'Reefer Mad' Mainstream Media Does It Again

UPDATE!!! In a 12/29 e-mail communication with the San Diego Union-Tribune‘s Newsroom Operations Manager (in reference to their coverage below), she pledges: “I will follow up with our online staff right now. We will get it corrected or taken down.” Yet, as of 11am pst today the story still appears online in its original form. Those who live in southern California may also wish to voice their opinion at: http://www.signonsandiego.com/contactus/.
For anyone who missed the worldwide corporate media’s hysterical anti-pot headlines last week, here’s a sampling:

Cannabis more damaging to adolescent brains than previously known
via Emax Health
“New research shows that teens who consume cannabis daily can suffer anxiety and depression. Smoking marijuana can have long-term irreversible effects on adolescent brains, and is more harmful to teens than previously known.”
Teen marijuana use affects brain permanently: study
via CBC News
“The findings suggest daily marijuana use by teens can cause depression and anxiety, and have an irreversible effect on the brain.”
Pot damage on teens worse than thought
via UPI wire services
“Daily consumption of marijuana in teens can cause depression and anxiety, and have irreversible long-term effect on the brain, Canadian researchers say.”
Cannabis brain damage worse in teens than thought: study
via The Canadian Press
“The effects of daily cannabis use on teenage brains is worse than originally thought, and the long-term effects appear to be irreversible, new research from McGill University suggests.”

Sounds scary, huh? It’s meant to. Only there’s three serious problems with the mainstream media’s alarmist coverage.
1) No adolescents — or for that matter, any human beings whatsoever — actually participated in the study.
2) No actual cannabis was consumed in the study.
3) No permanent brain damage was reported in the study.
Don’t believe me? Well then, check out the actual source of the headlines yourself.

Chronic exposure to cannabinoids during adolescence but not during adulthood impairs emotional behaviour and monoaminergic neurotransmission
via PubMed
“We tested this hypothesis by administering the CB(1) receptor agonist WIN55,212-2, once daily for 20 days to adolescent and adult rats. … Chronic adolescent exposure but not adult exposure to low (0.2 mg/kg) and high (1.0 mg/kg) doses led to depression-like behaviour in the forced swim and sucrose preference test, while the high dose also induced anxiety-like consequences in the novelty-suppressed feeding test. … These (findings) suggest that long-term exposure to cannabinoids during adolescence induces anxiety-like and depression-like behaviours in adulthood and that this may be instigated by serotonergic hypoactivity and noradrenergic hyperactivity.”

To summarize: Investigators administered daily doses of a highly potent synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN,55,212-2 to both adolescent rats and adult rats for 20 days. Days following their exposure, researchers documented altered serotonin production in younger rats. (Why investigators presumed that the change in serotonin production would be permanent I have no idea. After the initial 20-day waiting period, researchers do not appear to have tested the rats’ serotonin levels ever again.) Researchers also documented supposed depression-like and anxiety-like behavior in certain rats, based on various elaborate animal models and preference tests.
Yet somehow based on this speculative preclinical evidence, the mainstream media — in unison — proclaimed:

Reefer badness
via San Diego Tribune
“A study of Canadian teenagers … found that smoking the illicit drug is harder on young brains than originally thought. Writing in the journal Neurobiology of Disease, researchers at McGill University in Montreal said daily consumption of cannabis in teens can cause significant depression and anxiety and have an irreversible long-term effect on the brain.”

In truth, the purported ‘study’ never said anything of the sort!
So why the does the MSM consistently get the story wrong when it comes to pot? You can check out my previous thoughts on the issue here.

0 thoughts

  1. Legalize it and:
    huge tax revenues which could be used for at worst case, free clinics for ppl who wanted off drugs, at best case, free health care for all!!
    also, elimination of illegal dealers > elimination of more crime..
    increased US production > less imported weed > less money supporting foreign terrorists..
    less crooked cops on the take from current ‘dealers’, ‘distributors’, ‘importers’…
    less police resources wasted in the control/ eradication of the plant…
    less waste by foreign governments in the attempt to eradicate…
    boost to the ‘snack-food’ industry !
    a MUCH calmer population !!

