Unlike with other substances, no one has ever died because of consuming too much cannabis. Yet, despite the science involved, some politicians make the false claim that cannabis is killing people. The latest example of that came last week in New Jersey. As people around the country celebrated the good green herb throughout the 4/20 weekend, New Jersey State Senator Ronald Rice spoke against the legalization trend in the United States. As chair of the Legislative Black Caucus, Rice does want to see marijuana decriminalized as a way of ending the mass incarceration of young black people. But Rice doesn’t want to go as far as legalizing commercial cannabis—and his logic for this roadblock is on the ridiculous side.
Ever since New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy took office the push to legalize cannabis in New Jersey has ramped up considerably.
Governor Murphy made it clear when coming into office that he wanted to see New Jersey get on the right side of history.
Unfortunately, things are taking longer than expected, due in large part to unfriendly legislators in New Jersey doing everything they can to keep prohibition in place. Arguably the most desperate attempt to maintain the status quo came from New Jersey State Senator Ronald Rice this week when he stated,
“If you get too high you die from it. It kills you directly if it’s too potent.”
Naturally, Senator Rice did not offer up any examples or facts to back up his claim, obviously because no such case exists. Potent cannabis alone has never killed anyone ever in the history of mankind.
Rice also believes that legalizing weed will lead to an employment crisis in which no one can pass a drug test, food stamps being used for pot, babies being born with THC in their brains (though the endocannabinoid system sort of sees to that already) and drug cartels switching over to the legal market (which doesn’t really sound all that bad).
This is not the first time the false claim has been made.
Senator Ronald Rice is not the first to make the false claim that cannabis is killing people. Louisiana Representative Dodie Horton cited 37 cannabis deaths in Colorado as the reason why she opposes medical cannabis reform in her own state. Representative Horton was citing a satire news article from 2014 that was originally published by the Daily Currant. A quick Google search turns up other examples of elected officials citing fake news stories about cannabis deaths or sharing them on social media. The false claims are an obvious attempt at trying to scare voters, which may have worked in decades past but now are easily debunked by a little research.
Cannabis opponents are getting desperate because they are losing.