Ann Coulter Blames Marijuana for Making ‘People Retarded’ and ‘Destroying the Country’

Marijuana is legal in some capacity, whether medicinally or recreationally, in more than half of the United States. But according to conservative columnist Ann Coulter, legalization of the plant is “destroying the country,” and what’s worse, it “makes people retarded.” That’s what The New York Times best-selling author had to say about cannabis while speaking at the nonpartisan political event Politicon on Saturday.

Coulter, who has a longstanding history of making controversial remarks, debated with Ana Kasparian, a marijuana advocate and correspondent for the progressive news media outlet The Young Turks, on various topics, including the legality of marijuana in the U.S. While sharing her views on legal pot, 55-year-old Coulter made a number of inflammatory comments regarding marijuana, including claims that “nobody goes to prison for [pot] possession.”

It all started when Kasparian brought up the racial disparities surrounding marijuana charges, pointing out that African-Americans are often arrested and sentenced at much higher rates for marijuana use and possession compared with whites committing similar offenses.

“I don’t care if you’re black, white, Asian, Latino—doesn’t matter. You shouldn’t be prosecuted for marijuana possession. That’s a gigantic waste of our resources,” Kasparian, 31, said.

Coulter refuted her panel mate's comment and started speaking about a study she allegedly read that claimed black people lie about their marijuana use more than other races.

“There have been further studies where they actually drug test the person after asking ‘Do you smoke pot, or have you smoked pot in the last week?’ and it turns out there’s a racial difference in telling the truth on ‘Did you smoke pot’? Blacks were about 10 times more likely to lie and say they hadn’t smoked pot,” Coulter said.

She was unable to cite the study’s origin, where it had been published or any other information regarding the researchers of the study, but Coulter told the moderator, journalist and author Touré, that she would email him the study. However, a different study, conducted by the National Institutes of Health in 2008, found that more people—regardless of race—self-reported marijuana use than they actually tested positive for in a hair-strand drug test.

As for possession arrests and sentences, Coulter advanced her claim that no one actually serves time for possessing marijuana.

“No, I know you’re all potheads, and you’re gonna have trouble following what I’m about to say, but almost 90 percent of people in prison are in prison as a result of a plea bargain. No one gets arrested and tried for possession of marijuana. But if they happen to have marijuana on them that’s what they plea it down. But you’re not going to prison for that, you’re going to prison because you held up a liquor store with a sawed-off shotgun, and they found pot on you,” she said.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, more than 8.2 million people were arrested on marijuana charges between 2001 and 2010. Eighty-eight percent of the arrests were merely on possession alone. A separate study released by the National Registry of Exonerations in March said that African-Americans were five times as likely to face jail time for simple drug possession, including marijuana, compared with white offenders of the same crime.

When asked if marijuana should be made legal in the states, Coulter, who obviously disapproved, tried to connect the herbal substance to mental disabilities, which she then seemed to link to immigrants who work as busboys in restaurants.

“No. You can legalize all the drugs you want once there isn’t a welfare state, but no,” she said. “Marijuana makes people retarded, especially when they’re young. We’ve got enough busboys. We’re bringing in busboys by the million through our immigration policy. We do not need a country of busboys. We’re destroying the country.”

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