It is Big and it is Coming Your Way, So Stay Tuned

Over the last six-plus years I have researched and written a number of important articles debunking Fake News fallacies that America’s left-wing, progressive media, social activists and political leaders continue to perpetuate.

None of these urban legends are true. They simply get repeated over and over by a lot by leaders and journalists in service of their own political and social agendas. Coming soon, I will show you what is happening in communities that have embraced these false teachings, and compare them to communities that have rejected modern, liberal progressivism. Check back soon.

John

Advertisements

BBC News – Are murderers born or made?

BBC News – Are murderers born or made?

Well, well. It looks like firearms aren’t the culprit after all. They do not cause depression. They do not suggest suicide. They do not make murderers. Considering their ubiquitous presence in our society, and how our crime, violence, and suicide rates are far better than the global averages, exercising our 2nd Amendment Rights seems to statistically have no negative impact at all. It makes me wonder about “Marijuana” Earl Blumenauer’s real agenda. Why, exactly, is he promoting recreational drug use and the abridgment of our Constitutional rights instead of focusing on strengthening the moral core of America’s families and preventing the generational cycle of child abuse?

My Friend, Tom Kozlowski

My friend Tom Koslowski died Monday, January 12th 2015 from complications secondary to cancer. He died in his tiny, one bedroom apartment, a man alone, forgotten by most of the world. There was no hospice or visiting nurse at his side. His elderly mother found his body on Thursday. She called me on Friday. You will not see his obituary in the newspaper, nor will there be a memorial service, because Tom was a member of America’s invisible population of mentally ill citizens. He did not have two nickels to rub together, few friends, and no family besides his mother. He was sixty-one years old.

Tom was a paranoid schizophrenic who bore a marked resemblance to Tolkien’s character, Gollum. People instinctively recoiled from him, as though he were a ghoul. I will tell you right now, he was one of the kindest, most honest souls I have ever met, and as much as the ill-mannered stares and rude whispers from “normal” people hurt him, he never held a grudge or wished anyone ill.

In a life where he very heavily relied on government agencies, caseworkers, and healthcare providers, Tom came to hate being a burden to other people. He did not drive, was terrified of public transportation, and did not have the stamina to walk any sort of distance. Going to the store or doctor or pharmacy always required the reluctant help of someone else. Sometimes it was a government-funded taxi or the TriMet Lift, and sometimes it was a friend or neighbor. Regardless, Tom always had to work the phones and beg for the transportation that you and I take for granted. It embarrassed him and he hated it. Sometimes, if he were in a bind, I would stop by his apartment and drop off his prescriptions on my way home. I would always stay for an hour or so to talk and, most importantly, to listen.

When Tom was as a little boy he wanted to grow up to be a doctor. He wanted to help people. His symptoms emerged when he was nine years old and, instead of being the doctor, he became the patient. He suffered a lifetime of cruel tricks at the hands of the voices in his head, not to mention those wounds inflicted by the world around him. While Tom was often reluctant to talk about his adventures in life – most of our conversations revolved around his medical needs – once in a while, if he was in the mood, he would tell me a tale or two from his past. Sometimes the stories were painful, but sometimes they were downright funny. The pragmatic, self-effacing humor he spun into his recollections made Tom a good storyteller. His tales were good enough that I offered to write his biography. It would have been a best seller, and I am confident it would have been an honest accounting of his life. Tom declined the offer for fear of the pain of dredging up a continuous history, much to my regret but with my understanding. While he considered himself a worthless human being, his story would have been more interesting than 99% of the biographies ever written. He was a good man and he survived a life in a world we little understand and greatly fear. He was anything but worthless.

In deference to Tom’s wishes, I am not going to commit those stories he gave me to writing. There is but one story of his that I feel a need to tell and that is his last one. Last autumn, Tom had to make a decision to fight his cancer or let nature take its course. He was physically quite frail, and odds of him surviving the procedures and treatments were not in his favor. His oncologist and GP were pushing him towards treatment, so he came to me for advice. Medically, oncology is far out of the scope of my practice, so I left the clinical question alone. Instead, I asked Tom, “If you go through the treatments and survive, then what?” Tom knew what I was asking. We all die. Life is the leading cause of death. Did he want to be comfortable for six months? Or did he want to be miserable for eighteen months? At his age with his health, no matter what, death was relatively imminent and inescapable.

