Last night I happened to be within earshot of a man named Jon Ralston spewing a load of propaganda about the dangers of cannabis, or weed, and driving. I don’t, as a rule, go out of my way to listen to “news” on television but a friend tuned in by chance to Las Vegas’ Channel 3 at just the right moment.
What did Jon Ralston say that was so outrageous? Well, to begin with his face and moving lips were alternating with images of a small white car with serious damage to the front end. Unfortunately that car was involved in a fatal accident in which a young man died. That is certainly sad, and all too common. However, Ralston was unconscionably exploiting that young man’s tragic death to make a false point: that because cannabinoids were found in his body, weed or marijuana was the cause of his death. According to Jon Ralston, cannabis is a “dangerous drug” that leads to or is involved in 45% of fatal accidents.
There are a lot of problems with Ralston’s statements. First of all, there are serious omissions of information regarding that case. Who was at fault in that fatal accident, and what was the cause? Was it solely the fault of a stoned driver, as Ralston implied? Was there any evidence of alcohol within those involved in that collision? If so, why is this not acknowledged? Were any other substances involved, licit or otherwise?
In my book Cannabis Consumer Handbook, I wrote a chapter to warn cannabis consumers specifically to avoid mixing cannabis with alcohol. The problem is not the cannabis. It is most definitely alcohol. People without experience with weed, especially young people, cannot judge the separate effects of alcohol while stoned. They tend to forget that alcohol sneaks up on people. The quiet euphoria of marijuana, for a time, disguises the building effects of alcohol in the body. Stoners, as a rule, don’t like to go out for a drive. Drunken people, however, delude themselves into believing that they have no impairments and are often quick to get into one of those killing machines on wheels. So, as I preach in the Handbook, as a rule, do not drink alcohol while enjoying the good herb, unless it’s a glass of wine and you won’t be driving.
Which brings me to the point of Ralston’s propaganda and why he’s so deceptive: Over and over that shill for corporate governance referred to cannabis as “a dangerous drug.” Hence, he lied. Cannabis, or weed, or marijuana, is not a drug! It is a herb that is beneficial to the human body, just as other herbs like oregano and basil are. Calling cannabis a “dangerous drug” 25 times in a three-minute monologue does not alter nature; it does not make cannabis a drug. Also, each and every human being is born with cannabinoid receptors in our brains and bodies. If and when cannabis derivatives pass through our brain or certain places within our body where these ready receptors are, they are captured and put to good use. Among those positive uses is relief from terrible, chronic pain and destruction of cancer cells. Yes, the fact is that many cannabinoids kill cancer cells. This drugless, natural substance is fantastic medicine, and this is why “medical marijuana” usage is on the rise.
Ralston pretends to be doing a public service by warning people against legalization of cannabis, or even allowing its use as medicine. In fact, the only service he is doing is to corporations that want to continue profiting from legal drugs – pharmaceuticals – that kill hundreds of thousands of people each year. Ralston and his corporate sponsors are obviously doing a great disservice to the public, and he ought to shut up about cannabis being “a dangerous drug.”
Further, if Ralston and those spewing the same nonsense were sincere about serving the public interests through prudent use of the media they would be advocating, as I do, for an end to cannabis prohibition. And they would do as I’ve committed myself to do: put my money behind my words.
To explain briefly, a few facts: cannabis prohibition is very costly in dollars, but even more so in unnecessary health care costs for individuals and institutions. Public funds are spent needlessly to arrest, prosecute and incarcerate people for possessing cannabis. Conservative estimates indicate that these governmental expenses exceed $10 billion each year; that’s money down the drain. At the same time, a growing number of serious crimes go unprosecuted each year, the most serious of which is murder. Percentages of unsolved murders increase each year in most states, even if the number of criminal deaths does not. That $10 billion dollars wasted on cannabis prohibition and prosecution would go a long way to solving more of these capital crimes.
In Nevada, I’ve become superficially knowledgeable about an unsolved case; that of a young man murdered senselessly in 2005. Information about that tragic death can be found here: A Death in Las Vegas ~ Perverted Injustice Because of people like Jon Ralston, who rant against legalizing cannabis yet remain silent about better uses of public funds wasted on its prohibition, such as solving murder cases that sit in back rooms, I’ve decided to offer $4.20 from each Cannabis Consumer Handbook sold during the next four months to help that cause for justice. And I challenge everyone who fights cannabis legalization to do the same: put your own money into making a difference for the resolution of a serious crime, and help a grieving parent in the process.
Any reader can help prosecute a murderer by buying a copy of my book Cannabis Consumer Handbook.