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article imageOp-Ed: Another prohibitionist lies about marijuana

By Ben Morris     Jun 19, 2014 in Politics
In the minds of prohibitionists, truth and honesty have no merit. No matter how big the lie, the anti–legalization crowd will use fallacies or inconsistencies to defend a system of extraordinary economic and societal cost.
In an op-ed published on Politico, a former director of drug control policy, under George W. Bush, perpetuated long debunked arguments against the legalization of marijuana.
John P. Walters mentioned a study that showed an increase of positive marijuana tests in fatal traffic accidents. That study, by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, mentioned one factor that limits the research, the fact that a positive drug test does not necessarily imply you are intoxicated. Casual smokers can test positive for marijuana up to three days after inhaling marijuana, it can take up to 10 days for a frequent marijuana smoker to be cleared for a negative test. It all depends on an individual's metabolism, weight, and numerous other factors. Researchers knew of the difficulty in linking marijuana use to impaired drivers when they wrote, "the prevalence of nonalcohol drugs reported in this study should be interpreted as an indicator of drug use, not necessarily a measurement of drug impairment." That end note was completely ignored by Walters simply because honesty and facts simply don't belong in the fear mongering narrative.
That is shown in another gem Walters spewed in his article. The myth marijuana is a gateway drug. If marijuana was that gateway drug to harsher, deadlier substances, statistics would show that. According to The Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Heath, "More youth in the United States drink alcohol than smoke tobacco or marijuana, making it the drug most used by American young people." Further proof exonerating marijuana as a gateway drug is a study published by the University of Florida, who collected information from more than 14,000 high school seniors.
Listing 11 substances including tobacco, LSD, marijuana and alcohol, researchers concluded, " alcohol, not marijuana or tobacco, was most often the first substance students tried." Of those students polled, 72.2 percent admitted to using alcohol, while only 43.3 percent confirmed marijuana usage. If the gateway theory was true, usage of other drugs would have risen, while marijuana consumption decreased, yet the reverse is true. Consumers of marijuana know their drug of choice is healthier than the alternatives, and have no desire to shoot up heroin.
These studies show marijuana is not a drug of dangerous hedonists. Smoking the plant does not lead its users to a life of ruin. Casual marijuana use does not turn our children into psychopaths. Yet Walters implies such, by criticizing libertarians for their belief in individual liberty.
Libertarians and others who believe cannabis should be legal, are not wrong, as Walters believes they are. Legal weed in Colorado has produced millions to the local economy, and has not shown a huge rise in teen pot use, as they claimed. The prohibitionists are losing the war, and since they can't rely on facts, they must spread disinformation in hopes ignorant souls believe them.
Marijuana is on an unstoppable path towards legalization, and Walters' reliance on lies and disinformation are no longer working. Maybe he should light a joint, and celebrate the pending freedom from useless, and cruel marijuana laws.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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