OPEN LETTER TO

HARM REDUCTION AUSTRALIA

Gino Vumbaca

PRESIDENT

Harm Reduction Australia

PO Box 7363

LEURA NSW 2780

14 January 2019

Dear Gino

As you are no doubt aware, Drug Free Australia has been very concerned about the national pill testing push which has been chiefly led by your organization, Harm Reduction Australia. Our concerns pivot on the fact that MDMA, which is a most sought-after substance at music festivals, has been the substance responsible for many deaths within Australia, moreso than impurities in party pills or other illicit drugs in the pill which are unknown to the user.

We will be asking every politician in Australia to totally reject any further discussion on Harm Reduction Australia’s pill testing push until such time as your organisation has demonstrated from available Australian Coroners’ reports that

  1. it is NOT the substance MDMA, or MDMA in a polydrug use context, which is chiefly responsible for the many Australian deaths

OR

  1. that most of the deaths are alternately from MDMA consumed in amounts beyond what is considered normal for recreational use

We have previously made our view known to Australian politicians, a view which has been backed by strong evidence from the medical literature. We have asserted that MDMA is the sole drug responsible for many of the deaths but has also contributed via combined drug toxicity to many others. We have cited an Australian study of 82 deaths over a five year period (2001-2005)

<https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov%2Fpubmed%2F19604654&amp;data=02%7C01%7C%7C6b410e4cfe4c45ee6b9508d67ad2c2ad%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C636831442965479206&amp;sdata=gR3oDEXId72QQxsRsJF0Cz%2FeM0KyxqezrKv1%2BV%2FJEdY%3D&amp;reserved=0> https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov%2Fpubmed%2F19604654&amp;data=02%7C01%7C%7C6b410e4cfe4c45ee6b9508d67ad2c2ad%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C636831442965479206&amp;sdata=gR3oDEXId72QQxsRsJF0Cz%2FeM0KyxqezrKv1%2BV%2FJEdY%3D&amp;reserved=0 where MDMA was the sole drug responsible for 23% of the deaths, while taken with other licit and illicit drugs for another 59%, totaling 82% of the 82 deaths. This appears to be the only journal study available on Australian party pill deaths, but from media reports on Coroners’ findings on later festival deaths we have only seen support for this same picture.

We have also alerted Australian politicians to the fact that most MDMA deaths are not overdoses. As Dancesafe, an American harm reduction group has persuasively outlined:

Overdosing means taking a higher than appropriate dose of a medicine or a drug. In other words, it simply means taking too much or taking a “dose” that is “over” the proper therapeutic or recreational amount. The association of the word “overdose” with “drug-related death” is primarily reflective of heroin and opiate-related deaths, where the majority of fatalities may, in fact, result of overdosing. However, MDMA-related deaths are rarely the result of an overdose, and calling them overdoses is dangerous and negligent. It sends the message that “you will be okay as long as you don’t take too much,” which is simply not true. In the vast majority of cases of MDMA-related deaths, where no other drugs were found in the person’s bloodstream, the deceased had taken a dose within the normal range for appropriate therapeutic or recreational use. https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fdancesafe.org%2Fmdma-related-deaths-stop-calling-them-overdoses%2F&amp;data=02%7C01%7C%7C6b410e4cfe4c45ee6b9508d67ad2c2ad%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C636831442965479206&amp;sdata=%2Bby1aJh7sRAJS%2Fka5Fiss%2BhMbiRzOVcHpeaS2mZpfT0%3D&amp;reserved=0

The Drug Policy Alliance, with whom we have thought you would likely be ideologically aligned, assert the same https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.drugpolicy.org%2Fsites%2Fdefault%2Ffiles%2FDPA_Fact_Sheet_MDMA.PDF&amp;data=02%7C01%7C%7C6b410e4cfe4c45ee6b9508d67ad2c2ad%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C636831442965479206&amp;sdata=oH5%2BuQCGq7pfei8fTktIcAbAodoC%2BkgnEnw%2FVSsEItU%3D&amp;reserved=0, stating that most deaths are not overdoses. Also on this same issue we point to evidence in the medical literature, such as the British Journal of Anaesthesia https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Facademic.oup.com%2Fbja%2Farticle%2F96%2F6%2F678%2F326917&amp;data=02%7C01%7C%7C6b410e4cfe4c45ee6b9508d67ad2c2ad%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C636831442965479206&amp;sdata=HYe%2FEXRB340nT7091buFiAqCmKOEZRXuXE73gU6HpvI%3D&amp;reserved=0 which records that:

