Friday, October 24th, 2014

The politics of pot

As sentiment shifts in favor of decriminalizing pot, some worry that more teens will start using it and suffer a drop in IQ (Tampa Bay Times photo)
As sentiment shifts in favor of decriminalizing pot, some worry that more teens will start using it and suffer a drop in IQ (Tampa Bay Times photo)

Is medical marijuana on its way to Florida? A group there is working to collect more than 700,000 signatures to add a question to next year's ballot that would allow it.

That means PolitiFact Florida has been fact-checking the politics of pot.

The Marijuana Policy Project said that marijuana is "less toxic" than alcohol. In that regard, science and statistics present a strong case:

  • Deaths or even trips to the hospital are much more likely due to alcohol;
  • Scientists could not find any documented deaths from smoking marijuana;
  • A study found the safety ratio for marijuana (the number of doses to cause death) is much greater than compared to alcohol. Put another way, marijuana is 100 times less toxic than alcohol.

Experts, though, say one concern is the impact of marijuana on the brain, particularly for teens who start smoking early. Overall, we rated the claim Mostly True.

We also checked a claim from and Orlando attorney and one of the state's most vocal supporters of medicinal marijuana, John Morgan. He said that "nobody's addicted" to marijuana.

But even he admitted that is wrong.

While people can debate how addictive marijuana is relative to other drugs, there is no debate that it can be addictive for some people in some situations. We rated the claim False.

For more details, check out the complete Truth-O-Meter fact-checks linked above. 

Have a suggestion for a fact-check? Email us at truthometer@politifact.com or suggest an item on Twitter @PolitiFact.