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  1. All of the Republican candidates for the Governor primary in Michigan are against the legalization of marijuana. Only Lt Gov Brian Calley, who opposed the petition to add Autism to the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana said he supports medical marijuana. Current Attorney General Bill Schuette tried conflate marijuana with opioids and giving children drugs. Gubernatorial Primary Debate in Grand Rapids on May 9, 2018 DR. JIM HINES: I, I don't support the legalization of recreational marijuana. I think that would be bad. There's a ton of research that needs to yet be done. The interactions with medicine. What kind of cancer does it cause? Ahh, the impact on memory, your ability to work, and so I think that there's a ton of work that needs to be done. But if it's passed, I think that we have to deal with it and we have to, we have to know that the bus driver that is driving your kids is, is, is not under the influence of marijuana. We need to figure out how to keep it out of the hands of minors, and so there are a lot of things that need to be discussed and worked through, ah, as a government to, to make sure that ah, it can be as safe as possible, but I do not support the legalization of recreational marijuana. SENATOR PATRICK COLBECK Well, first let me be clear, I will respect the will of the people as expressed at the ballot box, so if they make it legal, I will respect that will. But I'm telling you I'm personally opposed to it and here's why. Right now I have 31,000 job openings in my District. Um, businesses are still putting drug tests out there for employees. If you're smoking recreational marijuana, you're not going to pass that drug test. And I don't want our government assistance roles to increase. I actually want to get people gainfully employed so they can, um, get a good job and take care of their families. If we go down this route, um, I think we're going to see an increase in our government assistance costs and that's not a road I want to take Michigan down. We finally got our fiscal house in order and this has an opportunity to actually, um, bankrupt our state. It's not a course I'd like to pursue, but we'll make it work no matter what happens. LT. GOVERNOR BRIAN CALLEY I do not support recreational marijuana, but I want to be clear that I will respect a vote of the people. I do support medical marijuana on the other hand. In fact, it's becoming more and more clear that it may have a role to play in defeating the opioid addiction epidemic. But this is an opportunity I think for, for a clear contrast. Bill Schuette led the charge against medical marijuana, even after the will of the voters was decided, and the support was enormous, he still continued to fight against the will of the voters, keeping patients from the medicine that they need. So I think it's important that we all speak up on what we think about this initiative, but when the voters have their say, their will must stand. ATTORNEY GENERAL BILL SCHUETTE I'm opposed to the legalization of marijuana, but ah, I think the citizens across the state will have the opportunity to vote and democracy will prevail. I'm concerned about putting more drugs in the hands of kids and the opioid epidemic that is raging across Michigan and America is real. You know we've — recently we had more prescriptions for opioids than there are people in the State of Michigan. I was at an event in Oakland County last week, I met a woman who shared with me that, that her son had died through ah, ah, opioid overdose and it breaks your heart. And we need to crack down on the pill-mill docs, we need to, you know, crackdown on the heroin dealers that peddle this ah, heroin to those who are in the grip of addiction, and I have an Interdiction Unit at the Department of Attorney General to do just that. President Trump asked me to come to the White House to discuss the issue of ah, opioids and how the federal government and the states can work together. I think that's another reason why President Trump endorsed me as Governor of the State of Michigan.
  2. Marijuana as a Gateway Drug: The Myth That Will Not Die If all the arguments that have been used to demonize marijuana, few have been more powerful than that of the “gateway effect”: the notion that while marijuana itself may not be especially dangerous, it ineluctably leads to harder drugs like heroin and cocaine. Even Nick Kristof — in a column favoring marijuana legalization — alluded to it this week in the New York Times. In what is known as the “to be sure” paragraph, where op-ed writers cite the arguments of opponents, he wrote: I have no illusions about drugs. One of my childhood friends in Yamhill, Ore., pretty much squandered his life by dabbling with marijuana in ninth grade and then moving on to stronger stuff. And yes, there’s some risk that legalization would make such dabbling more common. The idea that marijuana may be the first step in a longer career of drug use seems plausible at first: when addicts tell their histories, many begin with a story about marijuana. And there’s a strong correlation between marijuana use and other drug use: a person who smokes marijuana is more than 104 times more likely to use cocaine than a person who never tries pot, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. (More on Time.com: 7 Tips for California: How to Make Legalizing Marijuana Smart) The problem here is that correlation isn’t cause. Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang members are probably more 104 times more likely to have ridden a bicycle as a kid than those who don’t become Hell’s Angels, but that doesn’t mean that riding a two-wheeler is a “gateway” to joining a motorcycle gang. It simply means that most people ride bikes and the kind of people who don’t are highly unlikely to ever ride a motorcycle. Scientists long ago abandoned the idea that marijuana causes users to try other drugs: as far back as 1999, in a report commissioned by Congress to look at the possible dangers of medical marijuana, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences wrote: Patterns in progression of drug use from adolescence to adulthood are strikingly regular. Because it is the most widely used illicit drug, marijuana is predictably the first illicit drug most people encounter. Not surprisingly, most users of other illicit drugs have used marijuana first. In fact, most drug users begin with alcohol and nicotine before marijuana — usually before they are of legal age. In the sense that marijuana use typically precedes rather than follows initiation of other illicit drug use, it is indeed a “gateway” drug. But because underage smoking and alcohol use typically precede marijuana use, marijuana is not the most common, and is rarely the first, “gateway” to illicit drug use. There is no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs. Since then, numerous other studies have failed to support the gateway idea. Every year, the federal government funds two huge surveys on drug use in the population. Over and over they find that the number of people who try marijuana dwarfs that for cocaine or heroin. For example, in 2009, 2.3 million people reported trying pot — compared with 617,000 who tried cocaine and 180,000 who tried heroin. (More on Time.com: See photos of cannabis conventions) So what accounts for the massive correlation between marijuana use and use of other drugs? One key factor is taste. People who are extremely interested in altering their consciousness are likely to want to try more than one way of doing it. If you are a true music fan, you probably won’t stick to listening to just one band or even a single genre — this doesn’t make lullabies a gateway to the Grateful Dead, it means that people who really like music probably like many different songs and groups. Second is marijuana’s illegality: you aren’t likely to be able to find a heroin dealer if you can’t even score weed. Compared with pot dealers, sellers of hard drugs tend to be even less trusting of customers they don’t know, in part because they face greater penalties. But if you’ve proved yourself by regularly purchasing marijuana, dealers will happily introduce to you to their harder product lines if you express interest, or help you find a friend of theirs who can. Holland began liberalizing its marijuana laws in part to close this particular gateway — and indeed now the country has slightly fewer young pot-smokers who move on to harder drugs compared with other nations, including the U.S. A 2010 Rand Institute report titled “What Can We Learn from the Dutch Cannabis Coffeeshop Experience?” found that there was “some evidence” for a “weakened gateway” in The Netherlands, and concluded that the data “clearly challenge any claim that the Dutch have strengthened the gateway to hard drug use.” (More on Time.com: Is Marijuana Addictive? It Depends How You Define Addiction) Of course, that’s not the gateway argument favored by supporters of our current drug policy — but it is the one supported by science. Read more: http://healthland.ti.../#ixzz24ZZCdBDB
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