NORML's Reefer Madness Du Jour: Bad Journalism 101

Ummm…if marijuana was deemed not responsible for Mr. Lewis’ death, why the lead in the headline regarding marijuana?
C-L-A-S-S-I-C media Reefer Madness!
Coroner’s report: Lewis had marijuana in system

Feb 04, 2010 1:21 PM

KY (WFIE) – USI basketball player Jeron Lewis died of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy according to the final report issued by the Daviess County coroner.
Toxicology tests showed Lewis also had marijuana in his system when he collapsed in a game against Kentucky Wesleyan January 14.  There is no evidence the marijuana contributed to his death, however.
Lewis fell to the floor at the Owensboro Sportscenter late in the game.  He went into cardiac arrest and died on the way to the Owensboro Medical Health System emergency room.
Daviess County coroner Bob Howe conducted an autopsy the day after Lewis died and indicated that the senior from Ft. Wayne had an enlarged heart.
The final report, issued Thursday, confirmed that Lewis’ death came as a result of a previously unknown heart condition.

0 thoughts

  1. Did at least say that marijuana didn’t contribute to his death. However, what was the freaking point of even releasing that marijuana was in his system if it had not contributed to his death? I would be steaming mad if I was the family of the player. No sense in soiling his name because of his choice in how he decided to medicate himself.

  2. Why even mention it at all? If its irrelevant, its irrelevant. He might have also had rolaids in his system, but that’s none of anybody’s damn business, is it?

  3. This one seems a little paranoid. It is a bad slug but it could have just been a follow-up. If that had been a big story in the area, the marijuana information could have been a recent development which obviously only merited one solid paragraph or so.
    However, it is a sad state of things when that is a huge issue. If he would have had 6 beers the night before it would have been no big deal.

  4. Yet another sad attempt to associate marijuana with a matter regarding fatality to make it seem dangerous or harmful. Very pointless title.

  5. Thats KY for you! Most in KY are still living back in the dark ages. The few that do believe that marijuana or medical marijuana should be legal are terrified. They are so scared of putting there name on a petition because they are afraid of raids. In KY growing more than 5 plants is a felony and 2 possession charges are a felony. If a person got caught with seed or a roach years ago and then got caught with the same thing they would be looking at 1 to 5 years in prison! If you get caught growing more than 5 plants twice no matter how big they are, you would be looking at 5 to 10 years. How ridiculous are these laws? The article above only shows that the law enforcement has there hands in the media’s pockets! I am so tired of people putting down what the lord has given us. They say they are religious around here, why don’t they read the first book of the bible? They don’t do that cause it doesn’t fit there needs. I am calling on all Kentuckians and all Americans to stand up and be heard! STOP BEING SCARED AND STAND UP FOR WHAT IS RIGHT!

  6. they only do that because alot of ppl only skim over headlines so when someone sees “dead man had marijuana in his system” people are going to think that mj was the cause if they didnt take the time to read the article. bullshit i tell ya

  7. THIS ALWAYS FREAKING HAPPENS! the minute something like this happens the media gobles it up and says marijuana was the main cause of it. I think its sad that the media can get away with this kind of stuff they just want the masses to support cannabis prohibition because they know that the minute they demonize it people wont bother to do honest research on it and know the truth.

  8. A man was arrested for murder last night in New York. Prior to the murder, it’s being reported he visited the grocery store.

  9. Wow, thats a bit ridiculous don’t you think? Poor church going conservatives will read this “credible” information and thus be armed with another broken spear.

  10. Great, good to see that there is such awesome journalism here in Kentucky. VOTE RAND PAUL and lets get some changes going!

  11. The leading statement should read, “…died of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a condition caused by an enlarged heart, according to the…”
    Please note “…had marijuana in his system…” does not indicate he was “high”, only that he had used cannabis sometime in the last month or so.
    My condolences go out to his family and friends.

  12. Media will do anything to give marijuana a bad image, but chances are that many of their own employees at these news/radio/television companies are marijuana users. /sigh Come on California and legalize already so the domino effect will roll across the country. <3

  13. This is another reason a HUGE issue should be made of the state of Drug Testing in this country. This young man will now be looked at by the majority as being a “druggie”. Most have no idea that a positive drug test for MJ can show over 30 days past use, can show a false positive, that is almost impossible to argue against, and does not prove that he was under the influence while on the court. Drug testing should be struck down as unconstitutional, an invasion to the citizens privacy. Not even in a court of law is an individual forced to testify against himself, but employers are permitted to do it on a daily basis, and without recourse permitted to ruin a workers life, based on failed science.

