As it is such a new, buzz-worthy, and intriguing topic, an overwhelming amount of marijuana information is being constantly shared and re-shared from one end of the internet to the other. Whether an opponent or supporter of newly legal marijuana ventures, there is an endless amount of information one can find to support his or her already pre-formed position on medical and recreational marijuana.
The trick when reading internet articles, blog posts, and op-eds regarding marijuana is finding truly correct information regarding marijuana safety, medical use, and abuse; simply because the correctness of such is constantly changing and evolving. For that reason alone, we recommend only reading information from reputable companies such as https://weedsmart.ca. These types of companies are often regulated, and can only publish information that is in the consumers best interests.
Much of the marijuana information whirling around on the internet is incorrect, misinformed, or just plain false. In a modern society where age-old ideals are constantly challenged, edited, and corrected, why is there so much misinformation on marijuana?
The answer is two-fold:
- Many derogatory marijuana claims used by opponents of cannabis legalization are based on societal feelings from days past. An attempt – as is typical of many facets of society – to hold on to ‘the good ‘ol days’.
- There was a gaping lack of scientific research on cannabis, or at the very least a lack of reporting any research suggesting benefits to cannabis, up until very recently.
Where does marijuana misinformation come from? Let’s find out.
Weed Got To Hold On to What They Got (From Long Ago)
80’s rock ballad reference aside, much of the misinformation on marijuana stems from long-standing beliefs that have been quickly dispelled with legalization. Claims such as ‘marijuana is a gateway drug’, and ‘marijuana is more addictive than heroin’, have been now studied, and either disproven or are the very most based on weak science. Claims such as these make front page headlines, however, and have for some time. The problem is, these claims are based from studies performed on cannabis back before modern advancements in scientific methodology. A study published recently entitled ‘State of the Evidence: Cannabis Use and Regulation’ and published by the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy in Toronto took 13 common claims as to the supposed dangers of marijuana use and put them to what is basically a lie-detector test. In 11 out of the 13 claims, the ICSDP found the basis for these claims were rooted in what was quantified as ‘weak’ science, aka little to no correlation. Of the two claims considered to be based from ‘moderate evidence’, one states that marijuana today is ‘300-400 percent stronger than 30 years ago’. Anyone who has read the THC content on the warning label on the side of any recreational or medical marijuana container could tell you that, unequivocally.
The study brings up a very valid point as to the origination of marijuana misinformation. Most of what the overarching public hear opposing the benefits of recreational and medical marijuana come from improperly informed citizens stuck in their ways. There are many easy ways to now get medical marijuana because there are some who do believe it to be good. That’s why there are dispensaries in lansing for example that provide medical marijuana. However, not everyone would be in agreement with this.
In an attempt to flip the script and start anew, here are two examples of recent studies on the 1. long-term, negative effects of cannabis and 2. teen use of marijuana. The former, performed over 30 years (1985 – 2005) by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Rutgers University and published August 4 in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors followed teens with admitted and varying levels of marijuana use. All of the teens who reported marijuana use during their teen years – whether habitual or occasional – showed NO signs of psychological dystopia later in life. The latter, performed by the University of Texas, Austin from 2002 – 2012 tracked teens’ feelings towards marijuana use. In short, the study showed that teen approval ratings of marijuana use have steadily declined over the past decade, and that the innate fear of teen marijuana use spiking due to legalization has shown to be nonexistent.
Where Have All the Factoids Gone?
In true 90’s Paula Cole fashion, there seems to be a general lack of numerical evidence reported about the countless benefits of cannabis.
Why is there such a lack of scientific and numerical evidence regarding marijuana? The answer may shock you: there actually isn’t. Just a lack of reporting said evidence. Many of the media outlets we rely on to inform ourselves are comprised of people still holding on to a previous lack of convincing scientific studies in regards to marijuana. Therefore, these people’s out-of-date feelings towards marijuana from way back when take precedence over the correctness and factuality of current information. What I’m trying to say here is the media is pulling the used-to-be-hemp-but-now-is-wool over the public’s eyes.
Case-in-point, an Israeli study published on Aug 6 showed strong evidence that CBD, a naturally-occurring cannabinoid in cannabis, helped stimulate Lysyl Hydroxylase, an enzyme that helps to heal bone after injury. Did you see this amazing, beneficial news that could potentially help millions on the front page? Was it trending on Twitter? Of course not. And that’s not merely bad luck, or coincidence.
The media, by-in-large, refuses to come out of the dark ages with its feelings towards the benefits of cannabis, medically. Therefore, many media outlets do not publish scientific studies that shed a positive light on pot, which only further lends to the lingering of dark-ages societal understanding of cannabis by those who rely on that media outlet for their information. And the cycle continues.
Luckily, with the expansion of the internet, people are beginning to get their information straight from the source (like denverweed.com!), therefore not allowing the media to skew their individual views and rather forming these views for themselves.
Weed Gets Knocked Down, But It Gets Up Again
A fitting ending to a trio of terrible 80’s and 90’s title references for the sake of a point. So, how does one combat the purposeful lack of correct marijuana information? Talk it out. Talk to your elders. Talk to your peers. Talk to anyone who’s willing to lend an ear, or at the very least stay in one place long enough for you to finish. We live in a golden age of available information, soak it up and discuss openly. It may take the mainstream media some time to begin to shed a positive light on any and all forms of cannabis, but it only takes a little focused chat to change your mind, and change the world.