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Alternet: “Five Things the Corporate Media Don’t Want You to Know About Cannabis”

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director September 28, 2009

    I’ve written previously about the mainstream media’s propensity to under report and distort stories that challenge marijuana prohibition.

    Apparently my latest missive has hit a nerve — as it has quickly risen to become the most read story on Alternet.

    5 Things the Corporate Media Don’t Want You to Know About Cannabis
    via Alternet.org

    1. Marijuana Use Is Not Associated With a Rise in Incidences of Schizophrenia

    2. Marijuana Smoke Doesn’t Damage the Lungs Like Tobacco

    3. Cannabis Use Potentially Protects, Rather Than Harms, the Brain

    4. Marijuana Is a Terminus, Not a ‘Gateway,’ to Hard Drug Use

    5. Government’s Anti-Pot Ads Encourage, Rather Than Discourage, Marijuana Use

    Read the full text of the story here.

    39 Responses to “Alternet: “Five Things the Corporate Media Don’t Want You to Know About Cannabis””

    1. […] the rest here:  Alternet: “Five Things the Corporate Media Don’t Want You to Know About Cannabis” Share and […]

    2. Mike R says:

      Excellent coverage on these points! I particularly like the refutation on the gateway effect, which is still most drug warrior’s primary (if not only) argument.

      Now if we could get some coverage on how prohibition actually puts drugs in the hands of children as opposed to legalizing and regulating them. I’m so tired of hearing about the “wrong message” we’ll send to the children.

    3. Mike Stroup says:

      Perception matters much, truth often very little. Truth is very rarely so much as a fleeting consideration in the course of human circumstance, and is more commonly treated as a distracting nuissance to be manipulated. A significant number of sheeple have been brainwashed into thinking that cannabis (a.k.a., Marijuana) is the “Devil’s Weed.” They are likely to take that lie to their graves, out of stubborn laziness, more of the same stupidity that enabled them to be indoctrinated in the first place. I have no rub with people led by lies, and I acknowledge their God-given right to harbor any perceptions they are inclined, as long as they do not try and run my life or impose their stupidness on others.

    4. Gene Burns of KGO Radio in , San Francisco has a Saturday show devoted entirely to the consumption of Alcohol ( or wine ). This is sending the wrong message to our children since alcohol is one of the main contributors to death & murder on our highways , a creator of obesity and a host of other health related problems & unlike marijuana it creates aggression leading to violence . PLEASE ….let’s send this drug pusher & the Producers of KGO Radio a clear message… IT IS NOT OK TO PUSH A DRUG on your program especially to kids . Send them an email by going to ; KGO Radio . You’ll get their contact information there . Thankyou for your help .

    5. CKDK29 says:

      What doesnt the gov get about POTENTIALY PROTECTS THE BRAIN RATHER THAN HARM . What a screwd up country this is dispickable

    6. seedy says:

      Norml.the State of Florida is trying to collect 700,000 voters signatures so that medical marijuana could be places on the 2010 ballot this is being done by PEOPLE UNITED FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA this effort was started by one woman K.Russ …..tell me what if anything Norml is doing to help get the petitions out and signed ?To get this on the Florida ballot. like all you’ve done for other states cali,washington oregon but where are you at in Florida?know Norml has chapters here but we dont hear from them ,tell me what up with this ! Sure could use some help to get the petitions out and the word about this effort.

    7. Samson says:

      What about spreading foundless lies about Cannabis that promote prejudice?…Or what about allowing our environment/eco-systems to be ruined by “BIG” Business; instead of promoting the Hemp/Cannabis Industries( which, ARE Eco-friendly )?? That sounds more like the “WRONG MESSAGE” to send to America’s youth….but, what do I know? I’m just a “stoner”…right?! B. to the S. my fellow heads.

    8. Mike H says:

      News! Finally!

    9. Stompedonmyrights says:

      This is not new. Those of us who have been arrested for Cannabis know just how the media treats this issue. It has always been one sided in order to hide the Constructive Fraud placed upon the people. We can go over this most excellent information over and over again but it does not stop the arrest, this is why we should be pushing to get this unlawful act stopped. The President said he ways going to put a stop to unethical behavior by the federal government.

