Montana Legislator: Marijuana Is “The Most Dangerous Drug There Is” [UPDATE]

Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Alcohol causes violent behavior and deaths by liver cirrhosis and alcohol poisoning. People die every day from overdoses of heroin, cocaine, meth, and even legal prescription drugs. Nonetheless, Rep. David Howard (R-Park City), Chairman of the Montana House Human Services Committee, thinks marijuana — a substance that has never caused an overdose fatality — is “the most dangerous drug there is.”

That’s right folks, it’s 2013 and reefer madness is still alive and well in big sky country. Fortunately, science is still alive and well too and begs to differ with Rep. Howard. Here’s what a study published in Britain’s most prestigious medical journal, The Lancet, had to say about the relative harms of various popular intoxicants:


As you can see, marijuana (cannabis) is hardly the most dangerous and pales in comparison to alcohol and tobacco, two drugs we’ve had success reducing teen use of lately without throwing tens of thousands of adults in jail.

Unsurprisingly, Howard’s committee blocked four bills that would have rolled back recently passed restrictions on Montana’s medical marijuana law. For now, despite Rep. Howard’s obfuscation, a judge has issued an injunction preventing the worst parts of that law from taking effect. Patients in Montana are awaiting the state attorney general’s decision as to whether or not to appeal that ruling.

UPDATE: Commenter Nathan Pierce points out that Montana Attorney General Tim Fox announced Friday he will not appeal the preliminary injunction. Patients and providers are not out of the woods yet though. The constitutionality of Montana’s restrictive law will now be the subject of a full trial, where Fox pledges to “vigorously defend” the law.

21 thoughts on “Montana Legislator: Marijuana Is “The Most Dangerous Drug There Is” [UPDATE]”

  1. Wow, this guy is from Montana? I just watched a docu about meth being the worst epidemic that Montana has faced. “Montana Meth” was the name. This guy is getting money from somewhere to say this completely false statement.

  2. I hope the people who elected this moron are pleased to be making people suffer because they can’t get medication! The people voted FOR medical marijuana to be legal and immediately out of state influence started to twist everything around and change things. Wake up people ! Money is buying elected officials and it’s not money from Montana. It’s sure not in Montana’s best interest!

  3. Ok so this guy needs to get his info right cause you never hear anyone overdosing on marjuana or anything bad. People like him needs to really do resources cause there’s never been a death on it either. Maybe the new crap spice or something like that but really if he’s a doctor then do u shit man

  4. Attorney General Tim Fox announced on Friday that he would not appeal the preliminary injunction and would proceed to trail on the full matter.

  5. Rep. David Howard (R-Park City), Chairman of the Montana House Human Services Committee, thinks marijuana — a substance that has never caused an overdose fatality — is “the most dangerous drug there is.”
    Jct: Not only does marijuana kill cancer, but U. of Saskatchewan found in 2006 that it’s good for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s because it grows new brain cells. It’s evivdent Rep. David Howard hasn’t been growing any new brain cells. Har har har har har har.

  6. Everyone in the Country should call him and let him know the facts. His number is (406) 633-2762. If you don’t want to talk to the scourge, you could write to him. Maybe send him some scientific data on the subject. His address is, 102 Trewin School Rd, Park City, MT 59063

  7. According to this chart, Cannabis is only 2 spots below Tobacco. That’s total bullshit! Cannabis doesn’t cause the lung damage or lowering of lung capacity that tobacco does, and there is no danger from seconhand smoke of cannabis.

  8. If this man were an honest man he would be tackling Montana’s greater social issues of rampant and normalized alcoholism and gambling, both of which are causing more family destruction and violent crime and despair and economic loss throughout the state. As he supports alcoholism as it is a major aspect of the GOP planning program, meaning specifically that more republican laws are passed over scotch and martini’s rather than actual fact based logic, we have to expect such drunken silliness from the Republican party in Montana. What did you think he was going to say, that seriously people in Montana have actual constitutional right?

  9. Nice to see Montana’s ongoing battle getting more national attention, but to me it seems Mr. Howard is trying to say that FAT is actually the “most dangerous drug there is”: “This stuff is disguised as medicine,” Howard said. “It makes you delusional. It is psychologically addicting and physiologically addicting and it absorbs in your fat cells, which is the most dangerous drug there is. This is not a drug. It’s a poison.”

    Either way, I find it very ironic that science has now proven cannabis (in every form, even smoked) to stimulate new brain cell growth and encourage cancerous cells to “commit suicide”; something it is notably NOT linked to in vets suffering from PTSD, unlike every pharmaceutical known to man. Furthermore, I’ve recently come to the unavoidable conclusion that our government now encourages the use of cannabis for a wide variety of health benefits without even realizing it.

    “..Ayurvedic medicine (also called Ayurveda) is one of the world’s oldest medical systems. It originated in India and has evolved there over thousands of years. In the United States, Ayurvedic medicine is considered a CAM whole medical system. Many therapies used in Ayurvedic medicine are also used on their own as CAM—for example, herbs, massage, and specialized diets…”

  10. Essential fatty acids and human brain.

    The human brain is nearly 60 percent fat. We’ve learned in recent years that fatty acids are among the most crucial molecules that determine your brain’s integrity and ability to perform. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are required for maintenance of optimal health but they can not synthesized by the body and must be obtained from dietary sources. Clinical observation studies has related imbalance dietary intake of fatty acids to impaired brain performance and diseases. Most of the brain growth is completed by 5-6 years of age. The EFAs, particularly the omega-3 fatty acids, are important for brain development during both the fetal and postnatal period. Dietary decosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is needed for the optimum functional maturation of the retina and visual cortex, with visual acuity and mental development seemingly improved by extra DHA. Beyond their important role in building the brain structure, EFAs, as messengers, are involved in the synthesis and functions of brain neurotransmitters, and in the molecules of the immune system…

  11. What’s amazing is that people keep electing cops and prosecutors into office. Nice spew of completely false information about dangers. It’s hard to believe other legislators show up to these sessions and expose the ignorance and deception of people like this former cop.


  12. WOW…….I worked in a Rehab center…….We NEVER got a patient there for Cannabis addiction………and surprisingly there were a very small amount of “recovering addicts” that indicated they started with Cannabis. This study was bought and paid for by this MISINFORMED guy and I am sure there was a lobbyist involved. GEZZZZ the most overdosed drug in America is the Aspirin. Medical fact.

  13. The European charts will always show cannabis as more harmful than it is. They are utterly convinced that the guy shouting that it causes those who start in their youth to be 6 times as likely to have a psychotic episode as an adult as those who do not partake. Schizophrenia being the one most magnified by ganja supposedly.
    When you point out that the incidence of schizophrenia has not changed since before cannabis became popular in the US, where 107, 000,000 million people admit to having used cannabis, they just stop talking to you. To date, none of the things that guys like this have proposed are going to happen, has ever happened in any population that anyone can point to.

  14. I agree Jack. Where are they getting the information to form the graph? Marijuana is definitely Not more harmful than benzodiazapines, methadone, steriods or a few of the others listed below it. Where is acetaminophen listed? After all, the main ingredient in tylenol is responsible for around 500 deaths and 100,000 adverse events a year. It’s clearly much more dangerous than marijuana.

  15. this guys an ass………………i called him, he hung up!!!!! everyone should call him………..i think hes in with the lawyers who make money off all of us when we get busted for pot…………..

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