THE BLOG

Olivia Culpo and her HuffPost Live Ignorance

01/02/2013 01:39 EST | Updated 02/25/2013 05:12 EST

You can't expect intelligence from a person whose job is to stand there and look pretty. Miss Universe does not debate string theory with astrophysicists, at universities all over America. So when a newly crowned Miss Universe talks about marijuana, it should come as no surprise when a beauty queen spews a favourite lie told by prohibitions to scare people away from marijuana.

Olivia Culpo told Huffington Post Live on December 20th, "I don't think it (marijuana) should be legalized for recreational purposes, because it's been proven to prevent people from their full potential and I don't think that's a good thing for society."

Let me tell you a story Ms. Culpo. I first got high when I was 23 years old. At that time I was single, living at home, and was working a go-nowhere, minimum wage job. For the next five years, I smoked marijuana a few times a week. In that time I moved to Calgary, maintained employment throughout, and right now, I am one semester away from completing journalism school. I am not saying that marijuana was the boot in the ass to get my life together, but it was not a hindrance. I am one of many people who have not been prevented form accomplishing their goals because of the recreational use of marijuana.

So Ms. Culpo, where is this "proven" evidence that marijuana prevents users from reaching their "full potential?"

The list of celebrities who have in the past, or still do smoke marijuana is long. Is Oliver Stone lazy? Has marijuana prevented Bill Maher from hosting a popular talk show? Is Seth Rogan being one of the most sought after comedians in Hollywood an optical illusion? The answer to the above is no.

Take a look at the career of Peter B. Lewis; which was mentioned in Jacob Sullum's book Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use. In 2001 he stepped down as CEO of Progressive Insurance after thirty six years at the helm. Compounded growth of the company between 1990 and 1999 grew more than twenty per cent, far more than the insurance industry of five per cent. Company revenue grew from 3.4 billion in 1996, to 6.1 billion in 1999, and he did it all while being a recreational marijuana user. His marijuana use was confirmed by his arrest for marijuana and hash possession in New Zealand in 2000. His marijuana consumption, and the success of the company he lead, is another example that proves marijuana does not, "prevent people from their full potential."

The Southern Cross University in Lismore, Australia studied what they called the, "presumed psychological syndrome," Amotivational syndrome. In the study, published on a cannabis information site located in the U.K, lack of motivation is caused not by," a single entity, but, rather, a collection of behaviors which emerge as the result of the combination of the effects of an already existent or a reactive depression-. "That proof Culpo talked about, "has, for the past three decades, failed to reach any unassailable conclusions regarding long-term psychological effects of the drug on otherwise normal, healthy users."

The fact is, if an unmotivated person smokes marijuana that does not count as proof that marijuana causes the lack of drive that has plagued the person's life. Doing so is like blaming Netflix for a woman's unemployment, because she stays at home all day to watch movies. Coincidences don't equal facts.

Culpo was asked a hardball question. She could have been brave, and admitted that marijuana prohibition is an assault on liberty that has failed epically. Yet she went the political road where she tried to appease the stubborn prohibitions while pleasing the pro marijuana crowd. By doing so, she succeeded in being completely ignorant, by ceding with prohibitionists by perpetuating the lies they spread like an art form.