00 People  need  to  speak  up,  take  a  stand,  step  beyond  their  own  passivity,  step  beyond  their  own  values,  and  look  at what's  important  for  the  community,  and  what's  important  for  who,  the  kids  that  stood  up  in  this  room  just  a  little  while ago. When  we  look  at  marijuana,  just  a  couple  of  little  facts  about  marijuana. Marijuana  is  different  from  every  other  drug  we  know. All  the  other  drugs  that  we  know  are  water-­soluable. 46:30 They  break  down  in  your  body  and  they'll  pass  out  through  your  body  in  a  period  of  a  day  or  two. Marijuana  is  different. It's  what  we  call  lipophilic. Doesn't  break  down  in  water. It  actually  sticks  to  fat  cells. It  will  stick  to  fat  cells,  a  one  time  use,  depending  on  how  much,  what  quality,  how  much  the  person  weights, ek-­setera  ek-­setera  ek-­setera  [sic]  (etc.  etc.  etc.). A  one  time  use  can  be  detected  positive  up  to  a  week  later.

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47:00 Heavy  users  were  seeing  testing  positive  over  thirty  (30)  days  after  their  last  use,  with  the  urine  drug  screen. But  that's  not  even  getting  into  hair  samples  and  all  that  other  stuff. Marijuana  sticks  to  fat  cells. Your  brain  is  about  one  third  (1/3)  fat. I'm  not  gonna  do  the  fat  head  joke  tonight. Marijuana  will  actually  change  the  way  you  think,  feel  and  behave  even  when  you're  not  physically  high. It  changes  our  perceptions  even  when  we're  not  physically  high. 47:30 Over  a  period  of  time,  it's  called  subclinical  intoxication. Even  though  the  person  isn't  physically  high  at  the  time,  they're  still  impacted  by  the  marijuana  that  they've  smoked already. We  can  also  look  at  marijuana,  a  term  called  "amotivational  syndrome,"  where  people  just,  I  think  the  word says  it  itself,  "amotivational,"  they  just  give  up.

The  condition  he  refers  to  is  not  widely  accepted:

A  study  done  by  researchers  Barnwell,  Earleywine  and  Wilcox[1]  on  a  sample  of undergraduates  also  suggests  that  cannabis  use  does  not  cause  an  amotivational syndrome.  The  e-­mail  survey  showed  no  significant  difference  in  motivation  (as measured  on  the  Apathy  Evaluation  Scale[2])  between  cannabis  users  and cannabis  abstainers. —  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amotivational_syndrome
I  had  a  friend  in  college,  he  was  there  for  a  while,  smoked  a  lot  of  weed. 48:00 In  fact  we  called  him  "Weedy."

If  the  point  here  is  to  dissuade  people  from  using  marijuana  because  you  will  not  make  it  in life  if  you  do,  it  will  not  add  up.  President  Obama  has  (in  the  below  video)  revealed  that  he smoked  cannabis  during  his  college  years.  The  President  is  especially  influential  and popular  with  the  college  crowd. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFRWbOkYvao

That  was  his  name. And  he  was  in  college  for  about  a  year  and  a  half,  until  he  just  absolutely  flunked  out. His  favorite  activity  was  to  get  high  and  look  at  a  glass  of  soda,  seven  up  (7-­UP),  and  watch  the  bubbles. That  was  entertainment  for  him. He  didn't  make  it. When  we  look  at  marijuana,  it  interferes  with  learning. It  interferes  with  short-­term  memory  retention  and  problem  solving  skills. 48:30 What  is  it  that  our  kids  are  relying  on  right  now,  while  they're  in  school? Memory  retention,  and  learning  skills. In  closing,  isn't  that  always  the  best  two  words,  whenever  you  hear  a  speaker? Audience [laughter] Ron  Griffin In  closing,  the  hardest  thing  that  we  can  do  is  try  to  change  somebody's  attitudes. People  get  involved  with  a  certain  behavior  and  they  start  to  normalize  that  within  their  life.

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49:00 If  normal,  for  me,  was  to  go  home  and  drink  a  giant  bottle  of  bourbon  every  night,  then  I  would  start  thinking normal  for  everybody  would  be  to  do  the  same  thing. And  if  I  don't  want  to  get  DUIs,  then  I  might  go  out  and  start  trying  to  lobby  to  stop  DUI  checkpoints.

