Believe me, if it were possible to fatally overdose on marijuana, I’d be a heapin’ midden of THC-infused mulch right now. But it’s just not. In fact, the number of recorded cases of fatal cannabis overdose in the history of cannabis and overdoses is—oh, would you look at that?—still zero.
I’m not saying it isn’t possible to get a bit too high from time to time. It definitely is. And maybe you’ll think you’re going to die, but you won’t—unless Neil Patrick Harris murders you on your way to White Castle, which I’m not totally ruling out.
But even the DEA, which is basically a bad ‘80s Afterschool Special with a $3 billion budget, admits that “no deaths from overdose of marijuana have been reported.” Like, ever.
But don’t worry about facts. After all, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has a lot of strong opinions. Last week, during a spectacularly benighted press conference, he made them known.
“This is a dangerous drug that will impact our kids,” Ricketts told reporters on Wednesday. “If you legalize marijuana, you’re gonna kill your kids. That’s what the data shows from around the country.”
When asked what data Ricketts was referring to, a spokesman directed USA TODAY to two studies that found an increase in marijuana use among teens who died by suicide in states that had legalized the drug. In his remarks Wednesday, Ricketts cited two cases where young men who died by suicide had eaten cannabis edibles.
Correlation ≠ causation. But, whatever.
I’m sure lots of young men who died by suicide also ate Skittles and listened to bad political hot takes from clueless anti-pot fossils, but that doesn’t mean there’s a link.
The issue has come up again because the Nebraska legislature is considering legalizing cannabis for medical reasons, but even this new progressive measure would restrict use to oils, tinctures, and pills, while maintaining a prohibition on smoking weed.
Still, Ricketts doesn’t like it—no, not one bit:
“Big pot, big marijuana is a big industry,” Ricketts said. “This a big industry that is trying not to be regulated, to go around the regulatory process. And that’s going to put people at risk: when you go around regulations that are designed for the health and safety of our society.”
The governor even went so far as to cite cannabis’ Schedule I classification, which came about in 1970 as a consequence of the Controlled Substances Act. In other words, Congress, not scientists, decided—in 1970, when Reefer Madness was really hitting its stride—that weed was just as dangerous as heroin.
Spoiler alert: it isn’t.
Last year, the Nebraska Supreme Court removed a legalization referendum from the ballot after ruling it violated the state constitution’s “single-subject rule.”
State Sen. Anna Wishart, a Democrat who introduced the latest pro-cannabis bill, says if the bill fails to pass, a new petition drive will be launched to get another referendum on the ballot.
Meanwhile, Erik Altieri, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), told USA Today, “Governor Ricketts’ comments are so outlandish that they border on pure parody. Upon seeing them, I had to check my calendar to make sure it was still 2021, and not 1950. His claims are not backed up by science or the real-world experience of the over a dozen states which have already legalized marijuana for adult use, they seem to exist only in his troubled imagination.”
Well, when it comes to the GOP, it’s always 1950 somewhere, now isn’t it? Or is that “4:20”?
Who knows? My memory isn’t quite what it used to be.
”This guy is a natural. Sometimes I laugh so hard I cry.” — Bette Midler on author Aldous J. Pennyfarthing via Twitter. Say “ba-bye” to the former guy. The long-anticipated EPILOGUE to Aldous J. Pennyfarthing’s Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump is now available for FREE. Download your copy here! And don’t forget to check out the rest of AJP’s oeuvre here.