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Sen. John Cornyn says he won't support legalizing pot because of, get this, opioid overdoses 

click to enlarge Republican Sen. John Cornyn said he doesn't want the feds to legalize cannabis because he's concerned about the opioid epidemic. Did anyone tell him pot isn't an opioid? - SHUTTERSTOCK
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  • Republican Sen. John Cornyn said he doesn't want the feds to legalize cannabis because he's concerned about the opioid epidemic. Did anyone tell him pot isn't an opioid?
Don't expect U.S. Sen. John Cornyn to be swayed as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer works to build support for marijuana legalization in the upper chamber.

NORML recently shared a letter Cornyn sent a constituent who asked him about marijuana policy, and in that reply, the Texas Republican said he won't vote to legalize cannabis because he's worried about overdose deaths.

Been up late watching Reefer Madness again, John?

Cornyn, who chairs the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, points out that between 1999 and 2020, nearly a million U.S. residents died of drug overdoses. He added: "Reasonable minds can disagree, but I am concerned that marijuana legalization could make this epidemic worse. I am committed to working with my colleagues to end the opioid epidemic and save lives."

If you know much of anything about weed, you've likely picked up a couple problems with Cornyn's argument.

First, while it's possible to consume too much THC and feel kinda weird from it, people don't die from huffing down too many bong hits. Experts are split whether it's completely impossible for an adult to consume enough marijuana to have fatal marijuana overdose or just damned near impossible.

Second, marijuana isn't an opioid. Which is kind of something we'd expect someone who chairs the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control to know. Even if Cornyn didn't intend to label pot an opioid in that quote, it certainly looks like he was willing to rhetorically blur the lines.

Cornyn further grasps at straws in his letter when he argues that 23% of Texans who sought drug treatment in 2016 did so for pot use. While that may be true, what he neglects to mention is that a large share of those likely did so under a court order to avoid jail time for an offense. 

But playing fast and loose is kinda what Cornyn does.

After all, this is the guy who last summer claimed that there was no data to show children could contract COVID-19, despite there being ample state and federal stats to show that was the case.

And when facing a reelection bid last fall, he ran a Spanish-language TV add touting his support of the DREAM Act, even though he twice voted against it and once called its attempted passage a "political stunt."

We could go on, but what's the point. Suffice to say, Schumer will have to press on without "Big Bad John."



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