US Surgeon General Doubles Down on Reefer Madness Public Health Warnings
Dr. Jerome Adams gathered the media this week to issue a formal health warning about a plant that has killed exactly zero people.
Published on August 30, 2019

The nation’s two top health experts convened a press conference in Washington D.C. on Thursday to warn Americans about a drug that they say poses a significant and dangerous threat to the nation’s youth and expecting mothers: weed.

That’s right, in the year 2019, US Surgeon General Jerome Adams and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar issued a public health advisory against cannabis use. According to ABC News, both men focused their speeches on weed’s supposed damage to teenagers and pregnant mothers. They offered no new research or concrete evidence to support their claims, but instead trudged up tired and disproven propaganda.

"Not enough people know that today's marijuana is far more potent than in days past," the Surgeon General said, noting that he was concerned about the “rapid normalization” of the drug. "This ain't your mother's marijuana."

But even considering the trichome-covered 25% THC bud and highly potent dabs on dispensary shelves these days, Dr. Adams’ purview is decidedly short, and skips over hundreds of years of human history in which incredibly potent hash was the most popular form of cannabis consumption.

When it comes to teenage consumption, state-specific data has consistently shown that it is legalization and regulation — not prohibitionist scolding — that leads to decreases in youth cannabis consumption. And while the jury is still out on the long-term effects of consuming cannabis while pregnant, legal cannabis markets have kickstarted in-depth research into the subject and created packaging warnings like those on alcohol bottles.

Gallery — Anti-Weed Film Posters From Yesteryear:

"Our current model of prohibition represents the utter lack of control over any aspect of marijuana or the marijuana market,” Erik Altieri of NORML told ABC News. “If he truly has concerns, the Surgeon General's time would be better spent advocating for a structure for regulation under which we can educate Americans about the actual harms and benefits of cannabis through public education campaigns and product labeling, instead of his current fear-mongering."

Outside of the official warning, Azar said that the federal government will launch a “public awareness campaign” about the supposed dangers of marijuana, which will be funded in part by a donation from Donald Trump’s presidential salary. 

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Zach Harris
Zach Harris is a writer based in Philadelphia whose work has appeared on Noisey, First We Feast, and Jenkem Magazine. You can find him on Twitter @10000youtubes complaining about NBA referees.
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