Alternet: “Five Scientific Conclusions About Cannabis That The Mainstream Media Doesn’t Want You To Know”July 30, 2012
Writing in the journal Science some four decades ago, New York State University sociologist Erich Goode documented the mainstream media’s complicity in maintaining cannabis prohibition.
He observed: “[T]ests and experiments purporting to demonstrate the ravages of marijuana consumption receive enormous attention from the media, and their findings become accepted as fact by the public. But when careful refutations of such research are published, or when later findings contradict the original pathological findings, they tend to be ignored or dismissed.”
A review of today’s mainstream media landscape indicates that little has changed. While studies touting the purported dangers of cannabis are frequently pushed by the federal government and, therefore, all but assured mainstream media coverage, scientific conclusions rebutting pot propaganda or demonstrating potential positive aspects of the herb often tend to go unreported.
Writing today on the website Alternet.org, I explore five recent scientific findings regarding cannabis that have gone all but unnoticed by the corporate media.
Click here for the full story.
Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), the primary sponsor of HR 2306: The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011, appeared on ‘This Week with Christiane Amanpour’ on ABC with fellow guests George Will of the Washington Post and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).
The conversation found its way to marijuana legalization which led to Barney Frank calling out the hypocrisy of most of his conservative colleagues.
“It’s a great embarrassment to the conservatives,” said Frank, “They want to tell people who they can have sex with. Come on, all this is big government! Who can I have sex with? Who can I marry? What can I read? What can I smoke? You guys, on the whole — not all of you — but the conservatives are the ones who intrude on personal liberty there.”
The debate got heated between Frank and George Will. “I mean, personal liberty, if someone wants to smoke marijuana who’s an adult, why do you want to make them go to jail?” Frank questioned.
“I need to know more about whether it’s a gateway drug to other drugs, I need to know how you’re going to regulate it,” George Will replied.
“Anything is a gateway to anything,” Representative Frank shot back, “That’s the slippery slope argument which is a very anti-libertarian argument. The fact that if somebody is doing something that’s not in itself wrong, that it might lead later on to something else then stop the something else. Don’t lock them up for smoking marijuana.”
Will defended himself claiming, “What you’re calling a cop-out, I’m calling a quest for information.”
“How long’s it going to last, George?” Frank asked, “We’ve been doing this for decades.”
Watch the clip below:
MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell: “I Really Don’t Know How [Prohibitionists] Sleep at Night…Without the Booze.”October 19, 2011
Tuesday night, on his program “The Last Word,” Lawrence O’Donnell took an impassioned stance against marijuana prohibition while reporting on the recently released Gallup legalization poll.
O’Donnell, who formerly served as Staff Director of the Senate Finance Committee, notes the disconnect between the public opinion on this issue and policy coming from elected officials.
“In a democracy,” he stated, “we should expect such a dramatic shift in public opinion to be reflected in our public officials, but support for marijuana legalization in the United States Senate…has gone from 0% in 1968 to 0% in 2011.”
O’Donnell then rightfully attacked the Obama Administration’s insistence on keeping marijuana a schedule I substance.
“Now we know that no one in the Obama Administration is stupid enough to actually think [marijuana is as dangerous as heroin], but we also know politicians have no intention of facing reality anytime soon when it comes to marijuana. Politicians will continue to allow young lives to be ruined for mere possession of marijuana; politicians will continue to allow people to be arrested. [They will] allow people to go to jail, allow people to be arrested, allow people to get criminal records, get kicked out of school, be turned down for jobs just because they’ve used marijuana, something more than one president has done and gotten away with.”
In the conclusion to his segment, he unabashedly calls out our country’s elected officials for their hypocrisy on the issue, as many of them have no hesitation to indulge in the legal, more dangerous alternative.
“Senators, members of Congress, presidents, vice presidents, and Supreme Court justices are going to continue to get high, many of them every day and every night. Many of them will do it publicly, and loudly, and legally at restaurants and campaign fundraisers and at state dinners,” O’Donnell said, “They will raise their glasses and get high and they will continue to put people in jail for using a harmless, non-liquid way of getting high like marijuana. Such hypocrisy carries an even stronger stench than the alcohol-drenched breath of those politicians and judges and prosecutors and DEA officials. I really don’t know how they can sleep at night…without the booze.”
If more mainstream media journalists begin embracing the issue with the same intensity and comprehension as Lawrence O’Donnell displayed on his program last night, the end of the war on cannabis might be closer than we think.
You can view the segment in its entirety below:
The First Amendment is the latest casualty of the Obama Administration’s stepped up war on cannabis.
On Wednesday, the US Attorney for the southern district of California, Laura Duffy, announced her intent to target media outlets — in particular alt-weeklies like the San Diego Reader and the San Francisco Bay Guardian — that accept advertising dollars from medical cannabis operations.
via California Watch
U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy, whose district includes Imperial and San Diego counties, said marijuana advertising is the next area she’s “going to be moving onto as part of the enforcement efforts in Southern California.” Duffy said she could not speak for the three other U.S. attorneys covering the state but noted their efforts have been coordinated so far.
“I’m not just seeing print advertising,” Duffy said in an interview with California Watch and KQED. “I’m actually hearing radio and seeing TV advertising. It’s gone mainstream. Not only is it inappropriate – one has to wonder what kind of message we’re sending to our children – it’s against the law.”
… Duffy said she believes the law gives her the right to prosecute newspaper publishers or TV station owners.
“If I own a newspaper … or I own a TV station, and I’m going to take in your money to place these ads, I’m the person who is placing these ads,” Duffy said. “I am willing to read (the law) expansively and if a court wants to more narrowly define it, that would be up to the court.”
Whether or not Duffy’s unconventional interpretation of federal law has any legal merit is, of course, beside the point. Her intent is to create a climate of fear that is so pervasive that media outlets ‘willingly’ cease accepting advertising revenue from dispensaries and other like-minded business.
Such threats are nothing new for the federal government, which in recent months has successfully utilized similar tactics to coerce state and local banks to drop their accounts with state-sanctioned marijuana-related businesses and to intimidate landlords who rent their properties to tenants involved in medical cannabis facilities.
Yet despite the government’s heavy-handed behavior, California bureaucrats have remained largely — and disappointingly — silent regarding the Justice Department’s intimidatory tactics. That is why it is more important than ever that you send the Obama Administration a clear and consistent message here.
It was just last Thursday that the White House launched their petition website, “We the People.” That morning, NORML submitted a petition calling for the legalization of marijuana. In just four short days the petition has received over 35,000 signatures, making it the most signed petition on the website by nearly 15,000 names. Thousands of Americans are calling upon President Obama to end marijuana prohibition and more are joining in every minute.
While the caliber of the President’s response may, in the end, be questionable, what is unquestionable is that this outpouring of support generated a large, positive, media buzz for marijuana legalization. Including coverage on the Dylan Ratigan Show on MSNBC.
International Business Times:
Marijuana Legalization is Top Issue in White House Petition
New York Times Blog:
A Petitioning System Goes to Pot, and More
Local News Affiliates:
Such as KLTV7 in Missouri
If you haven’t already, you can join the 35,000+ Americans taking a stand for marijuana legalization by clicking the button below: