Marijuana opponents will say just about anything to try to scare people away from voting for marijuana reform, even if it is a blatantly false statement. It’s a tactic that marijuana opponents have been using since the beginning of marijuana prohibition so many decades ago. In generations past, they were able to get away with it at speaking engagements, in print media, and on television. Those days are gone. We live in an era where information is readily available, and facts are checked constantly. Long gone are the days when marijuana prohibitionists can work with mainstream media to perpetuate false facts and claims to spread reefer madness.
At a recent public debate at Portland State University, a marijuana opponent tried to make the claim that there has been a spike in child deaths as a result of marijuana legalization in Colorado. The crowd at the debate immediately pointed out that the claim was blatantly false, and demanded that the marijuana opponent cite his source for such an outlandish claim. The next day, the marijuana opponent had to issue a public apology because he was obviously wrong. Per Oregon Live:
Dr. Ron Schwerzler, who caused an uproar at a Tuesday night debate on marijuana legalization when he claimed that five Colorado children died after consuming the drug, on Wednesday retracted his statement and acknowledged he was wrong.
“I really need to retract that statement because I can’t back it up,” said Schwerzler, the medical director at an addictions treatment center in Eugene. He said he might have been misunderstanding accounts of children who have been hospitalized in Colorado after accidentally eating marijuana-laced candies or other edibles.
Dr. Schwerzler knew what he was doing. People don’t just go into debates unprepared and talk off the cuff. Dr. Schwerzler likely met with other marijuana opponents to go over talking points, and thought his statement on child deaths would surely scare undecided voters. Unfortunately, the opposite happened and I’m sure his admission has resulted in many voters being swayed to support Oregon Measure 91 since the ‘no’ campaign has clearly been discredited. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Below if video footage of the entire debate for those that weren’t able to make it.