Debunking the Idea that Cannabis is Harmless Fun


 

(Why are the 420 Sites withholding information?)….

 

Because of feedback from a few users of cannabis, I again spent some time searching their web sites.  There are lots of them!  All of them are quite professional which gives some indication of the money being spent to promote this DRUG.

Unfortunately, what the various sites have in looks and presentation, they lack in substance.  Absent are credible comments made by legitimate experts and typically what the sites contain is a hodge- podge of arguments and justifications toss like mud at a wall in the hope that if you toss enough mud at a wall, something may stick.

When I began researching cannabis, it was because of a large push from a well financed and slick cannabis lobby that appeared to be providing less than complete facts. I could have just as easily begun quoting facts from known opponents of the legalization of this terrible and dangerous drug. I resisted and sought out objective facts from credible, respected experts in various fields including mental health, pregnancy and (today) driving and transportation.

One such “expert” is Gil Kerlikowske, director of National Drug Control Policy in Washington DC.  (you know, there is a predictable habit among the pro-cannabis crowd?  It is to begin character assassination and, in effect to attack the messenger rather than debate the message).

Gi l Kerlikowske, 63, knows a bit about street drugs and has seen his share of motor vehicle fatalities while serving as police chief in Buffalo and Seattle.  Kerlikoske recently stated that, “Research shows that drugs have adverse effects on judgment, reaction time, and motor skills – all vital requirements for responsible driving,”.

It is chilling hear the statistics about driving while under the influence of cannabis. Analysis of 2009 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, shows that roughly one in four (23%) of fatally injured drivers who tested positive for drugs were under the age of 25. Additional data, based on information from 2005 to 2009, finds that almost half (42%) of fatally injured drivers who tested positive for marijuana were under the age of 25.

And I am wondering why those “420” sites are not discussing these risks.  These denials and intentional omissions are  Déjà Vu like and remind me of “Big Tobacco’s” advertising and promotion techniques in the 1950’s and 1960’s.  It is not that the hosts of these “420” sites is unaware of risks as they constantly point out risks about alcohol use.  The problems of alcohol are well known and it would seem that if the best that pro-cannabis lobbyists can do is make a comparison to another societal problem, they are intentionally hiding facts from both current users and future potential customers.

Those statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are more than just numbers.  We are talking about fatalities. We are talking about families who are losing loved ones due to someone using cannabis and then driving. In fact, we are also talking about innocent victims: passengers, other drivers or pedestrians who are dying while the drug lobby either (a) withholds factual information, (b) denies and dismisses the information or (c) launches into a personal attack against the person delivering the message.  I am left to wonder how long it will be until someone starts brand naming ready made packages of cannabis cigarettes and begin calling them Player or Philip Morris?

It is quite easy to figure out the target market of the pro-cannabis lobby as well.  Sadly, that statistic can also be found in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) reports. That target audience is quite clearly an age band between 14 and 25.  A well planned marketing scheme focused on young people without the life experience as would make them less susceptible.  And, as these sites become more vocal the highway death count continues to soar.

This data supports NHTSA data on fatal motor vehicle crashes that showed that one in three motor vehicle driver fatalities (33%) with known drug test results tested positive for drugs in 2009. Their research also showed that when drugs were involved, the number of fatal crashes had increased by 5 percentage points over the past five years, even as the overall number of drivers killed in motor vehicle crashes in the United States had declined.

Still thinking that cannabis is a harmless recreational product?

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