Loading

5 Favorite Law Enforcement Lies About Marijuana

  • by Russ Belville, NORML Outreach Coordinator October 24, 2011

    Gallup Polls Support and Opposition to Marijuana Legalization 1969-2011

    As 50% of Americans now support marijuana legalization, the prohibitionists are coming out in full force with hysterical propaganda to once again terrorize voters about cannabis.  We intended to scour multiple sources to compile the five most common scare tactics they use, but Joseph Summerill, director of the Summerill Group LLC, a Washington, D.C.- based law enforcement think tank and general counsel for the Major County Sheriffs’ Association, made our job easy by using all five in one op-ed piece published today in the Washington Examiner entitled, “Facts on medical marijuana are stubborn things, too“.

    Lie #1) Marijuana’s not really medical.  The government says so!

    [M]arijuana is a Schedule I drug… a high potential for abuse or dependency… no accepted medical value… unsafe to use, even under medical supervision.  [M]arijuana has not passed the rigid scrutiny of medicine proposed by the FDA.

    The Truth

    Lie #2) Doctors and scientists don’t approve of smoked medicine; they do approve of Marinol.

    Institute of Medicine and the American Medical Association acknowledged the lack of data to support the use of smoked marijuana for medicinal purposes.

    What is scientifically approved by the FDA and accepted by the medical community is a medicine called Marinol, a legal, widely prescribed drug currently in pill form containing synthetic THC, a main constituent in marijuana.

    The Truth

    • The American Medical Association said, “smoked cannabis reduces neuropathic pain, improves appetite and caloric intake especially in patients with reduced muscle mass, and may relieve spasticity and pain in patients with multiple sclerosis.”
    • Marinol is 100% synthetic THC (the psychoactive component) suspended in a sesame oil capsule.  Cannabis flowers are around 5%-30% natural THC combined with CBD (a component that moderates psychoactivity) and other beneficial compounds.
    • Inhaling cannabis is a superior delivery mechanism for it allows the patient to self-titrate (adjust dose) and get immediate relief.  It’s especially helpful to inhale cannabis rather than swallow a Marinol pill when one is vomiting.  We recognize many inhaled medications (think: steroid inhalers for asthma patients) and when vaporized, any harms from smoking cannabis are eliminated.

    Lie #3) Marijuana smoke is much worse than cigarette smoke!

    [S]moked marijuana contains more than 400 chemicals, many of which are identical to the most harmful chemicals and carcinogens found in cigarette smoke. The fact is that a marijuana cigarette contains four times as much tar as a tobacco cigarette.

    The Truth

    • My pencil contains five components, two of which are identical to the graphite found in golf clubs and the wood found in golf tees.  This does not make my pencil a golf club or a tee.  Water contains hydrogen and oxygen.  This does not make water flammable or breathable.  Many recipes call for the same ingredients; it’s how you put them together that matters.  Joints aren’t cigarettes, they’re far safer than that.
    • Dr. Donald Tashkin went looking for that “marijuana causes cancer” connection and found quite the opposite, that cannabis smokers had lower incidence of head, neck, and lung cancer.  We even have compelling evidence that cannabinoids may be instrumental in unlocking the cure for cancer.
    • Very few tokers smoke 20 to 40 joints a day, but even if they did, where are these marijuana smokers with the tar-ravaged lungs filling up our hospitals?  Again, we have zero recorded deaths from cannabis smoking and over 400,000 annual deaths from tobacco use.  Joints aren’t cigarettes.

    Lie #4) Marijuana is the gateway drug to cocaine, meth, and heroin!

    [L]egalizing marijuana leads to the use of more dangerous and harmful drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine…. [T]eens who smoke marijuana were found to be 85 times more likely to use cocaine than those teens who do not smoke marijuana.

    The Truth

    • Teens who ride bicycles were found to be 85 times more likely to join an outlaw biker gang than teens who don’t ride bicycles*.  So we should outlaw bicycles?  Sure, most cocaine users may have started first with pot, but they also probably started with alcohol before that and milk before that.
    • That same Institute of Medicine report Mr. Summerill referenced in Lie #2 said, “There is no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs.”
    • According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, over 100 million American adults have tried cannabis.  There are currently about 1.5 million monthly cocaine users, 430 thousand monthly meth users, and 192 thousand monthly heroin users.  So for every 46 people who’ve ever tried pot, only one went on to become a monthly hard drug user.  A gateway that only affects 2.1% of the people isn’t much of a gateway.

