There was a time when Peter Bensinger could spout his false drug-war propaganda points and the mmedia would print them — particularly in his home state of Illinois. After all, he used to be head of the DEA.
So it’s particularly gratifying to see this fact check takedown by WLS Chicago editor Matt Lo Cascio.
“The citizens of Illinois lost. They’ve compromised their safety and the exposure of kids to marijuana. Eighteen-year-olds can take this without a parent’s permission. And you have to only look at other states to see what’s happened,” Bensinger said in an interview with 89 WLS reporter Bill Cameron.
“In Colorado, the grades have gone down in the high schools, the drug violations have gone up and the highway traffic fatalities from people smoking pot and driving have tripled. One person is dying every week because someone is driving a vehicle and has smoked marijuana.”
Numbers from the Colorado State Patrol don’t support Bensinger’s statement. Colorado traffic fatalities have decreased since they enacted medical marijuana laws. In fact, a study done in part by a University of Colorado-Denver economist shows that when states legalize medical marijuana, traffic fatalities decrease by an average of 8 to 11 percent the first year, and that figure rises to 10 to 13 percent by the fourth year. It’s a study that has been cited by many news agencies, including Time, The Denver Post and most recently The Boston Globe.
No more free rides for Bensinger’s lies.