By Scotty Reid
Legal recreational cannabis foes that believe they have a right to control other people’s bodies and what they ingest and then believe they have a right to enslave them in prison for doing so must be delighted by the misinformation the Waller County, Texas Prosecutor Warren Diepraam is disseminating in relation to the in custody death of Sandra Bland.
In a recent press conference Diepraam states,
“An initial toxicology test also indicated that Ms. Bland had recently smoked or eaten marijuana, Mr. Diepraam said. He noted that because traces of marijuana leave the body quickly, she had to have consumed it not long before she died, and he said it could have been used in the jail. Inmates near Ms. Bland’s cell did not smell marijuana smoke, and the cell contained no evidence of the drug, he said. He raised the possibility that she could have ingested it right before the traffic stop to avoid being arrested for drug possession.”
Officials have been accused of demonizing the character of Ms. Bland in order to make the public less sympathetic to the circumstances surrounding her death and in explaining why the information was relevant, Diepraam said, “It is a mood-altering substance and a mood amplifier.”
Diepraam later said more extensive drug tests may shed more light.
This of course seems to be standard procedure in the criminal justice system and law enforcement. When Trayvon Martin was stalked and murdered by George Zimmerman, part of the story focused on Martin’s alleged use of cannabis. At no time was Zimmerman ever tested for drugs and there was speculation that he was taking prescription drugs known to cause psychotic behavior.
What is not standard procedure due to the political lobbying efforts of police unions to help cops escape accountability for their actions, is for officers involved in shootings or physical altercations with citizens to be tested to see what mood altering drugs they maybe using or under the influence.
Prosecutor Diepraam is being deceptive about the effects of cannabis. One cannabis cigarette can stay in a person’s system up to 30 days after ingestion and Diepraam makes an nonfactual statement when he says “traces of marijuana leave the body quickly”. He is also being deceptive to suggest cannabis changes a person’s mood to make them suicidal. Cannabis does alter ones mood not unlike the relaxing effect a glass of wine can have on a person after a long day of work.
In fact, according to a 2014 study published by the American Public Journal of Health, marijuana or cannabis can reduce suicide rates by five percent among the general population and by as much as 10 percent among young male populations. The study was co-written by several professors from Montana State, San Diego State and the University of Colorado at Denver. The study analyzed 17 years worth of statistics in search of shifts in suicide rates per 10,000 people in states where medical marijuana was legal from 1990 to 2007.
Those involved in the research state that, “opponents of legalizing medical marijuana point to the large number of studies showing that marijuana use is positively associated with depression, the onset of panic attacks, psychosis, schizophrenia, and suicidal ideation.”
Instead of shifting blame for the death of Sandra Bland on cannabis by using junk science, the prosecutor should stick to the facts of the matter when discussing what contributed to the senseless death of Sandra Bland. If the cop who stopped her wasn’t out policing for profit, Bland may have never been pulled over for such a minor traffic violation caused by the cop speeding to catch up to Bland’s vehicle with Illinois plates to profile her. If the cop had not overstepped his authority to force Bland to put out a cigarette in her vehicle, the stop would not have escalated resulting in her illegal arrest on false charges of assaulting a police officer. If the jail followed proper procedures in caring for those in custody, especially those they claimed indicated to them that they may be or have had a suicide attempt or thoughts in their background, perhaps Bland would still be alive.
Sandra Bland is not dead because of alleged use of cannabis, she is dead because of aggressive policing for profit which lead to her criminalization and death in a Waller County jail cell.