• Oregon Prohibitionists Can’t Stop Lying About “Meth Girl”

    by  • October 18, 2012 • Blog, Russ Belville

     

    Billboard seen in seven Portland, Oregon, locations featuring stock photo of a model made up to look like a methamphetamine addict.

    This just in from the “Protect Our Society” group that brought us the “Meth Girl” Billboard, the same group that Sheriff John Trumbo can’t seem to recall, despite it being the group that ran his ballot initiative in 2010.

    The young 12 year old girl in the photo above is known as Renee.  She is from California.

    Her downhill battle with methamphetamine addiction began when she began experimenting with illegal drugs.

    99% of all meth addicts have told us that using marijuana was where they began.

    The problem is that the woman in the billboard is not a 12-year-old girl and has never used meth.  As research by Jennifer Alexander and National Cannabis Coalition discovered:

    After some investigation and phone calls, Oregonians for Law Reform discovered that the “Meth Girl” ads were indeed staged, according to Kim Kapp, the Public Information Coordinator and Website Administrator for the City of Vancouver Police. ”Meth-Girl” was a model that was mocked up to appear to be a meth addict for a meth awareness campaign in 2003. Kapp was “positive” that this was a model and not a real meth user because Washington law prohibits the use of face-shots of “victims of crime”, which includes drug addicts. Further, because it was funded with federal grant money, there was very close oversight for the project, ensuring everything was done by the book.

    There are other unintentionally hilarious bits on the website, like this:

    Attempts to legalize marijuana around the nation bring to light the importance of educating the general public on the dangers of marijuana.

    First, marijuana is a federally illegal drug. Any attempts to legalize marijuana would put any State out of compliance with the federal Drug Free Workplace Act, according to research done by the California Chambers of Commerce.

    The Federal Drug Free Workplace Act applies to federal contractors and grant recipients.  It does not apply to a state and does not require a state keep marijuana illegal; the federal government has no Constitutional authority to mandate state marijuana laws.  Even those few agencies required to comply with the Drug Free Workplace Act are not mandated to perform drug testing.  From their FAQ:

    Is drug testing required or authorized under these regulations?

    The Act and these rules neither require nor authorize drug testing. The legislative history of the Drug-Free Workplace Act indicates that Congress did not intend to impose any additional requirements beyond those set forth in the Act. Specifically, the legislative history precludes the imposition of drug testing of employees as part of the implementation of the Act.

    Furthermore, in Oregon most state employees cannot be subject to random drug testing anyway.  Back to the “Protect Our Society” madness:

    Second, many marijuana legalization efforts seek  total State government control, creating State Agencies which try and supersede all state statutes, municipal charter enactments, and local ordinances relating to marijuana/cannabis.

    Umm, yeah.  That’s the point of legalization.  To take marijuana out of the control of criminals and into the control of the state.

    “Drugged driving” incidents are on the rise, and Oregon currently doesn’t have any established THC standards for driving under the influence of marijuana.  Law enforcement has very little recourse to keep those impaired drivers off the road.

    How do you know drugged driving is on the rise if the cops have no way of detecting drugged driving?  If the incidents are on the rise, doesn’t that tell us the cops are catching them now?

    The percentage of kids in drug counseling for marijuana addiction has been increasing annually, and the resulting negative effects place both our youth’s development and our future workforce at risk.

    When you catch someone smoking pot, you sentence them to rehab.  That’s not addiction, that’s rent-seeking.

    The truth is the production and distribution of marijuana is already big business and controlled by violent drug cartels.  We need only look at the violence occurring among warring drug cartels along our border with Mexico.

    Who, Dos Equis vs. Corona?  Jose Cuervo vs. Patron?  Oh, right, those drug cartels don’t cause any violence because they are legal commodities that we import to America daily.  Thanks for making our point for us, though.  We want to put violent cartels out of the marijuana business.

    Hemp is not an environmentally friendly crop because there is a fertilization requirement and the need to deal with insect pests and the use of fungicides to treat the seeds.  Cultivation of industrial hemp as a commercial crop would necessitate enormous monitoring costs to prevent it from being diverted to the illegal drug use market.

    It’s nice that the police / rehab / prison industrial complex is as ignorant on the agriculture of hemp as it is the medical use of cannabis.  Hemp is so much more environmentally friendly compared to corn, wheat, soybeans, and cotton especially, which accounts for 16%-25% of all world pesticide use.

    Since marijuana still remains illegal under federal law, any locally imposed taxes from marijuana legalization efforts are legally uncollectible because, according to case law, no one can be compelled to pay a tax that might subject them to prosecution by the federal government.

    Tell that to the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division of the Colorado Department of Revenue.  Tell that to the California Board of Equalization that has been collecting taxes from dispensaries for years now.

    According to Dr. Kevin Sabet the financial benefits of marijuana legalization would never outweigh its social and health related costs. … Rarely discussed are the potential downsides of such a policy, ranging from increased addiction to greater health and criminal justice costs.  In fact, both of our already legal drugs—alcohol and tobacco—offer chilling illustrations of how an open market fuels greater harms. They are cheap and easy to obtain. Commercialization glamorizes their use and furthers their social acceptance. High profits make aggressive marketing worthwhile for sellers. Addiction is simply the price of doing business. Would marijuana use rise in a legal market for the drug? Admittedly, marijuana is not very difficult to obtain currently, but a legal market would make getting the drug that much easier. Tobacco and alcohol are used regularly by 30% and 65% of the population, respectively, while all illegal drugs combined are used by about 8% of Americans.

    Let’s call this The Sabet Conjecture.  Right now, there are 26.1 million people using marijuana every year, 16.1 million using every month, and 2.5 million using almost every day.  The assumption is that marijuana use leads to some social cost.  If so, we’re paying that cost now and taking in no taxes to offset it.  Alcohol and tobacco are highly addictive drugs that kill; that’s what lead to their high social costs.  Marijuana is a drug with low dependence and few side effects and no chance of death.  A Canadian study found a pot smoker cost 1/8th as much as a drinker and 1/40th as much as a tobacco smoker.

    The CDC tells me tobacco smoking costs America $96 billion a year.  There are 46 million American smokers.  So each one costs us $2,087.  If a pot smoker costs 1/40th that, it’s $52 a year per pothead.  You’re telling me you can’t collect a dollar a week in taxes from a legal potsmoker?  When a cigarette smoker will pay up to $12 a pack for smokes?  For 26.1 million annual tokers, that would be $1.357 billion in cost, which isn’t a fair number, because an “annual smoker” is smoking daily whereas an “annual toker” might only chief a joint once at a summer concert.  if we just consider the regular 2.5 million tokers, it’s $130 million in costs.

    Now consider that we spend an estimated $13.7 billion on American marijuana prohibition enforcement.  That’s right, we spend at least ten times more on prohibiting marijuana than it might cost society if it were legal, and if it were legal we’d only need to collect a dollar a week in taxes from every pot smoker to offset that cost.

    About

    I am the host and producer of The Russ Belville Show - The Independent Voice of the Marijuana Nation at http://420radio.org - live from Portland, Oregon. I was the winner of The Search for the Next Great Progressive Talk Radio Star and a former host on XM Satellite Radio and Portland's AM 620 KPOJ. I was the Outreach Coordinator for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws from 2008-2012, which included lecturing all across America on marijuana legalization, writing political analysis for HIGH TIMES Magazine, and producing over 1,000 hours of video content for The NORML Network.

    http://420radio.org

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