Tom took this final decision very seriously. He made it with a clearer mind and a braver heart than most of my sane patients. In the eight years I had known him, he had spent every minute of every day managing his health. Despite his mental illness and other health problems, Tom had learned to enjoy life and did not want to die in the least bit. If he had any fight left in his body, he would have fought. He simply didn’t, and he knew it. He opted to let the disease take its course.

As much as he could be, Tom was a good son and very much loved his mother. This is why he protected her as long as he could from news of his cancer, not wanting her to worry over him. Besides him, she had little in the world, and he knew there was time enough for her to have sleepless nights. The gift of ignorance was the only gift he had the ability to give, and he did it out of love. She found out a matter of weeks before he passed. She was likely a bit angry with Tom for keeping the secret as long as he did. I hope she understands it was an act of love on his part. He carried her part of his burden as long as he could.

Tom Kozlowski was more than my patient. Over the years we had become friends. Friendship is an odd thing, and is often found in the most unsuspecting places. I am a richer man for having known him, and that is no small thing. I hope that now, free of disease and pain, Tom’s soul can look down from Heaven and see how he touched my life. The little boy who wanted to grow up to be a doctor is finally free. As long as I live, I will not forget him.

Oregonians Put Earl Blumenauer and Marijuana Users Behind the Eight-ball

Pot-heads nationwide are celebrating Oregon’s legalization of a fourth over-the-counter addictive, recreational drug. THC now joins caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol in the arena of legal vices Oregonians can enjoy with relatively nominal legal restrictions. Heartily supported by Representative Earl Blumenauer, the 420 crowd capped a multi-million dollar political campaign with a solid victory for their Measure 91, legalizing recreational marijuana in Oregon. Along the way, users made a lot of grandiose promises about the utterly harmless nature of smoking marijuana such as:

  • Legalization will decrease access and use by minors.
  • Students who regularly use marijuana will have the same academic successes as clean students.
  • Adults who regularly use marijuana will have the same professional and employment success as clean adults.
  • Marijuana users will not seek social services at rates greater than general society.
  • Marijuana is not a gateway drug, therefore the rates of illegal drug abuse will not rise as marijuana use increases.
  • Using marijuana products regularly will not impair thinking, decision-making or IQ.
  • Chronic users are safe drivers.
  • Smoking marijuana regularly does not impair lung function or lead to COPD or emphysema.
  • When smoked at equivalent pack-year rates to cigarettes, marijuana does not cause cancer.
  • Unlike nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol, marijuana is not addictive and has absolutely no withdrawal pattern.

Over the next several years, as data is collected from Oregon, Colorado, and Washington State, along with any other states that legalize pot, the truth of these claims will emerge. It will be a ‘put up or shut up’ moment for stoners. This entire block of our society is now under tremendous pressure to fulfill their very own prophesies. Can they ensure their own predictions will come true? Will they have the guts to own it if they are wrong?

I believe, as evidences mounts, all their claims will prove false. When that time comes, I also believe marijuana advocates will scurry away from their responsibilities like cockroaches when you turn on the light. I have seen too many of my friends, patients, and colleagues get destroyed by drug addiction and abuse over the years. I am not talking methamphetamine, heroin, PCP or fringe designer drugs. I am talking caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, and prescription drugs. The ‘safe’ stuff. I know a truck driver, the husband of a former coworker, who earned a heart attack by drinking six or more energy drinks every day. A friend of mine from high school fell to his death when he was stoned. Another high school classmate began abusing steroids at the age of fourteen and continued until his death from a major cardiovascular accident at age 38. I know pharmacists, doctors and nurses, all trained to the dangers of controlled substances, that have destroyed their careers for the sake of hydrocodone or zolpidem or whatever controlled drug they fancied. One of my former pharmacy colleagues was an alcoholic who committed suicide when he was caught stealing narcotics from the pharmacy. I have patients who are chain cigarette smokers who are literally taking decades off their life. A former patient of mine murdered a man in downtown Portland over a bottle of alprazolam.  I have watched gifted friends go by the wayside for the sake of marijuana… peers with IQs well above mine who deliver pizzas for a living or hang drywall. My daughter just came home from university to attend the memorial service for one of her high school classmates. He overdosed on Molly at a party at the age of 20.

