As a longtime media observer, I’m beginning to see a shift in the way mainstream media are covering the medical marijuana issue. Back in the day, these sort of talking-head segments used to feature the host in-studio with the official-looking spokesperson for prohibition getting the opening and closing questions and being allowed by the host to dominate the discussion. The guest representing the reform position is then brought in for conflict and balance, but usually in a remote shot. The sober and serious prohib would be given open-ended questions and allowed to speak at length to make the point. The marginalized reformer would be given leading questions on some inane fallacy about “legalization” and then be forced to defend themselves against the implied frivolity of their position.
In this interview, the roles are reversed. Chris Goldstein comes off as the sober and serious one in-studio, with the host hanging on his every word and eager to give him opportunity to advance the agenda. The fellow from Heritage Foundation comes off as the fringe defender of an unwelcome position, with the host’s leading questions that could almost be completed with “tell us why you believe that nonsense?”
It’s getting to the point where mainstream media organizations are having difficulty booking guests to take an anti-medical marijuana position. Even those they find can only bring themselves to criticize the smoking of cannabis and even they are being rebutted by interviewers who are increasingly aware of vaporization, tinctures, and edibles.
This is how NORML is working to end adult marijuana prohibition – by winning the hearts and minds of the American people through honest education about cannabis and through responsible intelligent spokespeople appearing in local and national news media. Chris Goldstein is but one of the hundreds of activists in our nationwide chapter network who are making a difference by stepping up to be the face and voice of the responsible adult cannabis consumer… won’t you join us?