Pokémon Go
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It’s a drug so insidious, its oblivious users fall from cliffs, walk directly into major highways at the peak of rush hour, absentmindedly stop their cars in the middle of the road — or wrap vehicles around trees — and become the ‘unwitting’ victims of armed robberies and stabbings. But despite government propaganda criminalizing one ‘drug’ as a dangerous narcotic with no redeeming qualities or medicinal value, the substance in question isn’t cannabis — it’s Pokémon Go.

Every one of the aforementioned incidents — and likely an untold number more — are the real-life consequences the phenomenally popular app’s users have subjected themselves to while in the drug-like haze of game play.

Though an actual death has yet to be attributed to Pokémon Go, the app is already far more dangerous than cannabis. Yet cannabis, in most states, can lead to your imprisonment, extortion, and tarnishment of your permanent record, thanks to the State’s sham war on drugs.

At this point, it’s virtually inevitable we’ll see a headline marking the first Pokémon Go fatality — something the State can’t even officially ascribe to its politicized Schedule I villain — no matter what propaganda would have you believe.

“Death by Pokemon is coming,” Gerry Beyer, Governor Preston E. Smith Regents Prof. of Law at Texas Tech Univ. School of Law, dystopically warned. “Pokemon users will have all sorts of accidents as they use the program while walking, biking, driving, etc.”

Firefighters performed a harrowing rescue on Wednesday in Encinitas, California, after two twenty-something spellbound Pokémon Go fanatics tumbled “several stories” from a crumbling sandstone cliff. The Los Angeles Times reported,

“One man fell 75 to 100 feet. As firefighters rescued the man, they found the second man unconscious 50 feet down the bluff, said Battalion Chief Robbie Ford of the Encinitas Fire Department. Both were taken to area trauma centers and suffered moderate injuries, he said.”

Just 30 minutes after downloading the game, 16-year-old Autumn Nolan cheated death when she wandered onto a major highway around 5 pm in a Pokémon Go-induced haze — where she was promptly struck by a car.

“She was hit by a car crossing the highway where a Pokemon took her,” said Autumn’s mother, Tracy Nolan. “The Pokemon game took her across a major, major highway at 5 o’clock in the evening.”

Though the Nolans blame Pokémon Go for Autumn’s brush with death, reason and logic would argue responsibility lies in the teen’s brash decision to wander into rush hour traffic sans consideration for potential physical consequences.

If distracted pedestrians weren’t dangerous enough, a driver — apparently so involved in the game, he or she lost track of reality — left a vehicle in a roadway to “catch a Pokemon,” causing quite the accident:

Another driver, in Auburn, New York, so embroiled in the digital scavenger hunt he drove into a tree, suffered relatively minor injuries — though the distracted deviation from the roadway undoubtedly could have been worse had another car or pedestrian, instead of tree, obstructed the vehicle’s path.

Two friends enthralled in Pokémon Go became handy targets for an armed gunman in Antelope, California, who demanded their cellphones and proceeded to steal their car.

“A guy pulled up with a gun and held a gun up to me,” recounted David Wallace for local NBC affiliate, KCRA 3. “He held it right by his waist and said, ‘If you don’t want to get hurt, give me your phones.”

Others have met similar fates:

These incidents are just a sampling from the burgeoning “Pokémon Go phenomenon” — tangible tales of hazy distraction worthy of the government’s 20th Century propaganda campaign, ‘Reefer madness’ — just replace marijuana with game mania and the effect is identical.

Imminent though Pokémon Go fatalities may be, the same cannot be said of cannabis — the plant, itself, has never caused a single death — and almost certainly never will.

Gaming-induced mania more aptly parallels the lessening of inhibitions caused by alcohol, prescription pills, and hard drugs; and prognostications of future deaths by Pokémon Go could draw comparisons to overdoses from those substances — all of which have skyrocketed since 2001.

But while legal prescriptions and Pokémon Go could actually kill you, the only fatalities from cannabis are all due to its illegality courtesy of the war on drugs — not the plant, itself.

It’s past time to end the war on drugs and demonization and prohibition of cannabis. In the meantime, use extra caution on sidewalks and roadways — lest errant Pokémon Go-ers make you the victim of the latest ‘drug’ craze.


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Claire Bernish began writing as an independent, investigative journalist in 2015, with works published and republished around the world. Not one to hold back, Claire’s particular areas of interest include U.S. foreign policy, analysis of international affairs, and everything pertaining to transparency and thwarting censorship. To keep up with the latest uncensored news, follow her on Facebook or Twitter: @Subversive_Pen.