Typically, after oral ingestion (75–150 mg), desired effects begin within 1 h and last 4–6 h.68 Blood levels in asymptomatic users and those with serious side-effects are often similar, suggesting that adverse reactions are likely to relate to the circumstances in which the drug is taken, and that there may also be an idiosyncratic component.28 A number of fatalities have been reported with blood levels of 0.1–2.1 mg litre−1.31 However, a case of a deliberate overdose of MDMA in which the blood level reached 4.3 mg litre−1 with no more than mild sinus tachycardia and a degree of somnolence has been reported.54 Another analytically documented overdose resulted in a plasma MDMA of 7.72 mg litre−1, the highest recorded in a surviving patient, with just a ‘hangover’, tachycardia and hypertension.31 The highest level reported in association with multi-organ failure in a subsequent survivor was 7 mg litre−1.6

Some observations regarding MDMA deaths are that many are from taking a single pill, and can be described as more akin to an idiosyncratic individual allergic reaction to MDMA, making first-time ecstasy use more akin to playing Russian roulette https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fonlinelibrary.wiley.com%2Fdoi%2Fepdf%2F10.1111%2Fj.1365-2044.1993.tb06813.x&amp;data=02%7C01%7C%7C6b410e4cfe4c45ee6b9508d67ad2c2ad%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C636831442965479206&amp;sdata=wmEISM1cflUHxZ4XvkVHIHczOiTIvCQlPgXpYWpQq%2BU%3D&amp;reserved=0. A group of friends can all ingest the same amount but only one might die https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theguardian.com%2Fsociety%2F2017%2Fjul%2F22%2Ffriends-out-ecstasy-deaths-highest-level-pills&amp;data=02%7C01%7C%7C6b410e4cfe4c45ee6b9508d67ad2c2ad%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C636831442965479206&amp;sdata=hqRWZEMmOnTQZJf5IkRB3q6CaIhlBdRLdmNnXpD5Si0%3D&amp;reserved=0. This was precisely the case with Anna Wood, who took the same amount as her five friends, but only she died. Tony Wood will confirm this on 0404 407 477.

We understand that it may seem somewhat confronting that Drug Free Australia is putting the onus of proof onto Harm Reduction Australia concerning the notion that party pill deaths are not mostly from using MDMA or are alternately from MDMA ‘overdoses’.

However our reasoning is as follows . . .

  1. Harm Reduction Australia asserts that pill testing is needed because impurities or unknown drugs in the pills cause deaths (which is rarely the case in Australia)
  1. Harm Reduction Australia also asserts that pill testing is needed because of unknown MDMA purity in party pills, suggesting that deaths are often from MDMA overdose (which is rarely the case in Australia)
  1. The implicit conclusion from these first two pieces of misinformation is that pure MDMA is safe if ingested in normal recreational quantities (which is against all evidence)
  1. Drug Free Australia further contends that unless HRA clearly and openly publicises that most Australian deaths are tied to MDMA itself, it is responsible for the current spurious sense of security surrounding tested MDMA[GC1] <>   .

Drug Free Australia cannot think of a more sure way to widen demand for a dangerous substance via an entirely false sense of security for festival attendees, which will only cause an accelerated escalation in deaths.

This letter is also to inform you that we are currently alerting every State/Territory/Federal politician in Australia, as well as Australian media players to the contents of this letter, as well as our call for Harm Reduction Australia to put evidence behind your assertions before anything further is politically considered within Australia concerning pill testing.

We would like to see your organisation publish a list of names of all those deceased after taking party pills where the fatal impurity or other illicit drug in the pills was nominated by the Coroner. For those found by the Coroner to have overdosed (Drug Free Australia does at least know of one WA Coroner’s report that nominated overdose in recent years) a list containing the name of the deceased and the report’s estimate of the amount of MDMA ingested.