  14. wow thats stupid they should look into his death even more and even worse it said he had heart problems (i think i cant remember 100%) and if he did he shouldnt have been smoking (it speeds up ur heart sam eprincipal with smoking) they need to look into his past for other drug use what about amphetamines or cocaine herion my unclue had a heart attack at 32 because he put all his money in his nose when he was 16.
    this is off topic but im asked my friend if he could hold my stuff for me as i thought i got busted be he returned it smoked 90$ worth of weed took my screens and lighters and just threw all my shit back almost breaking my pipe so i had to take 15 minutes to go back and organize what he messed up some friend right ? what does everyone else think would you be pissed off as well i also asked if i could at least get some of my weed back he is being a real prick he wont give me anythign his reason? well you let me hold onto your things

  15. Thats Just it his heart was already enlarged and i never heard of marijuana causing enlarged heart. This is just another one of there B.S. stories to continue there fight.They just as well giv up cuz we are not giving up

  16. A little off the subject but just seen that Sarah Palin might run in 2012, whats her take on the maryjane legalization? Anyone know?

  17. I live in Kentucky, fairly close to Owensboro, and I did not hear about Lewis’ death until it was found that marijuana was in his system. This is a very conservative area. If the article said he was on meth, the majority of people wouldn’t notice a difference. They are both drugs and therefore evil around here. It is really annoying, and makes it hard to convince people that pot isn’t nearly as dangerous as they think when there first thought is “BUT IT’S EVIL!!!”

  18. Why isn’t this story associated with possible steroid use? Oh yeah I forgot, steroids don’t stay in your system for over a month after cessation of use!

  19. I don’t even wanna think about what kind of state your country will slip into if that waste of space becomes even vice president.
    Sensationalist propaganda.

  20. It is all about spin. The writer of the article must either be a prohibitionist or be working for an editor that is. Whether the writer or the editor chose the headline,we will probably never know.
    We are going to have to take our right to use marijuana back from our federal government,one state at a time.
    And marijuana will remain schedule 1 until all 50 states have medical marijuana laws in place. They are just that stupid and greedy.

  21. im from calhoun ky, just below owensboro and i know that what daniel said above is true. My parents just recently drug tested me and of course found only THC. they actually (ironically) said exactly “Marijuana is EVIL!” i had to have a sit-down with them, explained the facts of my marijuana use (i just cant eat and cant maintain weight at all, yet they wanted me to be on pills and see a shrink for it…crazy?!) so i use responsibly to help me maintain some stability in my weight and of course i just enjoy smoking weed, but they want me to stop, or they’d pull their finances. They said “we’d rather you be mad at us and (consequently) have a bad relationship with them than to smoke weed.” But its how close-minded everyone is down here. i also explained that alcoholism is a trait thats carried on both sides of my family, but they are okay with my under-age brother drinking. I hope someday to get out of this environment or have a noble, honest politician get into office that can educate the public.

  22. # 19: Palin is a flip flopper on this issue. She’s a former pot smoker, but only stopped smoking after it was recriminalized in Alaska. She’s a bimbo too. Why anyone would even consider her as a legitimate candidate is beyond comprehension.But Americans are funny that way. We elected a chimpanzee not once but twice even after he had started bankrupting our country – and we elected him because he seemed like a guy we can all have a beer with.
    Now everyone is blaming Obama for what Bushchimp did – when in reality Obama was elected as revenge for what the Bushchimp did. America is still a racist nation and we really hate the idea of a black man as our president, it’s just too politically incorrect to say so.
    The same thing could very well happen with Palin if you are not careful. Don’t elect her because you hate a black president or because she’s hot looking and fullfillis some sort of sexual fantasy. She’s a bimbo!!! She will always be a bimbo and she will always be from Alaska – OUT OF TOUCH!!
    Vote for the pro pot candidate. She will not be pro pot if she runs.

  23. Marijuana is a buzz word right now. They just wanted their article to get more hits/buzz so they misled with the title to get viewers.
    I wish we’d start calling it by its right name, cannabis.

  24. As a Master’s student at USI, I am absolutely appalled at our local media’s demonization of his marijuana use. Of course, marijuana didn’t cause his death – its smoking has never directly caused a single death. He probably enjoyed a bit after working out for hours on end, which I can say I do after my own training and don’t blame him in the least. At the end of the day when all of your muscles are aching, will we really stigmatize the use of a natural herb to bring much needed relief? I’d rather smoke a joint any day than take any big pharma’s pain medicine.
    Marijuana certainly has its place among the athlete’s world, and it’s sad to see that this case is being twisted the way it is.

  25. Yeah this is totally another misinformation thing. Plus it only said he had marijuana in his system. not that he was high at the time or anything, but that he had smoked up in the last 2ish weeks. Also he died of an enlarged heart. More than likely it was caused by some sort of protein or creatine supplement or something to that effect. Those are much more dangerous than marijuana, but since marijuana is the illegal one thats what they talk about. good ol’ yellow journalism. What made it illegal in the first place gives it more reason for people to keep it illegal now.