People who use drugs recreationally like to believe they are in control of the drug, not the other way round. Sometimes that is true, sometimes that is not. What most people who dabble with recreational drugs lack is a healthy respect for the power of those drugs. It does not matter if the drugs are clean and legal, or the nasty, adulterated products manufactured by some South American drug cartel. Alcohol is no exception. Marijuana is no exception. To have some childish “Fight the Power” pot-head brag that marijuana is just as safe as alcohol is not exactly reassuring. I know too many alcoholics who have destroyed their lives and families to find comfort in this comparison. The same goes for pot-heads. Your children are ashamed of your behavior.

This idea that psychoactive substances like marijuana are as safe as candy is nothing more than wishful thinking. It is harder than you think to have your cake and eat it too when it comes to recreational abuse of drugs. Whether you are rich or poor, it is harder to succeed and easier to fail in virtually all aspects of life if you get drunk or high on a regular basis. Ugly as it is, that is the truth. And when things go sideways for you, you get hooked, you O.D., you wreck your car and maybe kill someone, your kid eats your stash and ends up in the hospital, you lose your job or fail out of school, when your life slips and falls off the edge, it is the rest of us who have to pick up the broken mess you leave behind. I find the idea of having such things on my conscience quite haunting. Why so many people embrace such easily avoided risks simply to get high for a few hours also haunts me. It is as though they believe life is filled with infinite second chances, do-overs and restarts, when the truth is there are simply not that many tomorrows before it is over and we have to make account of our lives.

So now Oregon has marijuana. Mary Jane’s last dance. One more drug to ease the pain, so smoke up, Johnny!  The question is – can we handle it? Only time will tell.

Vote No On Oregon Measure 91: The Control, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act

*If this issue matters to you at all – please pass this on. Two weeks is hardly enough time to get the word out how dangerous Measure 91 really is*

It takes about 6 ounces of hard liquor or about 48 ounces of beer for the average person to blow 0.08 and equal the impairment of a single marijuana joint. That means a fifth of hard liquor is about equal to 1.5 gallons of beer is about equal to four joints. Oregon Measure 91 will  allow ANYONE age 21 and over to privately grow and possess the equivalent of 1000 joints (16 ounces) of marijuana products at any one time. That is a rough equivalent to 375 gallons of beer or 250 fifths of hard liquor. In Oregon, it is illegal to produce a drop of hard liquor without a license. Period. The maximum amount of unlicensed, home-brewed beer you can possess is 100 gallons, the intoxication equivalent of about 250 joints, except you can’t fit the beer in your coat pocket and hang out near the school yard. This single disparity makes clear the mindset and real intent of the authors and supporters of Measure 91. They want as many people as possible to smoke as much pot as possible, the rest of society be damned.