I might just mention that Drug Free Australia does recognise, and has previously informed Australian politicians accordingly, that three deaths in Melbourne in January 2017 from party pills were due to the drugs 4-FA and 25C-NBOMe being found in purported ecstasy pills, but that these drugs would not be identified by current pill testing equipment. https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.vice.com%2Fen_au%2Farticle%2F3dp5pk%2Fleaked-police-memo-reveals-what-was-in-melbournes-deadly-batch-of-mdma&amp;data=02%7C01%7C%7C6b410e4cfe4c45ee6b9508d67ad2c2ad%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C636831442965479206&amp;sdata=FPAqI78AzR9PEXfZjuZxmDP6A4pLUmnM5jCIfYXwWr8%3D&amp;reserved=0

Drug Free Australia also asserts that most GHB overdoses are by users who know they are taking GHB, as was the case in Melbourne, for example, in February 2017. https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.abc.net.au%2Fnews%2F2017-02-19%2Felectric-parade-festival-more-than-20-overdose-hospital%2F8283828&amp;data=02%7C01%7C%7C6b410e4cfe4c45ee6b9508d67ad2c2ad%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C636831442965479206&amp;sdata=ALvWSqTBPSu29jz4Q9jNHFtluQ%2BOM8d0coLnwXIpJbQ%3D&amp;reserved=0.

Drug Free Australia invites your response.

Yours faithfully

Major Brian Watters AO

President, Drug Free Australia

Chairman, Prime Minister’s Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD) 1998-2005 Australia’s representative to the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) 2004-2012

Subject: Could medical cannabis be the new THALIDOMIDE?

It has come to Drug Free Australia attention that some contacts overseas are unable to access this data on the Drug Free Australian link.  It is very important that this evidence is clearly available for all to read.  Please find additional links.

Could medical cannabis be the new THALIDOMIDE? Fears of a crisis as doctors consider doling marijuana-based medicines out to pregnant mothers despite evidence the drug can damage fetuses.

https://drugfree.org.au/images/Could_medical_cannabis_be_the_new_THALIDOMIDE_Fears_of_a_crisis_.pdf

GUY ADAMS FOR THE DAILY MAIL PUBLISHED: 10:31 AEDT, 24 November 2018 | UPDATED: 12:36 AEDT, 24 November 2018

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6423269/Could-medical-cannabis-newthalidomide.html

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) recently published an article arguing that the widespread use of medical cannabis could eventually lead to a public health crisis bearing comparison with the thalidomide disaster.

William McBride: alerted the world to the dangers of thalidomide in fetal development

Ned Stafford

BMJ 2018; 362: k3415 (Published 06 Aug 2018)

...thalidomide during pregnancy.1 He concluded his letter by asking: Have any of your readers seen similar abnormalities in babies delivered of women who have taken this drug during pregnancy?The letter, thought to be the first published suggestion from a doctor of teratogenicity of thalidomide in humans ~~~

https://www.bmj.com/content/362/bmj.k3415

Kind Regards

Herschel Baker
International Liaison Director,
Drug Free Australia 

PO Box 379
Seaford, SA 5169

Prevent.
Don't Promote Drug Use.
www.drugfree.org.au

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

BRIEF for Australians

Our Vision: To support and educate young people, their families and communities to prevent the damage caused by drugs

 

Why test pills when it is the ecstasy that kills?

The accelerating number of Australian deaths from ecstasy are, according to the medical literature, mostly NOT from overdosing on MDMA, nor, according to coroners’ reports, are they due to impurities in party pills but rather from individual reactions to MDMA.

