Despite mankind’s long history of consuming cannabis over thousands of years, marijuana has been the victim of a series of lies meant to stigmatize those who use the herb, particularly over the past century. However, as science on the subject moves forward, researchers are proving these ridiculous theories as simply false. Here we touch on five marijuana lies we don’t want to hear in 2018.
1. We don’t want to hear the lie that marijuana is a “gateway drug” to other illicit substances in 2018. Earlier this fall, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) came out in support of researching cannabis as a medicine, but he pushed the false notion that the herb “is a gateway drug that’s a very big problem,” even though the National Institute on Drug Abusenotes that “the majority of people who use marijuana do not go on to use other, “harder” substances.”
2. We don’t want to hear the lie that cannabis doesn’t offer any medical benefits, as the National Academy of Sciences released a report touting the many medical benefits of marijuana earlier this year.
3. We don’t want to hear the lie that legalizing medical marijuana will create a situation of abuse like we have seen with the opioid epidemic in the United States, as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie claimed in a letter as the head of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis earlier this year. On the contrary, researchers from the University of California San Diego analyzed hospitalization records from 1997-2014 and found that the rates of patients who suffered from opioid painkiller abuse dropped 23% on average and deaths from overdoses dropped 13% on average in states where medical marijuana is legal.
4. We don’t want to hear that medical cannabis providers are on par with black market drug dealers in 2018, as Attorney General Jeff Sessions implied when asking for permission to prosecute marijuana growers in a letter to Congress over the summer.
5. We don’t want to hear the lie that cannabis is only “slightly less awful” than heroin ever again, as AG Sessions famously said earlier this year. No one has ever died from an overdose of cannabis, while thousands die each year from using heroin.