5 Hilarious arguments politicians have made to demonize marijuana

Published Mar 31, 2019 01:22 p.m. ET
AP Photo/Mel Evans

With legal marijuana now available in seven US states and right across Canada it is important to recognize just how far we have come and how we got here. You might be surprised to learn that even in regions that already allow legal marijuana there are plenty of Politicians and government officials who remain vigilant opposed despite over 50% of Canadians and Americans now in full support of decriminalizing or in the very least legalizing cannabis. Here are five ridiculous arguments made over the last few years made by politicians who had no idea what they were talking about.  

1.Steve Alford (2014)

The Argument: Alford was a Republican lawmaker of Ulysses who hosted what he called a legislative coffee event to gather other officials to convince them why Federal policy from 1982 should stay in place. The reason that he offered for his opinions was racist and meant to induce fear in an attempt to sway votes on the possibility of introducing legal marijuana. Steve’s statement contained references to citizen dying from high drivers, and the reasoning for the legislation in the first place saying that African Americans were pretty much the only users of cannabis and that they react the worst to it due to genetics.

The Truth: The idea of maintaining marijuana as a controlled substance to avoid accidents is null and void when the statistics are compared to that of alcohol which is an entirely legal drug. While cannabis use has been suspected of having an average of 100 car accidents per year in the United States causing death where alcohol is responsible for 88000 fatalities. Though African Americans are 3.5 times more likely to be charged for trafficking or possession, marijuana use is relatively the same across all races.

2. Marco Rubio (2016)

The Argument: Florida Senator Marco Rubio has always remained venomously opposed to legal marijuana in any form. In 2016 during his campaign the Senator made several ridiculous statements comparing cannabis to alcohol as far as potential health and public safety issues, and even went so far as to call it a free for all in reference to doctors who have the ability to prescribe it for almost any medical condition with no evidence of it being effective.  

The Truth: There has been plenty of weed research to show the opposite of what Senator Marco claimed including several inconclusive studies on potential risk to health which resulted in no real evidence to show that marijuana may cause things like cancer. Since 1976 when the cannabinoid THC was studied at length in soldiers who were recovering from injuries, we have known that there are plenty of medicinal benefits to consuming cannabis.

3. Stephen Harper (2015)

The Argument: In October of 2015 Conservative Leader Stephen Harper told Trudeau that he completely disagreed with legal marijuana even for medicinal patients. He then goes on to say that the Canadian government is facing a crisis of needing to treat cannabis addictions and that there is plenty of evidence to show that marijuana is not only worse for you but also more dangerous to consume than tobacco or alcohol.

The Truth: Weed research compared to tobacco statistics imply an entirely different view. Though inhaling any kind of smoke can irritate your lungs and potentially cause breathing issues, cannabis users only experience these symptoms for a short time after quitting, unlike tobacco consumers who do experience long term issues. Tobacco is a well-known cancer-causing element full of hundreds of carcinogens, while marijuana contains less than 20% of those chemicals and have never proven to cause any sort of medical diagnoses related to cancer.

4. Senator Judith Seidman (2017)

The Argument: Judith added to a political debate in 2017 surrounding Bill C-45 where she stated that Canadians who lived in shared living spaces such as apartments or condominiums were terrified of the idea that their neighbors could legally smoke cannabis which would travel condemning them to exposure of THC and second-hand smoke.  

The Truth: Most cannabis smokers are already consuming the substance in the comfort of their homes and have been since before legal marijuana was even accessible. Though there may be a smell that is associatedwith smoking pot, there is little to no concern of toxic or psychoactive exposure from residual smoke that may travel. Cannabis does not contain any of the harmful carcinogen that cigarettes do which are currently allowed, and the majority of THC is absorbed by the person who is smoking it leaving very little chance of neighbors facing the threat of an unwanted high.

5. Health Canada Anti Marijuana Ad (2014)

The Argument: Though this isn’t a statement made directly by a politician, Trudeau said that he endorsed the highly inaccurate portrayal of cannabis to curb teen drug use. The ad which was released in 2014 by Health Canada in combination with the Canadian government opens with a woman’s voice that warns viewers to beware of new marijuana since it is 200 to 400 times more potent than it was 30 years ago which is enough to kill off brain cells and lower a user’s IQ. .

The Truth: A statement proven wrong by their very own weed research which showed that though cannabis has increased in strength over the years through selective breeding, it is at most 2 to 4 times more potent than before. A dramatic difference in numbers that legal marijuana activists called out as propaganda. Public pressure along with YouTube intervention forced Health Canada to withdraw the commercial who blamed the company responsible for the production of the 30 seconds short rather than apologizing to Canadians for their spreading of misinformation.  

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