5 Favorite Law Enforcement Lies About Marijuana

Posted: October 27th, 2011 by Militant Libertarian

by Russ Belville, NORML

As 50% of Americans now support marijuana legalization, the prohibitionists are coming out in full force with hysterical propaganda to once again terrorize voters about cannabis.  We intended to scour multiple sources to compile the five most common scare tactics they use, but Joseph Summerill, director of the Summerill Group LLC, a Washington, D.C.- based law enforcement think tank and general counsel for the Major County Sheriffs’ Association, made our job easy by using all five in one op-ed piece published today in the Washington Examiner entitled, “Facts on medical marijuana are stubborn things, too“.

Lie #1) Marijuana’s not really medical.  The government says so!

[M]arijuana is a Schedule I drug… a high potential for abuse or dependency… no accepted medical value… unsafe to use, even under medical supervision.  [M]arijuana has not passed the rigid scrutiny of medicine proposed by the FDA.

The Truth


Lie #2) Doctors and scientists don’t approve of smoked medicine; they do approve of Marinol.

Institute of Medicine and the American Medical Association acknowledged the lack of data to support the use of smoked marijuana for medicinal purposes.

What is scientifically approved by the FDA and accepted by the medical community is a medicine called Marinol, a legal, widely prescribed drug currently in pill form containing synthetic THC, a main constituent in marijuana.

The Truth

Lie #3) Marijuana smoke is much worse than cigarette smoke!

[S]moked marijuana contains more than 400 chemicals, many of which are identical to the most harmful chemicals and carcinogens found in cigarette smoke. The fact is that a marijuana cigarette contains four times as much tar as a tobacco cigarette.

The Truth

Lie #4) Marijuana is the gateway drug to cocaine, meth, and heroin!

[L]egalizing marijuana leads to the use of more dangerous and harmful drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine…. [T]eens who smoke marijuana were found to be 85 times more likely to use cocaine than those teens who do not smoke marijuana.

The Truth

* OK, that one we just made up.

Lie #5) Marijuana legalization leads to carnage on the highways!

[M]arijuana use, including its use for medicinal purposes, is directly related to motor vehicle accidents and reckless driving, as cannabis affects psychomotor functioning.

In a study of fatally injured drivers in Washington state, a state with legalized medical marijuana, about one every eight tested positive for marijuana.

The Truth

When it comes to medical information and the safety record of cannabis, we’ll trust real doctors and 5,000 years of historical use.  Not the ramblings of a law enforcement think tank director desperately trying to save asset forfeiture proceedsfederal grant money, and overtime hours for state and local cops and job security for prison guards.


Comments (4)


  1. Mike says:

    Good article. The single biggest thing the government could do to hurt the big cartels would be to legalize marijuana. Plus we waste so much money trying to regulate people’s lives. I call it the war on drug users because I think that describes it more accurately than the war on drugs.

    • Aaron says:

      When writing on CannaCentral.com and (occasionally) here, I tend to use the term “War on (some) Drugs” since they ignore some pretty harsh ones in favor of some that aren’t so bad and others that are barely even a blip on the drug usage radar.

      One look at drug arrest numbers shows that roughly 3% of the population uses illicit drugs (and gets caught) and of that 3%, less than 1% use drugs like cocaine, heroine, crack, etc. The majority of arrests are for marijuana and illegal prescription drugs.

      Add in alcohol offenses, and the number gets closer to 6%, or nearly double.

      Just simple math shows that if you dropped prohibition altogether, “dangerous drug users” would drop in numbers by about 2/3, since I’ve never met a marijuana user who’s “dangerous” while on MJ.

      In other words, we’d have 1% of the population (roughly) using hard-core drugs and another 3% (roughly) abusing alcohol.

      Meaning: drop prohibition on life choices that harm no one else (drug use) and you actually reduce the amount of dangerous criminals on the streets and involved in the drug trade.

      • Mike says:

        Yep. There is such a great case for legalizing marijuana which is why most americans want it legal. Not to mention the industrial uses of marijuana. Could you imagine how many thousands of new jobs industrial hemp would create?

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