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Top Ten Marijuana Myths

The hardest part about working on marijuana regulation is breaking that negative stigma and getting through the misinformation. In our latest Top 10 list, we offer a reality check on the many, many marijuana myths that are out there.

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  1. MYTH: Marijuana is More Dangerous Than Alcohol

    No, it absolutely is not. No one has died from marijuana, unlike alcohol. This myth is particularly annoying because it creates other myths - including the gateway myth, addressed below.

  1. MYTH: We Need More Studies About the Impact of Marijuana 

    Numbers don't lie - check out the facts about marijuana studies, and about death totals, for yourself.

    Substance No. of studies,
    all-time
    Deaths in 2013
    Hydrocodone (legal) 600 16,000
    Marijuana (illegal) 20,000+
    (1,430 in 2013)
    0
  2. MYTH: Marijuana Has to be Smoked

    Vaporizers. Edibles. Capsules. There are many ways to ingest marijuana. Yet the myth continues every time a TV station covers a marijuana story with B-roll of people smoking massive blunts - instead of a medical patient taking a capsule, as seen below.

    Medical Marijuana

  3. MYTH: Marijuana Causes Lung Cancer Worse Than Cigarettes

    There is no link to lung cancer in light or moderate users - and in fact, some studies show that medical marijuana may even protect against cancer. Here's a nice summary of 20 medical studies finding that marijuana can help fight brain, breast, lung, prostate, blood, oral, liver, and pancreatic cancer.

    Medical Marijuana PT Endorsement

  4. MYTH: Marijuana Regulation Increases Traffic Fatalities

    The exact opposite, actually, according to raw data from the Colorado Department of Transportation. Check this out from the Washington Post, "Since marijuana legalization, highway fatalities in Colorado are at near-historic lows."
    Colorado Highway Deaths Chart

  5. MYTH: Marijuana Has No Legitimate Medical Purpose

    Recently, Dr. Sanjay Gupta doubled-down on medical marijuana due to its positve health impacts. We've written about the impact of medical marijuana on the health of Texas before. Even the American Cancer Society recognizes its positive impacts and wants the U.S. to stop classifying marijuana as a dangerous drug that lacks a safe medical purpose so there can be more medical research and advances.

    CNN: Sanjay Gupta Medical Marijuana

  6. MYTH: Marijuana Regulation Increases Crime Rates

    We've also covered this one before - an incredible study by Dr. Robert Morris of UT Dallas examined crime data for homicide, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, larceny and auto theft. Examining 16 years of crime data across all 50 states, "none of the seven crime types increased with the legalization of medical marijuana." Government data from Denver from the first six months of 2014 found the same trend.

    Marijuana Crime Myth

  7. MYTH: Marijuana Regulation Increases Teen Use

    There's plenty of existing research that refutes the myth. We know that pot use among teens has dropped in Colorado this year. The most recent study by the National Bureau of Economc Research found that, "Our results are not consistent with the hypothesis that the legalization of medical marijuana caused an increase in the use of marijuana among high school students." (WSJ: "Don't Blame Legal Medical Marijuana for Increased Teen Use"

    Marijuana teen use myth

  8. MYTH: Marijuana is a Gateway Drug

    "Claims that marijuana is a gateway to more dangerous drugs are as fanciful as the “Reefer Madness” images of murder, rape and suicide." - NY Times, July 2014. The NY Times took this position for good reason - alcohol, not marijuana, is the gateway drug. And if you want to read some history about it, this is a handy guide

    Marijuana Gateway Drug Myth

  9. MYTH: Texas Will Never Pass Marijuana Laws

    In a University of Texas / Texas Tribune poll, 77% of Texas voters support some form of marijuana regulation. A separate PPP poll from 2013 found that a majority of Texans support all kinds of marijuana regulation. Rick Perry and Wendy Davis support decriminalization (Abbott doesn't). One of the only things the U.S. House of Representatives showed bipartisan agreement on, in 2014, was a law telling the DEA to stop raiding medical marijuana shops in states where it is legal. Earliers this year, we endorsed medical marijuana and continue to promote an honest conversation on marijuana regulation in Texas.

    Public support will need to translate to education of the Legislature, who will have to answer an all-important question in 2015:

    Will Texas elected officials move past the myths outlined aboved and support an honest conversation about marijuana regulation in Texas?


     

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