marijuana-facts With voting season mindset well under way as election dates and deadlines draw near, marijuana reform in California continues to hold its position as a central issue needing proper resolve from voters at the ballot box. In light of California's Prop 19 and initiatives of past that have left marijuana advocates high and dry, this year's dominant and more refined initiative, known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, has been championed by advocates as the reform needed to finally push recreational cannabis out of the throes of prohibition and into the commercial limelight of legality, seen in states such as Colorado. sean-parker Backed by a $1 million dollar investment by Napster co-founder and former Facebook President Sean Parker, as well as the political poise of Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act  lays out revised guidelines for how recreational cannabis in California could be regulated and taxed from cultivation to sale, while still limiting its access to minors and targeting illegal distribution. In spite of sheer optimism from its advocates suggesting that this initiative is the tipping point before California goes legal, anti-drug activists haven't been slow in their attempt to stop legalization efforts dead in their tracks, regardless of whether or not their poised vitriol has any merit based on actual marijuana facts.

Reason TV's Interview with Anti-Drug Activist Roger Morgan

In a recent and exclusive interview with Reason TV, anti-drug activist Roger Morgan of the Stop Pot 2016 campaign  sat down with interviewer and pro-marijuana advocate Zach Weissmueller to discuss his anti-pot initiative, the Safe and Drug-Free and Community Act, which promises to thwart Parker and Newsom's counter reform initiative by keeping commercial pot in California illegal, while handing over medical marijuana cultivation and regulation oversight solely to state government officials. As shown in the video below, Morgan makes a series of statements that have been echoed repetitively throughout the anti-drug movement, despite lacking in facts, ranging in claims that marijuana consumes more water than other plants to more ridiculous notions of pot being a causal factor for mass murders. [embed][/embed]

Marijuana Facts Vs Marijuana Fiction (From Interview)

For the remainder of this article we will detail the fallacies expressed by Morgan within his 10 minute interview, as well actual marijuana facts, based on statistical research, which ultimately disprove his statements. Marijuana Myth #1: Marijuana consumes more water than any other plant.  What the data says:  Especially when considering California's known problems with drought, stating that marijuana consumes more water than other plants, would seem like a sound argument against further legalizing the cannabis; however,this statement is simply not true and here's why. According to 2015 research conducted by California Norml, an organization dedicated to reforming marijuana laws, it was calculated that on average, "0.72 gallons of water is needed to produce a gram of marijuana, no matter how many plants are grown or how big they are."  When compared to a glass of wine, this average amount would equate to 27-41 times less water, and when calculated with metrics of acreage and quantity, "overall wine production uses 5,000-8,000 times more water than does marijuana in California." Marijuana Myth #2: Marijuana inflicts brain damage on anyone less than 25 years old. What the data says:  "Although multiple studies have reported detrimental effects, other have not, and the question of whether marijuana is harmful remains the subject of heated debate."- Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse (Reason TV interview) Other than Weissmueller's quote that he references from the National Institute of Drug Abuse in the interview stating that this myth is still being openly debated, a twin study from this year announced that there was no conclusive evidence that marijuana lowers IQ in teens. Marijuana Myth #3: Marijuana is a gateway drug to crime and addiction. pot-is-a-trap What the data says:  Aside from Morgan's claims that marijuana is a gateway drug to harder more illicit drugs leading to a future life of crime, law enforcement has also leaned heavily on this myth, despite clear evidence suggesting otherwise. As scientists have reminded us time and time again, correlation isn't the same as causation, and the same is true in the marijuana debate. Saying that marijuana is a gateway to harder drug use would be the same reasoning as implying that baby food leads to obesity by way of McDonald's Big Macs, and the stats once again, don't support that theory. Marijuana Myth #4: Driving deaths in legalized states such as Colorado and Washington have doubled since legalization has taken effect.  What the data says:  " increased risk of crash involvement for those drivers testing positive for THC (the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana)." -"Drug and Alcohol Crash Risk," NHTSA, February 2015 (Reason TV interview) Aside from Weissmueller's quote referenced from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, data shown from the Colorado Department of Transportation shows all time lows in traffic fatalities since legalization took effect. colorado-driving-fatalities-since-marijuana-legalization   Marijuana Myth #5: Mass murders in the United States can be attributed to marijuana use due to abnormal changes in brain chemistry.  What the data says:  Corresponding to multiple marijuana studies conducted in 2014, crime rates have actually decreased in states where marijuana legalization was present, with statistical evidence showing reductions in both assaults and homicides, dissolving Morgan's fiction based pipe dream. Although it's safe to say that marijuana isn't directly related to decreases in assault and violent crime for the sake the correlation/causality rule, Morgan's claim of marijuana fueled serial killers doesn't add up and isn't backed by science or research. When discerning between marijuana facts from marijuana myths during election time, it's imperative that voters know the difference between the two, putting aside biases or pre-conceived notions and looking at statistical research as means of formulating sound judgement at the voting booth. Similar to the Weissmueller/Morgan interview, voters need to ask themselves whether they are voting on initiatives of fact or fiction, not only for the sake of marijuana, but principle and truth.
Adult use of marijuana actAnti drug activistCalifornia normlGavin newsomMarijuana factsMarijuana mythsRoger morganSean parkerWar on drugs

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