Newspapers Love to Leave Out Other Substances When Reporting on Cannabis

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A little skepticism is healthy for anyone trying to discern what is true and not in the modern news cycle. Many major news organizations are prone to repeating what they see published elsewhere without verifying the details. More importantly, the rise of mobile internet culture, as opposed to desktop internet culture, has lent itself to what is now known as click-bait headlines. Newspapers or magazines, desperate to grab the attention of increasingly oversaturated media consumers will often make headlines as dramatic and ridiculous as possible.

After adult recreational cannabis legalization in some states, for example, news organizations were quick to report an increase in cannabis-related car crashes and more importantly, fatal crashes. What they didn’t report on or control for in those reports was the presence of other substances in the bloodstream of the drivers who caused the crashes.

More honest and in-depth analysis of impaired crash statistics makes it pretty clear that cannabis alone doesn’t really seem lead to an increase in crashes. The problem comes when people combine cannabis with other mind-altering substances. Whether those substances are psychiatric drugs, illegal street drugs, popular herbal supplements, or just alcohol, there is a lot to be said about the presence of secondary substances in a person’s bloodstream. For some reason, the presence of those other substances never seems as concerning to people as the presence of cannabinoids, which may not even indicate impairment, just past use of cannabis.

Just this last week, several news outlets were quick to jump on a report indicating that parents who use cannabis may be more likely to physically discipline their children inappropriately. However, closer examination of the source material once again made it clear that it was not cannabis alone that was the problem. Instead, the problem most closely related to parents who used a combination of alcohol and cannabis.

It is beyond frustrating that news outlets are still so hyped up on reefer madness that they can’t differentiate between the chemical impact of cannabinoids alone and cannabinoids mixed with other psychoactive substances. The combination of alcohol and THC is not always pretty. Some people can have a beer and smoke a joint without any real problem. Other people find that while their tolerance of cannabis and alcohol alone is at a normal adult level, they struggle with intense impairment when they combine the two.

Instead of investigating the synergistic effect of alcohol and cannabis on one another and reporting on that as a topic of interest, too many journalists and news organizations are happy to point to statistics that show people mixing substances as evidence of the harm that cannabis creates.

One could argue that the harm is most likely more closely related with a culture that has forced most adults to self-medicate and numb themselves out to deal with the stresses of daily life and a dehumanizing corporate employment situation.

Here at Ladybud, we are always on the lookout for inaccurate reporting regarding cannabis. We encourage our readers not to jump onto hyped-up stories that don’t fully examine or explain the presence of other substances in someone’s bloodstream. Cannabis alone is almost never the issue.

Newspapers Love to Leave Out Other Substances When Reporting on Cannabis

A little skepticism is healthy for anyone trying to discern what is true and not in the modern news cycle. Many major news organizations are prone to repeating what they see published elsewhere without verifying the details. More importantly, the rise of mobile internet culture, as opposed to desktop internet culture, has lent itself to what is now known as click-bait headlines. Newspapers or magazines, desperate to grab the attention of increasingly oversaturated media consumers will often make headlines as dramatic and ridiculous as possible.

After adult recreational cannabis legalization in some states, for example, news organizations were quick to report an increase in cannabis-related car crashes and more importantly, fatal crashes. What they didn’t report on or control for in those reports was the presence of other substances in the bloodstream of the drivers who caused the crashes.

More honest and in-depth analysis of impaired crash statistics makes it pretty clear that cannabis alone doesn’t really seem lead to an increase in crashes. The problem comes when people combine cannabis with other mind-altering substances. Whether those substances are psychiatric drugs, illegal street drugs, popular herbal supplements, or just alcohol, there is a lot to be said about the presence of secondary substances in a person’s bloodstream. For some reason, the presence of those other substances never seems as concerning to people as the presence of cannabinoids, which may not even indicate impairment, just past use of cannabis.

Just this last week, several news outlets were quick to jump on a report indicating that parents who use cannabis may be more likely to physically discipline their children inappropriately. However, closer examination of the source material once again made it clear that it was not cannabis alone that was the problem. Instead, the problem most closely related to parents who used a combination of alcohol and cannabis.

It is beyond frustrating that news outlets are still so hyped up on reefer madness that they can’t differentiate between the chemical impact of cannabinoids alone and cannabinoids mixed with other psychoactive substances. The combination of alcohol and THC is not always pretty. Some people can have a beer and smoke a joint without any real problem. Other people find that while their tolerance of cannabis and alcohol alone is at a normal adult level, they struggle with intense impairment when they combine the two.

Instead of investigating the synergistic effect of alcohol and cannabis on one another and reporting on that as a topic of interest, too many journalists and news organizations are happy to point to statistics that show people mixing substances as evidence of the harm that cannabis creates.

One could argue that the harm is most likely more closely related with a culture that has forced most adults to self-medicate and numb themselves out to deal with the stresses of daily life and a dehumanizing corporate employment situation.

Here at Ladybud, we are always on the lookout for inaccurate reporting regarding cannabis. We encourage our readers not to jump onto hyped-up stories that don’t fully examine or explain the presence of other substances in someone’s bloodstream. Cannabis alone is almost never the issue.

For previous Ladybud articles about media bias, click here.