Journey Healing Centers Votes No on Medical Marijuana Abuse and Addiction

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Journey Healing Centers (http://journeyrecoverycenters.com) will vote No on Prop 203 (Arizona medical marijuana) and Prop 19 (California marijuana legalization for anyone 21+) this November due to concerns over increased addiction, health risks, and extensive abuse seen in the 14 states with medical marijuana. Prop 203 advocates are downplaying the health issues smoking marijuana can cause similar to the way big tobacco has tried to cover up health issues from cigarettes for years. It is also misleading that the Medical Marijuana Project (who wrote Prop 203) states on their website that their primary goal is to legalize marijuana similar to alcohol, which invites abuse and addiction.

Journey Healing Centers (AZ and UT drug and alcohol treatment centers) urges voters to Vote No on Prop 203 (Arizona) and Prop 19 (California) to reduce marijuana abuse, health risks and family heartache when dealing with a loved one fighting addictions. According to a SAMHSA report, Initiation of Marijuana Use: Trends, Patterns and Implications, "the younger children are when they first use marijuana, the more likely they are to use cocaine and heroin and become dependent on drugs as adults." According to Zack, a 21-yr-old and former Journey Healing Centers client, "If I could go back and tell my 12-yr-old self anything, it would be to not start smoking marijuana. It led me to other harder drugs and treatment by age 20. I know first-hand that marijuana is a gateway drug. I have lost 13 friends to addiction related deaths, and most of them started by smoking marijuana."

Many don't realize that smoking marijuana can be much more dangerous than smoking tobacco and cause cancer. If Prop 203 passes, Arizona citizens (including teens under 18) with a medical marijuana card can get two and a half ounces of pot every 14 days, which is about 10 joints a day. The National Institutes of Health estimate that smoking 5 marijuana cigarettes per week has the same health affects as smoking a full pack of tobacco cigarettes every day. "Smoked marijuana damages the brain, heart, lungs, and immune system. It impairs learning and interferes with memory, perception, and judgment. Smoked marijuana contains cancer-causing compounds and has been implicated in a high percentage of automobile crashes and workplace accidents," explains John Walters, Director, Office of National Drug Control Policy.

One of the main drivers behind the marijuana movement is revenue, and eventually making it legal for recreational use. In San Diego, California, only 2 percent of the people getting "medical" marijuana have HIV, cancer or glaucoma, while 98 percent have no serious illness (Billings Gazette). The profit takers who will truly benefit from marijuana legalization are the pot farms, dispensaries, and the doctors. There is no requirement that a 420 (medical marijuana) "doctor" be an M.D. to give out a recommendation, and there are no FDA approvals for marijuana. Almost anyone can get a recommendation with a headache and $150. Not only will it be easy to obtain a medical marijuana card, but teens will start taking marijuana out of their parent's medicine cabinets, adding to the current prescription drug abuse epidemic in the U.S.

Safety on the roads is another concern. An attorney recently called Journey Healing Centers free addiction helpline (1-866-774-5119) to ask for advice because their client was just arrested for driving under the influence of drugs and marijuana possession. This attorney admitted that he told his client to hurry up and get a medical marijuana card. The San Diego Union Tribune reported that a 24-year-old Temecula, CA, man with a medical marijuana prescription caused thirteen car accidents last March, and presented his medical marijuana card as an explanation for his erratic behavior.

What the Medical Marijuana Project fails to mention is that addiction will be around whether Prop 203 and Prop 19 pass or not. Many also don't realize that THC (Tetrahydracanabinol) potency is almost ten times higher today than it was in the 1960s, which makes it even more addictive. With an FDA drug already approved called Marinol as a synthetic form of THC, there is no need to invite more drug abuse, health risks, and family heartache from increased addictions by legalizing medical marijuana. Vote No on Prop 203, Vote No on Prop 19, and Vote No on Medical Marijuana Abuse and Addiction.

Background:
Journey Healing Centers operates drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers in Arizona and Utah, and specializes in holistic healing programs, family treatment and has a Sobriety for Life Program. Their work and success stories have been featured on MTV's Gone Too Far, PBS, ABC News 15 Phoenix, Fox 10 Phoenix, ABC 4 Salt Lake City, USAToday.com, Psychology Today and in People Magazine. Journey Healing Centers has supported thousands dealing with addictions through Residential Treatment Programs, Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP), Sober Living Homes, Aftercare and a Free 24-Hour Hotline with Addiction Specialists: 1-866-774-5119.
http://journeyrecoverycenters.com

Media contact:
Liz Brown
310-795-1485

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