NORML's  position  on  this  states  that  it  is  a  valid  concern.    NORML's  own  "Principles  of Responsible  Cannabis  Use"  invokes  a  "no  driving"  clause: Although  cannabis  is  said  by  most  experts  to  be  safer  than  alcohol  and  many prescription  drugs  with  motorists,  responsible  cannabis  consumers  never  operate motor  vehicles  in  an  impaired  condition. —  http://norml.org/component/zoo/category/driving-­and-­marijuana

We  have  to  look  beyond  what  we  are  doing  to  what  is  best  for  others,  what  is  best  for  the  community,  what  is  best  for the  kids,  and  drug  use  isn't  it. 49:30 I  want  to  say  a  special  thank  you  to  Chris  Davis  and  his  crew  for  having  all  of  us  up  here. I  want  to  say  thank  you  to  the  board,  and  to  our  moderator. Give  him  a  round  of  applause,  would  you  please? Audience [applause] Ron  Griffin And  thank  you  to  all  of  you  for  coming  out  here  tonight. Moderator Thank  you. Let's  hear  it  for  Ron  Griffin. Audience [applause] Moderator Nicely  done,  sir. Okay,  we're  just,  we're  gonna  take  just  a  short  break. 50:00 And  that  means  you  can  talk  amongst  yourselves,  if  you'd  like,  and  we're  gonna  gather  up  these  questions,  and we're  gonna  begin  the  question  answer,  which  is  where  the  real  fun  will  begin,  I'm  sure. Audience [milling  about] 50:30 Audience [milling  about] 51:00 Audience [milling  about] 51:30 Audience [milling  about] 52:00 Audience [milling  about] 52:30 Audience [milling  about]

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53:00 Audience [milling  about] 53:30 Audience [milling  about] Moderator Let's  get  started. Okay,  several  of  the  questions  were  very  similar,  so  we  tried  to  group  them  and  pick  only  one  from  the  topic. Also  if  anyone's  questions  don't  get  answered  tonight,  the  panelists  will  be  available  to  ask  them  one  on  one questions  after  this. 54:00 Some  of  them  will  be  anyway,  I'm  sure. Alright,  so,  we'll  figure  out  who's  the  best  person  to  respond  to  this,  or  you  can,  we'll  just,  have  a  free  for  all. "What  can  a  parent  do  if  one  of  their  child's  friends  are  using  drugs  and  alcohol?" Student's  fourteen  (14)  years  old,  parents  of  the  child  refuse  to  believe  the  student  is  involved  with  drugs  and alcohol. 54:30 Might  be  a,  you  know...  go  ahead. Ron  Griffin [tests  microphone] Can  you  hear  me  now? Hello? Can  you  hear  me  now? Audience [several  say  "Yes"] Ron  Griffin Okay. I  always  think  better  on  my  feet. I'm  a  teacher. There  we  go. If  your,  if  a  friend  of  your  child  is  using  drugs,  there's  really  not  a  whole  lot  you  can  do  as  far  as,  help  me  out  here  if I'm  wrong  anybody. 55:00 There's  really  not  a  whole  lot  you  can  do,  because  you  don't  have  the  control  over  that  child. What  you  can  do  is  set  parameters  to  say,  "I  don't  want  you,  I  don't  want  you  hanging  out  with  this  boy  when  he's using." You  can  talk  to  that  boy,  assuming  you  have  a  relationship  with  him. I  did  hear  "boy",  correct? Boy  or  girl? Moderator It  just  says  "child." Ron  Griffin Child. You  can  talk  to  that  child,  and  let  them  know  that  options  are  out  there. Give  them  support,  to  let  'em  know  that  you  care  for  them,  that  you  would  like  a  better  life  for  'em. 55:30 Options  are  out  there  and  you  can  help  them  find  it,  to  get  treatment  or  whatever  might  help  them  along. But  as  actually  as  far  as  being  able  to  force  anything  to  change  with  that  child,  you  just  don't  have  that  authority. Does  that  go  along  pretty  much  with  what  we  understand  up  here? I'm  not  just  alone? Okay. Thank  you.

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56:00 Tough  situation,  though,  because  obviously,  there  are  relationship  dynamics  involved. And  this  particular  age,  you  know,  when  you  start  even  exerting  your  legitimate  control  and  authority  over  your  own child,  to,  you  know,  it's  the  old  psychological  reaction  that  says,  "Oh  yeah?  I  can't  see  them,  huh?  They  can't  be  my friend?  Watch  me." So  it's  a  tough  one,  it's  a  very  tough  question. Does  anybody  else  have  any  another  thoughts  about  that? 56:30 But  certainly,  I  mean  one  of  the  things  we  say  in  treatment  is,  when  you're  trying  to  get  clean,  you  change  your playmates,  playground,  and  playthings. And  so  relationships  are  terribly  important,  and  so  this  person's  very  wise  to  be  concerned  about  the  dynamics  of the  friend. Next  question. "Since  marijuana  grows  naturally,  isn't  it  okay  to  smoke?  Aren't  cigarettes  more  harmful  than  marijuana?" Oh  Ron's  about  to  come  out  [inaudible]. Audience [laughter] Moderator [inaudible]  apoplectic,  [inaudible]  pop  a  vein. Ron  Griffin I  love  this  question. 57:00 Audience [laughter] Ron  Griffin There's  lots  of  stuff  that  grows  naturally  that  is  not  healthy  for  you. Smoking  poison  ivy,  nightshade,  hemlock,  not  good  for  you. Just  because  something  is  natural  doesn't  mean  that  it's  good  for  you. If  we  look  at  the  precursor,  we  look  at  all  the  drugs  that  we  have. Ephedra  comes  from  a  root. Cocaine  comes  from  coca  plants. Heroin  comes  from  poppies.

