Is the Bronx Terror Plot Good for Stoners?

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Photo: AP

More information has been steadily dribbling out about the four men accused of plotting to bomb two Bronx synagogues and shoot down a military aircraft with a missile. They may have been turned on to Islam in prison; they bought a gun from a “supreme Blood gang leader” in Brooklyn; and they frequently met at the home of an informant, which was wired with cameras and microphones by the FBI. And also, the alleged ringleader of the group, James Cromitie, is kind of a pothead. He told U.S. Magistrate Judge Lisa M. Smith that not only does he smoke "regularly," but admitted that he had even gotten high the night of his ill-fated attempted terrorist attack. This, at first glance, doesn't seem like the kind of PR that benefits stoners or other proponents of decriminalizing marijuana. Having a terrorist on your team isn't quite as good as having Michael Phelps and Arnold Schwarzenegger. But it could be looked at in another light as well: Weed saved lives.

Just imagine, for a moment, how lethal and effective these potential terrorists could have been if they weren't getting high. Maybe, with a clear head and increased awareness of their surroundings, they would have noticed they were being constantly surveilled. Perhaps they would have figured out that the explosives the FBI provided to them were duds. And most important, had their capacity for reason been uncontaminated, they might have recognized that the mysterious new stranger in their mosque was working for the government, as everyone else was apparently able to deduce quite easily. As the Post reports:

[Head imam Salahuddin Mustafa] Mohammad said members of the mosque had detected a man they believe was the government's informant, trying to get people to talk about jihad and radical Islam. The man would take people out for expensive meals to win them over, Mohammad said. "Anyone with any smarts knew to stay away from this guy," he said.


Anyone with smarts? Or anyone who wasn't easily swayed by the prospect of free food? Clearly, marijuana was responsible for cracking this case wide open, sapping the terrorists of the sharp wits required to carry out their plot successfully. So don't fret, stoners — far from sullying the reputation of your drug of choice, Cromitie and friends have actually provided a national-security argument for making it more widely available.

Accused Terror Ringleader: I'm a Pothead [NBC New York]
In Bronx Bomb Case, Steps and Missteps Alike Caught on Tape [NYT]