12 Mar Bad Behaviour On Both Sides Of The Cannabis Debate.
Cannabis evangelists, with their conspiracy theories and religious ‘belief’ that cannabis is totally harmless and cures everything, are every bit as delusional as those who subscribe to ‘reefer madness’.
We see this every day on the CLEAR Facebook page. Anything we share that is even slightly negative about cannabis or that suggests some people might be vulnerable to some harm from using it, produces a hostile, often hysterical reaction.
Actually, the evangelists play straight into the hands of prohibitionists. They make fools of themselves by behaving as if we have committed the most heinous blasphemy by daring to criticise their favourite plant. Particularly amongst our American followers, many cannot distinguish between sharing something and endorsing it. We share many news items we disagree with but when it comes to science we neither agree nor disagree, it’s all part of the body of evidence that needs to be considered and balanced.
Of course, the reality of social media is that those who shout loudest or comment most frequently are not necessarily representative of the whole audience. We put a lot of effort into moderating our page to make it as informative as possible. We have a very strict policy on bad language. We won’t tolerate commenters abusing each other or launching vicious personal attacks (even if they are against Donald Trump or Theresa May). All single word comments are deleted. No one wants to read an endless string of “bullshit”, “BS” or worse. Far too often we have to ban some commenters immediately. We simply don’t want people who can express themselves only through a string of obscenities getting in the way of our newsfeed.
A few days ago we shared the study presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 66th Annual Scientific Session, held in Washington, D.C. It suggests that cannabis use can raise the risk of stroke and cardiac failure. The furore and firestorm of abuse that erupted is quite ridiculous and only serves to make the cannabis campaign look completely ridiculous. There are clearly limitations in the study. Firstly, it doesn’t show causation, merely statistical correlation. Secondly, all the subjects had been discharged from hospital so clearly had suffered some serious health problem.
It is a ridiculous way to behave for anyone who wants to advance the cause of cannabis law reform. It’s also utterly stupid constantly to accuse scientists, researchers or indeed CLEAR of being corrupt, dishonest, ‘in the pocket of Big Pharma’ or often far, far worse.
It is true that the history of cannabis prohibition is all about lies, deceit, misinformation and propaganda. There are still some people, even in elevated positions such as UK prime minister Theresa May, who wish to continue with this form of repression but wiser counsel is prevailing in most parts of the world.
More and more scientists, researchers and doctors are studying the effects of cannabis and rarely does a day pass without a cannabis report being published somewhere in the world. What were almost accepted prejudices such as the ‘gateway theory’ and that ‘cannabis causes psychosis’ are being debunked more and more often.
Of course, scientists, researchers and doctors, just like everyone else, have been subject to all the propaganda for the past 100 years, so there is still much prejudice and confusion to dispel but we should respect and value the work of such people even if we don’t like all their conclusions.
On any subject, truth lies in assessing and balancing all the evidence that is available. CLEAR will continue to share all significant evidence published about cannabis whether it is positive or negative. Similarly, we will continue to share stories from the tabloid media that seek to demonise or scaremonger about cannabis. It is important that people see the propaganda that is being published and the way that public opinion is formed.