Smoke Pot, Go Crazy, Sell Children


Wonkette mocks Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) for responding to an inquiry about the federal ban on the medical use of marijuana with a form letter (originally noted by NORML) that mentions "the small child whose parents are so addicted to illegal drugs that they sell everything including perhaps their own children to obtain a fix":

Harkin knows the routine: smoke up, eat gyro, play Legend of Zelda, sell children to pirates for more pot, repeat.  

Yet Harkin's carelessly worded letter is truer than he realizes (italics added):

The victims of the drug war are many—the small child whose parents are so addicted to illegal drugs that they sell everything including perhaps their own children to obtain a fix; the police officer's family which must now learn to cope with the loss of their loved one as a result of a violent drug bust gone awry.

Without giving too much credence to a story that Harkin's ghostwriter almost certainly invented out of whole cloth, let it be noted that, if a couple of drug addicts were driven to sell their own children out of economic desperation, "the drug war" would indeed share the blame, since it makes drugs much more expensive than they otherwise would be. And it's certainly true that police officers would not be dying while trying to enforce the drug laws if there were no drug laws to enforce. But that's probably not what Harkin meant to say.

Lest you think that Americans have a monopoly on anti-pot idiocy, NORML also notes the ongoing British propaganda war against "skunk," the scare term that drug warriors and their journalistic enablers in the U.K. use for especially potent marijuana. "British police and news reporters have blamed everything from psychosis and suicide to criminal acts like rape and murder on the after-effects of smoking 'skunk,'" writes NORML's Paul Armentano. In the latest example of the stink over skunk, BBC3 plans to run a documentary in which submersive journalist Nicky Taylor has herself injected with THC, which the Telegraph describes as "the main component of 'skunk' cannabis," at a laboratory where "scientists are running tests to analyse claims that skunk cannabis, which accounts for 80 per cent of the drug sold on the street, causes psychosis."

Since THC is the main psychoactive chemical in all marijuana, such tests will demonstrate nothing peculiar to the "skunk" variety (which, pace the Telegraph, seems to account for a small share of the total market) and are hardly a good measure of the average recreational pot smoker's experience. At best, they will demonstrate what can happen when you inject pure THC in a laboratory while trying to demonstrate how bad marijuana is. For Taylor, an anonymous source tells the Telegraph, the exerience was "dramatic" and "unpleasant." The BBC promises that "the film unequivocally highlights the risks of consuming the drug."

Examples of skunk hysteria here, here, and here.