Recent News

Legalising dope increases teen use, and here’s the proof

A study has just come out (Lee et al, 2021) looking at two US states, Alaska and Hawaii, and compared their rates of youth marijuana use between 2009 and 2019.

It found that current marijuana use in youth was in decline both in Alaska and Hawaii. But then Alaska legalised marijuana in 2015. What happened? Did youth use decrease as was suggested would happen by Chloe Swarbrick, the Drug Foundation and all other dreamers supporting the Yes campaign last year in New Zealand?

Alaska’s legalisation of the drug in 2015 suddenly caused an increase in use that has sustained while such use in Hawaii has continued to decline.

Dialing down even further, the 2020 release of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health — the gold standard of youth use data — found double-digit increases in past-year marijuana use amongst 12-17 year-olds in several legal states in California, Nevada, and Oregon since 2017.

These findings are even more staggering when they are juxtaposed with the fact that this same data set finds youth substance use of all other substances is continuing to decline.

Before we move on from the NSDUH data, one further point worth considering is the findings of Cerda et al (2019).

Looking at NSDUH data from 2008 to 2016, this study found that the prevalence of past-year Cannabis Use Disorder among those 12-17 saw a 25% greater increase in states where marijuana was “legalised” versus states where it remained illegal.

Remember this data the next time drug proponents in New Zealand try and misrepresent the true harms and social health costs of legalising a harmful drug.

(Hat-Tip: Kevin Sabet, Smart Approaches to Marijuana)

Canadian Study: Cannabis use doubles heart attack risk

Not only is cannabis well-known for causing lung disease, recent studies also link cannabis to increased risk of heart attacks – possibly doubling the risk of heart attacks for adults under 45 years old. Research also found that no method of cannabis consumption is safer than others, with the associated risks being consistent whether consumption is by smoking, vaporisation, or edibles.

The study, which was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, looked at US CDC results from more than 33,000 adults aged between 18 and 44 years-old. It found that adults in this age range could be doubling their risk of suffering a heart attack if they use cannabis.

These findings build on previous studies that link cannabis use to increased heart attack risk. The new report finds 18 and 44 year-old adults who used marijuana within the last 30 days doubled their chances of myocardial infarction. The risk is even greater for heavy users.

”With recent legalization and decriminalization, cannabis use is increasing in young adults in North America, and we do not fully know its effects on cardiovascular health… We found an association between recent cannabis use and myocardial infarction, which persisted across an array of robust sensitivity analyses. Additionally, this association was consistent across different forms of cannabis consumption, including smoking, vaporization, and other methods such as edibles. This suggests that no method of consumption is safer than another in this regard.”

Dr. Karim Ladha, Clinician Scientist at Unity Health Toronto

The full research findings can be found here.

US Study – Marijuana use among college-age at highest level since 1980s

Another major report. Same conclusion. Legalisation of recreational cannabis is a disaster for public health. Not only does legalisation result in significantly increased usage (despite what pro-drug advocates said wouldn’t happen), it’s youth who take up smoking dope at a much greater rate. Knowing the increased harm of drugs to developing brains, this is the perfect storm for creating longterm problems. Let’s keep saying NO to dope.

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New Colorado report shows Marijuana harms continue to mount

We said that Colorado was like the “canary in the coal mine”, with its legalisation of recreational cannabis. We’re thankful for the chance to watch their dangerous experiment before doing it in New Zealand. And the evidence continues to reveal that kiwis made a great decision last year by voting NO to dope.

Media Release from Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM)

(Alexandria, VA) – Today, a new Colorado report compiled by the Rocky Mountain High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area finds marijuana-positive traffic fatalities, hospitalizations, illegal market activity, and opioid-related deaths continue to rise following marijuana commercialization.

 According to the report, marijuana-impaired driving is continuing to have a catastrophic impact on Colorado. Since legalization, traffic deaths in which drivers tested positive for marijuana increased 138 percent while all Colorado traffic deaths increased 29 percent. In 2020, 131 individuals were fatally injured in crashes where the driver tested positive for marijuana.

The percentage of all Colorado traffic deaths involving drivers who tested positive for marijuana increased from 11 percent in 2013 to 20 percent in 2020.

Calls to the poison control center due to marijuana exposures continue to rise in Colorado, with 318 total calls in 2020 versus 125 in 2013, a 154 percent increase. Of these calls, 69 percent were for youths aged 0-18. Such calls totaled 221 in 2020, representing a 240 percent increase since 2013. 

Of suicides among Colorado youth aged 10-19, marijuana was present in 51 percent of toxicology reports.

2020 was the worst year on record for opioid deaths nationwide, and Colorado saw the largest jump in such deaths in more than 20 years, with 956 opioid-related overdose deaths, a 56 percent increase over 2019, and a 137 percent increase since 2013.

 While marijuana legalization proponents argue such a change in drug policy can help curb the opioid epidemic, this has not been shown to be the case in Colorado. Apart from a small decline between 2017 and 2018, opioid overdose deaths have increased year over year in Colorado since 2012. 

The illicit marijuana market continues to be unphased six years after legalization was instituted. In 2020, the Colorado Drug Task Force conducted 294 investigations, made 168 felony arrests, and seized just under six tons of illicit marijuana en route to 21 different states. 

