by David Downs
The legalization fight in California is making some bizarre bedfellows out of once disparate groups like anti-gay rights activists and democratic candidates like Jerry Brown, Dianne Feinstein, and Barbara Boxer. Yesterday, California's anti-gay marriage leaders announced their intent to defeat a ballot initiative allowing for private, over-21 possession, cultivation, and use of cannabis, which means all leading Democrats running for reelection have aligned with the anti-gay crowd on the issue.
Anti-gay may marriage group SaveCalifornia.com, which sponsored the unconstitutional Proposition 8, intends to use its name, along with a new web site and its first YouTube video, to fight drug law reform in the Golden State.
Anti-gay marriage spokesperson Randy Thomassen told a Sacramento affiliate of Fox News that his group intends to raise money to defeat Prop 19 because legalizing the weed will hurt Californians. StopProp19.com's first video contains numerous inaccuracies, though.
The video claims marijuana is "50 to 70 percent more cancer-causing than cigarettes" but the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a key drug war group, cannot find a link between cancer and toking, stating, "the link between marijuana smoking and these cancers remains unsubstantiated at this time." Recent research has shown the active ingredients in pot somehow prevent tumors from growing.
StopProp19 says pot is "the #1 addiction for 60 percent of teens in drug rehab." The claim is not sourced. However, research confirms the mandatory rehab sentences, not users, are responsible for the majority of marijuana users in the rehab industry.
StopProp19 calls pot a gateway drug to cocaine and methamphetamine. However numerous international studies show that statement to be false. And the Harm Reduction Journal recently noted that some people are using cannabis to quit harder drugs.
StopProp19 claims legalization will create "skyrocketing usage among teens and young people," but ending prohibition on alcohol caused usage to drop over time. Similarly, ending prohibition on pot in Portugal and Amsterdam caused native usage to go down over time.
StopProp19 claims there will be "drugged driving on streets and freeways." However, THC is already approved for driving by the FDA under the legal THC pill Marinol. While more than three million Californians use pot regularly, this week the CHP is targeted cell phone users for causing an estimated 1,000 extra collisions on California roads last year. Similarly, the White House is concerned with prescription drugged driving, not weed.
StopProp19 promises "higher costs for everyone as addictions soar," but the medical establishment has found cannabis is not physically addictive, unlike legal drugs nicotine, alcohol, and opioids. Nicotine, alcohol, and prescription drugs all cause physical dependence and withdrawal. Long-term marijuana use may cause psychological dependence. Similarly, the White House Drug Czar is more concerned with the addictiveness of prescription drug abuse, especially opioids, which are incredibly addictive and have driven up overdose deaths in America. It's impossible to overdose on pot.
StopProp19.com's video concludes with the slogan "don't buy the lie."