Oklahoma City News, Entertainment & Occasional Humor • Established 2007

Mark Woodward, spokesperson for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, is dumber than a pothead…

State Senator Constance Johnson has once again introduced a bill to decriminalize marijuana in Oklahoma. Like her earlier efforts, and unlike a joint, this one has no chance at passing.

From KFOR:

Whether states should legalize marijuana is a debate that continues.

That debate is heating up this week on the tales of a newly released, controversial interview with the president.

President Barack Obama is quoted in a recent article in the New Yorker magazine as saying he doesn’t believe marijuana is more dangerous than alcohol.

State Senator Constance Johnson is taking it even farther, saying alcohol is more dangerous than marijuana and should be legal.

Don’t you like how having “common sense” and “knowing facts” is considered “taking things farther” by the news media? Here’s a statistic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

There are approximately 88,000 deaths attributable to excessive alcohol use each year in the United States.  This makes excessive alcohol use the 3rd leading lifestyle-related cause of death for the nation. Excessive alcohol use is responsible for 2.5 million years of potential life lost (YPLL) annually, or an average of about 30 years of potential life lost for each death.1 In 2006, there were more than 1.2 million emergency room visits and 2.7 million physician office visits due to excessive drinking. The economic costs of excessive alcohol consumption in 2006 were estimated at $223.5 billion.

Of course, you probably know what the CDC has to say about marijuana:

From 2005-2009, there were an average of 3,533 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States — about ten deaths per day. An additional 347 people died each year from drowning in boating-related incidents.

Yeah, I went with the drowning stat! That’s because marijuana is so harmless that nothing’s listed on the CDC website. The odds are higher that you’ll be killed by a Minotaur than die from a marijuana overdose. Now, I’m sure some people have gotten cancer or whatever from abusing the product, but even then, it’s not on the same scale as the 88,000 deaths due to alcohol.

To get the whole story on Mary Jane’s chances of coming to the Sooner State, KFOR went to the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics  – the same agency that receives funding to crack down on illegal marijuana use and distribution – to see what they thought about the push to ‘legalize it.’

Prepare to laugh your ass off like a group of stoners watching Chapelle Show:

Mark Woodward, with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, said, “I’ve seen [marijuana] wreck more lives than any other drug.”

Yeah, that’s real. The spokesman for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics – the state agency that enforces drug laws – really claims that he’s seen marijuana “wreck more lives than any other drug.”

Uhm….. was he stoned when he said that, or was he simply referring to all the non-violent offenders who are locked up in Oklahoma prisons and / or had their life ruined due to felony marijuana distribution charges? I hope it’s one of the two, because if not he may just be the biggest idiot in the world.

Seriously, what a pile of resin. How can he get away with saying something that asinine? Do people actually buy this crap? At last check, there are still drugs called meth, crack, heroin, oxycontin, Tylenol and even alcohol that are way more dangerous and life wrecking than marijuana. I’d like to see Mark tell the family of someone who overdosed on heroin, battled meth addiction, or died from alcohol poisoning his thoughts on life wrecking drugs. Then I’d like to see that family smoke a bowl and forgive him.

Anyway, as a spokesperson and drug expert, shouldn’t Mark Woodward be fired for saying something so… wrong? He’s supposed to know his facts, right? That’s the whole point of being a spokesperson. You say things that are informed, correct and factual. Unless, of course, you have to follow some sort of agenda like keeping a substance illegal so the state agency you work for can continue to operate and waste taxpayers dollars. Then you do whatever it takes.

p.s. – Here are 10 reasons why marijuana should be legal in Oklahoma.



    • What is the cost of the private compared to the amazingly, well kept, high rape percentage, people dying, county prisons?

      • Actually analysis is inconclusive on the cost savings of private vs public prisons. Especially when our bonehead state leaders sign contracts guaranteeing that we will pay them based on 90%+ occupancy, even if we give them no prisoners to house. Also, a private halfway house had guards urging and watching inmates fight just the other week. But the real question is why should we rely on a private industry who couldnt care about rehabilitating inmates because they want them back so they can make more money. The state is motivated by public safety and rehabilitation. Private prisons just care about more money. Theres arguments for privatizing certain govt services, prisons should not be one of them.