While drug legalisation/decriminalisation activists attempt to build the myth that normal amounts of MDMA are not life-threatening, just the opposite is the truth.  According to our own Australian coroners’ reports our ecstasy deaths are mostly not due to unknown impurities but due to MDMA either by itself or in combination with other drugs https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19604654.  Nor is there a medical literature which supports frequent deaths due to ‘overdosing’ on MDMA.  This fact is even recognised by the Soros-funded drug legalisation organisation, the Drug Policy Alliance https://www.drugpolicy.org/sites/default/files/DPA_Fact_Sheet_MDMA.PDF and other drug legalisation activist organisations overseas https://dancesafe.org/mdma-related-deaths-stop-calling-them-overdoses/.  It begs the question of why Australian activists are seeking to promote a myth that their own overseas allies do not. 

Medical literature http://bja.oxfordjournals.org/content/96/6/678.full (see paragraph before Figure 1) records ecstasy users boasting MDMA blood levels more than 70 times the lowest levels associated with ecstasy deaths, and 4 times higher than the higher levels more typically found in ecstasy deaths.  Even a Four Corners program http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/2016/02/15/4404734.htm which advocated for pill testing told of one user celebrating his 22nd birthday by taking 22 ecstasy tablets.  Many deaths are from taking a single pill, and can be described as more akin to an idiosyncratic individual allergic reaction to MDMA, making first-time ecstasy use more akin to playing Russian roulette https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/j.1365-2044.1993.tb06813.x.  A group of friends can all ingest the same amount but only one might die https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jul/22/friends-out-ecstasy-deaths-highest-level-pills.  This was precisely the case with Anna Wood, who took the same amount as her friends, but only she died.   

Whether a tablet is 5% or 60% MDMA is much less important than what other drugs are being taken with it and what idiosyncratic physiological reaction an individual user will have to it.  Rather than pill testing machines at the doors of RAVE concerts, heart and DNA testing machines might be more relevant, but even then, medicos are not entirely sure of all they should be physiologically testing for.  If pill testing is pursued with government auspice the inevitable result will be more people willing to use the substance on the false assumption that they are now safe.  With an increased population of users there will inevitably be more deaths.

According to the 2016 National Drug Strategy Household Survey of around 25,000 Australians, most Australians (97%) do not approve the regular use of ecstasy. 

Drug Free Australia believes that the link below shows an informed political response to calls for pill testing.

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/video/id-5348771529001-5836179651001/nsw-premier-explains-government-opposition-to-pill-testing-after-festival-drug-deaths

Gary Christian­­­­­

Secretary

Drug Free Australia

0422 163 141

Also contact: Tony Wood  0404 407 477

Note: Three deaths in Melbourne in January 2017 were due to other drugs 4-FA and 25C-NBOMe in ecstasy pills, but Victorian Police said that normal pill testing would not have helped.  https://www.vice.com/en_au/article/3dp5pk/leaked-police-memo-reveals-what-was-in-melbournes-deadly-batch-of-mdma

Our Vision: To support and educate young people, their families and communities to prevent the damage caused by drugs

  

Removing Federal Restrictions on Cannabis? Australians Want Less Drugs, Not More

Almost all Australians, according to the 2016 National Drug Strategy Household Survey of 25,000 Australians,  do NOT give approval to the use of the illicit drugs heroin (99%), cocaine (98%), speed/ice (99%), ecstasy (97%) and cannabis (86%).[i]  It is safe to conclude from these statistics that Australians do not want increasing drug use, but less drug use.

Cannabis legalisation in the United States has increased drug use as well as social harms. 

Colorado and Washington legalised cannabis in 2013.  Comparing the two year average 2013/14[ii] with the pre-legalisation 2011/12, Colorado’s cannabis use was as follows:

Adult use increased by 63% in the first year after legalisation against increases of 21% nationally.  In 2013/14 Colorado adults ranked #1 for cannabis use in the United States, up from #7 in 2011/12 and from #8 in 2005/6.

College-age use (ages 8-25) rose by 17% against increases of 2% nationally, within the first year of legalised cannabis use. In 2013/14 Colorado college-age students ranked #1 for cannabis use in the United States, up from #3 in 2011/12 and from #8 in 2005/6.

Adolescent use rose by 20% against decreases in other states of 4%, despite use of cannabis being illegal for all under the age of 21.  In 2013/14 Colorado youth ranked #1 for cannabis use in the United States, up from #4 in 2011/12 and from #14 in 2005/6. In school year 2015/2016, 62 percent of all drug expulsions and suspensions were for marijuana violations.