    * OK, that one we just made up.

    Lie #5) Marijuana legalization leads to carnage on the highways!

    [M]arijuana use, including its use for medicinal purposes, is directly related to motor vehicle accidents and reckless driving, as cannabis affects psychomotor functioning.

    In a study of fatally injured drivers in Washington state, a state with legalized medical marijuana, about one every eight tested positive for marijuana.

    The Truth

    • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has said of marijuana testing of drivers, “It is inadvisable to try and predict effects based on blood THC concentrations alone, and currently impossible to predict specific effects based on THC-COOH concentrations” because “[d]etection time is well past the window of intoxication and impairment.” Finding pot in some drivers’ systems following a crash just tells you some people smoke pot.
    • From 2008-2009, fatal crashes in the states that had medical marijuana declined overall 9.34%.  Only one medical marijuana state, Rhode Island, had an increase greater than 3%, which resulted in 18 more deaths.  Four other states had 1%-3% increases, leading to 9 additional deaths.  Of the remaining eight states that saw declines, half saw double-digit declines, including the laxest medical marijuana state, California, which had 353 fewer traffic fatalities.
    • Legalizing marijuana does not legalize DUI.  People who smoke pot and drive now are busted in all fifty states and legalization doesn’t change that.

    When it comes to medical information and the safety record of cannabis, we’ll trust real doctors and 5,000 years of historical use.  Not the ramblings of a law enforcement think tank director desperately trying to save asset forfeiture proceeds, federal grant money, and overtime hours for state and local cops and job security for prison guards.

    107 Responses to “5 Favorite Law Enforcement Lies About Marijuana”

    1. Stephen says:

      We seriously can focus on the bigger issues in America if they stop chasing our fellow stones.

    2. Kerry says:

      Check http://www.silverbrarcafe.com. He has a history if marijuana, showing that the refer madness was all political. Hemp used to be the premier crop for paper, rope, and plastics, and pharmaceuticals.
      It was killed off for financial reasons.

    3. [...] 5 Favorite Law Enforcement Lies About Marijuana [...]

    4. heidi says:

      cps uses misdemenor pot charges to take children from their LOVING families.. then strip away parental rights and adopt out the children, thus earning the department $5,000 per child.. its sick… my daughters house (in a prodominantly black neighborhood in Fredericksburg, VA) was raided by 30+ cops(prodominantly white) bashing into the house, breaking doors, putting holes in the walls and then held my family & friends at MACHINE GUN POINT! my daughter & her husband were charged with “possession of marijuana without a perscription” (even though it was only a bong in their room, no marijuana) and “child abuse and neglect” they were convicted of “possession of paraphrenalia” and the abuse & neglect charges had to be dropped because there was no abuse or neglect. she did everything the court wanted (even without a vehicle to get around) now the courts are about to strip her of her parental rights and allow her in-laws to adopt the children and the cps or dss deptmnt will be awarded $5,000 per child for getting them out of the system so quikly… cps told lies, their lawyers told lies and the judge in the courtroom that they told those lies allowed the lies to stand even after they were proved to be lies by lawyer & doctor… i want to tell our story to the world but dont know where to start.. i asked my lawyer how i can get the transcripts of the lies told in court that day (aug. 6 2012) i wanted to publish the transcripts.. but i was told that the fredericksburg juvenile domestic court DOES NOT take transcripts!? Really? if anyone can or will investigate this matter i think it is important.. cps worker Kelly is married to f’burg police officer Young… he does dirty work for her.. this is true.. you may think im making it up, but what if im telling the truth..the in-laws wont let any of our family see or talk to the children.. we smoke pot, its illegal not immoral, whats immoral is these “good christians” keeping children from their mother and family they love.. its a very intense and unbelievable story .. but it is true.
      my name is heidi husar, im the grandparent, my phone # is 540-272-5686.
      im living in arizona now due to the naziesque ways of the commonwealth-bible belt.
      interresting factoid: my daughter and her husband were held without bond for 4 days when this happened… when a lawer suggested a bond had to be set it was $3,000 each..
      Fredericksburg city chief of police for 23 yrs (brent taylor)traded nude pics with a minor he met on daddyhunt.com and then used an undercover vehicle to go to fairfax county to pick up that minor.. he brought the minor to a hotel in fredericksburg and had gay sex with this minor.. when the minor locked himself out of the hotel room police questioned him and waited at the hotel.. i dont know if they were surprised to see their chief of police show up at the boys room .but he was arrested , allowed to bond out immediately for $500 LESS than my daughter, he was allowed to resign after taking administrative leave WITH PAY…
      this was all in the free-lance star newspaper.. please research it .. and if you could offer any dirrection or advice i would appreciate it.. i know its too late for my family, but maybe if these monsters are outted other families can be saved..
      i have no reason to lie, nothing to gain.. bad things are going on in VA.