Cocaine  and  heroine  are  monumentally  different  than  their  natural  counterparts.  They  are heavily  processed  and  thus  should  not  qualify  as  "natural."

57:30 I  mean,  we  can  trace  all  of  that  back  to  plants  and  nature,  so  the  answer  to  that  is  a  resounding  "no,"  that  doesn't make  it  okay,  it  doesn't  make  it  healthy. Just  because  mother  nature  put  it  out  there,  doesn't  mean  it's  good  for  ya'. And  I'll  be  quiet. Moderator No,  that's  great. Anybody  else  want  to  talk  about  that? Miss  masters  in  health,  nursing  woman? She  agrees. Yeah,  if  you're  gonna  get  poisoned,  get  poisoned  naturally,  right? 58:00 Alright,  next  question. "Do  you  think  the  prohibition  of  natural  cannabis  has  led  to  the  creation  of  legal  synthetic  alternatives,  which  are often  incredibly  dangerous?" Very  thoughtful  question. The  hydraulic  system. Anybody? Let  me  repeat  the  question  for  you. "Do  you  think  the  prohibition  of  natural  cannabis  has  led  to  the  creation  of  legal",  in  quotes,  "synthetic  alternatives, which  are  often  incredibly  dangerous?"

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58:30 Going  once,  going  twice,  going  to  Ron. Ron  Griffin I  don't  want  to  just  run  this  show,  so  I  mean,  feel  free  to  jump  in  on  any  of  these. When  we  look  at  the  synthetics,  the  K  two  (K2)  and  the  K  three  (K3)  and  Spice  and  all  the  ones  that  come  along  with that,  they  have  a  pretty  specific  niche  market. They,  when  they  first  came  out,  couldn't  be  detected  in  drug  screens. So  for  people  that  had  to  drop,  like  if  you  were  on  probation  and  parole,  and  you  had  to  drop  urine  for  a  screen, you're  really  prohibited  from  using  a  lot  of  drugs. 59:00 And  one  of  the  big  ones  is  marijuana,  because  it  stays  in  your  system  so  much  longer  than  other  chemicals. And  so,  I  don't  think  it  was  so  much,  and  this  is  Ron's  opinion  here. I  don't  think  it  was  so  much  the  prohibition  of  marijuana  that  created  that,  but  more  people  that  wanted  to  get  high  on a  marijuana  type  substance  that  couldn't  do  it  because  of  legal  issues,  and  it's  causing  them  to  resort  to  something else. 59:30 Moderator Alternatives,  indeed. Major  Kirk  Manlove [inaudible]  make  a  comment  on  that,  too,  if  I  could. Moderator Sure. Major  Kirk  Manlove On  the  flip  side,  this  is  really  a  good  example  of  a  legal  product  that  is  very  dangerous. You  know,  the  legislation  can't  keep  up  with  the  chemical  changes  that  the  manufacturers  continue  to  do  to  stay ahead  of  most  state  laws,  but  the  bath  salts  that  you  see,  and  the  synthetic  marijuana,  very  dangerous,  and  it's  a legal  product. 60:00 The,  there's  not  a  week  that  goes  by  that  our  officers  don't  encounter  an  individual  under  the  influence  of  bath  salts, and  they  can  be  very  volatile  and  very  dangerous. Moderator Excellent  example. Alright,  next  question. "Has  anybody  overdosed,"  related  to  the  other  question,  "has  anybody  overdosed  on  marijuana?  If  not,  why  can't someone  say  'I  used  it,  and  I'm  fine'?"

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60:30 Major  Kirk  Manlove No. To  my  knowledge,  we  have  not  across  our  agency  anybody  who's  overdosed  on  marijuana. Combination  of  the  drugs,  perhaps,  but  not  solely  attributed  to  marijuana. Moderator I  think  that's  a,  sort  of  a  matter  of  definitions  as  well. What  is  the  definition  of  overdose?

