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Michael Brown Smoked Weed So What

Michael Brown Smoked Weed So What

Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 08/20/2014 in Marijuana Politics

Location: Ferguson, Missouri | Source: NY Magazine

With the recent shooting death of Michael Brown by police taking headlines across the nation, the tension and sustained animosity than is being found in Ferguson, Missouri is beyond palpable. Intense emotions regarding the continued expression of racial injustice both in Ferguson and across the nation that dates back over 100 years is the main fuel behind the protests. However, the apparent delay in the investigation surrounding exactly what happened is what has most people immediately concerned. Certain questions regarding the Ferguson Police Department’s protocol in handling the matter have been raised and protesters want answers.

Why was Brown’s deceased body left on the street, in the blistering summer sun, where he was gunned down, for almost four hours? Why has every official government or police response been delayed or unnecessarily slowed? Why has the Ferguson Police Department been selective in the information it chooses to divulge to the media? Why does it feel like there is a cover up happening before our eyes?

These are all questions protestors in Ferguson and across the nation have asked in the hopes of truly finding out what happened to Michael Brown almost 2-weeks ago. Inadvertently stoking the flames of unrest is the general consensus amongst locals that there is a conspiracy by local officials to cover up what truly happened between Brown and the officer who shot and killed him, Darren Wilson.

It appears that when information is ultimately made accessible to the media and public that it has been twisted and corrupted by unrelated exposure to facts meant to discredit the reputation and memory of a dead African American teen. Sadly with the latest round of press conferences it appears this time Marijuanause is the issue being used by police officials to depreciate Michael Brown. It began on Friday of last week when Police Chief Tom Jackson issued a dual-press conference in which he released video footage of Michael Brown supposedly robbing a local convenience store minutes before his death. In the same press conference Jackson finally identified Officer Wilson, a 6 year veteran with no disciplinary record, as the individual involved in Brown’s death.

What baffled protestors is why it took several hours and a second press conference later that day for Jackson to explain that Officer Wilson was not aware of Brown’s status as a suspect in the robbery, in Chief Jackson’s own words Officer Wilson stopped Brown because he was “walking down the street blocking traffic, that’s it”. Jackson went on to amend his story a third time and claimed that Officer Wilson made the connection between Brown and the reported robbery after he had detained him for blocking traffic.

This multiple change in official accounts brings actions of Ferguson Police into question. Why would they release the footage of the robbery if Officer Wilson did not know of Michael Brown’s involvement if for no other reason than to tarnish his credibility?

An autopsy conducted by the St. Louis County medical examiner confirmed the results found in the Brown family’s own independent autopsy; the 18 year old was shot in the front, between 6 and 8 times. In addition, “Brown had marijuana in his system when he was shot and killed by a police officer on August 9 in Ferguson” according to a person who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the ongoing investigation.

How convenient? More than a week after Michael Brown was murdered by police an anonymous source “familiar with the county’s investigation,” thought it shrewd to tell the world that Michael Brown, like more than 7 percent of Americans, a number that tops 21 million, has used marijuana in the past month.

How the county or the NY Post (County Investigation: Michael Brown was shot from the front, had marijuana in his system) feels that Brown’s marijuana use is imperative to the investigation as to why he was shot and killed is yet to be expressed.

What is not told to the public, next to any mention of Brown’s cannabis use is the fact that Marijuana is not linked in any formal studies to violent behavior, nor is it an offense that carries the death penalty as a possible outcome. According to Carl Hart, an associate professor of psychology at Columbia University while writing for the New York Times:

“The scientific studies, including my own research, on the short-term effects of the drug on cognitive functioning show how unlikely it is that marijuana could have caused him to behave erratically or have difficulty following instructions.

Granted, the drug can temporarily slow people down in completing familiar tasks that involve memory or abstract reasoning, and it can lower a person’s level of vigilance or focus. But research subjects in my studies have shown that they can make plans, exhibit self-control and cooperate closely with others even under heavy influence of marijuana […]

There is a broader point to be made, though […] the research tells us that aggression and violence are highly unlikely outcomes of marijuana use. Based on my own work, during which I have administered thousands of doses of marijuana, I can say that its main effects are contentment, relaxation, sedation, euphoria and increased hunger, all peaking within 5 to 10 minutes after smoking and lasting for about two hours. It is true that very high THC concentrations […] can cause mild hallucinations and paranoia, but even these effects are rare and usually seen only in very inexperienced users.”

Believe it or not Professor Hart was not talking or writing about Michael Brown, he was speaking on the now infamous Trayvon Martin case that just last year grabbed its own headlines for a similar deadly outcome. Trayvon Martin himself was the target of malicious attacks on his character by police officials and media outlets that looked to vilify a young teenager. hopes that Michael Brown and his family will find the justice and peace that they rightfully deserve. The use of Marijuana as a form of ammunition to attack ones character is one that needs to be stopped and ultimately eradicated from our society. With 23 states currently having some form of medical marijuana legislation and 2 states currently permitting the recreational use of cannabis it is time that society stop looking at marijuana users as if they are criminals in the way they have been traditionally portrayed.

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