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Recreational marijuana legalization already tied to countless studies

marijuanaThe recent legalization of medical marijuana in Washington State and Colorado has ignited a new national debate regarding the use of the substance.  Numerous studies have been published in the short time since marijuana has been legal in both States, but some skeptics are saying the results of those studies might be rigged to favor marijuana prohibitionists and proponents alike.

Anti-legalization groups have published countless “studies” warning against the consumption of marijuana.  One such document, published in a Colorado newspaper on Friday, claims that Colorado’s murder rate has increased by 396% since recreational marijuana use was legalized.  They also claim that rape has increased by 200%, the rate of kidnappings in Colorado has tripled, and burglaries have quadrupled, claiming that fast food restaurants and convenient stores with large snack aisles have become “too dangerous for regular patrons to even visit.”

Another anti-legalization study makes some radical medical claims involving marijuana, reporting, without evidence, that suicide rates in both states have increased by 250% in the month of January alone, which we aren’t even two full weeks into yet.  They also claim that as many as 2.4 million people have overdosed on marijuana and died since the new laws came into effect.

But the pro-pot studies don’t seem to be much better.  One study claims that “all crimes in Washington and Colorado, violent and nonviolent alike, have completely ceased since marijuana’s legalization.”  Another claims to have “scientifically proven” that marijuana completely cures cancer, AIDS, herpes, restless leg syndrome, and even blindness.

Some of the studies make even less sense.  One claims that marijuana legalization led to George W. Bush being elected president in 2000, even though Al Gore won Washington, and Bush only barely won Colorado by approximately eight points.  Another study, this one a pro-legalization study, claims that “since marijuana’s legalization, green and orange work way better together,” which doesn’t seem to have anything to do with anything.

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69 Comments

  1. Yeah, it looks like you really scraped the bottom of the garbage can to come up with these “studies.” Noting, of course, that you don’t give any actual links to any of these studies so who knows how accurate your description is, or if they really even exist anywhere outside your own imagination.

    But, if you want good, reliable studies, you should know that over the last 100 years there have been numerous major government commissions around the world on this particular topic. You can find the full text of all of them at http://druglibrary.org/schaffer under Major Studies of Drugs and Drug Policy.

    If you read them (I am betting you won’t) you will discover that none of them made any ridiculous claims about how colors go better. In fact, none of what you mentioned appears in any of those studies — except perhaps for a brief mention with the comment that such ideas are ridiculous.

    You are obviously new to this collection, so I suggest you start with Licit and Illicit Drugs which you can find at http://druglibrary.org/schaffer/Library/studies/cu/cumenu.htm That will give you a good summary of what you would learn if you read all the others.

    You will also be interested in reading the history of the subject so you can be in perfect concert with the lunatics who came before you.

    Marijuana was outlawed for two major reasons. The first was because “All Mexicans are crazy and marijuana is what makes them crazy. The second was the fear that heroin addiction would lead to the use of marijuana – exactly the opposite of the modern “gateway” nonsense.

    Only one MD testified at the hearings for the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. The representative of the American Medical Association said there was no evidence that marijuana was a dangerous drug and no reason for the law. He pointed out that it was used in hundreds of common medicines at the time, with no significant problems. In response, the committee told him that, if he wasn’t going to cooperate, he should shut up and leave.

    The only other “expert” to testify was James C. Munch, a psychologist. His sole claim to fame was that he had injected marijuana directly into the brains of 300 dogs and two of them died. When they asked him what he concluded from this, he said he didn’t know what to conclude because he wasn’t a dog psychologist. Mr. Munch also testified in court, under oath, that marijuana could make your fangs grow six inches long and drip with blood. He also said that, when he tried it, it turned him into a bat. He then described how he flew around the room for two hours.

    Mr. Munch was the only “expert” in the US who thought marijuana should be illegal, so they appointed him US Official Expert on marijuana, where he served and guided policy for 25 years.

    If you read the transcripts of the hearings, one question is asked more than any other: “What is this stuff?” It is quite apparent that Congress didn’t even know what they were voting on. The law was shoved through by a small group of lunatics with no real awareness by anyone else of what was happening.

    See http://druglibrary.org/schaffer/History/whiteb1.htm for an entertaining short history of the marijuana laws.

    See http://druglibrary.org/schaffer/hemp/taxact/taxact.htm for the complete transcripts of the hearings for the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937.

  2. Oooops, one should really read the URL before posting rapidly.

    • It’s better to post legitimate studies as you did than, say, the sort you find on Facebook. Some of these “studies” were inspired by memes and comments seen on social networking sites over the past two or three years. There’s inflated bias on both sides of this debate, as you’d find in most debates of course.

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