According  to  the  New  Oxford  American  Dictionary,  an  overdose  is  "an  excessive  and dangerous  dose  of  a  drug." Toxicity  is  one  component  of  all  substances  we  consider  drugs,  but  is  not  related  to  the question  of  effective  doses  vs  "excessive  and  dangerous"  doses. To  answer  that,  you  need  to  compare  the  ratio  of  lethal  dose  to  effective  dose.  The  higher that  ratio,  the  more  difficult  it  is  to  overdose  on  the  drug.    That  ratio  is  very  high  for cannabis  (>1000:1),  and  considerably  lower  for  alcohol  and  dextromethorphan  (10:1).

If  any  dose  is  toxic,  then  any  dose  would  be  an  overdose,  technically,  I  suppose.

Ranking  psychoactive  substances  by  their  ratios  of  lethal  dose  to  effective  dose  gives a  general  picture  of  how  likely  each  is  to  precipitate  an  acute  fatal  reaction.  By  this measure,  many  illicit  drugs  are  considerably  safer  than  alcohol. —  http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/id.3484,y.0,no.,content.true,page.4,css.p rint/issue.aspx
But  certainly,  we  know  it's  lipophilic,  it  binds  with  fat  receptors,  it  binds  with  fat  tissues,  and  it  certainly  can  create very  toxic  levels  of  chemicals  in  the  body.

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61:00 Ron,  did  you  want  to  say  something  else? Ron  Griffin Is  it  that  easy? Moderator It's  just  that  easy. Ron  Griffin It's  just,  you  can  just  look  at  me  and  tell  that  I  want  to  say  something? Moderator Yes. Eat  the  mic,  just  sort  of  right  there. Ron  Griffin Eat  the  mic? Can  you  hear  me  now? Hello? Just  because  you  don't  overdose  on  it,  just  because  you're  not  going  to  have  a  stroke  on  it,  or  die  from  heart  attack on  it,  doesn't  mean  that  that  is  safe. 61:30 There  is  still  a  lot  of  people  who  get  into  trouble  because  they  have  perception  changes,  don't  realize  what  they're doing,  what  they're  getting  into,  the  addiction  to  it. Just  because  you're  not  going  to  overdose  and  die,  like  you  would  from  an  overdose  of  cocaine  or  opiates,  doesn't mean  that  it's  healthy. 62:00 Moderator Indeed,  and  overdose,  of  course,  when  we  think  of  overdose,  we  think  of  an  acute  overdose,  that  lands  somebody  in the  ER,  or,  you  know,  and  ICU,  but,  you  know,  you  look  at  the  studies  long  term,  for  example,  neuro-­cognitive  effects of  marijuana,  and  [laughter]  you  know,  it's  just  a  slow  motion  overdose,  is  a  way  you  can  think  of  it. Next  question. "How  can  we  eliminate  marijuana  use  among  high  school  students?  That  being  said,  is  there  any  educational,  are there  any  educational  programs  in  high  school  to  inform  students  about  drug  use  consequences?" 62:30 I  bet  somebody  knows  the  answer  to  that. Jean  Graebeel Well,  yes,  it  is  part  of  our  curriculum. It  is  part  of  our  curriculum,  and  so  we  do  have  instruction,  and  it's  required  as  part  of  our  ninth  (9th)  grade  health curriculum. 63:00 But  in  other  classes,  they  have  instruction  on,  where  they  have  resources  from  the  community  who'll  come  in  and provide  additional  instruction  on  issues. And  the  counselors  also  have  a  curriculum  that  they  provide  too,  where  they're  going  in  and  helping  students  with refusal  techniques,  self  esteem,  those  kinds  of  things. And  then  some  of  the  counselors  also  have  groups  for  students,  so  they  lead  groups  with  them. 63:30 And  they  don't  label  'em  as  this  is  our  drug  group,  or  this  is  our  drug  prevention  group. But  kids  who  are  having  issues,  and  they'll  bring  them  in,  and  they'll  talk  and  share  about  what's  going  on  within their  lives,  so  that  they  can  have,  build  some  relationships  and  get  them  engaged. And  I  think  it's,  the  other  important  thing  for  parents,  is  to  make  sure  that  they're  assisting  their  child  to  be  engaged, and  engaged  in  activities  that  the  parent's  involved  in  as  well,  so  they  have  better  knowledge  of  who  their  friends are,  and  what's  going  on  with  their  student.

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"Community  Forum  on  Marijuana",  2012  October  16 Transcription  provided  by  Springfield  NORML  volunteers Includes  remarks  prepared  by  members  of  Springfield  NORML

64:00 The  better  engaged  and  attached  the  child  is  to  the  school  district,  the  better  engaged  the  parent  is,  the  better outcome  for  the  student. Moderator Thank  you. Doctor  Julie,  Doctor  Justin,  you  guys  want  to  say  anything  about  this  question  at  all? Unknown [inaudible] Moderator Jean  handled  it  pretty  well. Alright. Next  question. Very  important  question  for  many  young  folks  in  the  audience,  for  sure. "How  does  marijuana  affect  athletic  performance?" 64:30 I  bet  you  have  a  lecture  on  this  in  your  class,  don't  you,  Ron? Ron  Griffin I  really  don't  have  a  lecture  on  this  in  my  class,  but  I  think  we  can  start  by  talking  about  how  it  affects  athletic performance. We  don't  have  to  look  too  far  back  into  our  history  to  Mizzou  students,  student  athletes,  football  players. It  affected  their  performance  when  they  got  caught  smoking  marijuana,  and  were  barred  from  playing.

