When I penned last week's column on media endtimers’ reaction to legalized marijuana in Colorado, I thought I had served up six-course meal of reefer madness. It turns out that was just the appetizer for the entrée we get today in the form of “Obama’s cultural legacy is legal marijuana blowing through America” by Emily Miller writing for the Washington Times.
“You can go into a store in Colorado and buy marijuana to get stoned for kicks, but you cannot purchase a 40- or 60-watt light bulb,” she opens, decrying the rampant Obama liberalism that has allowed adults to consume a non-toxic euphoriant but eliminated a 20th Century light source that is only 10-percent efficient and consumes three times more energy. Never mind that in Colorado, marijuana received 50,000 more votes than Obama, so at least that many conservatives and independents supported the president.
“Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia already allow for sales of marijuana for supposedly ‘medical’ use.” You know, like how little Charlotte Figi supposedly recovered from Dravet Syndrome, or like how Mykayla Comstock supposedly recovered from leukemia, or like how Cathy Jordan has supposedly outlived a three-year life expectancy by over two decades after being diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease. Keep going, Emily, you’ve got at least 12 percent of the country agreeing with you there.
Next, Emily quotes a drug court prosecutor named Cully Stimson who, presumably with a straight face, stated, “You’re going to have lower test scores and a class of people who are unemployable because they are stoned all the time. People are going to die on ski slopes, on the roads.” News flash, Cully: According to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use & Health, 64.4 percent of people who smoked pot in the past month are employed full or part time. Only 61.7 percent of people who didn’t smoke pot this month are employed full or part time.
Then Emily drops a paragraph that even Kevin Sabet and Paul Chabot wouldn’t touch. “Marijuana proponents who claim that pot is no different than alcohol are ignorant of the science. The body can process alcohol, and in many studies, a few drinks have been proven to have health benefits. Marijuana, on the other hand, is simply a toxin. Pot is more similar to heroin and cocaine than alcohol in how it affects the body.”
Wow, where do we start? We don’t claim marijuana is no different than alcohol; rather, it is far safer; Alcohol, not marijuana, is toxic to healthy cells and organs; The buzz you get from alcohol is literally the poisoning of your brain, whereas marijuana’s high is based on triggering our natural endocannabinoid system; Heroin and cocaine are physically addictive and can kill you by overdose, marijuana can cause mild dependence and has never killed anyone in history by overdose.
After that we get the usual smörgåsbord of Reefer Madness’s Greatest Hits, including:
· “…carcinogens and toxins -- include respiratory problems, lung infections and a diminished immune system.” (Sorry, Emily, Dr. Tashkin de-bunked this in 2006 -- pot smokers have less incidence of head, neck and lung cancer than even non-smokers.)
· “…memory and concentration, which can affect learning skills and academic achievement.” (Nope, said legions of pot-smoking college graduates and every study on the issue.)
· “…chronic marijuana use leads to psychosis, depression, suicidal thoughts and ‘amotivational syndrome’…” (Nope, said Michael Phelps, Silicon Valley and the NBA.)
· “The risk of addiction from using marijuana goes from one in 10 adults to one in six for those who start as adolescents.” (It’s actually one in 11 adults and the adolescent stat is bunk for reasons too detailed to list here. But we’re talking about an “addiction” that cannot kill you, for which withdrawal is mild and is easier to kick than caffeine addiction.)
· “The potency of THC has increased by almost 10 times the levels in the 1980s…” (Hmm, so when I’m toking on this 15 percent THC joint, you’re telling me Cheech and Chong were puffing on 1.5% THC joints back in the day… right.)
· “Virtually every person in drug-treatment centers began their addictions by using marijuana.” (Virtually every person in the Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang began their cycling by using a tricycle. Better ban tricycles!)
· “There has been a massive marketing campaign for decades from the far left, Hollywood and politicians to manipulate the public into thinking marijuana use is harmless.” (Yeah, Emily, that must be it -- movies, TV, and liberals bamboozled us! It couldn’t be that over half the people under age 50 have tried it and found it to be mostly harmless.)
I think the greatest debunk of Emily’s fear-mongering over Obama’s liberal pot-legalizing legacy is that Barack was king of the Choom Gang as a teenager, taking “total absorbtion” hits in Hawaii, and grew up to defeat the bona-fide war hero/multi-term Senator and the former governor/multi-millionaire Emily supported, both of whom never smoked pot, in successive presidential elections.