As we continue to read polls showing super-majority support for the medical use of cannabis, it is interesting to watch how the prohibitionists and rehabitionists are retooling their anti-medical marijuana arguments.  An op-ed by a cop who’s been on the job since LBJ was president was printed in today’s Lexington Herald-Leader and it provides a perfect example of the five latest dumb arguments.

1. Medi-pot proponents would have you believe that the entire plant has medicinal benefit, when, in fact, it is only a few cannabinoid compounds that have the medicinal value.
So, when CBD is extracted into concentrated oil, as the little girl with epilepsy in the Dr. Sanjay Gupta documentary uses, it is a medicine. When THC is synthesized into a concentrated pill called Marinol, it is medicine. But when CBD and THC occur in much lower levels naturally in the plant, it is a deadly dangerous drug with no medical value we couldn’t possibly trust adults with. Right….

2. The largest percentage of cardholders is 18- to-34-year olds who list stress and insomnia as the reason for their desire to smoke dope. Less than 5% of the cardholders in California are listed as chronically ill or have debilitating life-threating illness.
This is the “medicine of last resort” thinking. So, is the cop admitting that people with chronic or life-threatening illnesses are getting medical benefit from cannabis? Or that people with stress and insomnia shouldn’t use medication? Or that people under 35 don’t get sick?

3. Teen usage rates far outpace the national average for youth 12 to 17 years of age in the medi-pot states.
Teen usage rates in the medi-pot states were already outpacing the national average long before they passed a medical marijuana law. Teen usage rates also have not increased in the medi-pot states any more or less than national trends.

4. Research has shown that smoking marijuana on a regular basis is not only harmful but can actually lower the IQ of teen users by up to 8 points.
Prohibitionists can’t let go of that eight-point-IQ study, despite the fact it was immediately refuted when a researcher showed the IQ drop was just as likely attributable to poverty. So is the cop’s point that we can’t allow adults with cancer, AIDS and epilepsy to use cannabis because some teenager might smoke a joint?

5. I can assure you that the marijuana that existed at the beginning of my career is not the same as the marijuana that is available today.
It’s not your father’s Woodstock weed! So, if that weed was so much less harmful, can we just legalize that now? And why are we worried about natural marijuana up to 30% THC potency when Marinol pills of 100% THC potency are legal?

Once again, we witness the power of marijuana to addle the brains of those who do not use it.

"Radical" Russ Belville is host of The Russ Belville Show, which airs live at 3pm Pacific.