Other social harms were:

Road fatalities related to cannabis use rose by 62% by 2015, from 71 to 115 persons since 2013 when recreational cannabis use was legalised.[iii]

Hospitalisations likely related to cannabis increased 32% in the two year average (2013-14) since Colorado legalised recreational marijuana compared to the two-year average prior to legalisation (2011-2012).[iv]

Governor Hickenlooper last year introduced House Bill 1220 and 1221 to address the 380% rise in arrests for black market grows between 2014 and 2016.[v],[vi]

Cannabis legalisation has led to more drugs, not less drugs.  Adult cannabis users in a state with medical cannabis laws in 2010 already stood at around 400,000.[vii]  Under legalisation that had increased by an additional 200,000 by 2015.  That is 200,000 more opened to increased risks of psychosis, depression, suicide, drugged driving, altered brain function and death from pulmonary and cardio-vascular conditions.[viii]

Gary Christian

SECRETARY

Drug Free Australia

 

[i] See Table 9.7 https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/illicit-use-of-drugs/2016-ndshs-detailed/data#page2

[ii] https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUHsaeShortTermCHG2015/NSDUHsaeShortTermCHG2015.htm  see also “2011-2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Model-Based Prevalence Estimates (50 States and the District of Columbia)” and graphs of stats at https://www.sheriffs.org/sites/default/files/2016%20FINAL%20Legalization%20of%20Marijuana%20in%20Colorado%20The%20Impact.pdf

[iii] https://www.sheriffs.org/sites/default/files/2016%20FINAL%20Legalization%20of%20Marijuana%20in%20Colorado%20The%20Impact.pdf

P 16

[iv] https://www.sheriffs.org/sites/default/files/2016%20FINAL%20Legalization%20of%20Marijuana%20in%20Colorado%20The%20Impact.pdf

P 78

[v] http://gazette.com/collateral-impact-the-unintended-consequences-of-the-legalisation-of-pot/article/1621232

[vi] http://gazette.com/editorial-pass-bills-to-curb-black-market-marijuana-in-colorado/article/1598339

[vii] Calculated from 8.86% of Colorado’s population in 2010 vs 12.45% of its increased population in 2014

[viii] https://drugfree.org.au/images/13Books-FP/pdf/DFA_CannabisPaper.pdf

Notice of Liability Memo: To Canadian Parliamentarians, Canada Senators and

The Marijuana Industry.

This Notice of Liability Memo and attached Affidavit of Harms give formal notification to all addressees that they are morally, if not legally liable in cases of harm caused by making toxic marijuana products legally available, or knowingly withholding accurate information about the multiple risks of hemp/marijuana products to the Canadian consumer. This memo further gives notice that those elected or appointed as representatives of the people of Canada, by voting affirmatively for Bill C45, do so with the knowledge that they are breaching international treaties, conventions and law. They do so also with the knowledge that Canadian law enforcement have declared that they are not ready for implementation of marijuana legalization, and as they will not be ready to protect the lives of Canadians, there may arise grounds for a Charter of Rights challenge as all Canadian citizens are afforded a the right to security of self.

Scientific researchers and health organizations raise serious questions about the safety of ingesting even small amounts of cannabinoids. Adverse effects include risk of harm to the cardio-vascular system, respiratory tract, immune system, reproductive and endocrine systems, gastrointestinal system and the liver, hyperemesis, cognition, psychomotor performance, psychiatric effects including depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and psychosis, a-motivational syndrome, and addiction. The scientific literature also warns of teratogenicity (causing birth deformities) and epigenetic damage (affecting genetic development) and clearly establishes the need for further study. The attached affidavit cites statements made by Health Canada that are grounded in scientific evidence that documents many harms caused by smoking or ingesting marijuana.  

Putting innocent citizens in “harm’s way” has been a costly bureaucratic mistake as evidenced by the 2015 Canadian $168 million payout to victims of exposure to the drug thalidomide. Health Canada approved thalidomide in 1961 to treat morning sickness in pregnant women but it caused catastrophic birth defects and death.

