Florida's Anti-Pot Leader Once Claimed Weed Was Linked With Homosexuality, AIDS

Categories: WTF Florida

marijuanaleaf.jpg
photo via PabloEvan's Flickr
This week, the first organized opposition to Florida's looming vote on legalized marijuana has set up shop in Tampa, thanks to a six-figure donation from GOP power player Mel Sembler. To front his new anti-pot PAC, Sembler chose Carlton Turner, a former drug czar for President Ronald Reagan.

Unfortunately for the anti-weed crowd, Turner's impressive resume comes weighed down with a hell of a skeleton. Namely, a 1986 Newsweek story headlined "Reagan Aide: Pot Can Make You Gay." Yep, Turner's that aide.

See also: Florida Sheriffs Association Comes Out Against Medical Marijuana: #DontLetFlGoToPot

In the story, the then-drug czar makes the classic slippery slope argument. He notes that when he visits youth drug recovery centers, nearly half of all residents there have had homosexual relationships.

"It seems to be something that follows along from their marijuana use," Turner told Newsweek. "My concern is, how is the biological system affected by heavy marijuana use? The public needs to be thinking about how drugs alter people's lifestyles."

What's more, that pot use might just make them more susceptible to AIDS, he thought. "No one is saying that marijuana will cause AIDS," he said, but that pot could hurt your immune system and "if you're in a high-risk category, you certainly don't want to use something that will impair your immunological system."

Yikes. 

The pro-medical marijuana crowd wasted no time jumping on the old piece, though, with the United For Care Organization blasting Turner and noting "There is no place for bigotry and ignorance in the debate over compassionate medical marijuana policy in Florida."

Turner, to be fair, disputed the story from day one and 28 years later still claims his quotes were taken out of context. "I never said it," he tells TBO.com this morning. "(It's) so outrageous it probably doesn't deserve a response."

Is it possible one of America's pre-eminent news magazines made up quotes from America's top drug official? Decide for yourself. We've embedded the full 1986 Newsweek story after the jump.

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33 comments
Ben_Murk
Ben_Murk

hahaha hilarious. And 26 years from now when pot is 100% legal we will again look at all the ridiculous things these sheriffs and dumb politicians will say to keep their prison industrial complex running like clock work. A bunch of scare tactics to cause fear in the public over a benign plant with hundreds of benefits! 

DeathBreath
DeathBreath

When people provide anecdotal information instead of scientifically-derived statements, ignorance abounds, particularly for the age-old myth of cannabis being a "gateway" drug.  There is no compelling evidence to support this unfounded contention.  Furthermore, cannabis does not function as a "necessary" or "sufficient" condition specific to harder drugs.  Total bullshit.  The first distortion of facts began a long time ago & continues to this day. 

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

There is no room for truth in the conservative movement, otherwise known as the  American Taliban. 

United for Care South Florida
United for Care South Florida

Hey guys I'm the South Florida Regional Coordinator for United for Care, the medical marijuana campaign. I wanted to reach out and let you know that we are in dire needs of volunteers. If you or anyone you know wants to get involved in the movement here in South Florida please have them message me. Thank you!

Camilo Gonzalez
Camilo Gonzalez

Remember kids, if u smoke weed, you'll become gay and get aids!!!

Curt Notree
Curt Notree

Thats the dumbest statement Ive ever heard.

Monica Goforth
Monica Goforth

He is stupid and your propaganda wont work. If you are homosexual you are born that way.

Brad Sage
Brad Sage

I must be pretty gay and not even know it.

Robert Bischof
Robert Bischof

These people are so far out even Jesus hates them....

Jason Conord
Jason Conord

We should hold him down and shotgun him to see if he turns gay or gets aids

Jason Conord
Jason Conord

I can't believe people in power are still this dumb...

rey0
rey0

So if you smoke pot you have a 50% chance of having a homosexual experience ?  WOW WTF ARE YOU SERIOUS YOU IDIOT !

sweetcookies3333
sweetcookies3333

i'd like to thank the nazi south for keeping my friends and family in NORCAL very very wealthy through marijuana...



sweetcookies3333
sweetcookies3333

the greatest plant in the universe is almost free, LET FREEDOM RING! 13


"any doctor against marijuana is a doctor of death" - cali secret 420

from 0 states to half the country, from low 20% approval to almost 70%, cali runs this planet by 2 decades, time to tie marijuana to the 2014, 2016 elections, out with the old, in with the new

20 years behind us southern states, sad and scary....nobody denies freedoms like the south, nobody…the top ten incarcerators on the planet are southern states...even if marijuana reforms did pass the republiCANTS in charge would deny you all your freedoms, centuries of practice...no matter though, we never planned on getting your backwards brethren from day one, half the country already but not one southern state, lol...not 1….the new generations are taking over in the south and they are nothing like their freedom denying parents, let’s ride…

Deaths by Alcohol and Tobacco: Millions
Deaths by Prescription Drugs: Quadrupled in last decade
Deaths by Guns: Millions
Deaths by the food we are fed: Millions
Deaths by Marijuana: 0, ever...they are killing my American family while denying freedom

love and freedom forever

AMERICA'S WAR ON DRUGS IS A WAR ON AMERICANS! 33

Gladys N Juan
Gladys N Juan

LMAO! What an ignorant person and this is the one who is funding the anti pot campaign?!...LOSER! I guess he missed the memo where AIDS is not an airborne pathogen and being gay is not something that you can smoke. Yes Mr. Turner, marijuana will make you gay and give you AIDS as a parting gift, maybe you should smoke some...Idiot!

Anthony Fuda
Anthony Fuda

What a loser let it go man smoke a joint

Scott Spencer
Scott Spencer

Had a health teacher in high school tell me smoking weed would make me grow boobs, and my penis would shrink.

Michael del Vice
Michael del Vice

I understand the need to shed light on stupidity....no, no, I don't.

Ben_Murk
Ben_Murk

WOW so ridiculous! LOL And in 1986 I can see this being used as a valid argument 

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

It isn't that they are that dumb, they wrongly believe that good Americans are as dumb as fauKKKs viewers and will believe anything.

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