“Medical” cannabis – a trailblazer for legalisation

Statement of the Association Youth without Drugs (Jugend ohne Drogen), Zurich*

The decriminalisation/legalisation/regulation of cannabis products has been practised in Switzerland and other western countries for over 40 years. Recreational use has already been legalised in a dozen US states, Uruguay and Canada. In our country, this request has been rejected with good reason in various federal referendums. Nevertheless, with the compliant support of most of the media, various interest groups and representatives from the social, political and economic sectors are once again exerting increased pressure on the public to come closer to that goal in Switzerland as well.
Because the drug legalisation lobby is very well networked internationally, it is worth taking a look at an American study published in 2017. It is entitled: “Tracking the Money That’s Legalizing Marijuana And Why It Matters”.
The National Families in Action (NFIA) study documents how three American billionaires, who advocate cannabis as a legal stimulant, manipulated votes in 16 US States, persuading voters to legalise medical cannabis, during more than a decade. – NFIA is an Atlanta-based non-profit organisation founded in 1977  helping parents to prevent children from using alcohol, tobacco and other drugs (www.nationalfamilies.org).
The report uncovers the strategy of using “medical” cannabis as a precursor to the general legalisation of cannabis. It describes how the financier George Soros, the insurance magnate Peter Lewis and the profit-oriented education baron John Sperling (and the organisations that finance them and their families) systematically undermined resistance to cannabis while denying that legalising recreational use was their real goal.
They lied about the health benefits of cannabis, exploited the hopes of sick people, ignored scientific facts and advice from the medical community, and undermined consumer protection measures against unsafe, ineffective medications. The study shows that once the three billionaires achieved their goal (in Colorado and Washington since 2012), they invested their funds only in votes for universal legalisation. In 2014 and 2016, they donated $44 million to legalise recreational use in Alaska, Oregon, California, Arizona, Nevada, Massachusetts and Maine. Only in Arizona the voters were able to ward off this attack.

  • The document shows a disturbing parallel between the cannabis and tobacco industries. Both have developed strongly because they cynically expect their products to cause an addiction among many young consumers and thus acquire new customers in the coming years. Like tobacco consumption, the further spread of cannabis consumption will have a number of negative effects on the health sector, safety sector and financial sector.
  • “Americans learned the hard way about the tragic effects of tobacco and the deceptive practices of the tobacco industry. Making another addictive drug [cannabis] legal unleashes a commercial business that is unable to resist the opportunity to make billions of dollars on the back of human suffering, unattained life goals, disease, and death," said Sue Rusche, president of National Families in Action. “If people genuinely understood that marijuana can cause cognitive, safety and mental health problems, is addictive, and that addiction rates may be three times higher than reported, neither voters nor legislators would legalise pot.”1

Verena Herzog, National Councillor, Association President

Jean-Paul Vuilleumier, vocational school teacher, Association Secretary

* The “Verein Jugend ohne Drogen (Association Youth without Drugs)” is a non-profit Swiss association in the sense of Art. 60ff. ZGB. It was founded in January 1994 to support the federal popular initiative “Jugend ohne Drogen (Youth without Drugs)” in Zurich. With its information and activities, it is committed to protecting children, adolescents and young adults from the dangers of drug use. It takes a position on current issues of Swiss drug policy. Further information can be found on the homepage www.jod.ch.

1    https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2017/03/14/936283/0/en/New-Report-by-National-Families-in-Action-Rips-the-Veil-Off-the-Medical-Marijuana-Industry.html

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