This  does  not  answer  the  question  about  direct  effects  of  cannabis  use  on  athletic performance.

It  is  unlikely  that  cannabis  use  directly  and  negatively  affected  the  athletic  performance  of Dorial  Green-­Beckham,  the  University  of  Missouri  student  likely  being  referred  to  by  the speaker. The  effects  were  indirect:  laws  and  rules  surrounding  cannabis  use  are  what  affected  his game.
65:00 When  we  look  at  the  impact  of  the  marijuana  smoke  on  the  lungs,  it's  more  harsh  even  than  cigarette  smoke, tobacco  smoke. Has  two  and  a  half  (2.5)  times  more  tar,  like  I  said  earlier,  so  it  will  decrease  the  person's  ability  to  be  able  to,  pardon me,  to  be  able  to  have  the  lung  capacity  to  play  at  their  fullest  ability.

Cannabis  can  act  as  a  bronchodilator.  In  other  words,  it  expands  the  lungs  when  inhaled and  increases  lung  capacity.  It  has  been  successfully  used  to  treat  asthmatic  patients.

Source:  "Bronchodilator  effect  of  delta1-­tetrahydrocannabinol",  British  Pharmacological Society,  1978  June,  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1429361/

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"Community  Forum  on  Marijuana",  2012  October  16 Transcription  provided  by  Springfield  NORML  volunteers Includes  remarks  prepared  by  members  of  Springfield  NORML

65:30 It's  also  going  to  affect  their  ability  to  concentrate  and  focus  on  the  game,  to  maintain  that  level  of  performance through  practices  and  games,  so  yes,  it  will  affect  an  athlete.

This  argument  will  fall  flat  on  the  ears  of  most  kids  who  follow  the  Olympics.

Michael  Phelps,  who  is  the  most  decorated  Olympic  athlete  in  history,  has  smoked cannabis.  See  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l35nC0jVNuk.
Moderator You  bet. Absolutely. I  mean,  you'd  think,  based  on  what  you  hear  from  some  people,  that  marijuana  is  like  multi-­vitamins  and  breath mints,  salutary  effects  on  your  health.

A  study,  published  in  the  Cancer  Prevention  Research  journal,  showed  that  long-­term cannabis  users  were,  roughly,  62  percent  less  likely  to  develop  head  and  neck  cancers  than people  who  did  not  use  cannabis. —  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long-­term_effects_of_cannabis#Positive_effects

Does  anybody  really  believe  that? 66:00 I  mean,  does  anybody  seriously  question  whether  breathing  any  kind  of  smoke  into  your  lungs  repeatedly  is  good for  you,  really? Okay. "How  would  you  respond  to  effective  use  of  medicinal  marijuana,  where  the  side  effects  are  much  less  than prescription  medications  used  to  treat  the  same  medical  issue?" Anyone? Unknown [inaudible]  doctor. Moderator Is  there  a  doctor  in  the  house?  [laughter] 66:30 Major  Kirk  Manlove You  know,  I  think  it's  the  delivery  system,  or  the  delivery  method  is  probably  what's  most  questionable  in  terms  of  the medicinal  perspectives  that  you  hear. You  know,  the  FDA  has,  I  believe,  the  only,  has  approved  a  synthetic  THC,  "Marinol." I  don't  know  often  it's  used  or  how  effective  it  is,  but  it's  FDA  approved.

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"Community  Forum  on  Marijuana",  2012  October  16 Transcription  provided  by  Springfield  NORML  volunteers Includes  remarks  prepared  by  members  of  Springfield  NORML

67:00 So  I  think  the  fact  that  we  have  varying  degrees  of  THC  level  in  varieties  of  marijuana,  and  then  to  attempt  to  try  to use  it  as  medicine  is  probably  the  biggest  challenge,  and  probably  one  of  the  biggest  problems  the  FDA  has  in trying  to  regulate  it. I  do  know  the  DEA  has,  I  think,  a  hundred  and  eleven  (111)  researchers  actually  dedicated  to  researching  the cannabins  [sic],  and  the  THC  and  the  marijuana  derivatives  for  medicinal  purposes.