It would be instructive to reflect on "big tobacco" and their multi-billion-dollar liability in cases of misinformed sick and dead tobacco cigarette smokers. Litigants won lawsuits for harm done by smoking cigarettes even when it was the user’s own choice to obtain and smoke tobacco. In Minnesota during the 1930's and up to the 1970's tobacco cigarettes were given to generally healthy "juvenile delinquents' incarcerated in a facility run by the state.  One of the juveniles, now an adult, who received the state's tobacco cigarettes, sued the state for addicting him. He won.

The marijuana industry, in making public, unsubstantiated claims of marijuana safety, is placing itself in the same position, in terms of liability, as the tobacco companies.
In 1954, the tobacco industry published a statement that came to be known during Minnesota's tobacco trial as the "Frank Statement." Tobacco companies then formed an industry group for the purposes of deceiving and confusing the public.

In the Frank Statement, tobacco industry spokesmen asserted that experiments linking smoking with lung cancer were "inconclusive," and that there was no proof that cigarette smoking was one of the causes of lung cancer. They stated, "We believe the products we make are not injurious to health." Judge Kenneth Fitzpatrick instructed the Minnesota jurors: "Jurors should assume in their deliberations that tobacco companies assumed a "special duty" by publishing the ad (Frank Statement), and that jurors will have to determine whether the industry fulfilled that duty." The verdict ruled against the tobacco industry.

Effective June 19, 2009, marijuana smoke was added to the California Prop 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer. The Carcinogen Identification Committee (CIC) of the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) “determined that marijuana smoke was clearly shown, through scientifically valid testing according to generally accepted principles, to cause cancer.”

Products liability and its application to marijuana businesses is a topic that was not discussed in the Senate committee hearings. Proposition 65, requires the State to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other types of reproductive harm. Proposition 65 requires businesses to provide their customers with notice of these cancerous causing chemicals when present in consumer products and provides for both a public and private right of action.

The similarities between the tactics of "Big Tobacco" and the "Canadian Cannabis Trade Alliance Institute" and individual marijuana producers would seem to demand very close scrutiny. On May 23, a witness testified before the Canadian Senate claimed that marijuana is not carcinogenic. This evidence was not challenged.

The International Narcotics Control Board Report for 2017 reads: “Bill C-45, introduced by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada on 13 April 2017, would permit the non-medical use of cannabis. If the bill is enacted, adults aged 18 years or older will legally be allowed to possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis or an equivalent amount in non-dried form. It will also become legal to grow a maximum of four cannabis plants, simultaneously for personal use, buy cannabis from licensed retailers, and produce edible cannabis products. The Board wishes to reiterate that article 4 (c) of the 1961 Convention restricts the use of controlled narcotic drugs to medical and scientific purposes and that legislative measures providing for non-medical use are in contravention of that Convention....

The situation pertaining to cannabis cultivation and trafficking in North America continues to be in flux owing to the widening scope of personal non-medical use schemes in force in certain constituent states of the United States. The decriminalization of cannabis has apparently led organized criminal groups to focus on manufacturing and trafficking other illegal drugs, such as heroin. This could explain why, for example, Canada saw a 32 per cent increase from 2015 to 2016 in criminal incidents involving heroin possession….The Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse issued “Lower-risk cannabis use guidelines” in 2017. The document is a health education and prevention tool that acknowledges that cannabis use carries both immediate and long-term health risks.”

https://www.incb.org/documents/Publications/AnnualReports/AR2017/Annual_Report_chapters/Chapter_3_Americas_2017.pdf

Upon receipt of this Memo and Affidavit, the addressees can no longer say they are ignorant or unaware that promoting and/or distributing marijuana cigarettes for recreational purposes is an endangerment to citizens. Receipt of this Memo and Affidavit removes from the addressees any claim of ignorance as a defense in potential, future litigation.

Pamela McColl www.cleartheairnow.org

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

AFFIDAVIT May 27, 2018

I, Pamela McColl, wish to inform agencies and individuals of known and potential harm done/caused by the use of marijuana (especially marijuana cigarettes) and of the acknowledgement the risk of harm by Health Canada.