  2. Unbeleivable… I don’t get how studys get published and spammed on mainstreeam news when they can never put an actual study that monitered the actual consumption of marijuana.
    I personally think that if pot wasn’t so taboo and all the reefer madness would calm down that kids wouldn’t be looked at depressed because they smoke pot. When I tried pot when I was in high school I enjoyed it a lot but the guilt I felt at home around my parents and my adult friends I looked up to (which now I know at 22 years old they all smoke pot and are advocates themselves but wanted me to wait until 18 or so to really smoke marijuana) If it was more understood and people were comfortable talking about it things would be so much easier.

  3. The mainstream media is owned by the same corporate big whigs who got marijuana illegalized in the 1930s. Don’t think that William Randolph Hearst left it for the paper giants to fight. I’m sure he convinced everyone in most media of the purported ill that cannabis can/will do to the world.
    William Randolph Heart
    William S. Paley (CBS)
    David Sarnoff (NBC)
    Edward Noble (original owner of ABC)
    The Walt Disney Corportation (current owners of ABC)
    Rupert Murdoch
    … the list can go on and on. We all know the story. Its no lie. The proof is out there that this cannabis prohibition is a result of a HUGE CONSPIRACY by corporate giants.
    The tides are changing though. Its just a matter of time before cannabis prohibition ends. I say in the next 3 years.

  4. I really don’t understand how the world will not let marijuana be legal. Alcohol has much more of a threat then weed will ever have. I believe that the government should just legalize and capitalize. If marijuana was legal the government would make a serious profit off of the distribution of it in stores. People that are in prison for marijuana could be let go making room for the “real criminals” to be there. Set an age for people to purchase marijuana like there is for alcohol and tobacco. The article up top focus alot on teens smoking marijuana, which is possibly true, but there is alot more stuff teens do that should as bad as marijuana. Teens drink alcohol and go drunk driving all the time and noone is trying to make alcohol illegal they’ll lose too much money doing that, same as tobacco. It’s just funny because America wants marijuana to be illegal yet you can go to the majority of stores and buy pipes, bongs, bowls, blunts etc. It doesn’t make sense.
    Ron b.
    New Jersey

  5. This should be published and broadcasted all over the news. Seriously, this shows exactly what the media does to the simple minded viewers

  6. I really don’t understand how the world will not let marijuana be legal. Alcohol has much more of a threat then weed will ever have. I believe that the government should just legalize and capitalize. If marijuana was legal the government would make a serious profit off of the distribution of it in stores. People that are in prison for marijuana could be let go making room for the “real criminals” to be there. Set an age for people to purchase marijuana like there is for alcohol and tobacco. The article up top focuses alot on teens smoking marijuana, which is possibly true, but there is alot more stuff teens do that should be as bad as marijuana. Teens drink alcohol and go drunk driving all the time and noone is trying to make alcohol illegal they’ll lose too much money doing that, same as tobacco. It’s just funny because America wants marijuana to be illegal yet you can go to the majority of stores and buy pipes, bongs, bowls, blunts etc. It doesn’t make sense.
    Ron b.
    New Jersey

  7. Well isn’t that typical presently the media is in the business of making the news not reporting the news they are indeed the fourth branch of the government.

  8. I’ve been smoking since I was twelve, so I probably qualify for some sort of disability check, right?

  9. its why I say that we must continue to push 21 and up, high school, at 18, with a card, cant happen…kids, with cards, cant happen…Those stories, are tough to read as I understand what it was like growing up needing it and not knowing it was there to help…but…we cant push legalization with this mothers giving their kids pot headlines that lead to this kind of stuff from a silly “study”

  10. Unbelievable. It’s very scary when major news sources begin reporting such appalling misinformation because then you really don’t know who can trust. And to lie over something so stupid as a harmless drug like marijuana is just disgusting. Thanks for explaining these studies.

