The petition was withdrawn last month due to a Cease and Desist letter from the American Academy of Pediatrics. In January 2015, as the petition was about to be submitted by the board of New Approach to the Idaho Secretary of State's office, numerous articles came out regarding the AAP's support of rescheduling Cannabis to support medical research. Their name had been mistakenly added to the petition at the last minute, without much scrutiny due to the excitement of their announcement and the rush to turn in the petition.
Unfortunately, they do not support the actual legalization of medical marijuana. So, once the letter was received, the petition was immediately withdrawn by the Chief Petitioner. (However, as Tim Teater mentioned in the letter to the Editor, the AAP does, in fact, support decriminalization of marijuana for CHILDREN.)
Tim's letter vocalized my own feelings about Elisha's use of the "Kid Card" in response to the petition being withdrawn. This was extremely disappointing to me as well.
As Tim points out, it is truly unfortunate that Ms. Figueroa's choice in words is NOT supported by science or logic and she is standing on the wrong side of truth and history.
It is definitely NOT "well known that marijuana use adversely affects the health and developing brains of children and adolescents". There is absolutely ZERO scientific evidence that truly supports this statement.
At most, the only prohibitionist stance that might actually work is to say that Marijuana's effects on health is underresearched (which is not necessarily true either) and just another thing that prohibition is to blame.
However, there is scientific evidence that Marijuana does NOT have adverse effects on health, which is why DEA Administrative Judge Francis Young ruled on it's safety as a medicine in 1988.
It is also why CNN's medical correspondent, Sanjay Gupta, apologized for being too dismissive of marijuana and later stated he was "doubling down on Medical Marijuana."
There is also scientific evidence, as reported by Dr. Melanie Dreher, that the health and brain development of children of mothers that use Cannabis during pregnancy and breastfeeding are NOT negatively affected and that such use may actually be good for them.
Additionally, there is scientific evidence (and a patent) that proves marijuana actually protects the brain.
There is also ZERO evidence to support Elisha's statement that legalization makes marijuana MORE accessible to children.
However, there IS evidence to the contrary that shows teen use actually declines as states legalize.
Prohibition is what truly makes Marijuana accessible to our children because the black market is what is accessible and drug dealers do not have legal requirements to verify age prior to making a sale. Regulation is the only logical way to decrease the access that children have to Marijuana.
After meeting with her in November, I had hopes that, perhaps with a little education, Ms. Figueroa's compassion might have a possible chance of interfering with Butch Otter's political agendas.
But after personally providing her with a great deal of scientific evidence, looking back at her 4 years as the Director of Idaho's Office of Drug Policy, and watching her behavior the last few months, it is obvious that her actions and words repeatedly conflict with her feigned compassion and facade of concern for the well-being of Idaho's children.
Elisha Figueroa calls New Approach Idaho liars and manipulators in one public forum, yet refuses to even discuss what she thinks about Marijuana in a different public forum.
Apparently, if it's not something that she can manipulate with a carefully crafted statement filled with lies, and she might actually be required to back up what she says with scientific evidence, she just refuses to even participate.
And she is our Drug Czar, whose job it is to discuss things like, um, drugs and be open to the public for discussion regarding things like Medical Marijuana in Idaho. It is precisely what she receives a paycheck from public funds to do.
A salary search shows that Elisha was paid an hourly rate of $36.39 when she was given her position of Director of the IODP in April 2012.
At that rate, a 40 hour work week would provide Ms. Figueroa a weekly paycheck of close to $1,500. That is approximately $6,000 a month and $76,000 a year... which makes a total* of over $305,000 in Idaho tax dollars that has been paid in the last 4 years to a woman who obviously does not represent the opinion of the people who pay her salary.
(*total, not counting any pay raises or bonuses received)
It makes me wonder...
Why is Idaho paying this woman to IGNORE science, logic, and Idaho's suffering children?
Why is Idaho paying this woman to represent OUR drug policy?
Why is Idaho paying this woman to LIE TO US?
Is it truly acceptable to Idahoans that their tax dollars are being used to fund the ignorance, lies and manipulation at the State Level?
Are Idahoans really okay with keeping medical marijuana illegal and this woman as their voice for Drug Policy in Idaho?
Are YOU okay that YOUR taxes are being used to keep our friends and families from an amazingly beneficial, non toxic medicine?
I really want to know.
So, tell me what you think!
Take the poll (below).
And if you feel that Ms. Figueroa is NOT representing YOUR drug policy-
CLICK HERE TO SIGN A PETITION DEMANDING SHE CHANGE HER STANCE.