July 5, 2012

Science Update: Cannabis Does Not Cause Zombieism

July 5, 2012
marijuana zombies

marijuana zombiesDoes Marijuana Cause Munchies? Maybe. Zombieism? Not So Much.

Zombies seem to be all the rage these days. The Walking Dead on AMC is a hit tv show and zombie-like attacks have been popping up across the country. The United States Center for Disease Control even issued a statement denying the fact that we are living in the beginning stages of the zombie apocalypse. When I am running (okay, jogging) on the treadmill at the gym, I like to imagine that zombies are chasing me as motivation. And now, marijuana has somehow been linked to zombies. What in the name of George Romero is going on here?

Unfortunately, a poor man down in Miami suffered through a horrific zombie-like attack before police shot the attacker. Media reports immediately latched onto bath salts, a new stimulant drug on the street, as the cause of the attackers psychotic rage. However, the toxicology reports didn’t detect any drugs in the attacker’s system except cannabis. Many of my friends have told me that they thought of me once they heard this, wondering what my take would be and if whether we were going to experience the latest Reefer Madness propaganda: that cannabis turns you into a zombie.

While I never put anything past those who work to preserve cannabis prohibition, as they clearly aren’t basing their contention on facts and reason and usually have a financial interest in prohibition, I figured that claims that marijuana turns you into a zombie would fall upon deaf ears to the general public. Too many people have tried cannabis or know people that have to fall for such nonsense. It would be just as likely that a secret government rage virus escaped a military lab to cause the zombie-like symptoms than Northern Lights or Strawberry Cough. I figured that trying to link cannabis to zombieism would just further discredit prohibitionists. However, I’m just an activist, so it is nice to be backed up by doctors, who have put the zombie-cannabis connection to rest.

From Discovery News:

Pot has been known to cause the munchies, but could it really have triggered Eugene’s frenzied, near-fatal biting attack on the face of fellow homeless man Ronald Poppo? At the time of the May 26 attack, doctors said Eugene exhibited “paranoid delirium,” a hyperexcited state induced when a drug overdose increases the body’s concentration of adrenalinelike hormones, essentially sending survival instincts into overdrive. Overdoses of cocaine, amphetamines, bath salts and LSD have all been known to trigger paranoid delirium. But pot?

It definitely wasn’t the pot, doctors say.

“Some people have said, ‘Well, it must have been the marijuana that triggered Eugene’s behavior.’ That, in my opinion, is outrageous, and out of the question. Marijuana will not cause this type of behavior,” said Dr. Bruce Goldberger, professor and director of toxicology at the University of Florida.

Once again, a position of cannabis activists (that cannabis does not turn you into a zombie) is backed by science, logic and…BRAINS!

Article from National Cannabis Coalition and republished with special permission





Anthony Johnson is the executive director of the National Cannabis Coalition and our parent organization, the American Victory Coalition. He also serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for the patient advocacy non-profit Oregon Green Free. As President of the University of Missouri Law School ACLU Chapter, Anthony co-authored the measures that legalized medical cannabis possession and decriminalized personal possession for all adults within the city limits of Columbia, Missouri. After passing the Oregon Bar, Anthony practiced criminal defense for two years before working full time in the political field to help improve and protect civil liberties, including as co-author and chief petitioner of Oregon Measure 74, an attempt to legalize licensed and regulated medical cannabis dispensaries.


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