Recently we told you about five of the weirdest claims marijuana proponents have made to us. Below are five more of their weirdest claims.
Weird Claim #1: Pharmaceutical Companies are Conspiring to Keep Marijuana Illegal.
From time to time we get emails and messages ranting about how marijuana is a magical, green cure-all the pharmaceutical companies are conspiring to keep out of the hands of sick people. The theory goes that pharmaceutical companies don’t want marijuana cutting into the profits they make from prescription drugs.
Of course, if pharmaceutical companies really are that ruthless and that profit-driven–and if marijuana really treats or cures as many diseases as marijuana proponents claim it does–then why don’t those pharmaceutical companies want to jump on the marijuana legalization bandwagon and make millions of dollars selling marijuana all over America? Why would they outlaw it if they can simply add it to the list of drugs they sell? This weird claim simply does not make sense.
Weird Claim #2: Family Council is Bankrolled by Wealthy Pharmaceutical Companies.
Because many marijuana proponents are convinced “Big Pharma” is leading an anti-marijuana conspiracy, they assume Family Council must be on the pharmaceutical companies’ payrolls–after all, we oppose marijuana.
All I can say is unless the pharmaceutical companies are secretly funneling money to us through churches and middle class families all over Arkansas, this weird claim is completely bogus.
Weird Claim #3: Family Council Turns a Blind Eye to Alcohol.
Hardly a week goes by that we don’t receive a comment or email from someone asking why we don’t focus on alcohol the same way we do marijuana. The fact is we do have concerns about alcohol–and we have for years. Our friends on our mailing list received letters and emails from us last year that included, among other things, information on efforts to expand alcohol sales in Arkansas’ grocery stores. The difference between marijuana and alcohol is simple: Alcohol’s dangers are widely known and acknowledged while marijuana’s are widely unknown or ignored, and there is no concerted, statewide push at the moment to expand alcohol in every city and county in Arkansas the same way there is with marijuana.
Weird Claim #4: It’s Organic, and It’s a Plant, So Marijuana Must Be Harmless.
This claim is easily debunked. As we have written before, poison hemlock is a plant. It grows naturally in the wild, but, plant or not, it is extremely toxic. Being a plant doesn’t make marijuana harmless.
Weird Claim #5: “Medical Marijuana” is Different From “Recreational Marijuana”
The truth is there really is no difference between so-called “medical marijuana” and so-called “recreational marijuana.” It’s all marijuana.
“Medical marijuana” doesn’t come packaged in tiny, green capsules from a pharmacist. It is grown, dried, and smoked just like “recreational marijuana.”
Below are a few examples of people who have been harmed or killed as a result of marijuana use. Some of these people were using “recreational marijuana.” Others were using “medical marijuana.”
- August, 2016: A Connecticut man crashed his vehicle into a police cruiser after smoking marijuana. The driver reportedly admitted to smoking marijuana two hours before the crash; had marijuana in his possession; and failed a field sobriety test.
- August, 2016: Two dozen people were hospitalized in Ohio after accidentally ingesting large amounts of candy laced with marijuana at a musical festival. The candy was reportedly labeled “Prescribed Medibles by Dr. Greenbuds,” which would seem to indicate the candy was originally intended for “medical use.” Health professionals initially believed concertgoers had overdosed on opioids, but later realized the candies contained high levels of marijuana’s active ingredient, THC.
- August, 2016: Nineteen people were hospitalized after accidentally ingesting gummy candy laced with marijuana at a birthday party in California. They suffered adverse reactions including rapid heart rates, high blood pressure, dilated pupils, dizziness, light-headedness, nausea, lethargy, and confusion.
- July, 2016: A 5-year-old Oregon girl was hospitalized after eating candy laced with marijuana. According to officials, the girl experienced hallucinations and an elevated heart rate. Local police issued a press release, saying, “As many of these edibles come in the form of cookies, brownies, and candy, children are naturally drawn to them. However the small size of children, and the usually higher/concentrated THC levels found in the edibles can easily lead to overdoses by children and adults.”
- July, 2016: A Massachusetts teen called 911 after his friend began reacting negatively to marijuana-laced candy. Authorities say the pair had eaten marijuana-laced candy that appeared to have come from a medical-marijuana supplier. The two teens reportedly were sent to the hospital.
- July, 2016: Police in Arizona arrested a mother for allegedly giving her 11- and 12-year-old children gummy candy infused with marijuana. Police say the marijuana-infused candy was originally purchased by an Arizona medical marijuana user, but was illegally transferred to the mother in question.
- July, 2016: Two California teens were hospitalized after eating a marijuana-laced cookie. The teens reported purchasing the cookie from a third teenager who was subsequently arrested.
- July, 2016: A Wisconsin teen admitted to using marijuana shortly before his vehicle missed a stop sign and collided with an SUV. The crash killed two people and put a third in the ICU.
- July, 2016: A California man was arrested for giving candy laced with marijuana to a 6-year-old boy and an 8-year-old boy; the 6-year-old was hospitalized for marijuana poisoning.
- June, 2016: Authorities in Arizona believe the woman who caused a deadly crash was driving under the influence of marijuana. Court documents reveal the woman was driving at least 75 MPH in a 40 MPH zone when she crossed the center line, plowing into an oncoming vehicle and killing a man and his daughter.
