Marijuana advocate rejects "scare tactics" over deaths, fourth graders selling pot at school

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Photos of the Monfront Elementary playground courtesy of Fox31.
Over the past few weeks, critics of marijuana legalization have drawn attention to several news stories they see as demonstrating the dangers of more accessible weed. First, the death of a college student and the murder of a mom were linked to marijuana edibles, and now, the local and national media is giving big play to reports about Greeley ten-year-olds who sold pot on the playground of their elementary school.

Mason Tvert, spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project and one of the main proponents for Colorado's Amendment 64, sees such reactions as part of an age-old practice of demonizing cannabis that won't derail the push for progressive marijuana policies here and beyond.

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The Monfort Elementary campus.
One fourth grader at Monfort Elementary is said to have sold marijuana obtained from his grandparents' supply to three others for $11. The next day, one of the buyers brought a pot edible also grabbed from a grandparents' stash to the seller, who ate it. He didn't become ill as a result, saying he felt no effects.

The quartet has been suspended, with administrators at Monfort doing their best to comfort concerned parents in a letter on view below. But even though no one was hurt, the national press is giving the tale wide circulation. Note a Washington Post item that includes links to reporting by ABC, CBS and Reuters.

Tvert sees such coverage as selective in the extreme. "There are surely kids getting their hands on their parents' or grandparents' alcohol and painkillers all over the country," he notes, "but we don't usually hear about them."

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Photo by Sam Levin
Mason Tvert at a press event last year.
As for the accessibility of marijuana here, Tvert argues that "marijuana is more controlled in Colorado than in any state in the nation."

Nonetheless, incidents like the Monfort pot sale and the aforementioned deaths raise concerns for media figures such as Steve Kelley, on whose KNUS-AM radio show I appeared yesterday. Does Tvert fear the stories could give fresh momentum to marijuana legalization opponents?

"There are some people who are less evolved on this issue than others," he maintains. "But most Americans are no longer falling for these scare tactics. The fact is, marijuana is far less harmful than alcohol. They can try to look for any possible case to suggest marijuana is harmful, but in the end, we know that regulating it is a far more effective way of controlling it than prohibition.

"These are the same exact efforts to demonize marijuana that we've always seen -- only that they're being employed in a state where marijuana is more controlled than it is anywhere else in the country," he continues. "If these folks who are supposedly so concerned about public safety are saying nothing about the harms associated with alcohol, and aren't working to keep alcohol out of young people's hands, they clearly care more about hating marijuana than they do about protecting the public."

Here's the aforementioned letter about the Monfort Elementary incident.

Monfort Elementary School Letter

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our Marijuana archive circa April 2: "Marijuana edible contributed to Levy Thamba's fatal fall, coroner says."

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30 comments
Kenny Roberts
Kenny Roberts

I wouldn't get too worried, a few thousand people were killed in alcohol related deaths last year. Liquor stores and bars are still open for business...

Will Hayden
Will Hayden

Kids that age are far too young to be learning about 'grams' and 'eights' and metric conversions and market value and such.

Kevin Kline
Kevin Kline

OMG! EVERYONE FREAK OUT! I bet their doing meth in the bathroom after third period also. Cuz u know pot is a gate way drug.... smh time to come up with a new tactic to hate on weed.

LeDonna Sherman
LeDonna Sherman

Parents , Grandparents, whoever it may be, need to keep the edibles and the rest of there stash put away. I guess its a little hard for them to do this when they a stuck on stupid from smoking so much.

tribune420
tribune420

Why is the propaganda media so insane on the subject of cannabis?  Thank goodness we have a sane voice in Mason T.

Bernie Shwayder
Bernie Shwayder

Shit's going to happen at first...things they never imagined or saw coming. It will level off in a few years. Be calm.

Heather Doozer
Heather Doozer

I had a student bring his mom's meth to school in an attempt to sell it. that is certainly not legal.

Heather Doozer
Heather Doozer

this kind of thing has always been a problem and has nothing to do with local legality. This is a clear example of bad logic being used inappropriately and nothing more.

Sarah Castle
Sarah Castle

It's not an isolated incident, kids have possessed and brought illegal items from home since before marijuana was legalized, or before cigarettes were regulated. This is the first time it's become ” worthy” of media reporting.....the real question is, why!?

Christina Johnson
Christina Johnson

Alcohol is always found at schools. It's just another day when that happens. *sigh*

Kim Heffelfinger
Kim Heffelfinger

I think the g'parents should have not had it where the kids could find it :)

Mike Renna
Mike Renna

Hell take away cars so kids don't steal them and joyride

Mike Renna
Mike Renna

Kids get their pills from their parents. And guns. And ciggs. And alcohol. Let's just ban everything. Smh

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

We can reject the scare tactics in the media all we want, but we need to have a means of communicating the truth to the public; inevitably, the media's unending lies and coordinated hostility against cannabis has an effect, and it stymies progress towards ending Prohibition.  The spectacle of the Denver Post simultaneously pretending to be informing people who use cannabis (through its 'Cannabist' blog) while continuing to propagandize against cannabis is nauseating, especially since some, oblivious to the Post's long record of lies and antipathy, apparently trust it.  The latest propaganda against concentrates and BHO:  "Two children caught in marijuana oil explosion" -- the media are utterly consistent in falsely characterizing BHO as explosive.  A bill restricting concentrates advances in the General Assembly, and a determined effort to shore up fear of cannabis is underway -- as far as the Denver Post and other media are concerned, an exchange student going off a balcony to his death and a man with a history of mental illness murdering his wife after eating THC-infused foods are a green light to urge more legislation against cannabis.  If we hope to end Prohibition in Colorado, we must organize and educate our own politically, then take on the liars controlling the government and media in our State.

Monkey
Monkey

I'm surprised police didn't pay someone to shoot the ground and accidentally hit people with ricochets at the 420 rally.....Like they did last year. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... and according to Michael Roberts and McShyster Christian Sederberg, there are 128 eights in an ounce.


They've REPEATEDLY said so.



DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@tribune420  ... Mendacious Mason Tvert never met a LIE he wouldn't utter when pimping for pot.



DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... how much did you buy?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter



"Westword, I am done with your worthless blog" Watch -- I am giving it up. I am sick of being manipulated by faceless, remote, corporate incompetents"- Robert Chase 4/16/2014


Liar!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Monkey  ... nonsense like that makes you sound psychotic.

tribune420
tribune420

@DonkeyHotay  You are the best troll we have.  Please don't stop, and thank you for the best contrarian arguments you can come up with. 

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay  Go look up "liar" -- or use that quote as your non-responsive reply from here on out; I don't care.  It's not as though you are capable of a reasoned exchange, and your obsessive archiving of everything I've ever posted is weird, to say the least.  I did not indicate that I would never post here again, but I do visit far less frequently than I used to.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@tribune420



"Granting the DOR regulatory authority over retail sales of cannabis is not bad at all" -- Robert Chase 


"I do not believe that there will be any fallout for medical cannabis" -- Robert Chase


"There has been no fallout from having passed Amendment 64" -- Robert Chase

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase


"Westword, I am done with your worthless blog" Watch -- I am giving it upI am sick of being manipulated by faceless, remote, corporate incompetents"- Robert Chase 4/16/2014


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