Trump Claims ”Genetically Engineered” Cannabis Causes Mass Shootings
NEW YORK – In a recent speech for the National Rifle Association, former U.S. President Donald Trump made a controversial claim that genetically engineered cannabis is the cause of mass shootings in the United States. Despite the lack of any scientific evidence to support this claim, Trump’s words carry weight among his followers and serve as a stark reminder of the ongoing struggle to educate the public about the benefits of cannabis and the harm caused by its prohibition.
The publication, Marijuana Moment, picked up the the story that during National Rifle Association (NRA) leadership forum last Friday, Trump listed a number of controversial and unproven factors that he said he’d direct the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate as possibly causing the ongoing scourge of mass shooting afflicting the country.
“We have to look at whether common psychiatric drugs, as well as genetically engineered cannabis and other narcotics, are causing psychotic breaks” that lead to gun violence, he said.
The claim that genetically engineered cannabis is responsible for mass shootings is not only baseless but also dangerous. It is well-established that cannabis does not cause violent behavior and that its use is associated with lower rates of aggression and violence. Additionally, the notion that cannabis can be genetically engineered to induce violent behavior is pure fiction, and Trump’s statement serves only to stoke unfounded fears and further stigmatize a plant that has numerous medicinal and therapeutic applications.
Former President Donald J. Trump spoke to NRA members in April 2023
Unfortunately, Trump’s stance is not an isolated one, and it reflects the larger Republican party’s stubborn support of cannabis prohibition. Despite growing public support for legalization and mounting evidence of the plant’s medical benefits, Republicans have largely resisted efforts to reform cannabis laws, citing outdated beliefs about its dangers and moral objections to drug use.
This stance is not only misguided but also harmful. Prohibition has failed to curb cannabis use and has instead led to the criminalization of millions of people, particularly those from marginalized communities. It has also created a illicit market that fuels violence and undermines public safety, as evidenced by the ongoing drug cartel violence in Mexico.
Moreover, cannabis prohibition has hindered research into the plant’s potential uses and has prevented patients from accessing a safe and effective treatment for a wide range of conditions, including chronic pain, epilepsy, and PTSD. This has resulted in unnecessary suffering and has deprived individuals of their right to healthcare.
In light of these facts, it is time for the Republican party to abandon its outdated views on cannabis and embrace a more evidence-based approach to drug policy. This means supporting efforts to legalize cannabis at the federal level, as well as supporting research into the plant’s potential benefits and risks. It also means prioritizing harm reduction and public health over moralistic judgments and political posturing.
As the former President’s baseless claim about genetically engineered cannabis causing mass shootings highlights, the fight to educate the public about the benefits of cannabis and the harm caused by prohibition is far from over. It is up to lawmakers and advocates to push for sensible drug policies that prioritize public health, social justice, and scientific evidence over ideology and fear-mongering.
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