Whenever you see a letter to the editor in a newspaper, you know it's some cranky old person complaining about some silly issue like their neighbors dog or whatever. But one recent anti-marijuana letter really sets a high bar for craziness.
Bob Orleck wrote a letter to the Brattleboro Reformer, which is apparently the local newspaper for Brattleboro, Vermont, about the dangers of marijuana legalization. Orleck basically said that marijuana is the secret danger behind all of America's gun violence, as well as some other crazy claims.
First of all, Orleck talks about how marijuana is more potent today than in the past. And while studies have shown that cannabis is stronger today, it's not quite as drastic as Orleck believes. He writes, "THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive ingredient of pot, was only 1 percent during the Woodstock era but today's plants produce 15-18 percent THC and in the form of concentrates can be up to 99.9 percent THC." One percent THC isn't even enough to get a buzz, so we're pretty sure those statistics are inaccurate.
Orleck says that this higher THC content is causing people to go psychotic! He writes, "Did you know that high potency THC available as shatter or dabs and also in edible form can be deadly and cause psychosis leading to suicide, homicide and other violence?" Strangely enough, he didn't cite any studies to defend this point.
This is where he makes his argument about marijuana causing America's gun violence. He writes, "When killers use guns and bullets the reaction is almost immediate, naming the weapon as the culprit but the real malefactor, THC, slips away unseen to kill again somewhere else. Are you getting the picture? High potency marijuana is the real killer and the gun is an innocent accomplice."
Now you're probably wondering if Orleck has any evidence to prove marijuana causes gun violence. And Orleck says screw your proof! He says it's impossible to prove direct causation, but that doesn't matter. We all know this is true!
He then makes the bizarre claim that, "The FDA doesn't wait for absolute proof of a direct cause and effect when evaluating drug safety and whether it can be marketed." Although the whole point of FDA studies is to see if drugs directly cause adverse side effects. I don't think they're like, "This drug maybe could cause blindness, but we have no proof of that so we're just going to ban this!"
Orleck also has a message to all people who support legalization. He says, "You just might be addicted and can't help yourself or worse. You could even be a criminal profiting on the addiction of others. If so you need to repent or hopefully you will be arrested."
Nobody tell Bob that Vermont legalized marijuana earlier this year. He might start saying something truly irrational then!
(h/t Brattleboro Reformer)