The report also concludes that alcohol consumption in Colorado, which marijuana legalization proponents argued would decrease with marijuana being legalized, has in fact increased 10 percent since 2013. 

The Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (RMHIDTA) program has published annual reports every year since 2013 tracking the impact of legalizing recreational marijuana in Colorado. The purpose is to provide data and information so that policymakers and citizens can make informed decisions on the issue of marijuana legalization.

Study shows sperm decline in marijuana smokers, and higher risk of stroke

Yet more research confirming what we already know, that dope is detrimental to our health and wellbeing in many different ways. A recent study found that past and present male marijuana smokers had a decline in sperm quality, meaning meaning low volume in semen and decrease in the quality of sperm. I wonder if our own male drug advocates are concerned about this? Yes, that’s you Nandor, Ross, Russell, Andrew 😉

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Record number of Americans trying marijuana

If you believed the fanciful ‘claims’ of drug advocates in NZ and thought that liberalising drug laws wouldn’t lead to increased use…. think again. A new poll says the percentage of American adults who have tried marijuana rose to 49%, the highest measured to date. 


As of June 2021, eighteen US states have legalised recreational use of cannabis, with all but D.C. having also legalised its commercial sale. So it’s no surprise at all that there are now record levels of Americans trying marijuana.

“12% of adults say they currently smoke marijuana, which has remained steady in recent years since. It was initially measured at 7% in 2013, about the time a wave of states began decriminalising and legalising marijuana use for recreational purposes.”

Read the full story here

DC Police Chief says Marijuana “undoubtedly” tied to rise in violent crime

DC Police Chief reveals the truth about marijuana – “it’s undoubtedly” tied to a rise in violent crime”. Despite the fanciful and delusional “theories” of drug advocates, the conclusions from leaders in crime prevention and health are consistent – drugs (including marijuana) are harmful and lead to a rise in violent crime. New Zealand certainly dodged a deadly bullet when we voted NO to cannabis legalisation in the 2020 referendum. Say Nope To Dope.


So, we continue to discover real-world evidence that marijuana is far more dangerous and sinister than our drug advocates want you to believe. It’s clearly not the laid-back organic herb it’s made out to be. Dope is proven to be detrimental to mental health as well as physical health; but it’s also linked to crime. This interview with a veteran DC Police Chief makes it crystal clear that marijuana is “undoubtedly” tied to a rise in violent crime.

“When you have something where people get high reward… and the risk for accountability is very low, that creates a very, very, very, very, very bad situation.”

The must-watch video interview is here

Medicinal cannabis company suffered serious security breach

Helius Therapeutics has confirmed cannabis oils were taken from their Auckland factory without permission by one of their team in 2020. The company’s chairman had been kept in the dark about the incident for 6 months. National’s associate drug reform spokesperson Shane Reti was dead right when he said the incident could undermine the sector. “It will cause aspersions in an industry that wants to be squeaky clean and this shows that they’re not and that’s a real shame.”

This is not a good look for a company that will be one of the main producers of medical marijuana in New Zealand. Not only would we expect much tighter security, even more concerning is that the company kept it secret from the the public and even their own chairman.

Read article here

Increase in cannabis consumption likely if decriminalised in Australia says new study

National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre 26 July 2021
A new study has found that an estimated 4.2 per cent of the population aged 14 and over, who have never tried cannabis before, would try it if use of the drug were legal.

Led by researchers at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), UNSW Sydney, the study also found that an estimated 2.6 per cent of the population said they were likely to use more cannabis if it were legal.

Lead author, Professor Don Weatherburn from NDARC said, “These findings clearly conflict with the popular view that legalisation of cannabis would not increase consumption.”

Using data from the Australian National Drug Strategy Household survey, the study found that the decriminalisation of cannabis use would likely lead to an increase in consumption of cannabis among young people with mental health problems.

“Consumption of cannabis would be substantially higher among males, younger people and people who suffer from mild, moderate and/or severe level of psychological stress,” said Professor Weatherburn.

“However, it is not known whether those who experience psychological distress are more likely to use cannabis as a form of self-medication, or whether other factors are responsible for both cannabis use and psychological distress.”

The study states that while the vast majority of people may be unaffected by any change in the legislative status of cannabis use, small changes in the number of heavy users of cannabis could have significant effects on demand for treatment and drug-related harms.

Cannabis a factor in young man’s fatal car crash – coroner

Stuff 4 August 2021
A young man, who reportedly “hot boxed” in his car before fatally crashing it, was “robbed of a normal life” by a growing cannabis dependency, his father told a coroner.

Ethan Phillip Crone, 24, was killed in May 2017 when he missed the intersection of Easterbrook and Hicklands roads, south of Rangiora, smashed though an arrow sign and over a stopbank, then crashed into a tree.

In a report released on Wednesday, Coroner Marcus Elliott found Crone died from injuries to his head, chest and limbs.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, was detected in his bloodstream.

The coroner found there were several factors at play but Crone’s death illustrated the dangers of driving after using cannabis.

“The New Zealand Drug Foundation states: Do not drive after using cannabis because this greatly increases the chance of an accident.

“If Mr Crone had not used cannabis, he may have perceived the corner and sign and avoided the crash.”
READ MORE:–coroner