Incorrect:  the  federal  government  does  not  sponsor  study  of  the  positive  effects  of  cannabis. Responsibilities.  –The  Director–  [...] (12)  shall  ensure  that  no  Federal  funds  appropriated  to  the  Office  of  National  Drug Control  Policy  shall  be  expended  for  any  study  or  contract  relating  to  the legalization  (for  a  medical  use  or  any  other  use)  of  a  substance  listed  in  schedule  I of  section  202  of  the  Controlled  Substances  Act  (21  U.S.C.  812)  and  take  such actions  as  necessary  to  oppose  any  attempt  to  legalize  the  use  of  a  substance  (in  any form)  that– is  listed  in  schedule  I  of  section  202  of  the  Controlled  Substances  Act  (21  U.S.C. 812);;  and has  not  been  approved  for  use  for  medical  purposes  by  the  Food  and  Drug Administration;; —Title  VII  Office  of  National  Drug  Control  Policy  Reauthorization  Act  of  1998: H11225

But  at  this  point,  I  don't  think  they'd  been  able  to  find  a  combination  that  would  be  FDA  approved  that  would  be suitable  for  medicinal  use.

The  DEA  is  one  of  the  main  organizations  deterring  research  in  the  field  of  Schedule  I drugs.

In  DMT:  The  Spirit  Molecule  by  Rick  Strassman,  Rick  explains  how  the  DEA  was  one  of the  main  stumbling  blocks  to  his  research  into  DMT  for  therapeutic  reasons. He  explains  how  you  essentially  need  to  appeal  to  the  DEA  as  wanting  to  find  a  negative consequence  to  these  substances  than  positive  outcomes  before  they  allow  any  science  to  be done. See  also:  http://www.amazon.com/DMT-­Molecule/dp/0892819278
67:30 Moderator Thank  you. Here's  an  interesting  question,  that  maybe  many  of  us  may  have  thought  about. "Do  you  really  think  scaring  kids  about  marijuana  early  in  their  life  will  make  them  not  use  it?  That  just  makes  them more  curious  about  it." Right,  Ron? Right,  John? Unknown [inaudible]

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"Community  Forum  on  Marijuana",  2012  October  16 Transcription  provided  by  Springfield  NORML  volunteers Includes  remarks  prepared  by  members  of  Springfield  NORML

68:00 I  think  the  idea  is  not  so  much  to  scare  the  kids,  and  we  actually,  over  time,  research  has  proven  that  some  of  the "scared  straight"  stuff  and  scaring  kids  is  not  effective. What  we  need  to  do  is  be  honest  and  approach  our  kids  with  factual  information. And  let  them  know  what  our  attitudes  are  about  drug  use. If  you're  a  parent  and  you  have  a  permissive  attitude  about  marijuana  use,  your  kid  is  going  to  be  a  lot  more  likely  to use. 68:30 So  education  is  the  important  part,  and  scaring  kids  is  not  effective  for  anything. Moderator You  know,  there's  actually  some  very  interesting  social  psychological  research  on  this  very  question,  not  related  to marijuana  specifically,  but  related  to  health  interventions  in  general. And  that  indicates  that  actually,  fear-­based  messages  can  be  very  effective  in  motivating  behavior. In  this  case  it  was  a  study  regarding  going  and  getting  a  vaccination,  but,  yeah,  but  there's  an  interesting  correlation there,  and  that  is  with  self  esteem. 69:00 It  takes  a  little  while  with  people  with  high  self  esteem,  after  they  receive  a  fear  based  message,  to  process  that,  but when  they  do,  it  actually  has  a  significant  effect  on  their  likelihood  of  showing  up  to  get  that  vaccination  or  whatever. So  there  actually  is  some  evidence  that,  you  know,  I'm  not  a  big  fan  of  just  scaring  kids  for  no  apparent  reason,  but sometimes  when  you  share  the  facts,  it's  scary. And,  you  know,  that's  the  bottom  line. So,  next  question. "Has,"  and  this  probably  will  need  to  go  to  Doctor  Harrell  (?)  or  Doctor  Julie. 69:30 "Has  Springfield  Public  Schools  considered  drug  testing",  number  one  (#1),  and  "Why  is  assessment  not  required by  Springfield  Public  Schools?" Dr.  Harrell  (sp?) I'm  assuming  we're  talking  about  random  drug  testing? Moderator Doesn't  say,  but  it  sounds  like  it. Dr.  Harrell  (sp?) Yes,  there  have  been  ongoing  conversations  about  random  drug  testing. 70:00 The  question  we  deal  with  in  a  district  our  size,  looking  for  exactly  what  are  you  testing  for. Do  you  test  all  students? Do  you  test  athletes? That  always  comes  up  into  the  conversations. And  has  that  proven  to  inhibit  use  over  the  fear  of  possible  test. And  most  of  the  research,  honestly  right  now  does  not  indicate  that  that's  a  huge  decline  unless  you  are  randomly testing  the  entire  population,  and  everyone  in  that  population  may  in  fact  get  tested  at  some  point. 70:30 There's  not  been  a  whole  lot  of  research  saying  this  is  really  stopping  it. But,  on  the  flip  side  of  it,  if  it  helped  with  anyone,  is  it  important? Absolutely. So  have  there  been  conversations,  or  ongoing  conversations? There's  a  philosophy  on  both  sides  of  it. We've  not  moved  in  one  direction  [inaudible],  or  one  way  or  the  other  as  far  as  a  school  at  this  point. I  hope  that  answered  the  question. Moderator Thank  you  very  much. We  have  about  five  (5)  minutes  left  of  questions.

