Feb 202013
 

By Dan Riffle, Marijuana Policy Project

Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Alcohol causes violent behavior and deaths by liver cirrhosis and alcohol poisoning. People die every day from overdoses of heroin, cocaine, meth, and even legal prescription drugs. Nonetheless, Rep. David Howard (R-Park City), Chairman of the Montana House Human Services Committee, thinks marijuana — a substance that has never caused an overdose fatality — is “the most dangerous drug there is.”

That’s right folks, it’s 2013 and reefer madness is still alive and well in big sky country. Fortunately, science is still alive and well too and begs to differ with Rep. Howard. Here’s what a study published in Britain’s most prestigious medical journal, The Lancet, had to say about the relative harms of various popular intoxicants:

drug harms

As you can see, marijuana (cannabis) is hardly the most dangerous and pales in comparison to alcohol and tobacco, two drugs we’ve had success reducing teen use of lately without throwing tens of thousands of adults in jail.

Unsurprisingly, Howard’s committee blocked four bills that would have rolled back recently passed restrictions on Montana’s medical marijuana law. For now, despite Rep. Howard’s obfuscation, a judge has issued an injunction preventing the worst parts of that law from taking effect. Patients in Montana are awaiting the state attorney general’s decision as to whether or not to appeal that ruling.

UPDATE: Commenter Nathan Pierce points out that Montana Attorney General Tim Fox announced Friday he will not appeal the preliminary injunction. Patients and providers are not out of the woods yet though. The constitutionality of Montana’s restrictive law will now be the subject of a full trial, where Fox pledges to “vigorously defend” the law.

Source: Marijuana Policy Project

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About Johnny Green

Johnny Green is a marijuana activist from Oregon. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy. Follow Johnny Green on Facebook and Twitter. Also, feel free to email any concerns.
  • http://disqus.com/notspicoli/ notSpicoli

    In MONTANA, Chairman of the House Human Services Committee, DAVID HOWARD, R-Park City, a former FBI agent, not only characterized medical cannabis as a joke, he channels Harry Anslinger and declares,

    “This stuff is disguised as medicine, It makes you delusional. It is psychologically addicting and physiologically addicting and it absorbs in your fat cells, which is the most dangerous drug there is. This is not a drug. It’s a poison.”

    The Billings Gazette reports that under Howard’s lead, the House committee on Friday rejected four bills by a vote of 12 to 4 (with 10 Republican votes) that would fix parts of the 2011 Montana medical marijuana law temporarily blocked by a district judge.

    Without explaining the concept of a non-toxic poison, ex-narc Howard bragged that as the operations chief against marijuana planting in California in the 1980s, made America a better place by organizing and cutting down thousands marijuana plants.

    Once again, marijuana makes people do and say a lot of stupid things, mostly by those who don’t use it. KH

    As a aside… While Howard is working to keep dangerous marijuana illegal. he (and other Montana Repub’s) is backing a bill THAT WOULD ALLOW STUDENTS AND TEACHERS TO BRING SIDE ARMS TO SCHOOL.
    A lunatic?

    In November, Howard predicted that , “If we lose this election the Secular Socialist Democrats will place two more secular anti-American Justices on the Supreme Court and kill America from within.This is reality and this will happen if we lose this election! THIS COULD FORCE AMERICAN PATRIOTS INTO A CIVIL WAR TO REGAIN OUR FREEDOMS.” (KH)

  • shallah
    • Choom Gang

      That was painful to watch. It makes me wonder how people get so divorced from objectivity. In this case, I think maybe it was the corrupting influence of money.

      • stellarvoyager

        Money, combined with a feeble mind poisoned by a dangerous and hateful ideology.

    • QuaxMercy

      Thanks, Shallah, but I think Rep. Howard is correct – there are no “menissable” properties to Cannabis. There are, however, huge karmic consequences to having destroyed thousands of other people’s plants over the course of a career. Just incredible that we paid this ignorant son of a gun for decades, no doubt pay his pension still, & he still don’t know jack.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tumaru.noel Ben Tumaru O’Brien

    The way I see it is that it’s not that he said it that’s the real problem but that is what he believes and to tell him otherwise would be like telling a hard line Evangelical christian that Christ wasn’t the son of god and probably was an invention of the early church. It will do nothing to change their minds. (not that I’m saying we should try going around getting Christians to become atheists, just saying it would be about that hard).

