Recently, police officers in Utah gave a presentation about what was being called “The Multiple Ills of Marijuana.” These alleged ills included impotence, a weakened immune system, mental disability, an increased likelihood of crashing your car, increased risk of cancer, psychosis, gum disease, depression, memory loss and heroin overdose.
County Sheriff Terry Thompson and Lieutenant Casey Warren of the Riverdale Police spoke to an audience in what was called a “townhouse meeting”, but it didn’t seem like any citizens got a chance to speak or ask any questions. Had they been given the opportunity, they’d likely have taken the officers to task, as most of the comments section on the news story is made up of people disproving these outrageous statements.
We aren’t going to go through every ridiculous point, because we have too much respect for the intelligence of our readers and we’ve covered many of the claims in other stories. But in case you aren’t aware, if corrected for age and gender, stats tell us that there is no link when it comes to cannabis consumption and increase of car crashes. Medical cannabis is given to AIDS patients as a successful treatment, so how could it weaken immune systems? While it’s terrible that Lieutenant Casey Warren’s brother died from a heroin overdose, as he spoke about, the gateway theory has been proven false time and again. Cannabis legalization does not lead to an increase in heroin overdoses. Their presentation even claimed that cannabis use causes mental disabilities.
“[A neighbor] worked with a 15-year-old who tested just on the borderline of genius,” Sheriff Thompson said. “He decided to hang out with the wrong kids and started going down the wrong path… down that marijuana road. Within a year, they couldn’t get this kid to hardly test above a 70 IQ.”
Perhaps worst of all was the fact that their presentation outright claimed that cannabis has no medicinal value – in front of an audience of 60 Utah citizens, many of whom also “went down that marijuana road.” Some of them were patients and caregivers from TRUCE Utah and members of the Utah Patients Coalition. TRUCE has been fighting for the access to medical cannabis for some time. In the audience at the presentation was the vice president of the Epilepsy Foundation, whose daughter is being treated with CBD currently. According to their website, the vice president’s daughter has seen a drastic reduction in the frequency of her seizures.
The police’s presentation contained some kernels of truth, as most propaganda does – stating the amount of water cannabis plants need to consume, how much electricity is used by indoor grows, and so on. Of course, they had to throw in some lies at the end of the slide by claiming cannabis is detrimental to the environment. It’s curious how the sheriff used statistics of illegal grows to condemn legal cannabis, though.