Dangerous Marijuana

Dangerous Marijuana
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

In March 2016, Massachusetts State Trooper Thomas Clardy became the latest victim of marijuana use. He was killed when a speeding auto swerved across several highway lanes and crashed into his parked police cruiser. Clardy, the married father of seven, had pulled over a speeder and was writing a ticket for its driver when he died in his wrecked vehicle. He never had a chance when the careening vehicle smashed into his well-marked police cruiser.

The distraught driver of the auto killing Clardy was found to have visited a medical marijuana dispensary a mere hour before he caused the fatal crash. Investigators discovered that he had purchased several marijuana cigarettes and they found a partially burnt remnant of one in his auto. A sample of his blood taken almost immediately showed the presence of THC, the active marijuana ingredient. This man certainly appears to have been stoned while behind the wheel. The “high” he experienced should have kept him off the road because he was not competent to drive an automobile.

The tragic death of Clardy, a Marine Corps veteran and a well-respected trooper, confirmed that marijuana use, even when obtained legally, presents a danger to the user and to the public at large. The connection between marijuana and the loss of Trooper Clardy should reverse the thinking of anyone claiming that using marijuana is harmless. Whether its use is for medical reasons or for what is termed “recreation,” marijuana dulls mental capability and converts a user into a potentially hazardous human being, especially when behind the wheel of an auto.

Forty years ago, a sizable majority of medical authorities studying the effects of marijuana confirmed that its use is dangerous enough to label it a poison. As reported in published 1974 U.S. Senate hearings, a group of eminently qualified doctors concluded that steady use of marijuana:
1) damaged the body’s cellular structure
2) caused structural changes in brain cells
3) impaired the human reproductive system
4) led to a variety of respiratory diseases
5) left its dangerous ingredients in the body unlike alcohol that a body disposes of within 24 hours
6) impaired mental functions.

Over the years, numerous doctors have made similar claims.

The doctors reaching these conclusions also stated that marijuana users regularly develop a tolerance for the substance and turn to harder drugs such as cocaine and heroin or whatever will give them their sought-after high. Many who became addicted to “hard” drugs started with marijuana and graduated into their dependency on the harder drugs that steer a once-productive life into a regimen of hellish misery.

In short, there is plenty of evidence showing that marijuana is destructive of healthy bodies and sound minds. It also converts users into danger-filled creatures who may mean no harm to others, but whose effect on non-users can even be fatal, something discovered with great sadness by the Clardy family.

Some states have already legalized marijuana production and sale, even describing their move as supplying “recreation.” If government’s purpose includes protection of life and property, such recreation should not be tolerated and should be outlawed. Any medicinal users should be barred from using an automobile – or driving a school bus, piloting an airplane, performing operations on patients, etc.

Smoking marijuana is akin to playing Russian Roulette. But the victim might be someone other than the individual playing that senseless game.

Editor’s note of clarification: While we don’t agree with recreational use of marijuana, The John Birch Society does not endorse the federal war on drugs.  It is the responsibility of the states to decide.

Are you receiving our free weekly e-newsletter? Sign up today! Be sure to also get our free Top Daily Headlines from The New American.

McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.

8 Comments on “Dangerous Marijuana”

  1. wngrigg says:

    If government’s purpose includes protection of life and property, such recreation should not be tolerated and should be outlawed.

    Jack, on scores of occasions I have seen you make recreational use of the world’s deadliest drug, which was outlawed for thirteen years in the United States and is implicated in tens of thousands of deaths each year. If you are going to pretend that government has jurisdiction over what people consume, intellectual honesty would compel you to begin with the most destructive substances first.

    Of course, the idea that government should “protect” the public by suppressing potentially risky behavior could be used to outlaw personal firearms ownership, too. The misbegotten principle you’re promoting here doesn’t just apply to relatively benign substances that are associated with a subculture — and an ethnicity — that you don’t like, Jack.


  2. Frank M Pelteson says:

    The question should always be, who or what organization is behind the growing popularization of Marijuana, also known as Hashish, the drug of the Middle-Eastern Assassins or Thuggees? What goal do these conspirators have in damaging the minds of the users with Hashish? Is it merely to create a profitable dependency, or is it more sinister, such as damaging the American Culture?


  3. Jacob Lovell says:

    I’ve spent time with Jack while he’s drinking alcohol, which is way more dangerous than weed. Prohibiting what people consume is invasion of property and bodily rights. The drug war isn’t in the Constitution.

    Jack, you’re wrong on every level.


  4. vivian greer says:

    you have got to be kidding.do you really believe this load of lies? millions of people use pot on a daily basis with no problems what so ever. you guys might want to step into the 21st century and get over your reefer madness.


  5. Douglas Logan says:

    There is no possible good use for Marijuana. The using of Marijuana for medical reasons make about as much sense as drinking “dry water” to quench ones thirst. It is harmful to the body and the people who are promoting it are harmful to the intellect of the at large.


    • @Douglas, shouldn’t we leave that decision up to the people using Marijuana? Many claim that it helps their medical condition. While I don’t plan to use it myself, I’m certainly not going to deprive others of the opportunity to help their own conditions.


  6. Mark says:

    I don’t agree with this article. The properties of this plant, marijuana, can be life saving. Your research needs to be extended. I do however agree that driving under the influence should be treated no different than alcohol.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s