News Outlets Continue To Spread Fear and Falsehoods About Marijuana
We live in a society in which people turn to popular news outlets for the latest happenings in the world as well as factual, reliable information on topics that have a great impact on our world. With the rise of marijuana legalization, mainstream media outlets have failed to put out honest and consistent information on the subject and instead continue to treat marijuana’s growth as a passing fad, and a potentially dangerous one at that. Medical marijuana has the potential to disrupt numerous billion dollar industries, yet trusted news outlets insist on spreading fear and doubt in regards to marijuana’s safety and legitimacy.
News is supposed to be unbiased and true. These days finding those features in popular news shows is a difficult task. In regards to marijuana, the politics behind its legalization are extremely polarizing. While we know that only a small percentage of the population actually partakes in consuming marijuana, the vast majority of those who don’t still know that it is safe, and are for some form of legalization. Unfortunately, the small percentage who hold a stake in prohibition have an enormous amount of money and are more than happy to use media outlets as a mouthpiece.
Marijuana legalization has been around in some places for as long as twenty years. Every possible study of statistics surrounding legalization has already been done. At this point, we know virtually everything we need to know in order to make educated decisions about legalization. In regards to safety, crime, use by minors, and just about anything you want to know about legalization and its effect on local communities, we have all the data we could ever need. So when you read a news article in which someone says, “there simply isn’t enough information about marijuana,” they simply are mistaken.
A recent article from NBC’s Today attempted to link marijuana with the death of 22 year old man, who was otherwise healthy. According to the article, the man was found deceased on the floor of his room. The only thing found in his system was marijuana. The parents are convinced that marijuana caused an arrhythmia in their son’s heart, resulting in his death. What happened is sad, however, what is worse is that Today is exploiting this family’s grief to perpetuate falsehoods and fear. The article goes on to state that according to the medical examiner, it can’t be said for sure that marijuana played a role in the death. In the end, the article attempts to demonize marijuana and ultimately admits there was no proof it was a factor. These kinds of stories have an enormous and devastating impact on the pro-legalization movement, as they continue to feed the fire of prohibitionists, despite their factually flawed nature.
How do we know cannabis is safe, despite the news stories claiming otherwise? Cannabis is comprised of cannabinoids, terpenes and inert plant matter. That’s it. Terpenes are abound in much greater quantities in all of the fruits and vegetables we eat daily. If they were harmful, we would have known thousands of years ago and been on a meat only diet ever since. As far as cannabinoids go, we have discovered over 200+ so far and counting. Each identified cannabinoid has distinct medicinal qualities that are all becoming well documented. No combination of cannabinoids or terpenes has ever been linked to a fatality because our bodies were designed to process them. We have the information and yet these popular news outlets simply choose to push an agenda instead of facts.
Cory Hughes is a former police officer turned cannabis cultivator and writer. After years of being on the wrong side of the law, Cory decided to hang up his badge and gun and move into an industry that truly has the potential of bringing people together. He has been an active part of the Colorado cannabis culture and has worked as a horticulturist in dozens of licensed grow operations. Cory now looks to share his knowledge of cultivation and horticulture with the world.