    10. Samson says:

      Can anyone connect these dots???

      President Obama said the other day(in an article on Yahoo! news) and I quote ” Our school calander is based upon the agrarian economy and not too many of our kids are working the fields today”. WELL, guess what….our nation’s rules and regulations regarding Cannabis and it’s prohibition are outdated, too. And not too many of our kids are jumping out of 10 story windows via “reefer madness” these days.

    11. V. says:

      how about Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report? they could be a good start? I mean i bet a lot of ppl watches the show. Is funny yet truth…..

    12. fedUp says:

      Very good article. For many years, most of the time after I would see an article about drugs, I would say to myself, “Dam, seems like that was written by some stinking pig or government official”. I’m glad others have noticed.
      Because of the persistent anti-drug slant of the news stories(mostly Associated Press and Reuters), I’ve often wondered if there is some kind of shananigins going on between certain anti-drug government agencies and Reuters and the Associated Press.
      I know it sounds paranoid, but certainly not improbable and certainly not without precedent

    13. jake b says:

      When i was young like 13 it was no problem for me to get a fat sack of buds, but if you woulda asked me where to get beer i would have been clueless. You think we woulda learned from prohabition of alchol.
      Young men age of 18 and older are being raped, beatin, and are being turned into criminals by the prison industrail complex. While the USA smuggles opium from iraq making theyer billion doller wars more profitable, and driving us futher in to debt.

      War on Drugs = massive fail, legalize it!!

      Ron Paul 2012!

    14. Fireweed says:

      The truth, however inconvenient, shall bear itself out. Hopefully not before I find another job so I don’t get drug tested!

    15. Ryan R says:

      It’s about time we challenged these tyrants. Keep up the good work! (added by Mobile using Mippin)

    16. jeff says:

      nice post, damn corporate media, sure hope they play our
      california cannabis initiative call to action though!
      end the prohibition on cannabis & hemp in 2010 across CA!

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxDKCGQciSQ

    17. Here is reason #6

      Ron Paul 2012

    18. Jed The head says:

      I say the reason MSM doesn’t give any space to this issue is due to the companies that buy advertising time from them. If they report positive things about cannabis the government sponsored advertising money would dry up. Some corporate money would also be in danger of going away. The mainstream media does whatever their corporate sponsors tell them it is OK to do. After all they are the ones paying the bill.
      By the way if you missed the National conference party you missed the party of the year!

    19. R.O.E. says:

      This is great. Its funny our government ,I feel,treat our kids as though they arent smart enough to read and understand things. If adults dont trust government,why would kids?

      Our government has over time discredited themselvs with all the lies and corruption. We adults see it. Why wouldnt the kids of this nation?

      Whether cannabis is dangerous or not,why would you trust a known liar?

    20. albert menefee says:

      Yes, We all know, they are pawns, to misguide us, under the apperance of right, not wrong. We know this to be a lie and they will not tell the truth. This is why we must stand up for our right to live as we see fit. I’m not your property any more, I denounce this corroupt government, it is not the government of the people, for the people, but instead, it is an evil force that will not stop, till all are under the control of those whom wish more than they need and are consumed by greed, and will not CHANGE till we make a real change, in this once, GOD fearing nation. I will see you on all fronts to be the agressor till the ressurection, our country has abandoned GOD. Don’t you abandon GOD, for your own sake, let him guide you and help you know that all is not lost. For when the fear sets in, be not afraid, If you are GOD fearing, you will be alright. Even martyrdom has it’s advantage of letting the truth be seen in the coruption of those that wish to rule over man, when they ought to be living with and working together and respecting others, even if you don’t approve of life choices of others, it’s their’s to make. You can’t save me from me, it’ not any man’s place, or any athority’s duty to pass judgment over me, that exclusive right is not any man or government’s, but is JESUS’S in the name of GOD, for GOD, by GOD. Please bless us YAWY, that we may stand in your grace as we face our enemy and oppressor’s of your word and way. If you have dout, come on out, look for the light that’s right, have some faith, even a little, knowing you will be fighting for your children and their children to live free to make good and bad choices and live free to be able to make a choice of their own. Cause every one has to live with the choice they make good or bad…PEACE….AL…GOD BLESS…

    21. albert menefee says:

      Yea, a little off topic, but not really. Tyranny comes in many form’s we won’t notice, till it’s too late, to do anything, except fight for your life and the life of your children, and their children.

