Isn’t it glorious to wake up in 2018 and not have to hear stupidity such as:
- The world is flat.
- The Earth is the center of the universe.
- You’re a witch if you float on water.
- Nickelback is an awesome band.
- Weed is a gateway drug and if you smoke it, you’re about two months away from being a crack-addled felon stealing toasters to fund your next hit.
Oh wait! As dumb as all of the above things are, there are still people who believe them, especially the last one! In the modern era, few topics have evoked such a wide range of genuine idiocy than the issue of marijuana. We can read the insanity of the Reefer Madness era and laugh til tears are rolling down our faces but unfortunately, there are people still trapped in this ridiculous 1930’s mindset when it comes to weed.
In this article, we look at 10 of the most mind-meltingly idiotic things ever said about Mary Jane.
1 – Marijuana is as Dangerous as LSD and Heroin
In 1970, marijuana was classified as a Schedule I drug as part of the Controlled Substances Act, which means it was deemed equal to heroin and LSD in terms of being dangerous. While we could almost forgive this stupidity back in 1970, the DEA’s resistance to changing the scheduling – despite overwhelming evidence which shows that weed is neither dangerous nor addictive – means the agency deserves its place at the top of the “dumb list.”
There were around 13,000 heroin overdose deaths in 2015, a six-fold increase since 2002. No matter how you look at it, that’s a clear sign that the war on drugs is an utter failure. Meanwhile, there has yet to be an OD death from weed in the plant’s entire history, mainly because it is close to impossible to do so. However, Republican lawmakers don’t allow this inconvenient little fact to prevent them from spreading their lies.
In 2012, Michelle Leonhart, DEA Administrator, was either unable or unwilling to answer a simple question on whether crack was more dangerous than cannabis. Likewise, Michael Botticelli, formerly of the National Drug Control Policy, refused to answer a question on whether cocaine or meth was more addictive than weed. According to Earl Blumenauer, U.S. Representative for the 3rd congressional district of Oregon, the inability of senior politicians to answer these basic questions undermines the whole anti-drug campaign. The reason they won’t answer these questions is that they know the answer, and it ruins their entire anti-weed stance.
2 – Marijuana is a Gateway Drug
This is probably the most famous weed myth of all time, and also the most harmful. Basically, the suggestion is that once you try marijuana, you’ll inevitably end up becoming a crack addict and sell your body on the streets for a single hit. Here’s the thing; as every scientist (and individual with common sense) knows, correlation does NOT equate to causation. Yes, people who are addicted to heroin may have used marijuana in the past, but they may also have drank alcohol. Does that mean alcohol also causes addiction to dangerous drugs?
Maia Szalavitz of Time Magazine pointed out that members of the notorious Hell’s Angel gang were probably 104 times more likely to have ridden a bike as a kid than non-members, but that doesn’t mean we should ban bicycles! In simple terms, marijuana is a ‘gateway’ to harder drugs in the same way that bicycles are a ‘gateway’ to joining a violent motorcycle gang.
The ludicrous gateway theory has been debunked for almost a quarter of a century, yet it still rears its ugly head now and then. What the anti-marijuana brigade won’t point out is that alcohol is actually more likely to be a gateway drug than weed! According to a Yale Study published in 2012, for instance, people who used tobacco or alcohol in their youth were almost twice as likely to abuse opioids as individuals who only used weed.
3 – Weed is Highly Addictive
This is effectively an extension of the ridiculous gateway drug theory, but let’s be clear – there are people addicted to marijuana just as there are people addicted to alcohol, cocaine, shopping, junk food, and bad reality TV. However, only the second one is banned — even though the last one should be!
Once again, scientific research has come along to knock this silly notion on the head. If you can be bothered to look, there are a myriad of studies which show that cannabis is far less addictive than alcohol, nicotine and caffeine. In 2007, a study by Michigan State University discovered that at least 43% of Americans aged 18+ had tried marijuana at least once in their life. If the herb were as addictive as they say, you would expect more than 4-9% of regular marijuana users to become dependent on it.
Even the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration statistic – which showed that nearly one million people aged 12+ sought treatment for weed in 2012 – is erroneous. A significant number of these individuals were forced into taking this step by the courts, and failure to do so meant they would be thrown in jail. If we take the high end of the marijuana dependency estimate (which is a whopping 9% by the way) it is still FAR below the figures for alcohol (15%), cocaine (17%), heroin (23%), and tobacco (32%).
