Over the years I’ve come to learn that when it comes to debating the issue of ‘legalizing’ cannabis on a college or university campus, proponents of Prohibition and the status quo lost the debate long before they’ve hit the stage. Frankly, I think a scarecrow mounted at a podium representing reformers would win the debate anyways as college students are the most anti-prohibitionistic and pro-cannabis law reform segment of the population in America (and Canada, Europe, Australia, etc…).
To date, this unofficial debate between NORML and ONDCP has been one of the most popular public discussions ever at The Hill’s blog, which informs their editors (as well as other major publications’ and broadcast editors) that the issue of cannabis law reform is of great public concern and ripe for ongoing public policy debates about the future of cannabis prohibition.
In my many annual public appearances and media interviews advocating for cannabis law reforms, the question will often arise ‘if NORML and the other drug policy reform groups are right that there are safe and viable alternatives to cannabis prohibition laws, who then opposes you in trying to amend current state and federal laws?’
So why does the media consistently ‘get the story wrong’ when it comes to pot? While I don’t believe there’s any grand conspiracy going on, I do believe that journalists in general engage in several bad habits that negatively skew their cannabis coverage.
The WCTU was wrong-headed about fostering alcohol prohibition as a means of social control in the same way that it and numerous other so-called anti-drug organizations that exist today, are equally wrong to foster public policies that treat responsible adult cannabis consumers as violent criminals.
NORML’s letter to the editor of New York Times, April 15, 2008: The April 15,…