    So how do we possibly convince these people? It would be nice if we could get them out of power and get science, peace, truth and love loving people to replace them but since that isn’t likely I go back to how could be possibly convince these people that their hard beliefs about marijuana aren’t true. A good way would might start with just getting them to question their beliefs. That’s what I always start at.

  • i am me

    this study is very wrong !!!! its so laughable !!!!!

  • batman070295

    Marijuana is not hurtful…it inspries people to do more.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kathy.nobrega Kathy Nobrega

    i just wrote to this nimrod, you all should do the same.
    Repdavidhoward@gmail.com
    - Hello,

    I just read this article where it quotes you as saying about cannabis, that,

    “This stuff is disguised as medicine,” Howard said. “It makes you
    delusional. It is psychologically addicting and physiologically
    addicting and it absorbs in your fat cells, which is the most dangerous
    drug there is. This is not a drug. It’s a poison.”

    I am so embarrassed for you. You are not even that old as to have been hoodwinked by all the propaganda of the last 75 years.

    Every word in the quote above is an absolute falsehood. Proven
    scientifically to be so. You really should do some research so you
    don’t look so outdated and frankly, ignorant.

    Cannabis is a
    medicine, firstly. Not a drug. The pharmaceutical industry (big
    pharma) only wishes they had created the miracle known as cannabis.
    They try to synthesize in drugs they make with it like Marinol, but they
    have been unsuccessful at it. Marinol makes people sick. Why?
    Because it is a man-made drug, like all the rest in your local pharmacy.

    Are you aware that you have an endocannabinoid system in your
    body? Are you aware that a mother’s breast milk has thc in it,
    naturally produced by the body?

    Are you aware that the oil of
    the plant known as cannabis oil or ‘rick simpson oil’ actually KILLS
    CANCER CELLS, therefore killing cancer, therefore saving millions of
    lives?

    Are you aware that keeping this drug illegal under
    complete falsehoods makes the federal and state governments complicit in
    genocide?

    Are you aware that people are curing themselves from cancers their doctors sent them home to die from?

    Are you aware of any of this?

    Are you aware if you are nauseaus or sick in other ways, you can ingest
    this plant or vape it or smoke it and have complete relief from those
    symptoms WITHOUT side effects. What big pharma drug can you say that
    about? None. There is not one big pharma drug that you can say has NO
    side effects.

    This plant is a medicine. Get it straight. I
    am not sure who is greasing your palms (i have a guess however) to make
    you say such ignorant things on the record, but you really need to
    rethink it. Or you may just be ignorant in general about cannabis, the
    medicine.

    Again, to clarify:

    *Cannabis is NOT addictive, neither psychologically nor physiologically. What you said is a complete lie.
    *Cannabis does NOT make you delusional. What you said is a complete lie.

    *Cannabis does NOT absorb into your fat cells. It absorbs into your
    blood reaching the endocannabinoid system that each and every animal on
    the planet has within them. Why do you think we have a system in our
    bodies that has the word ‘cannabi’ in it? Why do you think that
    is????????
    *Cannabis is NOT the most dangerous drug. In fact, it is
    not a drug; it is a medicine. Those are 2 different things. In fact,
    alcohol, cigarrettes and big pharmaceuticals are the most dangerous
    DRUGS in the world.
    *and finally, Cannabis is NOT poison. It is the
    exact opposite. It is a plant put on this earth for one reason: TO
    CURE, TO HELP, TO SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT, TO SAVE THE ECONOMY.

    Are you aware of all the uses of Cannabis and how it could revolutionize
    our Country and the world? Saving us all from pain and misery?

    You need to snap out of your politico bs and wake the hell up.

    People like you really grind my gears.

    With menial power comes great responsibility.

    Make your mother prouds and wake the F up!

    Respectfully yours,

    Kathy from Massachusetts

  • Sean

    David Howard is the most dangerous moron in government.

  • Ricy Mardona

    Very informative blog. keep posting…

  • nygratefulfred

    wonder which group is paying him to say these things or is David Howard really this ignorant?

  • http://www.facebook.com/bill.jones.94043 Bill Jones

    A guy asked me to tell him about cannabis. He grew up in the reefer madness time and truely believed a person should be executed if caught selling cannabis. When he found out it cured my cancer in 10 days (skin cancer) he changed his tune. This gobbment official is just plain whacko. How embarrassing for him to be that stupid.