A big thanks to Scott, who sent me this surreal segment of a radio program. It’s a talk show in Canada (Bill Wood Show?) that was being guest hosted by Peter Warren. And the guest on July 19 was our own U.S. Minister of Disinformation — the Drug Czar John Walters himself.
Naturally, Walters prattled on with the usual talking points.
- High potency [which has not been linked in any way to any problems except by inference by the drug czar, but it sounds bad, and helps them promote the “This is not the pot you smoked in college” concept]
- High addiction/dependency rates of marijuana as demonstrated by treatment percentages [the usual misdirection, since the vast majority of those in treatment for marijuana are there because they’ve been referred by criminal justice, not because they’re having a problem (other than legal) with marijuana]
- Criminal involvement with producing and smuggling marijuana [a natural byproduct of criminalization]
Here are some of his quotes on the show:
“The high potency marijuna coming out of Canada is a particularly dangerous, dangerous substance. … This isn’t about, well, we have a different attitute about drugs, it’s about… the most dangerous threat, the single largest cause of addiction, and a more potent version of it now being produced and sent in multi billion dollar flows.”
Dangerous. He even said so twice in a row. And once later. Must be really dangerous.
He went on to say that he respected Canadians, that his father was Canadian, that he studied in Toronto, so he has nothing against Canada per se, but that he nevertheless had good reason to tell them how to handle their drug policy.
“The legitimate [U.S.] government policy [interest is] the fact that Canadian production of high potency marijuana is a business that– the majority of which by all available estimates is shipped to the U.S. — it is the single greatest drug threat. It’s twice as important a factor in addiction as cocaine. It’s vastly more important as a problem than methamphetamine or heroin.” [emphasis added]
Wow! I guess the message here is that you’d better switch to cocaine or meth or heroin. Good thing we’ve got a drug czar to set priorities and let us know where the real dangers lie.
He also said that the pot we used to smoke when we were in college years ago was only 1% THC, while now it can go as high as 29%. Of course that’s a complete exaggeration, even though it is true that the average potency of pot is significantly higher today (but it wasn’t generally 1% pot back then or nobody would have smoked it). Of course, part of the reason for higher potency pot is that it’s illegal, so higher potency means less bulk and easier smuggling. It also tends to have lower negative health effects (related to smoke and lungs) due to the fact that you smoke less to get the same “high.” And pot smokers DO self-regulate.
After Walters hung up, the host expressed some mild disagreement with Walters’ views and the callers were even more skeptical.
One caller (a pot smoker for 30 years) agreed that pot is more potent today. But he also noted that when he was younger, they’d roll joints as big as your thumb and smoke a bunch of them. Now they roll one the size of a knitting needle, smoke half, and put it away. He also used the analogy of beer and scotch. If you show up to a party and drink 30 ounces of beer, that might be considered OK, but if you show up and drink 30 ounces of scotch, that would be ridiculous. (Note: During alcohol prohibition, whisky became the standard in smuggling because it was much higher potency and didn’t take up as much room as beer.)
How does Walters get away with these constant outrageous statements? One, the mainstream media has not called him to account on any regular basis. By now, each time he sends out a press release, the reporters should send it back demanding documentation and clarification before printing a word he says. And two, the people have to help by demanding the truth from their newspapers and demanding oversight by their representatives, and quite frankly, demanding that Walters be removed from office.
Somebody also needs to ask why Walters attacks Canada so often, especially considering Mexico supplies 25 times as much marijuana to the United States.