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"Community  Forum  on  Marijuana",  2012  October  16 Transcription  provided  by  Springfield  NORML  volunteers Includes  remarks  prepared  by  members  of  Springfield  NORML

71:00 And  this  one,  this  one  could  take  all  night,  but  let's  weigh  into  it. "If  we  were  in  a  different  location,  such  as  California,  would  we  still  be  having  this  conversation?" "Being  in  the  bible  belt  is  our  biggest  issue,  perhaps,"  it  says. This  is  a  can  of  worms  I  just  [inaudible]. Is  it  a  cultural  thing  related  to  being  in  the  clasp  of  the  buckle  of  the  bible  belt,  where  we  live? 71:30 Or  is  this  conversation  that  is  going  on  across  the  country? Unknown Have  at  it  man,  it's  you. Ron  Griffin I  don't  want  to  jump  in  and  not  give  anybody  else  a  chance  here. But  apparently  I  have  an  opinion  on  everything. Audience [laughter] Ron  Griffin California  is  a  very  liberal  and  very  outgoing  liberal  state. 72:00 If  we  were  living  in  California  right  now,  there  would  be  different  conversations  that  we  would  be  having. But  the  fact  of  the  matter  is,  we're  living  here  in  Missouri,  and  this  is  where  our  conversation  is  right  now. Every  state  is  dealing  with  this  issue  right  now. And  every  state  is  dealing  with  it  in  their  own  way. Some  are  looking  at  medicalization. Some  are  actually  starting  to  talk  about  legalization. 72:30 So  every  state  is  having  this  conversation. It  just  so  happens  this  state  is  having  this  conversation  right  now. Moderator Indeed. And  I  would  just  say  that  I  think  the  premise  of  the  question  is  a  bit  flawed,  because  it  presumes  that  you  have  to  be, in  some  way,  that  maybe  it's  only  Christians  who  believe  that  marijuana  ought  to  be  against  the  law  and  is  harmful, and  whatever. Certainly,  that's  not  true. 73:00 There's  a  lot  of  people  of  all  kinds  of  different  faiths,  and  no  faith  at  all,  who  believe  that  marijuana  is  very  harmful, because  they've  read  the  literature.

Other  literature,  including  oriented  toward  people  of  faith,  is  not  so  one-­sided.

For  example,  a  2011  article  in  Christianity  Today  concludes  with  the  author,  after conducting  a  well-­rounded  analysis  of  biblical  scripture  as  it  relates  to  the  use  of  herbal cannabis  for  medicinal  use,  asking  readers  to  "be  wise  and  do  not  violate  your  conscience" regarding  medical  cannabis. See  http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/june/vg-­medicalmarijuana.html?start=3
They've  been  convinced  by  the  facts,  in  my  sometimes  humble  opinion. Alright,  so  the  last  question  really  is  for  each  of  you. And  that  is,  "If  there's  one  thing  you  want  people  to  take  home  or  remember  from  tonight,  what  would  that  be?" We'll  start  with  Major  Kirk  Manlove.

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"Community  Forum  on  Marijuana",  2012  October  16 Transcription  provided  by  Springfield  NORML  volunteers Includes  remarks  prepared  by  members  of  Springfield  NORML