        • The states track record about rehabilitating…bwwaha. Do you think Oklahoma politicians want to look soft on crime by preparing people to re-enter society. They promote locking them up and throwing away the key. Private facilities have to try and run a successful program otherwise they loose their financing and close down. Meanwhile the state facilities have guards killing inmates, running prostitution, and numerous rapes and fights. But guess what..nothing happens, funding continues, facilities remain open. BTW…you may want to read the Tulsa paper rather than the Oklahoma about that incident.

  1. Any media member, former or current (at least those not congenitally stupid, which of course wipes out a big chunk of the sample size) who has ever had to interact with Mark Woodward on any drug or OBN-related story could have told you the same thing.

    Thing is, though, he’s a pretty damn accurate reflection of that agency he represents. That really is how they think and view the world, and that should scare everyone. You should tag along on one of their marijuana “eradication” missions PR/media blowjobs sometime, wherein the drug warriors mobilize in all their finest, baddest-looking tacti-cool livery, then sweep in on some unsuspecting, utterly benign, long-forgotten patch of wild-growing ditch weed that, if smoked in its entirety, probably couldn’t muster enough THC to get a wood thrush stoned. They’ll stomp around with their machetes, stack up all the extremely dangerous, highly addictive illicit contraband (i.e. wild-growing native vegetation), soak the entire area in Round-up, make it look like the surface of Mars, and then pose for pictures.

    Thus having made the world a little safer for the children, our intrepid drug warriors then go back to the legislature and push for even more Draconian drug laws and mandatory minimum sentences for first-time offenders.

    Because you know, we just don’t have enough non-violent first-time drug offenders in our prison system.

  2. My whole deal is whether the gateway argument is valid. Property crime is out of fucking control in OKC and it’s all the goddamned meth heads. If pot does actually lead to harder drugs then I don’t see where legalizing it is a brilliant idea. If that’s not true, then I don’t really have a problem with it. I do, however, have a huge problem with having things stolen and vehicles broken into in broad daylight. It happened to me 3 times last year and I don’t even live in a bad part of town.

    • Have you ever thought that the whole reason drugs go hand-in-hand with criminal activity is that they’re illegal? Ask yourself—-when’s the last time you heard of someone robbing in order to get $$$ for booze? Or getting shot over a booze-deal gone bad?

    • There’s a reason why Amsterdam has a very low percentage of people using harder drugs. 1. If you get weed from a coffee shop, and not some shady drug dealer, then it eliminates the “running into” a harder drug. 2. If money is freed up by eliminating pot task forces, then zero tolerance policies go into effect for meth and such. 3. If you look at Portugal, you get a clearer picture of what tolerance on drugs will get you. And the results are staggering. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug_policy_of_Portugal

    • I would argue that alcohol is the gateway drug. Those who drink love the effect of alcohol, but not the consequences of losing a day or two because of hangovers.

  3. Awesome. Tick off the agency that can get an “anonymous” phone call and search your house, “Justin Bieber-style”. Even better pull you over and “drop” evidence in your car.

  4. It’s hard to believe that we even have someone in our state’s government pushing for legalization. I have to admit, it’s hard not to get your hopes up when you read an article like that, but I know better than to think we will have any form of weed, medicinal or recreational, legalized here in OK any time soon. After this year, we will be able to see how much tax money CO and WA make off of weed; that money would go a long way here in OK fixing roads, funding the education system, etc.

    • that money would go a long way here in OK fixing roads, funding the education system, etc.

      We’ve received several federal grants for the I-235/I-44 Interchange renovation and the new I-40 in downtown: me thinks that money came with a lot——a lot—–of strings attached.

      Was keeping pot illegal one of them…………?

  5. Let’s assume for a moment that he is correct. If he has seen marijuana (illegal drug) wreck more lives than alcohol (legal drug), then his agency must be doing a piss poor job of preventing the use of illegal drugs. Theoretically, if his agency was doing their job, the incidence of marijuana use would have to be significantly lower than alcohol use. So is his comment an indictment of the ineffectiveness of his organization?

