Fox News is still fear-mongering about cannabis in the year 2021. The hosts of Fox & Friends, and particularly Steve Doocy, made the argument that crime is surging in cities across America because of “pot usage.” To make his point, Doocy played a clip of Washington DC Police Chief Robert Contee saying that black market marijuana transactions have an effect on crime. Contee explained, “when you have something where people get high reward — they can make a lot of money by selling illegal marijuana, and the risk is low . . . that creates a very very very very very bad situation . . . because those individuals get robbed, those individuals get shot at, those individuals get involved in disputes, all across our city.” When the camera cut back to Doocy, he concluded that it’s too late for some of these cities to “put the toothpaste back in the tube” because so many of them have already legalized marijuana.
What the morning Fox hosts failed to point out was that, what the DC police chief was referring to was the black market transactions of cannabis and not the actual use of the drug. Making marijuana fully illegal again would exacerbate the very problems they claim to be trying to fight against, as there would be even more incentive for people to turn to the black market. There is no evidence that cannabis use itself is contributing to worsening violent crime rates. The truth is that marijuana use is not associated with enhanced aggression, whereas the more common and “normalized” drug alcohol is. A study called “subjective aggression during alcohol and cannabis intoxication before and after aggression exposure” found that “cannabis decreased the subjective aggression following aggression exposure,” whereas alcohol was found to raise aggression levels. Once again, Fox News managed to take something completely out of context and they were dead wrong on the facts, but that won’t matter to their loyal audience who will never hear the other side of the story.
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