Carrying on the sleazy tradition of professional liar Harry J. Anslinger (first commissioner of the U.S. Treasury Department's Federal Bureau of Narcotics), weed prohibitionists are stretching the truth and outright fibbing in a desperate attempt to reverse the nationwide trend towards legalization.
Joseph Perrone wrote a commentary for the Washington Post on Monday claiming "a handful of deaths in Denver were tied to edible marijuana use this year."
Perrone is referring to Levy Thamba Pongi, a visiting 19-year-old college student who jumped off a Denver hotel balcony after eating a pot cookie on March 11, and Kristine Kirk, whose husband allegedly murdered her on April 14 after eating cannabis candy. Perrone thus inflates the number of deaths by 150 percent and blames them on marijuana through post hoc, ergo propter hoc reasoning.
And Ron Schwerzler, an opponent of Oregon's legalization initiative, claimed at a debate that "there have been five infant children deaths in Colorado that have picked up those drugs."
The actual number, as Schwerzler was forced to admit the following day, is zero. "I really need to retract that statement because I can't back it up," he said. Schwerzler, director of medical services at an addiction treatment center in Eugene, is also a man of science.
Recent polls show that well over half of Americans are in favor of legalization.