Marijuana advocates can no longer claim legalization is devoid of catastrophic results.
The Denver Post, which has embraced legalization, analyzed federal and state data and found results so alarming they published a story last week under the headline "Traffic fatalities linked to marijuana are up sharply in
Colorado. Is legalization to blame?"
Of course legalization is to blame. It ushered in a commercial industry that encourages consumption and produces an ever-increasing supply of pot substantially more potent than most users could find when the drug was illegal.
The post reported a 40 percent increase in the number of all drivers, impaired or otherwise, involved in fatal crashes in Colorado between 2013 and 2016. That's why the Colorado State Patrol posts fatality numbers on electronic signs over the highways.
The Post explained: "Increasingly potent levels of marijuana were found in positive-testing drivers who died in crashes in Front Range counties, according to coroner data since 2013 compiled by The Denver Post. Nearly a dozen in 2016 had levels five times the amount allowed by law, and one was at 22 times the limit. Levels were not as elevated in earlier years."
All drivers in marijuana-related crashes who survived last year tested at levels indicating use within a few hours of the tests.
"The trends coincide with the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado that began with adult use in late 2012, followed by sales in 2014," the Post reported.
Greenwood Village Police Chief John Jackson called the trend "a huge public safety problem."Colorado Springs Councilwoman Jill Gaebler, who wants a ballot measure to legalize recreational pot in Colorado Springs, tried to downplay the Post's findings in a comment on Gazette.com.
"Thirty-three percent or 196 of all traffic deaths that occurred in 2016 were alcohol-related," Gaebler wrote. "Yet you don't hear anyone trying to ban alcohol, even though it is far more dangerous, in every regard, to marijuana."
The Post found fatal crashes involving drivers under the influence of alcohol grew 17 percent from 2013 to 2015. Figures for 2016 were not available. Drivers testing positive for pot during that span grew by 145 percent, and "prevalence of testing drivers for marijuana use did not change appreciably, federal fatal-crash data show."
The entire country has an enormous problem with alcohol-related traffic fatalities. Given our inability to resolve that problem, it is arguably idiotic to throw another intoxicating substance into the mix with the predictable result of more traffic deaths caused by impairment.
El Paso County Commissioner Longinos Gonzalez gets it, as shown by a comment he left on the Colorado Springs Gazette website.
"Recent data indicates crime is up statewide, homelessness up, black and Hispanic teen arrests related to MJ are up a lot," Gonzalez wrote. "A Denver TV station did a month long data poll last year at a hospital in Pueblo (which has fully embraced MJ) and found that nearly half of all newborns were testing positive for THC in their bloodstream at birth. Who would want to expand MJ sales in face of such data? And the big supporters of rec MJ can only fall back on their 'go-to' arguments, that 'it isn't as bad as alcohol' or that the negative articles are biased or not credible."
Another Gazette commenter expressed surprise at Gaebler's "casual attitude" about the Denver Post's findings.
The commenter wrote: "We already have alcohol, let's add MJ, and why stop there -- people want and need their opioids. Let there be drinking, toking, shooting up in our beautiful city."
One must stretch the imagination to deny that legalized pot has caused a substantial increase in Colorado highway deaths. Pot is an intoxicating, psychoactive drug. That means it cannot be harmless. Expect emerging and troubling data to make this fact increasingly clear.
The most important story coming out of the incidents in Charlottesville is apparently the lack of story coming out of C-Ville from the corporate-controlled media. The people and institutions funding the unrest there are largely the same ones that profit from the activity of the corporate media, most notably in this case, George Soros.
Funny how this "autonomous" (according to Wikipedia) organization, Antifa, springs fully-funded seemingly out of nowhere, with extensive media coverage, when other more peaceful groups cannot beg or buy media time. The heavily Soros-backed Black Lives Matter emerged this way, a grassroots movement coopted and manipulated for political purposes. The intent is to incite violent and disruptive behavior. The results of all of this are obvious.
The name "Antifa" is that of a global organization taking its name from the German Communists, specifically "Antifaschistische Aktion". If you will look, the flag currently sported by this "autonomous" group that just appeared here, is directly taken from the German Communist Party flag of 1932. To oppose fascism (which almost no one on the street here can define) is certainly desirable, but that is not the purpose of this group, as you can see.
Antifa is the group that caused the earlier riot at Berkeley, shutting down a speech by Trump supporter Milo Yiannopoulous..Outside provocation is the modus operandi. An Antifa manual found on the campus of Evergreen College states "Shut Down Their Rallies... Force The Media To Show Our Side As The Righteous One".
The deeper you look, the deeper the rabbit hole goes. Jason Kessler, the supposed "leader" of these White Supremacists (who, distasteful as it is, had permits to assemble), was a backer of "Occupy Wall Street" and a long-time supporter of Obama. Not bad in itself, but he apparently showed no involvement in the white supremacy world until November of 2016, right as Trump was elected. Kessler was field reporter for CNN during the Occupy protests, a fact which apparently CNN is trying to erase from record. Another curious person at the Charlottesville event was the well-placed cameraman, Brennan Gilmore. Reminds us of the Zapruder film. He did a CNN interview immediately after the crash and had all the right answers in advance. The guy gets around. He was a former Deputy Chief of Missions in Hillary's State Dept. under Obama. He served in posts in Africa, including Bengazi. He has a clandestine profile as long as your arm, easily accessed on the internet. He was linked to the US Agency for International Development, a known CIA front.
