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Lies and propaganda designed to get full marijuana legalization

These claims aren’t based on fact, but they’re propaganda points commonly used to get public support for legalization.

  • Marijuana needs to be rescheduled in order to explore its medical properties. (The National Academy of Medicine Report of 2017 considered at 10,000 scientific abstracts to reach 100 conclusions.  There’s no shortage of research studies on marijuana.)
  • Marijuana is safer than alcohol. (The risks of marijuana use are somewhat different from those of alcohol. Seth Leibsohn’s article, When a Lie Travels, demonstrates why it’s inappropriate to compare these two substances.  Both are dangerous, but marijuana is far more toxic to the brain than alcohol. Keeping marijuana illegal keeps usage down which is a form of “harm reduction.”)

Strangely, pot advocates often talk about the dangers of alcohol as a reason to legalize marijuana.

  • Millions of people are in jail for possessing small amounts of marijuana. (The number of people in federal and state prisons for minor marijuana infractions is less than 1%. There is truth to the claim that blacks and Hispanics are treated more harshly by the criminal justice system. True before and after legalization, this issue cannot be resolved by legalization and it isn’t limited to drug policy.)

Not good substitute for opioids

  • Legalizing marijuana frees police to concentrate on more serious crimes. (FBI data from the first four states to legalize, Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon, shows that crime increases significantly after legalization. Those four states had about 450 murders and 30,300 aggravated assaults in 2013. In 2018, they had almost 620 murders and 38,000 aggravated assaults—an increase of 37 percent for murders and 25 percent for aggravated assaults, far greater than the national increase.
  • Regulation works. (Despite the fact that states have costly regulatory bodies, much dispensary marijuana is tainted with mold, fungus and pesticides.  Some of the vaping illnesses and deaths can be traced to legal, regulated marijuana stores. In other words, it’s not only bootleg marijuana vapes that are causing deaths.)

Not a tax windfall

  • Legalized marijuana brings billions of tax dollars into the states that have legalized. (In all the states that have legalized, marijuana tax money represents less than 1% of state revenue.  We don’t have detailed analysis of the social costs: crashes, traffic deaths, butane hash oil explosions, mental health and emergency room costs related to cannabis.)  States that have legalized faced a huge increase in homelessness.
  • People do not drive better under the influence of marijuana, as pot advocates claim. (Traffic deaths rose in the first states to legalize marijuana. Although data is preliminary, insurance company statistics suggest this outcome, too.  Mixing marijuana and alcohol, and multi-drug impairment is a rising problem that coincides with marijuana legalization. Drugged driving surpassed drunk driving as a cause of traffic deaths a few years ago. Marijuana is the number one drug associated with drugged driving.)
  • Marijuana isn’t addictive. (Roughly 30% of regular marijuana users in the US are classified as having a cannabis use disorder, versus 10-20% of alcohol users.  A study from UC Davis found that adults dependent on cannabis had more financial and social problems than those dependent on alcohol. Addiction studies show that 9% of adult users and 17% of those who begin pot use as adolescents become addicted. These statistics come from the last century and don’t account for today’s high potency cannabis.)

The most devious lie

  • Marijuana never killed anyone.  The most pernicious lie is that marijuana never killed anyone, which advocates repeat because marijuana doesn’t cause overdose deaths by crossing the blood-brain barrier.  (In addition to those killed by marijuana-impaired drivers, we have a long list of those whose marijuana use caused mental illness and led to other drugs or suicide.  Young people have also died from cannabis hyperemesis syndrome, heart arrhythmia and from vaping marijuana. Not to mention when people do foolish and stupid things when under the influence, causing accidental death.)

When asked in polls, about 65% of the people claim to favor legalization, but these polls don’t ask about decriminalization.   When polls ask about decriminalization, the answers change.

The Drug Policy Alliance, an organization at the forefront of drug policy reform, pushes for the legalization of all drugs.

Putting the Legalizers to the Pinocchio Test

10 Marijuana Truths

Parents Opposed to Pot’s mission is to bust the myths about marijuana. Below, we tackle the lies told by marijuana promoters by shedding light on the truths.  Informed parents and their children should learn these truths to counter the most popular lies.

1) It causes death. The most frequent types of deaths are suicide, murder, traffic fatalities and child abuse deaths.  Just because toxic overdose from pot is rare doesn’t mean that deaths don’t occur. BRAIN DAMAGE is quantitative too. A doctor from the Netherlands, Dr. Martien Kooyman, said chronic marijuana use is “more dangerous than chronic heroin use.” 

2) Marijuana is NOT safer than Alcohol. The percentage of adults age 21 and over who use marijuana in the U.S. is roughly between 10% and 13%, vs. 65% who use alcohol. Around 10-15% of drinkers have a substance use disorder, vs. 30% of marijuana users who have Cannabis Use Disorder. If people use marijuana to the extent they use alcohol, the damage will surpass the damage caused by alcohol.

In 2010, there were 450,000 emergency treatments from marijuana. The rate of marijuana use has quadrupled in the last 20 years. It is the second most common substance, after alcohol, involved in D.U.I. incidents.  M.A.D.D. states that drugged driving deaths will soon surpass drunk driving deaths by 2020, if current rates continue. When a Lie Travels explains why marijuana is not safer than alcohol.

3) It is Addictive. Since denial is a characteristic of addiction, marijuana addicts often don’t know they’re addicted. The older studies showed an addiction rate of 9%  for adults and 17%  for teen who smoked pot.  They do not account for the high THC pot of today. Recent studies show that about 30% of current users in the U.S. have Cannabis Use Disorder.

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