The cause of the enormous explosion and fire that destroyed a downtown Los Angeles building on Saturday evening and sent 12 firefighters to the hospital is not yet known.
As for the effects, they were immediate, decisive — and entirely predictable.
A culprit was identified even before arson investigators’ work could begun. The culprit, as initial media reports suggested, was cannabis, a theory that anti-legalization zealots amplified into a howl by Monday. By extension, that means the ongoing social experiment of marijuana legalization is the accomplice, and scenes like Saturday’s carnage in LA the logical conclusion for any other city or state pondering legal weed.
This all sounds familiar, because it is. And though it may be weeks or longer before arson investigators piece together the actual cause, the lesson for drug-policy reform advocates and anyone in the cannabis industry is that baked-in anti-drug biases will take much longer than that to fade away — and you can do everything right and still suffer a setback in the information wars.
Judgment and blame came swiftly because blaming weed for a violent explosion and fire fits a familiar script, though one that hasn’t been dusted off in California for a while. At the scene, firefighters discovered burnt and exploded canisters of butane. [Read More @ Forbes]
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