- May, 2016: A Washington man pleaded guilty to giving his 4-year-old daughter a piece of chocolate cake infused with marijuana. The man reportedly went to his daughter’s daycare, where he gave her the cake. The girl later became “extremely lethargic,” and was taken to a local hospital, where she tested positive for THC–the main, active ingredient in marijuana.
- May, 2016: Hospitals in Colorado reported a spike in the number of newborns born with marijuana in their systems.
- May, 2016: Several churchgoers were sent to the ER after accidentally eating marijuana-infused cookies following church services.
- May, 2016: A 7-year-old boy in Washington was paralyzed by a car accident involving a teen believed to be driving under the influence of Marijuana.
- April, 2016: A twenty-four year old man and two teenage girls were hospitalized after eating gummy candies containing high levels of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. One of the girls was even admitted to the ICU. According to investigators, each gummy candy contained 450 Mg of THC, and the three victims experienced negative reactions that included seizures, hallucinations, and vomiting. By contrast, 10 Mg of THC is considered a “standard serving size” for a marijuana edible.
- April, 2016: A Utah man was charged with driving under the influence of marijuana following a fatal car crash.
- April, 2016: A Georgia woman was arrested after her five year old said he ate a marijuana cake for breakfast. The child was taken to the hospital for treatment following the incident; according to officials, his pulse was measured at over 200 beats per minute. According to the child’s mother, the cake laced with marijuana was given to her by another person.
- February, 2016: An eight-year-old Oregon boy was taken to the hospital after eating a marijuana-infused cookie he found. The cookie was sealed and labeled that it contained approximately 50 milligrams of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.
- February, 2016: A Pennsylvania driver involved in an accident that severely injured a pedestrian tested positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.
- October, 2015: A 27-year-old Oregon man admitted to using marijuana shortly before he struck and killed a female pedestrian.
- August, 2015: An Indiana woman who tested positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, crossed the median, striking another car head-on and killing its driver.
- August, 2015: A Michigan man drove his car off the road, crashing it into a tree and killing his girlfriend who was a passenger in the vehicle. Officials initially believed the driver was drunk, but later determined the driver had THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, in his system.
- August, 2015: A New York man crashed into a motorcycle carrying two riders; both riders died at the scene of the accident. According to court testimony, the driver admitted to smoking marijuana twice on the morning of the crash.
- June, 2015: A California man involved in a fatal crash tested positive for elevated levels of THC, according to police. The crash killed one woman and injured five other people. Police said the driver was at a local medical marijuana dispensary prior to the crash, that marijuana was found in his car, and that the driver admitted to smoking marijuana at the dispensary before the accident.
- May, 2015: An Indiana man who officials say tested positive for THC was involved in a head-on collision that resulted in the death of another driver.
- March, 2015: Four high school students were hospitalized after eating brownies laced with marijuana hash oil. One student was actually found unresponsive in a school bathroom after eating a marijuana-laced brownie.
- March, 2015: A Virginia man driving under the influence of marijuana collided with an oncoming train, killing a three-year-old child riding in his car, and injuring two other children.
- February, 2015: A 20-month-old Canadian toddler overdosed after eating a marijuana-laced cookie authorities say his father baked. The child survived, but suffered seizures and had to be admitted to a hospital.
- January, 2015: News outlets in Oregon reported a woman overdosed after she ate three gummy candies laced with marijuana.
- December, 2014: Oklahoma authorities reported a man with marijuana both in his system and on his person drove into oncoming traffic, crashing into another vehicle and killing its driver.
- December, 2014: A high school teacher in Maryland was hospitalized after a student gave her a brownie containing marijuana.
- December, 2014: Two middle school students in Oklahoma were rushed to the hospital after one of them reportedly passed out following marijuana-use at school.
- November, 2014: A Connecticut teen was taken to the hospital from school after she started having difficulty breathing following ingestion of a marijuana-laced gummy bear.
- October, 2014: Officials say a Washington woman with high levels of THC in her system sped through a stoplight at high speed before broadsiding another car and killing its driver.
- June, 2014: According to The Aspen Times, a seven-year-old girl was taken to the hospital after eating marijuana-laced candy her mother brought home from work at an area hotel. The candy was left by a hotel guest–presumably as a tip.
- May, 2014: A Utah man driving under the influence of marijuana crashed into another vehicle, severely injuring a teenage girl and her 30-year-old cousin. The driver was sentenced to up to 5 years in prison.
- March, 2014: A California man driving at high speeds under the influence of marijuana ran a red light before losing control of his car and striking another vehicle, killing its driver.
- March, 2014: A 19-year-old college student jumped to his death after eating a marijuana-laced cookie purchased at a licensed marijuana store in Colorado. Reports indicate the man began shaking, screaming, and throwing objects in his hotel room after eating the marijuana “edible.” He ultimately jumped over the fourth-floor railing, into the lobby of the hotel at which he was staying. According to CBS News, the autopsy report listed marijuana as a “significant contributing factor” to his death.
- December, 2013: A two-year-old in Colorado overdosed and was hospitalized after eating a cookie laced with marijuana. News outlet indicate the girl found the cookie in the yard of an apartment complex.
As we keep saying, marijuana may be many things, but “harmless” simply is not one of them.
Jerry is the founder and president of Family Council. He began Family Council in 1989 after a successful effort to amend the Arkansas Constitution to prevent the use of public funds for abortions. He and his wife reside in Little Rock. They have four sons.