Trump was right--- in this case, these fake left-wingers were to blame, and the fake media that backs them (and he does disavow Nazism). The corporate media subsequently have set out to take Trump out. This media is owned and operated by far bigger fish than Soros, their front man. Trump, with his flaws, still sees enough. He opposes the globalists, and that has put a bullseye on his back, which Antifa and more will be aiming at. What will be next? Impeachment? Monuments to Washington? Your beloved flag? Instigated race war? Why did the Mayor of Charlottesville order his police forced to stand down? Antifa offers ads on Craigslist for protesters, paying $25 an hour, as they did before Charlottesville. Soros funds upwards of 200 different groups to varying degrees. Unless the people of this country demand democracy, refuse terrorism of the Antifa sort (or any sort), Trump may be the last best hope for this country. Wish him well.
N. Fort Myers
My heart pains……. as flashbacks of Hurricane Charlie race through my mind, remembering the devastation it caused here in a storm that turned away at the last minute and “only grazed us” in Fort Myers, as one weatherman had put it. Not to mention that Charlie was moving quickly, unlike Harvey that has traveled at a mere 1 mile per hour.
Record breaking rainfall has now crippled the area around the city of Houston, displacing over 30,000 people and unbelievably, some are saying ….. miraculously, only claiming 30 lives at this time.
A storm of this magnitude is being called a 500 year flood; I had to research the term because it didn’t make sense to me. It means there’s a 1-in-500 chance (0.2 percent) a flood this bad will strike a particular area in any given year. In theory, that means that over 500 years, that will happen once. It must be in theory only, because Houston has had more than its share of major floods in the past few years.
Love and prayers go out to all the people suffering through Hurricane Harvey in Texas and surrounding areas that are literally still ‘not out of the water’ as the storm stalled off the coast, we can only hope it will falter quickly after it makes landfall for the second time in Louisiana as we go to press.
Disaster has a way of bringing Americans together, it’s sad that lately it take one to do so, but once again our country rallies itself to help our neighbors.
We are approaching the anniversary of 9/11 and once again, like we did in that aftermath, we let our guards down and show our humanity. Warm and fuzzy feelings rush through us as we see pictures and read stories of people helping each other, saving lives, hearing of car after car hauling trailers and boats headed not away from but towards Houston as volunteers from across the country flock to a new “ground zero”, this time caused by mother nature, to lend a hand.
It’s unfortunate that some have taken this opportunity to take advantage of a disaster following the lead of the (not so) “great” Rahm Emanuel who said “You never let a serious crisis go to waste” Politico’s headlines read ,“Harvey Is What Climate Change Looks Like”, an USA Today story was titled “Hurricane Harvey and climate change: Is there a connection?” The NY Times: “Harvey, the Storm That Humans Helped Cause”, and I could go on and on listing others but that would take all the space in this paper!
Come on…. really? One major storm hits the US in a dozen years and this is what the main stream media has to say about it? What about the 12 years that we have been relatively storm free? Why isn’t that what climate change looks like?
Ann Coulter, a non believer of climate change took a different approach stating on Twitter that “Houston electing a lesbian mayor” is as likely an explanation for Hurricane Harvey as climate change is, referring to Annise Parker, Houston’s first openly gay mayor from January 2, 2010 – January 2, 2016
I personally am not that quick to point a finger, because we all know, it’s not polite to point.
My intention was to talk about Antifa in this weeks editorial, but that will have to wait until a future issue.
I will say this, everyone, on both sides, needs to stop the violence. I know, I know, ...... wishful thinking!
Florida’s tourism marketing agency — which came under fire for approving a secret $1 million deal with rapper Pitbull — paid nearly $441,000 in employee bonuses this summer.
Stephen Lawson, a spokesman for Visit Florida, said that while the bonuses were paid in July, they were actually approved by the agency board back in May 2016.
Visit Florida paid the bonuses to 119 employees with amounts ranging from just a few hundred dollars to nearly $29,000.
The president and CEO of Visit Florida did not receive a bonus.
Lawson said the organization used private money and not taxpayer dollars to pay for the bonuses.
“Visit Florida will not be using this bonus pay structure in the future,” he said in a statement. “Visit Florida is reviewing payment and compensation moving forward.”
But the move came just weeks after a bruising fight in the halls of the Capitol where top Republicans in the Florida House had initially proposed cutting state support for Visit Florida by two-thirds. As part of a deal worked out between Gov. Rick Scott and legislators, the organization received $76 million.
But legislators did pass a law this year that prohibits both Visit Florida and Enterprise Florida, the state’s economic development agency, from using any public money to pay employee bonuses.
Peter Antonacci, an ally of Scott who was recently tapped to lead Enterprise Florida, is considering scrapping all bonuses for his organization regardless of the funding source.
He said this week that he wants to develop a compensation system that “avoids pitfalls in public debate.’’
Both Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida have weathered scrutiny in the past year, especially from House Republicans who have questioned the need for taxpayers to pay for economic development efforts.
In 2015, Visit Florida signed a secret $1 million contract with Pitbull to promote Florida that included the rapper doing a new video for his song “Sexy Beaches,” touting the state’s beaches and hotels.