  6. Here’s the real gateway drug progression, proven by innumerable epidemiological studies: Mother’s milk – sugary goodness! Cow’s milk – fatty heaven! Coca-Cola – ay caramba! Chocolate – wild eyes and tearing around the house! Coffee with sugar – kids slamming into glass doors! Glue – “Is there anymore craft paper?” Robotussin – “Mommy, I’m sick again.” Beer – “Daddy, I don’t feel good.” Wine coolers – “It tastes like Capri Sun!” Champagne at your aunt’s wedding with your cousins – “I’ll show mine, if you show yours.” Parents’ medicine cabinet – Pass out on the bathroom floor. Eighth-grade under the football bleachers – “Just take a hit. You don’t have to like it.” Ringnes – “It’s the strongest beer ever!” Annie Greensprings/Boones Farm – “Woo!” Angel Dust – I just woke up. Why are my parents screaming at me? Licking a stamp at a Tom Petty/Dylan concert in Dallas – the blonde in the seat in front of me is so freakin’ hot! She turns around when the lights come on. “AAAAggh, pocked meth face!” (Inoculated against meth.) Mushrooms – I understand the entire universe. I’m 8 feet tall when I look down at my feet as I walk the streets. Look at these cops. They have no idea where they stand in the whole freaky web of time and consciousness. Later – mushrooms are fucking up my head. Gotta stop. Beer again. Beer again. Rum. Vodka. No hangover. Pot – good times. I deserve it.
    That’s it. It’s all backed by research.

  7. Mark Woodward is either completely naive and uneducated, or he’s just a liar. Thankfully most people are smarter than this guy. This man has no business speaking on this subject, and I find his remarks to be both irresponsible and offensive.

  8. tl;dr – Pot is like booze, but the public isn’t educated on the dangers and responsible usage guidelines for pot.

    I would be in favor of legalizing pot . . . if people were actually educated about it. Pot and alcohol are pretty much equally dangerous/benign. I say this as a scientist who has actually studied this.

    Smoking is still smoking.

    Driving while high is just as likely to get you in a wreck as driving while drunk.

    Alcohol=bad liver; Pot=subpar kidneys and increased risk of Parkinson’s like illness (messes with the outer, conductive layers of your brain due to their fat content).

    Responsible usage by adults with fully developed brains is really not that big of a deal, but someone will always fuck their life up using and kids shouldn’t touch it.

    GLARINGLY UNKNOWN TO THOSE OUTSIDE THE MEDICAL FIELD: The high you get from THC is “dissociative”. For people who already have dissociative mental health disorders, e.g bipolar, PTSD, schizophrenic, chronic usage or even just a lone very strong dose can cause a psychotic break. REEFER MADNESS CAN HAPPEN . . . ya just have to have, ya know, PTSD. Check out all the lovely peer-reviewed published studies on the subject.

    • What kind of scientist claims a Lost Ogle is too long and didn’t read it, then writes a longer reply to what they said they didn’t read?
      (Hint: a fake scientist)

  9. My wife had a class at college where Mark Woodward came to speak. The students were stunned, to say the least. I wasn’t, though. He knows what awaits him if drugs were legalized and his “ethics-for-sale-ass” had to find a legitimate job. So-called Drug Court professionals and all other people on the drug-law-driven law enforcement take are just as panicked at the mood towards legalization as the derps are about gay marriage.

    No, I don’t smoke. No, I don’t want to, even if it were legalized here and now. It’s a bad idea, but not nearly as bad as the immorality of locking people up for their private behavior. But hell, I’m just a Goober.

  10. I’m glad to see I wasn’t the only one who thought Mark Woodward’s confusing his opinion with fact was a disservice to the community he is charged to serve. And shame on the KFOR reporter who let his obviously BS answers stand unchallenged. Aren’t journalists supposed to seek the truth? This one appears to have been asleep on the job.

  11. Marijuana isn’t completely benign but it’s a hell of a lot safer to the individual and society than the alcohol we so thoroughly glamorize. To not rationally allow the sale and use of marijuana is pathetically hypocritical.

  12. Coincidentally I saw the article referenced and yesterday wrote the oklahoma bureau of narcotics about Mark Woodward only to find today that another Patrick had the same viewpoint.

    My Letter:
    I would like an explanation of why Mark Woodward, with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, is being quoted on news media and misrepresenting facts to sway public opinion against the legalization of cannabis. If an opinion is asked of any employee of the state they should either provide facts or not respond at all. The position and association with the bureau is not something to use as ammunition for your own personal beliefs, it is to enforce the law and do your job. Plain and simple.

    • I agree wholeheartedly. Woodward is just a dude protecting his power and position. He is not an expert. He should be reprimanded for even weighing in on the issue.

  13. Here’s a science experiment for our genius government officials. Take two test subjects, A & B. Make test subject A consume alcohol every single day, then make test subject B consume marijuana every single day. Who dies first?

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