    22. General-Jake says:

      It helpd me quit meth. The gateway drug myth i heard so extensivly in 80s middle school DARE class is total bullshit.

    23. John says:

      Perhaps in a next article you could shed some light about the increasing(?)level of THC in pot? I’m from Holland and the conservative forces have been going on about how much stronger pot has become. Some say “it’s almost a harddrug nowadays”.

      Thanks.

      [Paul Armentano responds: I’ve addresses this issue numerous times already on the blog and in other media outlets. For a quick primer on this issue, see: “Don’t Believe The Hype! Potent Pot, So What?” from May 2009:
      http://blog.norml.org/2009/05/14/dont-believe-the-hype-potent-pot-so-what/

    24. mike ziolkowski says:

      I feel that he who holds the media control will usually get their messages across, unfortunatly the media is controlled at this point large corporations who are more concerned with making war profits. and how our enemies are funding their war with drug sales.

      I live in new york state where there is a medical marijuana bill going to the house, I saw it on the news, but if i would have blinked, I woulda missed it. Since its first report I have heard nothing about it?? I also think its hilarious watching the nightly natioanal news and see that approxamitly 80% of the commercials are pharmacuetical companys pushing prescriptions that hve a daunting list of side effects.

      I think that to have public support for legalization the first and maybe hardest step is to have an informed public, maybe run anti-prohabition ads between the budweiser and pfizer ads advising the public of the truths, and the havoc that prohabition has already caused in our society?

    25. Chris says:

      NORML, consider making new T-Shirts that state these 5 facts. I’d buy one and wear it everywhere.

    26. Stompedonmyrights says:

      Wake Up peopel! Most people fight the constitutionality of the cannabis law and the legislation it comes from only after they are arrested and face Court. That has allowed the ememy to our rights the upper ground at the start of the fight. I say we as people attack first, take the upper ground first, we come at the Cannabis laws and it’s legislation with a Class Action Writ to the Supreme Court followed by a second attack on the government agents, all government agents with a Class Action Title 42 (1983 thur 1986). These action may fail, may not if they were class action, the people’s actions against the unconstitutionality to enact these laws by our government, demand a review of the evidence (Constructive Fraud) the government used to abrogate our freedom to use cannabis. Even if these acts fail, the whole world will know they we attempted to adjust the government to the will of the people. We will have educated future juries with the information, the media will notice, they will report it, we will use them to educate the masses. Come on people let push back!

    27. suggestion says:

      One suggestion I would make to NORML would be to speak the language of the “masses” a little more. While these refutations of seriously flawed studies does lend more credibility to the cannabis legalization movement, the average citizen really does not care. That is, dollars and cents are what is on everyone’s minds. Simply posting the costs associated with enforcing prohibition laws, sending people to trial, and the expenses of housing all of these drug prisoners would probably be more effective than appealing to peoples’ moral and ethical viewpoints. Also showing people how much money could be seen in revenues, and the net savings when combined with abolishing prohibitionist programs would really speak to the financial fears everyone is experiencing now. Good work as always, but maybe appeal to the masses more, as most cannabis law reformists are well aware of the contradictions and outright lies of prohibitionists.

    28. chrishaw says:

      Wow, no lie, I only started smoking bc anti-marijuana ads are so ridiculous. This is pretty accurate.

    29. Aiki says:

      This is certainly a tragedy and loss, but I think it could be spun around. Perhaps his extradition will draw US media attention, which will force the subject into the spotlight. This could very well be what’s needed to get the ball rolling on some noticeable change.

