What do you get if you double the number of cannabis overdoses in Pennsylvania? If you answered “zero,” you are way ahead of former Trump mouthpiece Kellyanne Conway.
The former president's former senior counsel continued her love affair with “alternative facts” on Monday during a Fox News appearance, discussing Pennsylvania's pro-cannabis Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, reported Yahoo! News.
“He put the marijuana flag up,” Conway said, referring to the US Senate candidate’s hanging of the Pride flag alongside cannabis flags on the Pennsylvania state Capitol building. “He thought that was funny. He’s trolling his opponent. Here’s what’s not funny: That there has been a doubling of overdose deaths in Pennsylvania.”
While it’s true that Pennsylvania suffered from 5,331 drug overdose deaths in 2021, literally no one besides Conway is saying that cannabis was responsible for those fatalities, including the state’s Office of Drug Surveillance and Misuse Prevention. In fact, there has never been a confirmed report of a person dying from ingesting weed (though anyone who has over-indulged in cannabis edibles can tell you it’s not a fun experience).
When it comes to Pennsylvania’s drug fatalities, it’s more likely they have to do with the country’s opioid epidemic. “Illicit opioids, largely driven by fentanyl and its analogues, have become key contributors,” to the deeply-worrisome fatality statistics, as stated by the federal Food and Drug Administration.
Meanwhile, Pennsylvania is locked in a debate over whether fentanyl test strips — a crucial tool in allowing drug users to detect the potentially-fatal synthetic opioid in their substances — should be legal at all. Fentanyl strips are currently listed on the state’s list of “drug paraphernalia,” the possession of which is classified as an upgraded misdemeanor in Pennsylvania, and can be punished by a year in jail, a $2,500 fine, or both.
Conway could likely care less about any of this, as deliberately lying has been her political tactic as far back as 2017, when she coined the term “alternative facts” to describe then-President Trump’s blatant mistruths regarding the size of the crowd at his inauguration event. She also raised eyebrows, to say the least, when she unethically promoted Ivanka Trump’s clothing line from the White House briefing room, and claimed that Donald Trump, after years of his racist badgering of Barack Obama for the former president’s birth certificate, was actually the one “who put the issue to rest.”
This isn't the first time Conway has made things up about cannabis, either. In 2019, she misleadingly claimed the nation's weed was laced with fentanyl, as if the average toker would ever buy a bag of bud caked in crushed pills.
Meanwhile, Fetterman had originally hung the flags as part of a protest against the continued illegal status of cannabis and lack of protections against the discrimination of LGBTQ people in Pennsylvania.
For the lieutenant governor’s part, he was incredulous that Republican politicians cared about his flags back when he flew them, asking NBC News, “The GOP collectively shrugged when a couple of its members were photographed down in DC on Jan. 6, but my pride and weed flags are a point of outrage for them?”
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