A Fox News guest said that San Francisco should be focused on solving its homelessness crisis instead of trying to improve the language used in its justice system — specifically, they should focus on those on the streets who “just shot up marijuana.”
San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors adopted new “person first” guidelines to refer to people with criminal records. Instead of calling someone a convicted felon, for example, the city would refer to them as a “formerly incarcerated person” or a “justice-involved” person, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Repeat offenders would be called “returning residents.” Minors will be referred to as “young person with justice system involvement” or “young person impacted by the juvenile justice system” instead of juvenile delinquents, and drug addicts will be called people “with a history of substance use.”
Supervisor Matt Haney said the official parlance will prevent residents from being “forever labeled for the worst things that they have done.”
During Thursday’s Outnumbered, a Fox show in which a panel of four women and one male guest discuss current events, the co-hosts railed on the city’s new language guidelines.
“If you thought San Francisco couldn’t find more ways to push political correctness, check this out,” co-host Melissa Francis said in the segment.
Guest David Avella, who chairs GOPAC, an organization that trains Republican candidates, insisted that San Francisco should take its victims into consideration, not the formerly incarcerated.
“Actions speak louder than words, and what we also didn’t hear from our friends in San Francisco is what new words should we use for victims. So often over the last couple of years, the focus in California has been on the defendant, not on the victims … California has tried to clear out their prisons and yet every year they continue to have overcrowded prisons.”
Here’s where Avella fumbles the drug references.
“And the focus ought to be on a society that follows the law, not allowing people to defecate in the streets,” he continued. “Not allowing individuals to lay on the street having just shot up with marijuana …”
“Heroin,” an Outnumbered co-host corrects him.
“Heroin, and having a needle sticking out of them,” he said. “We ought to be focused on solving crimes.”
The segment, which began gaining attention after Mediaite reporter Caleb Ecarma tweeted a clip of the gaffe, is getting mocked by Twitter users.
love to break down an 8th of mids on a glass table using only credit cards and a nail file
— Caleb Ecarma (@calebecarma) August 22, 2019
“Injecting a weed” is a long-running joke to refer to those so out of the loop, they have no idea how consuming marijuana works. While there are a variety of ways to get high (or find some pain relief without the psychoactive effects), intravenous injection isn’t a particularly popular one.
That being said, there have been cases of injecting cannabis. The last case documented by an English language medical journal was recorded by the Western Journal of Medicine in 1983. The patient made a “boiled marijuana broth,” strained it through cotton, and injected the liquid into the vein in his inner elbow. He claimed to have tried it once before and experienced “pleasant psychological effects only,” but then began experiencing a cough, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, back pain, and a fever. He was discharged from the hospital after five days of IV fluids and antibiotics.
Dr. Bob Melamede, who has a Ph.D in molecular biology and biochemistry and is a vocal advocate for the therapeutic use of cannabis, dismissed claims of injectable THC. He told Westword, a Denver local news site, in 2013 that THC can’t be suspended in a liquid water-based solution.
“These are basically oils, and oil and water don’t mix — and they certainly don’t mix into any kind of form that’s going to be injectable,” he said.
So Avella’s claim isn’t totally unfounded, but the likelihood that people are “shooting up” marijuana in 2019 is slim.
This isn’t the first, and it’s unlikely the last, time a Fox guest has associated marijuana with homelessness and poverty. In 2017, a guest claimed food stamps recipients were using their government benefits to buy weed and cocaine. Last year, a guest attributed Colorado’s homeless population to the state’s legalized marijuana. Marijuana’s role as a “gateway drug” has been widely debunked, and while Colorado did see an 8 percent uptick in homelessness the year after legalizing, critics and homeless people alike agree the causes are more nuanced, however.