If you’re unfamiliar with Adam Ruins Everything, the basic premise is to debunk popular pseudoscience in an entertaining and fun manner. The show is hosted by Adam Conover, who formerly had a series on CollegeHumor.com by the same name as his show on truTV. The show is fast-paced and information-dense, and even provides citations for the claims as they’re made!
Some of the topics he’s covered include forensic science, death, and immigration. These episodes of Adam Ruins Everything examined how ridiculous it is to rely heavily on polygraph tests and eyewitness testimony, how many people don’t actually think about death or internalize the reality of it, and the absurdity and impracticality of building “the wall” that Donald Trump built his presidential campaign around. If you’re a fan of my blog/Facebook pages, then you’ll definitely like Adam Conover’s comedic style and delivery of facts. He’s clever, funny, and well-sourced.
The dangers of marijuana
One of his episodes focused on marijuana. Of course, we all know that marijuana is the devil, and if you inject one marijuanas, you will forever become an addict.
Despite the demonization campaign that has been waged against marijuana, the fact is marijuana is rather safe. This point is illustrated in an episode of Adam Ruins Everything. In the episode, Adam points out that alcohol and cigarettes kill tens of thousands of people each year, marijuana is generally safe for adults once only once your brain is fully developed, and how the racist war against marijuana was knowingly and intentionally started as a lie by Richard Nixon. I know it sounds rather extreme and sensationalized, but it checks out. Over half of all drug arrests are for small amounts of marijuana, with African Americans being 3.7 times more likely to be arrested than Caucasians. Makes you wonder what will happen to people who are incarcerated when, not if, marijuana is fully decriminalized.
(Invariably, someone will say “marijuana cures cancer!” in the comments. Unfortunately, this effect has not been observed in a clinical setting, meaning that at least for now, according to friend of the page and surgical oncologist David Gorski, marijuana does not treat or cure cancer.)
Adam points out that in 1994, the Richard Nixon’s aide and Watergate co-conspirator, John Ehrlichman, said the following:
We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.
That’s a real quote.
The failure of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program
I was particularly pleased when Adam took a shot at the bane of my fifth grade experience, the D.A.R.E. program. I don’t remember much from my elementary school experience. I remember being graded on handwriting, which was ridiculous because it’s not my fault that my brain moves much faster than my hands will write. I remember Wednesdays being ‘popcorn day,’ where the PTA sold fresh popcorn during recess for 25 cents a bag. And I also remember having a police officer coming into my fifth grade classroom once a week for (what felt like) months to teach us how “dangerous” drugs like marijuana are. I remember numerous “assignments” and even a 2-page paper that we had to hand write on our own time after school, because we were ten years old in 1994 and computers weren’t ubiquitous. I remember arguing with my parents about how pointless the paper itself was, how it wasn’t going to be graded (and probably not even read), and that there are only a few ways for me to creatively rearrange words to say “I’m ten fucking years old, I don’t use drugs, and don’t plan on using drugs.”
The D.A.R.E. program highlights how disconnected law enforcement and public officials were (and continue to be) from actual scientific research regarding marijuana and marijuana use. The D.A.R.E program was not effective at all, and actually may have increased drug use, because when you lie to kids by telling them that one hit of a joint will turn you into an addict, some of them are probably going to test your hypothesis. And when they find out that your hypothesis is incorrect, they’re going to tell their friends that marijuana is pretty nice, and congratulations, you’ve created more drug users and fulfilled the prophetic lie of marijuana being a gateway drug, as they’re more likely to test out substances that are “harder” than marijuana.
All that would be fine, and I would still be coming to grips with the trauma of my D.A.R.E. experience nearly 24 years later, if the program didn’t cost taxpayers $1.3 BILLION a year to do… nothing.
For a full list of his sources, check out his website, AdamRuinsEverthing.com.