  11. wow..our government is AWESOME! ha.. fake out. let’s cut the crap and let us humans decided for ourselves what we want to put into OUR bodies.

  12. Why can’t One of the many news stations out there tell us about this instead of bein like every one else and jumpin off the bridge. One day all of this is gonna come to light, and the credibility of every news station that lied like this will be shot. Everyone will start goin to online sources for their daily news and we can replace all the crappy news stations with something worth-while.

  13. Exactly why I don’t condone anyone under a certain age medicating without consent from a physician. False prophets. It’s easy to hate what you don’t understand. It’s obvious that they now know theirs no way of turning some peoples minds as to the value of this commodity. So they go straight for the minds that are more susceptible to the propaganda and fear mongering. By going for are youth they know they can get to the parents/soon to be parents as well. Two birds one stone? They’ve given up on trying to persuade us otherwise so they go for the next generation. It’s how it’s done. They said it themselves. When you are at a stage where your brain is yet to be fully developed then you shouldn’t be experimenting with anything that will hurt the brains development. Stress? Could that harm a developing brain? Too much sugar? Am I also to believe that no kids go through depression and anxiety without experimenting with this herb or that it just increases the chances? Are children so fixated on the depression and anxiety or are we? Or are they trying to make everyone feel like when they experiment with this herb that they should feel depression and anxiety therefore it heightens the senses to that? If you can grasp the concept of moderation and self-control then all the better. Pressure is everywhere these days and people are looking for a way to reduce the pressure and stress without completely turning into a vegetable. This herb does exactly that for many people who know how it effects them personally without the propaganda. Only time will tell. What will it say?

  14. How can you believe anybody that manipulates little Children in life or death situations to lie ,use deception and propaganda to deceive you ………
    Neurobiology ; This study undoubtably has some connection by Pharma. & they say this to steer you against Cannabis usage for one reason only ………so you’ll take their drugs .
    More lies …………..

  15. IMHO another concern is that they used synthetic cannabinoids. This smacks of the same synthetic vs natural discordance as the comparison of harmful synthetic progestins vs all-natural, bio-identical progesterone or the failed “select” prostate cancer test which used synthetic dl-alpha tocopherol-acetate (which is made from a pertroleum base) vs the natural d-alpha variety which comes from vegetable oil or wheat germ. In all three of these comparisons the ends dictated the choice of unhealthy synthetic means, dooming the results and damning the test organizers.

  16. New study shows that 100 percent of rats hit with hammers suffer severe damage to the brain…
    At least my study has basis in fact…

  17. Pretty weird how it was just a week ago that we also found out that more teens were smoking marijuana than drinking alcohol or smoking tobacco…

  18. Same ole same ole… Fear is what they live on and it has always worked well for them. Them being those at the elite level giving the directives to promote this crap. They are invested in the status quo so anything that may infringe on that gets dealt with this way to keep the unwitting masses on their side.
    Actually I didn’t even know that seritonin could even be measured.

    This is actually something that we need to do. And do it NOW!

  20. It’s a real shame that marijuana has gotten a bad rap since “CANABISION” began. Hopefully as more “ACTUAL” studies are done things will change. It’s only been used for medicine for at least 47,000,000 years!

  21. That is what your tax dollars pay’s for and I guarantee you that this was pushed through by the ONDCP or one of it’s agencies and probably helped edit it too sound as bad as possible,as usual. The only thing to do is list the complete studies link to expose the editing and false innuendo for what it is,more propaganda.
    [Paul Armentano responds: This preclinical study was actually performed in Canada, not the U.S. Still, the main issue isn’t so much with the methodology of the study as it is with how it was falsely reported.]

  22. Funny this specious story should come from research at McGill. From what I understand, McGill is a BIG pothead school.

  23. If WIN 55212-2 has a much higer affinity at the receptor site than does THC, how large of a gap would that create between data trying to be conveyed as relating directly to cannabis-derived cannabinoids and the data saying that they aren’t using natural cannabinoids in the first place? Also, I believe we need to be using the word anandamide more often as it is the true endocannabinoid.