  26. OWENSBORO, KY (WFIE) – USI basketball player Jeron Lewis died of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy according to the final report issued by the Daviess County coroner.
    Toxicology tests showed Lewis also had nicotine in his system when he collapsed in a game against Kentucky Wesleyan January 14. There is no evidence the nicotine contributed to his death, however.
    Lewis fell to the floor at the Owensboro Sportscenter late in the game. He went into cardiac arrest and died on the way to the Owensboro Medical Health System emergency room.
    Daviess County coroner Bob Howe conducted an autopsy the day after Lewis died and indicated that the senior from Ft. Wayne had an enlarged heart.
    The final report, issued Thursday, confirmed that Lewis’ death came as a result of a previously unknown heart condition.

  27. shouldn’t that be a crime if the media outlets or the newspapers just lie blatently to the public? what accountability do people have these days??? surely not to themselves!

  28. Ill tell you why….It provided the opportunity to associate cannabis with death, even though the report said cannabis wasnt the cause.
    People who dont know any better think like this….
    Marajuana= bad=drug
    Lewid dead=marijuana=badheart=drug=bad
    This is what people see,whether it killed him or not.
    Its just the asscociation.
    Now some that have seen this story will think that if you use cannabis it will cause you to have an enlarged heart and go into cardiac arrest.
    Its propaganda with psychology. This is their way of keeping a relatively beniegn substance illegal.
    Guilt by association….

  29. if he’d had Xanax in his systeml, or diazepam, they’d have sealed his medical records, as they have with the “going postal” phenomenon, which started, ironically, shortly after zoloft i think, went popular… Benzo’s kill people and they seal the records…
    When it’s our seet maryjane, they hold a press release…. it’s insane!

  30. Palin is probably pro-legalization, because in Alaska (the state she was governer for), it is legal to have up to an ounce on you or in your home.

  31. I wonder how much lead, mercury, arsenic, DDT, PDE, PCB’s, and other molecular waste products from the wonders or the modern age.
    My co workers husband was killed sitting in a line at a stop sign, when he was crushed by a dump truck who did not even slow down. During the dump truck drivers trial, the fact that THC was in the victims blood (the dead person) was brought into as evidence to defend the truck driver. Due to my friends job’s ethical statue, she could be found guilty of not turning in a pot user!! She retired, and living off the settlement and pension.

  32. At least they did say the marijuana didn’t contribute to his death.Now if Palin would run on the THC party instead of the Tea Party she would get more votes. But she would still need to write cribnotes on her hand for speeches ,as she did on her tea party speech ,check it out on yahoo buzz.

  33. #37.
    I doubt that, I really really do. Conservative, religious traditional types are the kind of people we are most opposed by.

  34. Just like sex sells… Marijuana sells. Well atleast a lot more than “Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy”

  35. ( Of course they don’t tell you of the Prescription medications or the Wine & beer bottles they found )
    BUFFALO, N.Y. — A 26-year-old Buffalo man remained jailed Monday on charges of holding a 13-year-old runaway in his house for six months, having sex with her more than 100 times and making her baby-sit his 1-year-old son.
    Michael Abdallah pleaded not guilty in Buffalo City Court to second-degree rape, unlawful imprisonment and custodial interference Saturday, a day after being arrested at his home.
    Many questions about the case remain. Police spokesman Michael DeGeorge was unable to say Monday where the 13-year-old girl is now, or how her ordeal ended. She was held from last July to December. Authorities offered no explanation for the time lag preceding his arrest.
    A police report said Abdallah’s apartment had no doorknobs and the exit door could only be opened by using a key to unlock two deadbolts. Police also found marijuana inside the home, the report said

  36. See this story from WPTV.
    This man is facing a year on probation for trying to treat his condition MS. I think he has something like 6 grams on his person. On the local news story on TV they called cannabis an “opiate”. What a bunch of fools.
    They refused to give this man a trial by jury and instead he has to face a year on probation for treating his condition. Now he won’t get the medication he needs and his health will suffer because of it.

  37. Also, there was word that he had monosodium glutamate in his system from take-out chinese, but you don’t see that smeared all over the headlines.
    Just another example of The Truth Will Bear Itself Out in that look what they do with some obscure little link between marijuana and a death. Imagine the hype if there was a co-incidence of marijuana use and increased traffic accidents, it’d be all over the news. But the fact that California and Colorado are probably at least 60& pot smokers and doen’t have an elevated accident rate doesn’t seme to quite make any headlines there, does it?

  38. Heart problems are common among basketball players. All the starting and stopping on the court and the rapid changes in blood pressure puts stress on the heart. If someone has a heart problem, basketball can make it worse. One pro player coming out of LSU, Pete Maravich, died at age 40 from complications of a congenital heart disorder. There was no indication Maravich had been smoking pot.
    Problem is, no sane MSM journalist is going to say the game of basketball kills people, even if it does once in a while. If some unprofessional news person can toss out a stigmatic red herring like marijuana to save basketball, so be it. The attention grabber headline used on the Channel 14 WFIE piece makes it look like a cheap supermarket tabloid.

  39. Jeron Lewis died of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Come on you guys, don’t get mad at the media. That’s just what happens when you smoke too many pots.

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