The War on Drugs has intentionally created some misleading and outright wrong facts that are spread as truth. Most of these can be easily debunked with very little trouble.
You will often hear drug warriors, and those who follow their wisdom, make several official sounding claims that are simply not true. Anyone with access to a computer and ten minutes of spare time can easily disprove almost all of them. Let’s look at some of the more common lies and the truthful reality.
“Marijuana today is far more potent and dangerous then when I was growing up.”
The truth is marijuana potency has not changed significantly in the past ten years. The amount of THC found in modern high-grade marijuana is almost identical to Thai Sticks and other types of good weed that were available in the 70’s. In addition, no matter the potency there has never been one case of overdosing on marijuana. Compare that to substances such as Alcohol, which has hundreds of annual overdosing deaths. Even over-the-counter drugs such as Advil kill a handful of people every year, but marijuana has killed NO ONE….EVER.
“There are more people in rehab for marijuana then all other drugs put together.”
While this is technically true, rehab statistics for marijuana are kept artificially high. Often when caught for marijuana, the Judge will offer the offender the option of rehab or harsher criminal penalties. Of course anyone presented with the option of jail time would choose rehab. In fact, marijuana is far less addictive than alcohol or tobacco, for which virtually no one is forced by law to enter rehab. There have even been documented cases of judges getting kickbacks from the co-conspiring rehab clinics to which they are sending these “criminals.”
“Marijuana is a Gateway Drug”
The Gateway Drug Theory has been thrown around since Nixon declared War on Drugs. In truth, every time this theory has been scientifically evaluated it has been proven wrong. Institutes from the National Academy of Sciences to the Rand Corporation have come to the opposite conclusion. The only proven connection is that by forcing consumers into a black market, people are often unintentionally exposed to various types of more harmful, addictive drugs.
“No one ever gets arrested for just simple possession these days.”
This line has been used by people as high up in the drug war as Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey. In reality, marijuana arrests are at a record high. In 2006, 829,625 people were arrested for marijuana. More then 90% of these arrests were for small time possession. For the drug warriors claim to be true, 700,000 people annually would have to be equal to zero arrests.