DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Robert Weiner, former White House Drug Policy spokesman for six years and spokesman for the Housed Narcotics Committee as well, also former spokesman for the House Government Operations Committee, has defused the myths and politics about marijuana legalization as numerous state and city referenda will be held on the issue in a little over a week. Weiner was invited to speak at the “Politics” Class at American University on the movement toward drug legalization and issued the following report based on the lecture in the Monday, October 27issue of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Weekly, considered by many drug policy leaders to be the nation’s leading magazine on substance abuse developments.
Weiner was critical of the “legalization movement speeding through many states and DC.” He cited little-reported “harms of marijuana” in states that have already legalized, including increased usage, more car crashes, more hospital emergency room cases, and drug treatment center admission increases, and in “medical marijuana” states, over 90% fraudulent cases of medical claims in marijuana clinics according to law enforcement sources.
Weiner also said that legalizers’ claims of the “failure” of the drug war are false because drug use has gone down by nearly half in the past three decades due to national efforts. “If any other social problem, such as literacy, hunger or poverty, or health problem, such as cancer, diabetes and heart attacks, improved 50–70 percent, would we call it a failure?” Weiner asked. He added, “Harm reduction sometimes gets confused with marijuana legalization.”
Weiner’s oped, coming out in the October 27, 2014 issue of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Weekly, is on “Marijuana Legalization and Harm Reduction – The Myths and the Politics”.