      Truthfully,
      heidi husar

    5. Mike Miller says:

      Ask a cop sometime how much harder marijuana use has made his job compared to alcohol use. If he’s honest he’ll tell you there’s no comparison and that alcohol is responsible for 100% of the stupid bullshit he has to put up with. Domestic violence, shootings, stabbings, assaults… he’ll tell you… “It’s all alcohol.”

    6. Krymsun says:

      Studies Show Marijuana Consumption Not Associated With Dangerous Driving, May Lead to Safer Drivers
      Anyone who consumes cannabis on a regular basis knows that it doesn’t make you a dangerous driver. Many people find that it makes them a safer, more focused driver; one that’s more aware of their surroundings and the dangers associated with controlling tons of gasoline-filled metal. Not only has this been an anecdotal truth for as long as cars and cannabis have been paired, science has also been clear that consuming marijuana doesn’t make you a dangerous driver, and may make some people safer drivers. More research is needed, but it’s hard to deny that of the research we have, marijuana hasn’t been found to increase a person’s risk of an accident. To back this claim up, here’s a list of studies and research conducted on this very topic, some of which were funded by national governments in hopes of different results.
      http://thejointblog.com/studies-shows-marijuana-consumption-not-associated-with-dangerous-driving-may-lead-to-safer-drivers/

      Marijuana and Driving: A Review of the Scientific Evidence
      “Marijuana has a measurable yet relatively mild effect on psychomotor skills, yet it does not appear to play a significant role in vehicle crashes, particularly when compared to alcohol. Below is a summary of some of the existing data.”
      http://norml.org/library/item/marijuana-and-driving-a-review-of-the-scientific-evidence

      The incidence and role of drugs in fatally injured drivers
      “There was no indication that cannabis by itself was a cause of fatal crashes.”
      REFERENCE: Washington, DC: US Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,
      Report No. DOT HS 808 065, K. Terhune. 1992.
      http://ntl.bts.gov/lib/26000/26600/26685/DOT_HS_808_065.pdf

      Marijuana and actual driving performance
      “Drivers under the influence of marijuana retain insight in their performance and will compensate when they can, for example, by slowing down or increasing effort. As a consequence, THC’s adverse effects on driving performance appear relatively small.”
      REFERENCE: U.S. Department of Transportation study, 1993
      http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/Misc/driving/s1p2.htm

      Marijuana’s effects on actual driving performance
      “Evidence from the present and previous studies strongly suggests that alcohol encourages risky driving whereas THC encourages greater caution”
      REFERENCE: University of Adelaide study, 1995
      http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/Misc/driving/s1p2.htm

      Role of cannabis in motor vehicle crashes
      “There is no evidence that consumption of cannabis alone increases the risk of culpability for traffic crash fatalities or injuries for which hospitalization occurs, and may reduce those risks.. The more cautious behavior of subjects who have received marijuana decreases the impact of the drug on performance, whereas the opposite holds true for alcohol.”
      REFERENCE: Marijuana: On-Road and Driving-Simulator Studies; Epidemiologic Reviews 21: 222-232, A. Smiley. 1999.
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10682259

      “Both simulation and road trials generally find that driving behaviour shortly after consumption of larger doses of cannabis results in (i) a more cautious driving style; (ii) increased variability in lane position (and headway); and (iii) longer decision times. Whereas these results indicate a ‘change’ from normal conditions, they do not necessarily reflect ‘impairment’ in terms of performance effectiveness since few studies report increased accident risk.”
      REFERENCE: UK Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions (Road Safety Division). 2000.
      http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/
      /http:/www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roadsafety/research/rsrr/theme3/cannabisanddrivingareviewoft4764?page=12

