With politicians in full-on bullshit mode this election season, the same as always, it’s important to watch all the snakes in the grass. Whether running or not, candidates or mere advisers, influential or a pee-on, sometimes they utter so much garbage that it’s hard to keep them accountable for everything they say. Especially when it comes to marijuana. And on that note …
The Daily News of Newburyport reports that Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett told a roomful of people that “the increased potency of cannabis … which is often laced with high percentages of THC, ecstasy or crystal meth” has been in part responsible for 100 heroin overdoses in his jurisdiction this year alone. Never mind that the claim is false. Or that there are no reported fatalities from pot consumption here or anyplace else. Blodgett stepped in front of a community forum and lumped marijuana in with dangerous club drugs. Seems the DA is short on details, which is sort of like what happened when former Middlesex County District Attorney Gerry Leone posited that one could spin 1,000 joints out of an ounce. Doing a cursory search of the interwebs, we couldn’t find any instances of local police pinching mad scientist weed rings.
How is it possible that so many officials ignore basic facts? And that the media largely lets them get away with it? Countless Americans endure chronic illnesses, and are often prescribed pharmaceuticals that, when they are taken away, leave patients in pain and reeling from dependence. Blodgett claims, “[I’m] not saying that everybody who smokes marijuana will do heroin … but everybody I talked to who did heroin started by smoking marijuana on a regular basis at some point in their life. That’s a fact.” Naturally, the DA failed to note how many of them also drank milk, went to a concert, watched TV, had sex, etc. You know, more facts.
Blodgett also, just as absurdly, said drug dealers are giving away product and dropping prices on cannabis to get people addicted to smack. Really? Where is this deal? In Boston, good weed is expensive. In fact, New England is one of the priciest markets for premier leaf in the nation. But while there don’t really seem to be any street dealers giving away $100 quarters of kind bud just to lure new addicts, Blodgett may want to look at the companies that hook customers on pills after they get in car accidents. Seems like a shaky business proposition at best, wouldn’t you say?
I’m guessing Blodgett hasn’t bothered reading any of the readily available research on medical pot policies and their role in curbing opioid abuse, not to mention overdoses. He should start with “Medical Cannabis Laws and Opioid Analgesic Overdose Mortality in the United States, 1999-2010,” which found that “states with medical cannabis laws had a 24.8% lower mean annual opioid overdose mortality rate compared with states without medical cannabis laws.”
Of course, facts don’t matter very much to Blodgett, who openly opposes medical marijuana, decriminalization, and legalization in all their forms on no sane premise. At the same time, he’s uninterested in science, or the reality that so many patients will attest to—that cannabis is truly a safer, softer, non-addictive alternative to opioids. All in all, it seems Blodgett doesn’t know much, but if he really does know where drug dealers are giving away weed, please give him my number. I’ll take whatever they have left.