      Here’s to hoping! :)

    30. I have a copy of “The World’s Greatest Treasury of HEALTH SECRETS”. On page 107 with title “marijuana Can Be Effective Medicine” by John P. Morgan, MD professor of pharmacology at the City University of New York Medical School in New Your City. He is coauthor of Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts. Lindesmith Center. After listing the some of the original benefits he states: Given these benefits, why isn’t medical marijuana widely used? ANSWER: Along with heroin and LSD, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance. That means that is considered dangerous and without medical value. Reclassifying it as a Schedule II drug would allow doctors to prescribe it under controlled conditions.

      But until federal laws change, the average patient considers marijuana too risky…and the average doctor is unwilling to recommend it.

      This just another little tid bit that shows the truth about marijuana has been well documented for many years, yet our wonderful government continues to lie.

      It would be nice is the government tended to the things that WE THE PEOPLE care about and get out of the picnic mode.

    31. David Haines says:

      Well the national debt is almost 12trillion ……….ok enough said i believe its time for a change.. tax and regulate it already for the love of god.

    32. Kharkov Kid says:

      I would have to say that the assertion that marijuana smoke does not damage the lungs as tobacco does may be true in fact but not in essence. Marijuana smoke damages the lungs in its own unique way. And before You jump me, I`ve been inhaling it for over thirty-five years…

    33. Stompedonmyrights says:

      I am not a lawyer. I have been to many Court rooms for different reasons and stood for myself or my wife as a criminal, civil, and traffic as a Defendant, Plaintiff, and as an interested party. I have study the law of the land and the courts on my own. My college education is in world cultures, world prehistory and cultural histories of America as well as education in human behavior or what was once called mental health. I am a skilled public servant and volunteer worked 7.5 years as a firefighter/driver/operator/ EMT-I/All Water Rescue and Recovery team leader and trainer for my area. I have always smoked cannabis, some 30 years or more now.
      This is where I am coming from, just another simple guy who wants the system to work.

      NOW, For one moment lets talk about the Duty of the Court and the Rights Secured by the People. Here is a few thoughts to contemplate about our Court system and why I say we should attack the Cannabis Laws by class action writ and title actions. This is a peaceful approach left to us by our founding fathers.

      The Courts are not bound by mere forms, nor are they to be misled by mere pretenses. They are at Liberty —- indeed, they are under a solemn duty—- to look at the substance of things, whenever they enter upon the inquiry whether the legislature has transcended the limits of its authority. If therefore, a statue purporting to have been enacted to protect the public health, the public morals, or the public safety, has no real or substantial relation to those objects, or is a palpable invasion of the Rights secured by the fundamental law, it is the duty of the Courts to so adjudge, and thereby give effect to the Constitution. (Related case law: Mugler v. Kansas, 123 U.S. 623, 661)

      It is the Duty of the Court to be watchful for the Constitutional Rights of the Citizen, and against any stealthy encroachments thereof. (Related case law: Boyd v. United States, 116 U.S. 616 (1886))

      Closing thought:
      There can be no liberty if the power of judging be not separated from the legislative and executive powers. (Related case law: Searle v. Yensen, 118 Neb., 835, 226 N.W. 464, 69 P 2d 953.)

      Remember this the next time you lite up your joint and enjoy your outlawed liberty;

      Liberty lies in the hearts of the people; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it. While liberty lies in the hearts of the people it needs no constitution, no law, no court to save it.

    34. KI - Arizona says:

      My daughter was arrested five years ago for possession of Marijuana, “seeds” in her purse. She was given the usual “three strike” sentence. Drug counseling, UA’s three years supervised probation and fines. (I wonder what a few seeds cost the tax payers?) This was two days prior to her moving to San Francisco. She was written a perscription for Medicinal Marijuana in SF. Not by a back alley MD, but a promonate Physician who recognized that this would bring her much needed relief. She is firmly against phamaceuticals. When she returned to Arizona for court the judge was dumbfounded. They could not put her back on TASC because she lived in California and was prescribed marijuana legally. They had never run into this before. It was all quite amusing and had everyone in the court room laughing, including the judge.