The Consequences of Passing Measure 91

  • Unlicensed Possession No Longer a Crime: Not only will any adult be able to lawfully grow and possess enough marijuana to bake the entire Gladstone High School student body, ORS 475.864 clearly states a minor who possess up to 60 joints (1 ounce) of marijuana will only be subject to a non-criminal fine of $650. Compare that to ORS 471.430, Oregon’s “minor in possession of alcohol” statute where a minor drinking a lone can of Bud Light can be criminally cited and fined, or be required to do community service. Remember, 60 joints is equal to about 15 fifths of vodka.
  • Impaired Drivers Not Subject to Criminal Prosecution: Section 7:3 and 7:4 do not require the OLCC to create impairment standards until 2017. That means we will have two years without meaningful intoxicated driver rules. Marijuana users are already 9X more likely to die behind the wheel than alcohol users, so buckle-up for a rough two years as gorked pot-heads mow us down with impunity. Even if they are cited, Section 73:2 states it will only be a class B traffic violation… like a parking ticket. Try pulling that off if you blow 0.08!
  • Failure to Keep, or Destruction of, Production Records is Only a Class B Misdemeanor: Pharmacies have to keep their records for 10 years. According the Section 40 and Section 69, Marijuana producers are only required to keep their records for two years. If they do not keep those records, or alter or destroy those records, they are only subject to a Class B misdemeanor. Section 23 requires the OLCC to give any licensee 72 hours notice before examining their books, allowing them plenty of time to destroy their records if need be.
  • No Limits On, or Records of Purchasers or Purchases: Everywhere in the United States, to avoid mass purchasing and diversion to the illegal methamphetamine market, the selling pharmacy records the name of every person who purchases pseudoephedrine. Under Section 16 of Measure 91, there is no requirement to keep such records about marijuana purchasers or purchases. As a matter of fact, even though THC is a highly abused, impairing drug, Section 72 of the bill demands that marijuana no longer be considered a controlled substance.
  • OLCC is Mandated to Generate New Users: Only 5% of tax revenues actually go to drug abuse prevention programs, while Section 33:5:a mandates that the OLCC will maximize tax revenue generation. There is only one way to maximize revenues, and that is to generate new users. To maximize new users, Section 7:2:g gives the OLCC the authority to allow advertisements to promote consumption of marijuana.
  • Section 42 states that the State has exclusive rights to tax revenue: No city, county or other entity can levy any marijuana taxes.
  • The OLCC Cannot Deny Licenses to Known Criminals: Section 29:3:a clearly states that the OLCC cannot consider marijuana related convictions older than 5 years when issuing a license if it was a single transgression… no matter how bad it was. Period.
  • The OLCC and Other Agencies are Required to Violate Federal Law When it Conflicts with Measure 91 Language: Sections 10, 11 & 12 clearly state the OLCC and other agencies are required to violate federal law if it conflicts with measure 91, and no individual of an agency can be held liable for official acts. Also, the OLCC is not allowed to deny any marijuana license application based on a violation of federal law.
  • According to Section 58, Measure 91 will supercede all charters and ordinances that are inconsistent with the measure.
  • Section 54 states that the law enforcement can only issue a minor citation to pot-heads for smoking in public places.
  • Nowhere in the bill does it mention variations in potency or creating standards in THC content, or potency labeling requirements, as exists for producers of alcoholic beverages.
  • Nowhere in the bill does it require health warnings on packaging even though there is substantial clinical evidence marijuana is dangerous for pregnant women. Every single person in the Oregon General Election Voter’s Pamphlet who supports measure 91, supports omitting any and all health and safety warnings. Can you imagine nurses like Mark Jacklin, Maggi O’Brien, Pat Hughes, Rosemary Piser, and Davi Hawk actually wanting to deny safety information to pregnant women? What a shameful lot of healthcare providers.

Seriously, you better read this measure before you vote, because I can guarantee you, if Oregon voters pass this bill, innocent people are to get hit and killed by stoned drivers at rates never seen before. Your friends. Your family. Maybe you. It is already happening in Washington and Colorado.

Marijuana Users are 9X More Likely to be Involved in a Fatal Auto Accident While Driving than Alcohol Users

Discussing the merits and evils of marijuana with the 420 crowd is like discussing the bio-ethics with Jeff Spicoli. They are dull, stupid and listless, yet utterly stubborn in their single-minded desire to ease their access to their next bowl. While they are not a very physically action-oriented crowd, they are willing to say just about anything if it will help open a head shop in their neighborhood, no fact checking required. Making it up as they go along requires little effort and their cause literally feeds and grows on their fabrications, like stoners feed on Taco Bell. Vast falsehoods and outlandish myths shamelessly perpetrated by mere word of mouth, simply because they are too gorked to actually get off the couch and contribute anything meaningful to society.

Here is the fundamental list of what pot-heads want everyone to believe – and it is all wrong.

  • Marijuana is no different from alcohol.
  • Marijuana is not addictive.
  • Marijuana has never killed anyone.
  • Marijuana does not impair learning.
  • Marijuana does not affect a person’s ability to get and keep a good job.
  • Marijuana is not a gateway drug.
  • Marijuana does not impair intelligence.
  • Marijuana is safe for pregnant women, children and adolescents.
  • Marijuana has no negative health consequences what-so-ever.

Here are some actual facts taken from reputable sources such as Goodman & Gilman’s The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics and Jones-Witters Drugs & Society, a biological perspective. Real scientists. Real research. Real facts.

Alcohol is a water-soluble carbohydrate that is rapidly absorbed by the intestinal track. It takes the body about three hours to metabolize one ounce of ethanol. Intoxication is directly related to blood levels. Acute intoxication includes drunkenness, nausea, vomiting, and unconsciousness. Chronic abuse can lead to addiction and the symptoms of withdrawal include: tremors, irritability, nausea, sleep disturbances, rapid heart rate, sweating, seizures, fever and sweating. Chronic but moderate daily consumption poses no health risks outside of pregnancy. About 70% of Americans (about 225 million) regularly drink alcoholic beverages, but the vast majority of ingestion is at non-impairing doses. Long-term abuse damages the liver, heart and brain. Use during pregnancy can cause fetal-alcohol syndrome. About 34% of auto-accident driver fatalities involve alcohol.

