Monday, July 26, 2010

Prison for Brownies?

U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), and Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) have all publicly voiced their opposition to medical marijuana, so it's no surprise that they sponsor legislation which claims to be "protecting the youth," but in reality, targets medical marijuana patients.

According to law enforcement officers and drug treatment officials, drug dealers have deliberately colored, packaged, and flavored methamphetamine and other illegal drugs in ways designed to attract kids. Horror stories regarding "Stawberry Quick", meth cut with strawberry-flavored drink mix, were used as scare tactics to create panic and fear in parents. Here is an example of the overly exaggerated email:


Halloween Warning for Parents

There is a type of crystal meth going around that looks like strawberry pop rocks. It smells like strawberry also and it is being handed out to kids in school yards in AR. I'm sure it will make its way around the country. Kids are ingesting this thinking it is candy and being rushed off to the ER in dire condition.

It also comes in chocolate, peanut butter, cola, cherry, grape, and orange. It looks just like pop rocks.

Please instruct children to not accept candy that look like this even from a friend, and to take any that they may have to a teacher, principal, etc.

Pass this around it could save some family a lot of heartache!

They call it strawberry meth or strawberry quick.

Special Agent Todd V. Coleman
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement
But does flavored meth even exist? Are kids really being carted off the school yard to the ER? More likely from stomach aches due to bad cafeteria food, not candy meth. According to an article on the Join Together website:
Attempts by Join Together to trace the one seemingly solid report on flavored meth back to its source have not, as of this writing, produced any clarity. Reached on Friday, the Carson County (Nev.) Sherrif's Departments could not confirm whether the meth it seized was flavored or just colored.

However, both the DEA and the White House Office of National Drug Control policy told Join Together they they have not been able to identify a single confirmed seizure of flavored meth.
The media hype, along with the emailed warnings reporting flavored meth have escalated the threat to seem more significant that it really is. So even though the Saving Kids from Dangerous Drugs Act seems to be protecting youth from meth, what is it's real goal?
Currently, federal law enhances the criminal penalties that apply when a person sells drugs to anyone under age 18. When this occurs, the federal penalties are doubled (or tripled for a repeat offense), and a penalty of at least one year must be applied. But this enhancement only applies if actual “distribution” to a minor is proven.

The Saving Kids from Dangerous Drugs Act would apply the current penalty enhancement to anyone who “manufactures or creates with intent to manufacture, create, distribute or dispense a controlled substance that is combined with a candy product, marketed or packaged to appear similar to a candy product and modified by flavoring or coloring designed to make it more appealing to a person under 18 years of age.”

Basically, anybody making marijuana edibles, even for medical purposes, could face double the federal penalties. As long as marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, state-legal patients are unprotected. This bill could land a medical marijuana patient too sick to smoke medicine, in prison for baking a batch of brownies. Sen Feinstein is using rumors about meth to pass legislation that would only target medical marijuana users and providers.

In a stark contrast, the San Francisco Department of Public Health recently created guidelines for edible marijuana goods. The packaging of the edible has to state the amount of marijuana in the food, and whether it contains any potential allergens such as nuts. Also, no packaging should resemble any type of candy. Bringing marijuana edibles into a market with rules and regulations ensures the quality and purity of the product, as well as the safety of the consumer.

Please, contact your Senators today and tell them to oppose S. 258.