Sometimes on the drive back from school I like to listen to Sean Hannity on the radio. It usually makes me angry and I drive faster, arriving home much sooner than I otherwise would. Today, there was talk about the Supreme Court decision to have Federal anti-marijuana laws overrule State pro-medical-marijuana laws. Everyone who called up and who said that they smoked pot with any regularity was chastised as a drug addict by Hannity. No word on how often Mr. Hannity consumes a beverage with caffeine. Of course, that’s different, because caffeine doesn’t alter your mood. Oh wait, yes it does!
Anyway, someone invariably brought up the alcohol vs. marijuana angle. I leaned forward in glee, awaiting to see just how the Baby Jesus was going to get out of this one. After all, marijuana is non-toxic, alcohol is toxic. Not a single soul has ever died of marijuana overdose, but thousands die yearly from alcohol poisoning. How was Sean going to respond?
Hannity, incredibly, responded by arguing that alcohol was different than marijuana because while you can drink alcohol without getting drunk, with marijuana you get “instantly high.” Where the hell does Hannity get his information on marijuana? Reefer Madness, the 1936 anti-marijuana propaganda film? I’ve never seen anyone get “instantly high” on marijuana. The effects of marijuana are, like with alcohol, dependent on how much you intake and are observed gradually, over time. If you’re taking 30 bong hits, yeah, you’re going to feel pretty mellow. But the same thing happens after 5 beers.
It was just really funny to me, because it couldn’t be any more obvious that Hannity hasn’t tried marijuana, and knows absolutely nothing about it. Sadly, for those who might be excited by Hannity’s promise of an “instant high,” marijuana delivers no such rush.
Next, Hannity tried to push the asinine “using marijuana will lead to hard drugs” argument. Not only does the argument imply that marijuana is a “soft” drug (wait, but it still makes you crazy and gives you an “instant high!”), the logic is faulty. Yes, if you do a survey of hard drug users, most of them tried marijuana before having used hard drugs. Of course, they also tried nicotine and caffeine and doughnuts before using hard drugs. More than 1/3 of all living Americans have tried marijuana. Working backwards by looking at hard drug users and saying that X percentage of hard drug users first tried marijuana is meaningless. You have not demonstrated cause and effect. Likewise, we don’t consider all Muslims in grave danger of becoming terrorists even though the majority of terrorists are Muslim. The vast majority of Muslims are not terrorists and the vast majority of people who try marijuana are not going to become addicted to hard drugs.
The calls by marijuana users continued, but it didn’t get much better than Hannity claiming that marijuana gives you an “instant high.” Also, no word on how many of those callers only started using marijuana so that they would be able to stand listening to Hannity’s holier-than-thou preaching.