Finally taking a (presumably short) break from all that kerfuffle over the Park51 (“Ground Zero Mosque”) manufactroversy and rising Islamophobia, here’s a wonderfully demagogic advertisement from MarijuanaHarmsFamilies.com opposing California’s Prop 19, which would legalize possession and cultivation of marijuana in the state:
You gotta hand it to those “family values” conservatives: They really know how to do demagogy well. Not a single genuine statement; not a single real issue; not a single logical argument. Nothing but pure fear-mongering about that evil cannabis and how it will tear the fabric of society apart. (Wait, wasn’t same-sex marriage supposed to do that? Or abortion? Or all those other things they rail against?)
So, I say: Time to play “List the Fallacies”!
[Marijuana is] The #1 ADDICTION for 65% of TEENS in Drug rehab.
Starting off with the most patent falsehood, I see. Just two tiny problems with that statement: 1) Marijuana is not addictive, at least not until you start using it very heavily for a very long stretch of time, at which point your usage is more akin to an ingrained habit than an actual chemical dependence); and 2) Even if 65% of teens in rehab are there because they smoke pot (and I could find no statistics regarding this claim), the reality is that they’re forced there by scared parents, authoritarian counselors and generalized social stigma, not because they need to fight off a physical addiction.
[Marijuana is] A GATEWAY drug to Cocaine and Meth.
Another common false claim. Yes, some drug users progress from lesser drugs like pot to harder substances; on the other hand, the vast majority of marijuana users are perfectly content to stay at the level of cannabis and rarely go further. Whether or not a druggie walks down the drug path after cannabis has everything to do with the person, him/herself, and nothing to do with marijuana, itself.
[Marijuana is] 4 times more MIND-ALTERING than in the 1970's.
Superfluous apostrophe alert. Also, a change from 0.1% to 0.4% in potency isn’t exactly something to write home about.
[Marijuana] Harms the Lungs FASTER than Smoking Cigarettes.
Good thing that most marijuana users only smoke pot every once in a while, then. Strangely, you don’t see hospital wards filled with people dying from pot abuse. Cigarettes, on the other hand …
MARIJUANA: What’s Good About Legalizing It?
Plenty of things: Increases revenue through taxation and provides good pain relief for pain patients, for starters. I also hear it’s great for relaxation. (Not that I would personally know.)
We’re then presented with what “Marijuana Legalization would mean”:
Marijuana could be SOLD IN GROCERY STORES.
Nothing like a slippery slope, is there? Prop 19, as it’s currently written, serves to make it legal for any adults (21 or older) to possess up to an ounce of marijuana for personal use. It says nothing about distributing pot in your local Walmart.
Skyrocketing usage among Teens and Young people.
Another baseless slippery slope. (And even if it weren’t, it’s still a pointless objection seeing how harmless it is, as previously noted.)
“DRUGGED DRIVING” on Streets and Freeways.
Yeah, because we totally don’t have people driving whilst high already. (Or drunk.) And allowing adults to have up to an ounce of marijuana is hardly gonna send them all into highway pileups.
The “Right” to GET HIGH While on the Job.
I don’t even know how moronic you have to be to believe something like this. How, exactly, is legalizing marijuana the same as striking down workplace regulations and allowing people to get high at work?
Higher Insurance Premiums as Addictions SOAR.
We’ve already established there wouldn’t be any addictions in the first place, so that’s moot already.
Marijuana Operatives could buy THOUSANDS of Acres of farmland.
A) Completely and transparently false. Once again, the bill would only permit “grow[ing] up to 25 square feet per residence or parcel”. That’s a really fucking small field for mass farming, son. B) As for rogue, illegal operatives, we already have those, so there’d be absolutely no change in that respect.
Messed up minds.
Messed up lives.
Messed up families.
An even worse society.
OMG!! WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!11!
Is this the kind of culture you want?
With the real effects of legalized marijuana? Why, yes, very much so. Amsterdam doesn’t seem to be taking it too hard.
Don’t Buy The Lie.
Yours? Needs an ‘s’, then.
Go on, California, make my warm, bleeding liberal heart proud. Show these demagogues what legalizing marijuana really means. (Bonus points if it drives them all out with the stink.)
(via Right Wing Watch)
Edit: 09/28/11 2:00 PM – Fixed a typo.