      This however brings me to the culmination of this story. She and her friends hold down respectable full time jobs, some have their Masters Degree and one is about to complete her residency in Emergency Medicine.

      It is unconscionable that we waste such an enormous amount of money, time and resourses on something so harmless as marijuana when we are smack dab in the middle of one of the most serious social epidemics in our countries history. NO – not marijuana, but METH and HEROINE use are at an all time high.

      Crime, murder, overdoses, unimaginable violence; and we choose to show very “gentle” anti meth adds on TV. WAKE UP AMERICA and smell the cannibis. After all, when was the last time someone smoked a joint and said, “Hey lets go rob a store and do a drive by?” No, it’s morelike “where’s the twinkies?”

      WAKE UP – This message comes to you from a LAW ABIDING retired law enforcement officer.

    35. Stompedonmyrights says:

      unconscionable has been the norm for our government for way too long.

    36. Stompedonmyrights says:

      Greed for power, heartlessness, lack of spirituality, lack of compassion, bigottry, and unconscionable behavior all disrcibe the United States Government’s attitude towards their employers. We on the other hand have been more than patient with our employees. We still are waiting for them to do the job they were hired to do.

      Here is an interesting note, the State of Kansas is running out of money and had to cut back at the Court houses. This would be a great time for the prisoner in Kansas beening held on unjust cannabis laws should file writs on the constructive fraud which has abrogated their liberty. These writs would be the sticks that breaks the camels / Kansas Courts’ back. This will pressure the State of Kansas to change their ass backward behavior because they can’t afford their ass backward behavior any longer.
      Please inform any and all those prisoners to get with their jail house lawyers and file these writs exposing this constructive fraud and seeking relief from said fraud.

    37. KI - Arizona says:

      Thank you Stompedonmyrights:

      I agree completely. I do not understand how the people of this country can sit by and watch as one by one our rights are taken away, all in the name of money and power. Pure and simple, big business.

      When I go to Europe I learn more truth and details about our country than ANY news station is willing to broadcast here.

      FEAR is what is instilled in the American people; fear for control. Well for the majority it is working.

      25 years ago a friend of mine, stated that we were headed towards an internal revolution. I believed it then and I believe it now, so sad to say but why is it taking so long????

      I hate violence but –

      Any thoughts on this.. KI – Arizona

    38. Stompedonmyrights says:

      #37 KI-Arizona: thanks for the supportive input. I too was ruled by fear until I got an education. I learned that our government is like a wayward child, not at all interested in the rules of fair play, not interested in the meaning of the words in the constitution. I learned that they only give lip serves to the found fathers’ dream of a country without tyrants.
      I’m not sure that any revolution “historically” has or can be totally peaceful but when you think about it, our culture did not fire the first shot, we did not draw first blood.
      I am against violence and war, I know that those who normally pay with their lives in these acts are not the warring folks but the children and others not in the fight, it is those people who become the victims.
      We can fight without drawing anyones blood or damaging the planet. It is simple and I know I have said it before. Plant Your Seeds! Don’t throw any of your seeds in the trachcan, plant them. Plant them in the on the state capital grounds, on foreclosed property, alleys, city planters, divided highway partitions, indoor government planters, city flower planters, the lawns of those in government. Let our seeds march for us. Don’t stop planting cannabis seeds until the government fly their white flag on this issue. Put these plants in their faces. Those people in states where the plant grows wild know that each plant can have thousand of seeds, collect them and sow them in the government’s direction. This will also confuse and strip our nation’s Law Enforcement of their resources. This act can and will draw them away from those real crops and help protect our beloved American Cannabis Growers.
      Be a herbal gorilla!

    39. KI - Arizona says:

      #38 -Stompeonmyrights

      I LOVE it, herbal gorillas unite!!

      It is said that with the faith of a mustard seed you can move mountains. I agree with you and say, with the faith of a cannibis seed we can move America.

      Namaste

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