      Cannabis And Cannabinoids – Pharmacology, Toxicology And Therapy
      “At the present time, the evidence to suggest an involvement of cannabis in road crashes is scientifically unproven”.
      REFERENCE: G. Chesher and M. Longo. 2002.
      https://www.dmt-nexus.me/Files/Books/General/Cannabis%20And%20Cannabinoids%20-%20Pharmacology,Toxicology%20And%20Therapy.pdf

      Cannabis: Our position for a Canadian Public Policy
      “Cannabis alone, particularly in low doses, has little effect on the skills involved in automobile driving. Cannabis leads to a more cautious style of driving. However it has a negative impact on decision time and trajectory. This in itself does not mean that drivers under the influence of cannabis represent a traffic safety risk”
      REFERENCE: Canadian Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs. 2002.
      http://www.parl.gc.ca/content/sen/committee/371/ille/rep/summary-e.htm

      “The evidence to suggest an involvement of cannabis in road crashes is scientifically unproven.”
      REFERENCE: Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Therapeutic Potential, 2002
      Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Therapeutic Potential, edited by Franjo Grotenhermen, MD and Ethan Russo, MD (Haworth Press 2002).
      https://www.dmt-nexus.me/Files/Books/General/Cannabis%20And%20Cannabinoids%20-%20Pharmacology,Toxicology%20And%20Therapy.pdf

      The Prevalence of Drug Use in Drivers, and Characteristics of the Drug-Positive Group
      “There was a clear relationship between alcohol and culpability. In contrast, there was no significant increase in culpability for cannabinoids alone.”
      REFERENCE: Accident Analysis and Prevention 32(5): 613-622. Longo, MC; Hunter, CE; Lokan, RJ; White, JM; and White, MA. (2000a).
      http://www.grotenhermen.com/driving/longo1.pdf

      The Effect Of Cannabis Compared With Alcohol On Driving
      “Although cognitive studies suggest that cannabis use may lead to unsafe driving, experimental studies have suggested that it can have the opposite effect.” U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2009
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2722956/

      The Effect Of Cannabis Compared With Alcohol On Driving
      “Although cognitive studies suggest that cannabis use may lead to unsafe driving, experimental studies have suggested that it can have the opposite effect.”
      REFERENCE: U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2009
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2722956/

      Why Medical Marijuana Laws Reduce Traffic Deaths
      “No differences were found during the baseline driving segment (and the) collision avoidance scenarios,”
      REFERENCE: Research published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 2010
      http://healthland.time.com/2011/12/02/why-medical-marijuana-laws-reduce-traffic-deaths/

      Top 10 Reasons Marijuana Users Are Safer Drivers
      “20 years of study has concluded that marijuana smokers may actually have fewer accidents than other drivers.”
      http://www.4autoinsurancequote.com/uncategorized/reasons-why-marijuana-users-are-safe-drivers/

      Risk of severe driver injury by driving with psychoactive substances
      “The study found that those with a blood alcohol level of 0.12% were over 30 times more likely to get into a serious accident than someone who’s consumed any amount of cannabis. .. The least risky drug seemed to be cannabis and benzodiazepines and Z-drugs.”
      REFERENCE: Accident Analysis & Prevention; Volume 59, October 2013, Pages 346–356
      http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0001457513002315

      Cannabis: Summary Report
      “Cannabis alone, particularly in low doses, has little effect on the skills involved in automobile driving.”
      REFERENCE: Canadian Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs
      https://www.dmt-nexus.me/Files/Books/General/Cannabis And Cannabinoids – Pharmacology,Toxicology And Therapy.pdf

      Acute cannabis consumption and motor vehicle collision risk
      “There is no evidence that consumption of cannabis alone increases the risk of culpability for traffic crash fatalities or injuries for which hospitalization occurs, and may reduce those risks.”
      REFERENCE: British Medical Journal, 1999; M. Bates and T. Blakely

    7. PHSYCOSEMATASIZM says:

      What’s is the deal with throwin a guy in a chair in the middle of A pretty good show about legalization in colorado,They throw a guy in a chair,Called him A” unquote Doctor,And He Blatently Said Marijuana lowers your intelegence level, 8 points,phsycosemadisizm,is the Practice putting ideas in peoples heads.

    Leave a Reply