Marijuana is a complex, unstable mixture of over four hundred chemicals that, when smoked, produces over two thousand chemicals.  Among those two thousand chemicals are many pollutants and cancer-causing substances.  Some cannabinoids are psychoactive, all are bioactive, and all may remain in the body's fatty tissues for long periods of times with unknown consequences. Marijuana smoke contains carcinogenic (cancer-causing) substances such as benzo(a)pyrene, benz(a)anthracene, and benzene in higher concentrations than are present in tobacco smoke.  The mechanism by which benzo(a)pyrene causes cancer in smokers was demonstrated scientifically by Denissenko MF et al. Science 274:430-432, 1996. 

Health Canada Consumer Information on Cannabis reads as follows: “The courts in Canada have ruled that the federal government must provide reasonable access to a legal source of marijuana for medical purposes.”

“Cannabis is not an approved therapeutic product and the provision of this information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes, or of marijuana generally, by Health Canada.”

“Serious Warnings and Precautions: Cannabis (marihuana, marijuana) contains hundreds of substances, some of which can affect the proper functioning of the brain and central nervous system.”

“The use of this product involves risks to health, some of which may not be known or fully understood. Studies supporting the safety and efficacy of cannabis for therapeutic purposes are limited and do not meet the standard required by the Food and Drug Regulations for marketed drugs in Canada.”

Health Canada – “When the product should not be used: Cannabis should not be used if you:-are under the age of 25 -are allergic to any cannabinoid or to smoke-have serious liver, kidney, heart or lung disease -have a personal or family history of serious mental disorders such as schizophrenia, psychosis, depression, or bipolar disorder-are pregnant, are planning to get pregnant, or are breast-feeding -are a man who wishes to start a family-have a history of alcohol or drug abuse or substance dependence Talk to your health care practitioner if you have any of these conditions. There may be other conditions where this product should not be used, but which are unknown due to limited scientific information.

Cannabis is not an approved therapeutic product and the provision of this information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the use of this product, or cannabis generally, by Health Canada.”

Prepared by Health Canada Date of latest version: February 2013, accessed May 2018. https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/medical-use-marijuana/information-medical-practitioners/information-health-care-professionals-cannabis-marihuana-marijuana-cannabinoids.html

A report published by survey company RIWI Corp. (RIWI.com) can be found at: https://riwi.com/case-study/measuringcanadians-awareness-of-marijuanas-health-effects-may-2018

The report measures Canadians’ awareness of marijuana’s health effects as determined by Health Canada and published on Health Canada’s website. RIWI data indicates: 1. More than 40% of those under age 25 are unaware that marijuana impacts safe driving. Further, 21% of respondents are not aware that marijuana can negatively impact one’s ability to drive safely. Health Canada: “Using cannabis can impair your concentration, your ability to make decisions, and your reaction time and coordination. This can affect your motor skills, including your ability to drive.” 2. One in five women aged 25-34 believes marijuana is safe during pregnancy, while trying to get pregnant, or breastfeeding. • RIWI: “For women of prime childbearing age (25-34), roughly one in five believe smoking marijuana is safe during pregnancy, planning to get pregnant, and breastfeeding.” • Health Canada: “Marijuana should not be used if you are pregnant, are planning to get pregnant, or are breastfeeding. … Long-term use may negatively impact the behavioural and cognitive development of children born to mothers who used cannabis during pregnancy.” 3. One in three Canadians do not think that marijuana is addictive. • Health Canada: “Long term use may result in psychological dependence (addiction).” 4. One in three Canadians believe marijuana aids mental health. • Health Canada: “Long term use may increase the risk of triggering or aggravating psychiatric and/or mood disorders (schizophrenia, psychosis, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder).” 5. One in two males were unaware that marijuana could harm a man’s fertility • “Marijuana should not be used if you are a man who wishes to start a family.”

ClearTheAirNow.org, a coalition of concerned Canadians commissioned the survey.

Affiant is willing to provide further sources of information about the toxicity of marijuana.

Pamela McColl

www.cleartheairnow.org

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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