  24. Is it possible to make the newspaper print a retraction since they are falsifying their information?
    I am sorry but I am not conversant with the policies pertaining to truth in reporting but it would seem to me that their should be some kind of legal action or something that can be done to hold these purported “news agencies” accountable for the lies and propaganda they are disseminating.
    [Paul Armentano responds: Yes it is, and NORML has specifically called for the San Diego Union Tribune to issue a retraction, as there coverage was arguably the most egregiously inaccurate.]

  25. And let’s skip the claim that by legalizing MJ society will be more able to keep this ‘dangerous’ drug from the reach of adolesence. Whereas, NOW it is easier to obtain than either alcohol or cigarettes since those who sell MJ tend not to ask for ID.

  26. Understood the problem was with the publishing of the studies findings and the fact that it was done in Canada means what? Since the ONDCP is required to fight legalization any way necessary,borders mean nothing in hiring studies to find harm and after reading what I could find on the study,it sounded like they went into the study,trying to find harm. It is what makes their propaganda studies so easy to recognize. If the study had been to find a medical use for the chemicals and compounds used and the evidence of harm had been”discovered” during the process, then,to me,it would sound believable.
    And another way to look at this information is to say;
    So What! We Are trying to legalize marijuana to remove the profit from marijuana and remove the dealers that are selling to our teenagers. Legalize and regulate.
    [Paul Armentano responds: NIDA provides grant funding for marijuana related research in the US and also abroad, not ONDCP.]

  27. assuming arguendo that this nonsense is true -only the more reason to legalize and regulate to prevent minors from consuming…

  28. Well she-it, I’d probably show signs of depression too , if someone was injecting some she-it, multiple times daily in me ! Besides who the funk ever watches mslsd anyway ?

  29. Last I checked my children weren’t RATS! They all seemed to fair well, and I don’t think I’ve done too bad either and I smoked pot as a teen.

  30. Holy Smokes. Who wants kids smoking pot with legaliztion. Nobody. But, the people who make a living from the prohibition of marijuana would lead you to believe that it is true. I do not want kids smoking pot. I do not want kids drinking alcohol. I do not want kids smoking tobacco. The “vices” are to be used by resonsible adults (Well, so goes the resonsible adults in the tobacco industry). The whole idea is for harm reduction with the controlled and regulated policy for adult use and cultivation of marijuana.
    Universal Life Church of the Holy Smokes

  31. Typical nonsense and media irresponsibility…the headlines scream lies but no one is there, except for the few, to correct the lies. Sickening when you think about it; to take some rat study that has NO relation whatsoever to human use of herb..and try to insinuate something totally NOT true, as being true. It is the textbook definition of a lie, and the liars that do this are scum.
    The corrupt government pays vast monies every year to so called ‘ scientists ‘ to look for negative things about pot. Never positive, always negative…or they get turned down for funding.
    Since they cannot find anything really bad about pot, they have to resort to such crap..maybe a sign we are close to victory….I hope so.

  32. HEY! The one listed as Canadian Press has a little bar for requesting correction! It actually lists grammar and FACTS! So of course I sent in the FACTS. When done reporting to them you get a thank you message :
    Thank you for writing us. We will try to address every report sent to thestar.com and regret we can not respond to submissions in person. Personal information requested above is for verification process only and won’t appear on thestar.com without your consent. Read our privacy policy.
    Isn’t the STAR like ENQUIRER? Don’t they do reports like “my baby’s daddy is an alien” with photo’s of some gray outer space alien next to it?

  33. Paul,I believe that Dr. Taskin reported that NIDA was under the ONDCP’s directions on harm studies for marijuana and especially the one he reports that marijuana doesn’t cause cancer.
    It may not have been the ONDCP drug czar that ordered this,it could have been paid for by any of several organizations or industries that stand to lose millions if marijuana is removed from schedule 1.
    The fact remains that this was a study with the goal of finding harm.
    We need a person with the tech knowledge to figure out how much natural marijuana would be required to give those poor baby rats the same amount of the “dangerous compounds used in the study. Then how much a teenager would have to smoke to do the possible damage.

