The Reefer Madness That Just Won’t Die

It’s no surprise that marijuana became a player in the #Ferguson controversies. Michael Brown’s use of cannabis was a major part of the grand jury discussions, essentially playing the part of explaining the need to shoot 12 times to stop a marijuana-crazed black man.

BBC: Ferguson: Did prosecutors focus unduly on marijuana?

“There’s actually no reason to believe, based on the available research and the scientific understanding of pot, that marijuana would actually make someone more violent,” Lopez writes.

“This makes sense to anyone with even a vague notion of marijuana’s effects. Pot is most popularly known as a sedative that relaxes users. One of the prominent arguments against its use, in fact, is that it makes users so sedated that they’re lazy and, as a result, unproductive.”

When word of the positive blood test first was leaked in October, however, some marijuana critics were quick to call attention to the drug.

“Brown’s death … should serve as a tragic reminder that marijuana is not harmless, that it is not just like alcohol,” Christian Thurstone, an addictions psychologist, wrote in his blog (in a post that has since been deleted), “that its consumption often leads to impairment that is very difficult for the public to measure – also making it tough for the public to hold users accountable for the harm they’ve caused others. Marijuana users also could be vulnerable to aggression and attacks while under the drug’s influence.”

For extra fun reading, check out our old pal Cliff Kinkaid, who has weighed in on the subject: Marijuana Figures Big in Ferguson Meltdown

Reporters like to laugh about the old “reefer madness” film depicting crazy conduct resulting from marijuana use. It’s not so funny anymore.

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