73:30 Well,  I'd  say  that,  focus  what  decisions  you've  made  and  how  that  impacts  your  children. And  I  am  glad  the  doctor  recognized  our  youth  here  tonight,  and  if  nothing  more  I  think  what  we  have  said  tonight, hopefully,  they'll  leave  here  with  some  good  information. And  so  I  think  that's  what  I  would  like  to  take  away  from  tonight's  forum,  is  that  our  youth  tonight  learned  a  thing  or two. I  know  I  did. And  I'm  glad  you  all  came  as  well. Thank  you. Moderator Thank  you,  major. Brad  Shelton,  what  one  thing  would  you  like  the  folks  to  take  home  tonight? 74:00 Brad  Shelton One  thing  I  would  say  is  just  encouragement. Talk  with  your  kids. When  somebody  comes  down  to  the  office,  a  lot  of  times  they,  you  know,  they  don't  see  that  encouragement  right out  of  the  gate. But  when  we  get  into  something,  we  want  to  see  people  succeed. We  want  to  see  kids  be  healthy. So,  I  think  just  encouraging  your  kids,  and  if  you  see  an  issue,  address  it,  just  don't  let  it  go. Moderator Very  good. Jean  Graebeel,  what  do  you  want  them  to  take  home  tonight? Jean  Graebeel I  would  say  start  the  conversation  now  with  your  kids. 74:30 You  be  the  ones  to  talk  to  your  children. Get  that  conversation  going,  and  don't  stop. Don't  just  think  because  they're  in  high  school  that  you  don't  need  to  talk  to  them  anymore. Continue  to  talk  with  them. Moderator Very  good,  indeed. John  Bertsch. John  Bertsch I  guess  I  just  have  to  reiterate  what  everybody  else  has  been  saying. I  think  is,  as  a  society,  as  parents,  we  need  to  be  involved  with  our  kids'  lives  as  much  as  possible. 75:00 Even  one  of  the  other  questions  that  was  raised  earlier,  about  how  do  you  prevent  your  kid  from,  if  you  have  a friend,  if  your  kid  has  a  friend  that's  using,  you  know,  you  invite  that  kid  over. I  mean,  you  have,  when  they  have  get-­togethers,  it's  at  your  house. You  make  yourself  known  to  that  kid. They're  not  probably  gonna  want  to  be  around  you  if  you're  asking  them  questions  and  you're  finding  out  more about  their  lives. Be  involved  with  your  kids'  lives.

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"Community  Forum  on  Marijuana",  2012  October  16 Transcription  provided  by  Springfield  NORML  volunteers Includes  remarks  prepared  by  members  of  Springfield  NORML

75:30 Know  what  they're  doing. Know  what  they're  looking  at  on  the  Internet,  and  know  who  those  friends  are. That's  the  very  most  important  thing,  I  think,  that  we  can  pass  on  to  anybody. Moderator Thank  you  John. And  finally,  Ron  Griffin. Ron  Griffin And  this  is  the  last  thing  I'll  say,  and  then  I'll  be  quiet. The  message  I  bring  tonight  is  not  just  an  anti-­marijuana  message,  it's  a  pro-­health  message. There  are  things  that  will  advance  people  and  get  them  closer  to  getting  their  needs  met,  getting  their  goals and  their  dreams  met,  and  there  are  things  that  will  get  them  further  away.

This  speaker  said  in  his  introduction  that  he  had  been  "fighting  marijuana"  for  22  years,  and does  not  seem  well-­informed  or  open-­minded  to  the  latest  research,  and  countless  personal stories  of  responsible  use  of  cannabis  in  all  its  forms. There  is  no  debate  that  the  non-­psychoactive  seeds  of  hemp  are  extremely  nutritious  and  an ideal  food  for  the  human  body.    There  is  also  a  clear  amount  of  evidence  that  when properly  used,  some  forms  of  cannabis  can  be  very  beneficial  to  a  large  number  of individuals.    A  more  complete  "pro-­health"  message  when  discussing  cannabis  would include  such  information. To  continue  to  use  words  like  "facts"  to  create  a  mental  link  between  cannabis  use  and  ill health  is  a  disservice  to  the  community.    It  belittles  citizens  and  assumes  that  they  can't make  responsible  decisions  based  on  the  latest  verified  information  about  important  aspects of  human  society.

76:00 This  is  about  focusing  on  what  gets  people  healthy,  and  keeps  them  healthy,  so  that  they  can  have  pleasant, productive  lives. Moderator Thank  you  kindly. And  thanks,  let's  hear  it  for  this  panel. Audience [applause] Moderator [inaudible]  wonderful  remarks  this  evening. Please,  if  you  would,  complete  that  post  survey  that  you  were  handed  when  you  came  into  the  building,  and  place  it in  the  box  on  the  resource  table  in  the  hallway. 76:30 I  want  to  say  thank  you  again  to  all  of  our  panelists  and  volunteers,  everyone  made  tonight  possible,  members  of  the Ozark  Fighting  Back  advisory  board,  and  CPO  board  of  directors  for  volunteering  tonight. Springfield  Public  Schools,  certainly,  for  use  of  the  facility,  equipment,  participating  on  the  panel,  student  and  staff support  for  this  wonderful  use  of  this  auditorium. Springfield  Police  Department  for  participating  on  the  panel. Greene  County  Juvenile  Office  also. 77:00 Burrell  Behavioral  Health. Mr.  Ron  Griffin,  for  coming  all  the  way  down  from  Kansas  City  to  be  our  keynote. And  everyone  who  showed  up  tonight. You  all  in  the  audience,  whether  you  agree  with  the  opinions  expressed  or  not,  thank  you  very  much  for  being  here, and  go  home  safely.

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