4 – If Marijuana Is Legal, Gay Marriages Should Remain Banned – Mike Huckabee
We thought it would be fun to go off on a tangent for a while and add in some remarkably dumb statements on weed from individual people. Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, used the classic Republican tactic of talking absolute rubbish when discussing issues they are ignorant of.
During an interview, he somehow managed to squeeze in his hatred of homosexuals into a discussion about weed. According to Huckabee, legalizing weed means that Kim Davis shouldn’t have to legalize gay marriages. Davis was a Kentucky county clerk who gained infamy – and a prison sentence – for refusing to give marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Huckabee whined about the fact that the liberals are okay with ignoring federal law on weed but they followed it to the letter when it came to Davis’ ignorance. There are many, many reasons why Huckabee’s comments are dumb, not least because of his lack of knowledge regarding the United States Constitution. While there is nothing in the Constitution that stops individual states from legalizing weed, the 14th Amendment (which has been interpreted by no less than the Supreme Court) actually does prevent homophobes like Davis from discriminating against gay people.
5 – Legal Cannabis Conferences Are Akin to Illegal Mexican Drug Cartels – Bill Montgomery
This ill-informed comment is yet another example of attempts to place weed in the same bracket as harmful narcotics. According to Montgomery, an attorney in Arizona’s Maricopa County, the totally legal Southwest Cannabis Conference and Expo is federally illegal — and akin to members of drug cartels holding their own convention!
Apparently, a group of weed lovers sharing their appreciation for something that grows naturally (and is legal in some states) is the same as Pablo Escobar and his gang discussing how to move thousands of kilos of cocaine. Perhaps if/when these conferences result in the deaths of thousands of people, Montgomery will have a point. Until then, it is little more than another example of a backward thinking individual creating false equivalencies to suit his perverse agenda.
6 – Today’s Weed is More Harmful Than the Marijuana from Yesteryear – Allen Telgenhof
Telgenhof is a Charlevoix County Prosecutor, and he is so concerned about cannabis that he even has a blog (albeit a bland and dull one) dedicated to spreading lies about it. He spectacularly missed the mark in several of his posts but none more so than his earnest belief that today’s weed is more dangerous than what Bill Clinton and George Bush smoked 40-50 years ago. According to Telgenhof, marijuana growers are racing to create the highest THC strains in an effort to make the herb “even more dangerous” than it already is.
To be fair, there is an element of truth amongst his ramblings – cannabis DOES have a higher THC content today, and it is common for a typical strain to contain over 20% THC which is indeed a lot compared to the 4-5% that was in the relatively low-quality “Mexican brick weed” of the 1970s. However, it is close to impossible to overdose from weed, and since it is stronger than ever before, it means people need to smoke less to achieve the same high. Telgenhof fails to realize that weed smokers will not use the same amount as before, simply because they don’t need to.
7 – Marijuana Legalization Will Do Nothing to Help My State’s Financial Issues – Tom Wolf
We guess that Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is either very bad at mathematics, or else he doesn’t read the financials section of the daily newspaper. According to Wolf, the state of Pennsylvania has a $3 billion deficit, and legalizing weed won’t help. Oddly enough, the state auditor general report’s findings contradicted this statement. Unfortunately for Wolf, though, the report was released a day before his ridiculous statement. In any case, the auditor found that legalizing weed for recreational use would benefit Pennsylvania to the tune of roughly $200 million a year.
And it goes without saying that the auditor did not pluck this figure from thin air; the state of Colorado announced tax revenue of almost $200 million back in 2015, which is a figure certain to increase year-on-year for the foreseeable future. And moreover, as weed sales in the United States continue to grow (they saw a 30% increase in 2016), it’s clear that tax revenue will increase with it.
8 – We Don’t Know Enough About Marijuana to Legalize It
When we dug a little deeper into this issue, we soon realized that this statement could easily make the top three of any ‘dumb things said about weed’ list. Marijuana has in fact been studied intensively in the last quarter century, both in the United States and around the world. The main thing holding back even more research is the legal status of marijuana – here in America, for instance, it is federally illegal which means that conducting all-important double-blind clinical trials is a virtual impossibility.
