It's Time to Stop Ignoring the Harms of Marijuana

(Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)

More than a million Americans have died from opioid overdoses over the last two decades, with a record amount perishing from various drug addictions during the current pandemic. Similar numbers undoubtedly had their lives negatively affected or destroyed.

Yet while media, politicians, and corporate leaders may bemoan these tragedies, they also promote widespread use of marijuana and other “harmless” drugs. Apparently, they have learned nothing from the opioid crisis.

Unlike COVID-19, which mainly targets the old and unhealthy, OxyContin, fentanyl, and heroin — often arriving via Mexican cartel, with more seized this year than the last three combined— kill the young and old, healthy and sick.

Is the carnage of opioids preventable? Sure. If Big Pharma executives, federal regulators, and law enforcement had heeded obvious warning signs, much of the death and destruction could have been curtailed. But OxyContin made gargantuan sums of money for groups like Purdue Pharma, and while the company has paid out hundreds of millions in fines, it’s a pittance to them.

Due to an intense public push to change perceptions, we are told about the long-term safety of so-called “recreational” cannabis, now legal in nearly half our states, despite remaining a Schedule I controlled substance. The days of uppity frat boys and condo complex pot dealers are mostly gone, since cannabis is a multi-billion dollar, often corrupt industry.

Travel the roads in blue or red America and you’ll see cannabis ads; even small towns have dispensaries that remained open last year as churches and schools were forced to close.

Kevin Sabet worked on anti-drug policy for three consecutive presidential administrations, Republican and Democrat.

Sabet, who earned a doctorate at Oxford, published a book detailing his fight against cannabis legalization earlier this year. It received almost no media attention.

He believes politicians faced with a difficult question simply shrug, law enforcement has other priorities due to our intensifying urban crime wave, and “studies” that are industry-funded are promoted to form a lazy media consensus.

Cable news talkers on both sides claim weed is innocuous, yet science suggests the opposite is the case. A connection between marijuana and psychosis exists. Virtually every perpetrator of a mass shooting in the U.S., for example, has been a weed user. Correlation versus causation aside, I wonder if the anti-gun groups know these facts.

How do lawmakers justify this to themselves? Marijuana is popular with young people, they believe, and, like legalized gambling, brings in prodigious revenue. So unanimity forms among the Establishment.

Liberals have been mindlessly pro-weed forever. And on the libertarian right, Fox News analysts like Lisa Kennedy and Kat Timpf — who would also legalize heroin — regurgitate the “people can do anything they want as long as they don’t harm others” cliché. This is asinine. We are all family members who live in the same society. Destroying your mind with any type of drug is not a victimless crime.

And for animal lovers, my good friend is a veterinarian who treats “many animals each week for poisoning from eating their owner’s stash.”

The obvious deleterious effects of marijuana will surely come into view in the coming years. They will be irresponsibly explained away or ignored by the elites, despite warnings. I hope to have offered some.

Related: New York Legalizes Recreational Marijuana


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