Marijuana Legalization: 8 Lies the White House is Spreading About Weed


Marijuana use is harmful and should be discouraged, or so says the White House. The misinformation regarding weed has been going on for decades, and the Obama administration is no exception. All anyone has to do read through the unintentionally hilarious “fact sheet” from the White House, and see how ridiculous our federal government has become at spreading lies about marijuana. According to the White House, “A careful examination of the facts leads to the following conclusions about the dangers of marijuana use and the likely consequences of legalization.” Let’s light their claims up!

   1. “The downward trend in youth marijuana use during the late 1990s has ended ... Not surprisingly, this increase coincides with a softening of youth attitudes about the risks of marijuana.” 

This presumptuous nugget insinuates that softening attitudes, i.e. majority support for legalization, regarding the risks of marijuana are what cause people to smoke it. In reality, people are just realizing that the facts simply aren’t on prohibition’s side

   2. “Proposals such as legalization that would promote marijuana use are inconsistent with this public health and safety approach.”

What the heck does public health and safety mean? In this context, there is no mention of what this public health and safety approach is. If by denying legitimate medical conditions from relief like cancer or HIV/AIDS, then yes, it is consistent with “this” public health and safety approach. What it isn’t consistent with is common sense and science

3. “Legalization would lower price, thereby increasing use.”

This is a fantastic example of how little the government actually understands about the markets it regulates. While legalization MAY decrease price, what will most likely happen when marijuana is legalized is like what after prohibition. The government will control it, and so prices will not necessarily decrease due to taxation and other factors, such as home gardens. This claim assumes that prices and usage are directly correlated, which isn’t true. Prices on government-dominated markets vary, something Washington forgets all too often.

   4. “And because drug use is sensitive to price, especially among young people, higher prices help keep use rates relatively low." 

This one is refuted by their own statements! They say that high prices will keep use rates low. Even if the price stayed the same, their graph at the beginning of the fact sheet invalidates their claim. If keeping marijuana illegal causes higher prices and lower usage rates, why have the usage rates been going up?

   5. “Marijuana intoxication can cause distorted perceptions, difficulty in thinking and problem solving, and problems with learning and memory.”

Substitute “the federal government” for marijuana, and you describe Congress. 

   6. “Our experience with even tightly regulated prescription drugs, such as Oxycontin, shows that legalizing drugs widens availability and misuse, even when controls are in place.” 

Marijuana is in no way similar to the addictive and dangerous effects as Oxycontin. This is a straw man argument, so their experience is lacking in every way that is important. Namely,  it lacks facts about marijuana and its properties.

   7. “Legalization would further burden the criminal justice system.” 

This claim is LOL worthy. Since 60% of American inmates are locked up for non-violent drug offenses, in what way will this burden the criminal justice system? When something becomes legal, it puts less of a burden on a system. Not locking people up or charging them with an offense for marijuana fundamentally can’t be a burden.

   8. “Tax revenue would be offset by higher social costs.”

What about the social costs of locking up generations of minorities? You know, the fact that we’ve incarcerated generations of African Americans, leaving them in single parent homes, and preventing offenders form gainful employment and economic mobility. Tax revenue wouldn’t be offset by higher social costs, it would only be the icing on the cake from the economic benefits our society would gain by not creating criminals with senseless policies.

The fact that the federal government has consistently lied about marijuana doesn’t come to a surprise to many. They lie about almost everything when it contradicts their interests. While the “fact sheet” is unintentionally hilarious, what’s not funny are the millions of lives ruined by marijuana prohibition. Fortunately, the people of America see through the smoke and mirrors. Marijuana legalization is coming, and there’s nothing the government can do to stop it. The least they could do is stop being dishonest about it.

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Christopher Blakeley

I'm just another guy who cares about positive change. Spent time all across the political spectrum, and enjoy honest, yet serious discussion of issues, with a comedic flair. I live in Brooklyn, and love meeting people of all different persuasions. My thoughts primarily focus on government and corporate injustice, civil liberties, economics, and supporting everyone's rights to live their life as they see fit without harming others. Oh, and I'm the Editor-in-Chief of The Urban Libertarian.

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