Even so, there is more than enough evidence on cannabis to debunk most, if not all, of the idiotic myths. In 2017, for example, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) created a 400-page report analyzing over 10,000 cannabis-based studies! This is an immense amount of evidence just in itself, but frankly it is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the complete spectrum of marijuana research (a PubMed search on “cannabinoids,” for example, will produce well over 20,000 published results).
Incidentally, the report from NASEM found there is ‘strong evidence’ that cannabis helps adults with chronic pain, multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms, and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Moreover, if you search online even for a few minutes you will see all manners of studies and reports that analyze hundreds (or even thousands) of studies on weed. There are likewise of course countless studies on the effects of alcohol and tobacco – the majority of which are overwhelmingly negative – yet oddly enough neither substance is illegal on a federal level.
9 – Weed Makes You Dumb & Lazy
The stereotypical marijuana user eats Cheetos, sits on a sofa all day playing video games, has no job, lives with his parents, wears stained t-shirts, and is obese. While there are certainly weed lovers who fit all of the above descriptions (and more), the same can also be said for tobacco smokers and booze lovers. As it just so happens, though, “pesky old science” is on hand to expose the above statement as yet more out and out stupidity.
Let’s expose both aspects of the statement for the BS it is; the likes of George Soros, Barack Obama, and Jon Stewart have all admitted smoking weed in the past, while legendary rapper Snoop Dogg is a card-carrying member of the pot fan club. All of the above are extremely successful and hardworking individuals, so we can quickly dispel the go-to ‘lazy’ argument as garbage.
Moreover, we could use the same people as proof that weed doesn’t necessarily make you stupid. Instead, though, we’ll focus on the ‘study’ that suggested marijuana was the bane of the brain. A study published in 2012, infamously known as the Dunedin Study, suggested that marijuana use as an adolescent lowered IQ in adults. The research team said that chronic weed consumption over a 20-year period led to a loss of six IQ points.
Ignoring whether or not IQ is even an accurate measure of intelligence (it isn’t), the study was riddled with flaws. For example the IQ drop only occurred in people who used marijuana at least four times a week, for a period of two decades. Also, it didn’t take into account the socioeconomic status of the participants – research clearly shows that there is a strong link between levels of education, socioeconomic status, and low IQ. And finally, the notion that weed causes a drop in IQ has been debunked numerous times in subsequent studies.
10 – Cannabis Turns You into a Criminal
An FBI report from 2012 showed that there was one marijuana arrest every 42 seconds in the United States. Surely THIS is proof that weed is bad!
Well, not really. Remember, weed is still illegal in many states, and you can no doubt be arrested for possession – even with the smallest of amounts. For every study which suggests there is a greater level of cannabis use amongst criminals, there are a dozen more which show no causal link between weed and crime. In fact, a National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism report suggests that up to 30% of all violent crimes are linked to the consumption of alcohol.
The sad fact is that the strict laws surrounding marijuana mean users become criminals just because they enjoy a smoke now and then. Moreover, there are still states where possession of weed can lead to a year in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Also, according to an ACLU report, black people are 300% more likely to be arrested for possession of weed than are white people.
Once you expose someone to the American prison system, you are one step closer to ruining their lives. As a convict, especially when convicted of a felony, your chances of earning gainful employment when released dwindle significantly. According to the National Institute of Justice, for instance, almost 68% of released prisoners re-offend within three years.
Final Thoughts on Dumb Marijuana Statements
We are not by any means suggesting that marijuana is perfect, but for goodness’ sake, there is NO chance of the herb getting a fair shake if we continue to allow misinformation to spread. The complete lack of knowledge shown by a staggering number of lawmakers in the United States continues to act as a hurdle towards legalization. While some of it is old-fashioned ignorance, there are also more sinister factors at play.
Ultimately, keeping weed illegal means more money for Big Pharma, more prisoners, and more money for private prison companies. It’s no secret that a key aspect of any propaganda campaign is to spread lies, and often these lies become the truth of the majority. What we need to do, then, is call out these lies for what they are and educate the masses on marijuana. A significant majority of the population already believes that cannabis should at least be legal for medicinal use, so what would happen if everyone knew the actual truth about the herb — i.e. that it isn’t addictive, isn’t harmful, or isn’t destined to turn “smart kids” into total idiots? Someday, hopefully, we’ll find out the answer to this question.