Whenever there is a media frenzy around cannabis you can be sure that there is a reason behind it, but what can make the Daily Mail so mad that they have to run a story claiming cannabis is now “as addictive as heroin”?
Ever since legalisation in Colorado and Washington it’s not just ganja enthusiasts that have been flooding to the attention that is being stirred up. On both sides of the argument here in the UK, positive and negative media attention has flooded the on-line media channels from every outlet.
News web sources have quickly learned that cannabis stories are essentially click bait and help grab a lot of traffic to their site, get more comments than many other kinds of stories and of course get shared via the large Cannabis Social Clubs network that has established itself. Let’s also not forget that the election campaign has just started and as the drug war and cannabis legalisation are some of the main issues it’s not surprising it’s been brought up in politics so much.
Let’s take a look at this week’s explosion of cannabis related news…
The Liberal Democrats party conference’s main big policy pledge was to remove all criminal punishment for personal drug possession in favour of a harm reduction help-for-addicts policy such as Portugal’s drug policy reflects.
Nick Clegg Deputy Prime Minister said: “Treat the people with addictions in the way that they need to be dealt with, which is that they need help.”
The Daily Mail also ran a story on Clegg being “open-minded” about licensed cannabis shops on the High Street.
Secondly, The Culture High, the second installment from the makers of the groundbreaking film The Union: The Business Behind Getting High premiered at Raindance Film festival in London Piccadilly’s Vue cinema. Its trailer and Premiere was launched by Sir Richard Branson – the owner of Virgin and a long-time proponent of ending the “failed war on drugs”.
Watch The Culture High Trailer Here.
Branson, who is a member of the Global Commission on Drugs Policy said in a blog releasing the full trailer to the public for the first time, “If we are to move forward and ensure progressive drug policies are achievable, then the global community’s work in raising awareness and education needs to continue to spread.”
“The Culture High takes a raw and honest look at modern day cannabis prohibition, asking “what exactly is going on here?” It’s a question I have often asked myself…” He continues.
So it was no surprise that amongst the pages of The Daily Mail’s bitter and sluggish attempt at perverting science once again, there was a section dedicated to slating the likes of Sir Richard that have been outspoken in favour of regulation and harm reduction policies over law enforcement and criminalisation.
Claiming this report as evidence destroying all legalisation arguments was biblically crass, not only because it doesn’t address the human cost of prohibition by one per cent, but the author, Professor Wayne Hall states in an interview with Adrian Giles and Pf David Nutt that he is actually against the arrest, prosecution and criminalisation of people that use cannabis.
Whilst cannabis use has been quite stable in Britain its potentially harmful side effects have not increased in 40 years. The same cannot be said for alcohol where drinking related injuries have increased 5 fold. Pf Nutt states that through political lobbying there has been increasing relaxations on alcohol sales which has caused this epidemic.
The Government and mainstream media know that legalisation is an unstoppable force. All this talk about addiction is firstly scaremongering as the author of the misrepresented research states, but secondly a way to try and promote the addiction clinic industry. If 20% of people that drink are likely to switch to the safer option of cannabis because there is no fear of legal repercussions or losing their job, it’s safe to say that it’s not only the alcohol industry that’s going to take a hit.
Better claim cannabis is super addictive!