Good Old Fashioned Marijuana Scare Tactics

Now that Colorado’s policy of legal recreational marijuana is in effect, the drug warriors are coming out of the woodwork. Probably the best endorsement for marijuana legalization I’ve read in recent weeks: Nancy Grace opposes it.

There are lazy attempts to link marijuana with crime, but how strong are the claims that marijuana use CAUSES crime, in particular violent crime? Not strong at all. Even a study commissioned by Richard Nixon found no connection between marijuana use and violent behavior. A more recent study shows only 3.5% of NYC marijuana arrestees are subsequently convicted of a violent felony. The most tangible link between drugs and violent crime stems from the legal status of drugs, as Mexico can sadly attest to.

Pat Buchanan is also jumping on the anti-Colorado bandwagon, in a screed warning of increased traffic deaths and the alleged “gateway” impact of marijuana. However, research shows that states with legalized medical marijuana have 9% fewer fatal car wrecks, attributable to a decline in drunk driving as marijuana is a substitute for alcohol. As for the “gateway” theory, most drug warriors mix up correlation with causation. Most marijuana usage never leads to other drugs.

Never let it be said that Ms. Grace and Mr. Buchanan let the facts get in the way of sensationalism.

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