  34. Even IF those claims were 100% true, then it just makes even more sense for us to legalize it. As pro-marijuana supporters have been saying for years, “DEALERS DON’T ID.” So we’re allowing our children (who by the way can access marijuana much easier than alcohol) to purchase street-grade marijuana without IDs. How does that make any sense? Please, prohibitionists, QUIT discriminating against POT! That’s exactly what you’re doing. Where are the studies about 13-year-olds ingesting alcohol? We won’t stand for it though, 2010 YEAR OF CHANGE!

  35. Evidently this “study” has to do with the written word and not actual data. The writers of these “studies” rely more on words than fact. That is the problem with so called cannabis studies by anticannabis proponents. Regulize

  36. Networks are warming up to the idea, but still wary. Watch and share the videos at CannabisTV.org and CannabisTV.blip.tv with potential patients, friends and family. Education is the gateway to activism.

  37. Canada has nothing to do with it . Did America not have the power to take out , Marc Emery or anyone else that opposes us anywhere in the World ? Have you forgotten the 25 plus million dollar reward for Osama Bin Laden’s ass ?
    I was in the service ( military ) & the only one drug the military hates is Marijuana . Meth & the other drugs the penalty is by far less severe even though these other drugs are way more damaging . During war times they don’t care too much if your snorting speed , meth , etc. but , oh no not
    Marijuana .Marijuana is the Devil in the military . Why ? It is a peaceful drug that does not create aggression like the other drugs . War brings money &
    power over the World . Ever hear the term……….war is Hell ? That’s right it is Hell & God’s gift to us was this plant called Cannabis to
    create peace & this is one of the reasons why our Government does not want you to use Marijuana . This is because it’s a peaceful drug . A drug that does not create aggression or violence . This is why the
    ” Truth Doctor ” said ” I tell you in advance that when Marijuana is legal throughout the World it will be then that the World will be at peace ” .

  38. Big Gov here to save the day again! Well, the Big Gov can eat shit! They should a thought about the dangers of substances before they let freakin alcohol, tobacco and big pharma rule our lives with the shit they put out on the legal “market” every day. God damn, 308 people died in my county in south florida from prescription drugs this last year. How may died from cannabis you assholes! When you try to put a man away for a year for stinking 20 grams of the herb! Thats less than an ounce! I don’t see a God damn shred of freakin evidence that cannabis is harmful. In fact the evidence points to the contrary. ‘Im not selling my soul to these greedy selfish pricks they can all fek off.

  39. Thanks , Anonimous .
    You’ve certainly got the Point . Satan has again deceived everyone . Canada was used to deceive you . Next Satan may use Italy or some other Country . As i said before Satan has a grip on the World & his most powerful tool Satan uses is
    deception .
    Satan is the master of deception .
    Revelation 12 ; 9
    ……. ” called the Devil & Satan , who deceives the whole World “.
    Matthew 24;4
    ” Watch out that no one deceives you for many will come in my name claimimg i am the Christ & will deceive many ” .
    The closer we get to voting on November 2010 to legalize Marijuana
    ( in Cali.) more great & greater deceptions will
    appear ( as above )& during this time many will claim to be Pro Marijuana but , will actually the Beast in disguise & deceive many .
    Be aware . For have told you these things in advance .

  40. I am 17 years of young age, and I have been smoking Cannabis since I was 13. I don’t smoke every day, but I do smoke quite a bit. I have never been depressed at all during my years if smoking Cannabis. There are times though were if I don’t smoke for awhile I get a bit pissy at times, but thats because Addiction runs in my family(Alcohol killed my great-grandfather, my grandfather, and my father drinks a 30-case every 2 days)so no matter what I would use, wether it be Nicotine or Alcohol, Cocaine or Cannabis, I will always have some sort of mental dependence on it. But, I figured that a Cannabis “addiction” would be much safer than an addiction to Nicotine or Alcohol. These studies are completlely bogus, and until I am apart of these studies, I will refuse to believe every single one of them.

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