THC (∆-9-tetrahydrocanabanol) is a fat-soluble drug that is extensively bound to blood proteins and absorbed by fatty tissue compartments. While a single dose will produce a pleasant state of relaxation for around two hours, it can take the body up to 30 days to metabolize and clear the drug. Acute intoxication can result in space and time distortions as well as mild anxiety and panic. Chronic, moderate users commonly suffer from “amotivational syndrome,” where they are unable to generate any interest in goal-directed activities such as school, work, athletics or social gatherings. THC is modestly addictive and has a withdrawal syndrome consisting of restlessness, irritability, mild agitation, insomnia, sleep disturbances, nausea and cramping. Approximately 6% of Americans (about 19 million) use marijuana regularly, and almost 100% of use is intended to achieve a state of cognitive impairment. Like smoking tobacco, smoking marijuana regularly has clearly demonstrated reductions in pulmonary function, including COPD, and cannabis tar applied to the skin of test mice has produced pre-cancerous lesions similar to those generated by tobacco tar. THC passes through the placental barrier and concentrates in a fetus’s lipid tissues like the brain. It is also found in breast milk. Chronic use has a negative affect on spermatogenesis, and has demonstrated a four-fold increase in miscarriages in primate studies.

In 2009 21,978 drivers were killed in motor vehicle crashes. Of those drivers tested postmortem by the government (odd as it seems, not all drivers killed in auto accidents are tested for impairing substances – requirements vary from state to state) 34% tested positive for alcohol and 25% tested positive for THC. Despite being outnumbered by alcohol users by nearly 12 to 1, pot-heads are involved in nearly as many fatal accidents. As a matter of fact, pot-heads overall risk in 2009 of dying behind the wheel per 100,000 in population is 28.9. The risk for regular alcohol users is a mere 3.3 deaths per 100,000 in population. GOT THAT 420 CROWD? You are nearly 9X more likely to die behind the wheel than your average drinker. That infers you are 9X more likely to kill an innocent person while driving because of you own selfish need to get baked. That means you are significantly stupider than the average Joe. As in chronically impaired judgment and behavior that is consistent with and suggestive of a lower IQ.

NYT Journalist, Sabrina Tavernise, Misses the Boat on Looming Narcotic Restrictions by the DEA

In Move to Curb Drug Abuse, D.E.A. Tightens Rule on Widely Prescribed Painkiller – NYTimes.com.

Sabrina Tavernise has missed the boat so many times I am surprised she has not fallen off the pier and ruined her pantsuit. In her recent article documenting the upcoming change in schedule for the narcotic hydrocodone, Tavernise notes that since the late 1990s “the number of Americans who die from prescription drug overdose have more than tripled,” without stopping to ask, “Why?” After all, the heart of the issue is the question, “Why?” What happened in the late 1990s that set off this rapid rise in the abuse of prescription controlled substances? It is not just narcotics, either. There has also been a rapid rise in the use and abuse of prescription amphetamines over the last 20 years, as well as a massive increase in our country’s dependence on psychotropic drugs for conditions like depression, anxiety and insomnia. There is a pill for everything in America, and Americans are lining up around the block to get a piece of that action.

The answer lies largely in specific government actions. There was a time when it was illegal for drug manufacturers to advertise directly to the common man. It was a sensible law, because the common man simply does not have the level of education to know when and what drug therapies are appropriate. Unfortunately, along came the lobbyists, PACs and campaign donors who threw a lot of money at politicians to change the rules. Now drug manufacturers can go directly to the people with the magical thinking of advertising, convincing America it needs more drugs. Now Joe Citizen walks into the doctor’s office and demands that new drug for insomnia he saw on a 2AM advertisement. Joe gets his wish, and then gets hooked on an addictive sedative. Here is an interesting tidbit. Despite the massive increase in people on anti-depressive drugs over the last twenty-five years, America’s suicide rate has hardly budged. We are spending our money and taking the drugs, yet are no better off than we were before.

As for the massive increase in narcotic use since the late 1990s, you can get that story of specific, targeted government action right here.