When Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg tossed his hat into the ring last week, it wasn't made of hemp.
Bloomberg checks in on cannabis far to the right of Joe Biden, who seems to think that marijuana is a "gateway drug." Here's what Bloomberg had to say about marijuana while speaking at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis in January:
"We have a different kind of problem in America, for example. Last year, in 2017, 72,000 Americans [overdosed] on drugs. In 2018, more people than that are OD-ing on drugs, have OD'd on drugs. And today, incidentally, we are trying to legalize another addictive narcotic, which is perhaps the stupidest thing anybody has ever done. We've got to fight that, and that's another thing that Bloomberg Philanthropies will work on in public health."
Bloomberg is apparently referring to marijuana as the "addictive narcotic" that people want to legalize. However, he neglects to say that none of the 72 overdose deaths were from marijuana. There is one death that was attributed to THC overdose in 2019, although that ruling is disputed.
The point here is that Bloomberg is mixing up something that is largely an opioid issue with cannabis. If he is going to talk cannabis in this upcoming political season, he is going to have to get much sharper with his information and arguments.
Bloomberg's years as mayor of New York City, 2002-2013, were marked by high numbers of marijuana arrests that, in 2011, prompted city council members and activists to protest outside his home.
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