The 5 Most Absurd Anti-Cannabis Fear-Mongering Campaigns
With the cannabis legalisation movement continuing to pick up momentum, the anti-cannabis crowd are getting more and more desperate in their attempts to smear its name and spread fear through misinformation. It is sad, and quite worrying as to the depths some of these people are willing to sink. Here are the five most ridiculous fear-mongering campaigns we have seen so far.
5. YOUR KIDS WILL BE GIVEN POT CANDY ON HALOWEEN
This campaign is a personal attack on everyone that uses cannabis, casting them in a malicious light as people who will willingly try and get kids high by giving them pot laced candy during Halloween. The campaign was started as a video by a cannabis dispensary owner, who was simply reminding parents to do what they have been doing for decades – checking their kid’s candy for anything that looks like it may be tampered with. However, the video has since been hijacked by the Denver police force, who have used to start a middle-class fear campaign, scaring parents into believing that all pot users want to give cannabis-infused candy to their kids. It is ridiculous, but fortunately, most people with common sense have seen through it.
4. CANNABIS WILL TURN YOU INTO A LAZY WASTE OF SPACE
This is one of the most antiquated and out of touch stereotypes there is about weed and shows just how behind the times some anti-cannabis campaigners are. According to this video, cannabis use will turn you into a boring and lifeless person. It is the typical “lazy stoner” impression they are trying to give. Firstly, even if you do get couch locked by cannabis, it is still an extremely sociable experience, opening up the mind and stimulating all sorts of interesting and amusing conversations – if anything, cannabis gets everyone chatting! Then there is the fact that cannabis can be an extremely functional tool, especially for medical patients: uplifting the mind while soothing the body, allowing people actually get on with their day, instead of being locked down on the sofa with their minds numbed – the way you might be if you rely on pharmaceutical painkillers.
3. PUTTING FEAR OF CANNABIS INTO TEENS WITH “CANNABIS GOGGLES”
In an attempt to cash in on all the fear mongering surrounding teen cannabis use, a company has created “Fatal Vision” goggles, a pair of safety glasses that are tinted to distort vision and slow down reaction times – supposedly simulating the effects of cannabis. They also cost the best part of $1000 each. It is an exercise in idiocy; these goggles do not in any way simulate the same effects as cannabis, and simply continue to spread fear and misinformation. Instead of trying to scare kids, why not spend that $1000 per pair on actually educating them about how cannabis interacts with the body, and the potential risks of using it as a teenager. It will garner a lot more respect for the substance, making it more likely that teenagers will treat it with caution. You only need look at Colorado, where recreational pot is legal and money is funnelled into teaching teenagers about it. Ever since teenage cannabis use has been dropping. Much better than spreading misinformation and fear.
2. CANNABIS TURNS YOU INTO A ZOMBIE
A lot like one of the other above points, this claim simply states that if cannabis were legalised, the amount of pot smokers in the US would double, turning them all into “zombies.” It was sent out as a tweet from a notorious anti-drug group, with no kind of scientific evidence to back it up. Understandably, it has gained quite a fierce backlash from the majority of people with a modicum of intelligence, but scarily, there are still quite a few people taking it as fact. It boggles the mind at the complete nonsense some people will come up with.
1. CANNABIS LEGALISATION LEADS TO DATE RAPE
This is by far the most outlandish, insulting and insane attempt to spread hate and fear that we have seen so far. It comes courtesy of the No On 2 campaign, the group of people who are trying to block the legalisation of medical marijuana in the upcoming vote (Amendment 2) in Florida. In a desperate attempt to make cannabis look hell sent, they released an ad asking “will the new face of ‘date rape’ look like a cookie?” implying that cannabis edibles will be used as a way to drug women.
This wrong on so many levels. Firstly, it is an insult to women, to suggest that if they use cannabis to treat medical conditions, they would be more susceptible to rape. Then there is the insult to the whole medical community as a whole. Should the amendment pass, cannabis will become available only through prescription to certain serious condition, such as HIV and cancer. To suggest that cannabis edibles lead to rape suggests that it is these people suffering that are going to be the ones committing the crime, as they are the only ones with access. Cannabis will not become available to anyone else, it will still be legal to possess, produce and sell recreationally. More importantly, even if the vote were to make cannabis available recreationally, to suggest cannabis is a date rape drug is mad. Cannabis has been around for thousands of years and never been associated with rape! It makes the blood boil that such blatant lies can be spread so freely in an attempt to scare people!
Fortunately, with the most galling lie comes the biggest public backlash of all. The outcry on social media has been astonishing, with most people slamming the group – to the point, if anything, it has likely done their campaign against medical cannabis harm – which is at least something good to take from it all. Even Florida’s state senator, Jeff Clemens, thought it was a joke when he first saw it.
If all this teaches us anything, it is that the campaign against cannabis is prepared to fight dirty, and sink to all-time lows with the lies they are willing to tell. All the while cannabis legalisation campaigners continue to take the high road and win their case with evidence and science. As legalisation spreads, the attempts will get more desperate, but as long as we remain true and steadfast in our methods, we will prevail eventually. Science is on our side. The public is waking up to the facts, and that is what changes the politics holding cannabis back.