The Union presents “Reefer Madness”

The Union never disappoints when it comes to “retro reporting.” This weekend we are treated to “Elaine Meckler: Marijuana is destroying our youth.” (Elaine, you might recall, is co-founder of the local chapter of the Tea Party Patriots).

To be clear, I am the parent of a teenager and do not support kids smoking marijuana, and I’ve never smoked weed (except maybe an “experimental” puff or two as a youth). I do understand that medical marijuana has been helpful to some patients, and I “get” that legal marijuana is at our doorstep.

I don’t understand how a column like this is constructive in 2017. It’s a throwback to the “Reefer Madness” era. Reefer Madness is a 1936-39 American propaganda film about the melodramadic events that occur when high school students are lured by pushers to try marijuana.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

18 thoughts on “The Union presents “Reefer Madness””

  1. I think we can just boil down all of the concerns in Nevada County to four things—guns, climate change, immigration and pot. Seems like everything eventually goes back there .

  2. I agree with everything you said Jeff we can’t go backwards on this issue. Although I don’t support making recreational MJ legal personally( unless it is regulated just like like cigarettes and alcohol) I wholeheartedly support it for medical purposes although evidence on the effectiveness can be a little sketchy at times.( but to each his own) I clearly believe Measure W however was all about recreational legalization under the guise of medical legalization.

  3. And yet food processors funnel refined sugars into almost everything they sell for children to eat and expect them not to have serious health issues like diabetes later in life.
    Sugar is not innocuous, it is the main gateway drug because it’s use begins in infancy.
    I was reading the sugar content one of my grandkids’ squeeze yogurts, and it contains more sugar than is advisable for an adult woman’s daily allowance!
    The stores are so full of processed garbage and empty calories that it is no wonder Type 2 diabetes is shooting through the roof in elementary schools.

    Addictive tendencies vary in individuals and it’s function in the brain has a name, the hypothalmic-pituitary-adrinocortical axis and it can be triggered by pretty much anything.
    Seriously, let’s try banning coffee in this county and see how quickly the collective mood turns ugly.
    Or, here’s a funny one, ban cigarette smoking in Nevada City limits and see just how much compliance you get.
    Zilch, that’s how much.

    It’s important to remember that addiction is a medical problem and can be treated.
    Law enforcement needs our help so that it isn’t mostly a police problem as, unfortunately, it is now.
    There’s a good film on the subject, “Pleasure Unraveled”, by Dr. Kevin McCauley.
    Mrs. Meckler ought to watch it, learn from it and move on to the hard work of expanding local recuperative services for the afflicted.
    Doing it right might well yield success and earn Nevada County a reputation as, “Recovery Central”, for California and beyond.
    Think of it.

  4. I think the Tea Party is doing more to destroy our youth than pot. Young people do not think, believe, or have the same values as a bunch of old white people still stuck in the past. The alcohol that these people swill is way more harmful than weed. Last year almost 31,000 people died from alcohol overdoses and another 88,000 deaths were alcohol related. Compare that to the zero deaths related to marijuana since the beginning of time and you get the picture. I don’t see the TPers complaining about the rampant prescription drug epidemic that kills more people than all the rest put together. Opioid deaths have gone down when states have legalized pot. This is all about right wing corporate politics. The alcohol companies don’t like pot because people prefer it to alcohol and can grow it in their back yards which equals lower profit, plain and simple.

    1. Update on MJ Deaths:

      A new study of marijuana drug use in Colorado found increases in marijuana-related traffic deaths, hospital visits, school suspensions, lab explosions, and pet poisonings. The study was conducted by a federal government program.

      The 166-page report released this month analyzed the effects of legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational use in Colorado spanning the time period from 2006 to the present. Along with the state of Washington, Colorado is considered as something of laboratory in which the effects of legalizing marijuana use can be studied.

      The study showed that the number of drivers testing positive for marijuana increased 100 percent from 2007 to 2012, with marijuana-related fatalities doubling from 37 to 78. Traffic fatalities total around 500 a year in the state.

      1. Interesting information Russ, but I would like more details. As you know, Mj stays in the system for weeks, unlike heroin and cocaine that dissipate within hours to a day or so. My first question is were these drivers actually impaired as in DUI, or did they just test positive for pot? Did they also test for alcohol and/or other drugs that may have affected the test or increased impairment? Driving tests at UCLA have shown that people are often more careful when they have imbibed MJ than before because they are more aware that they have been affected, unlike alcohol when the drivers are mostly oblivious to their own level of intoxication.

        Still the number of marijuana overdose deaths remains at zero. Don’t drink and drive, don’t smoke and drive. Pretty simple.

      2. Please cite the exact report and link you are referencing, so we can read it and judge the validity of the reporting source. Because we sure as hell aren’t going to swallow your statements.

  5. BTW, I told Todd that he can no longer comment here until he cleans up that cesspool he calls a blog. He is an embarrassment to the natives.

  6. Meanwhile, Elaine Meckler has generated 15 comments at The Union for her “refer madness” article. All of them are negative. We have two communities in one: Elaine’s and the rest of us.

  7. I remember the re-screening of Reefer Madness in my early 20’s. I couldn’t wait to go see it. A group of us went and had the biggest laugh!

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