Reefer Scare Tactics: Is This A Cannabis…


This text was initially revealed on The Bluntness, and seems right here with permission.

The regular development of the hashish trade, even throughout a world pandemic that noticed hashish dispensaries qualify as “essential businesses” in most states the place it has been legalized, confirms the worth of this booming new money crop trade for shoppers. Doubts about individuals accepting this new trade have light. A Pew survey in April confirmed that 91 p.c of American adults agree that marijuana needs to be legalized for medical or adult-use.

Nothing, it appears, can cease this multi-billion greenback juggernaut even because it struggles to achieve true enterprise operability as a purveyor of what the Federal authorities says is a prohibited narcotic.

However lately, as authorized hashish companies open in additional states (19 ultimately rely, plus Guam and the District of Columbia), there seems to be forces at work trying to derail the trade.

Sure, there are a couple of glimmers of hope that the Feds could also be softening their stance ever so barely on hashish by permitting extra medical hashish develop operations.

And sure, payments in Congress about legalizing or clarifying sure elements of hashish have gotten some traction.

With all of the hashish tax income piling up in states the place each medical and adult-use hashish are authorized—nicely over $300 million in FY 2019-2020 in Colorado, and topping $1 billion in California throughout that very same interval—state and federal lawmakers can’t simply look the opposite method. They should make extra business-friendly issues occur, beginning with banking for hashish companies as a prime precedence. It’s been a long-term course of, however it’s in progress.

The New Wave of Reefer Insanity

Curiously, extra information stories with deceptive headlines and cherry-picked examine findings are cropping up that appear timed to cease and even kill the legalization motion. 

Hashish is inflicting a psychological well being disaster. Hashish causes suicide. Hashish can kill.

This “reefer madness” redux is like nothing that’s been seen within the final 20 or 30 years. One thing or somebody—such because the anti-cannabis trade group Sensible Approaches to Marijuana (SAM)—is throttling up the chatter that serves to maintain the conservative investor at bay and the anti-cannabis soothsayers wagging an “I told you so” finger at hashish trade homeowners and operators.

SAM claims to have had over 4,000 media mentions in 2020 alone, together with prime retailers such because the New York Instances, CNN, the Chicago Tribune, USA In the present day, the Related Press, The Wall Road Journal, New York Submit, Denver Submit, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Fox Information, NBC Information, and Politico. 

In 2019, SAM merely mentioned that that they had “set multiple records for media and press placements” with out giving any extra specifics about what that meant. It seems that 2020 SAM desires you to know that mainstream media is extra on board with its mission.

A type of SAM media mentions, CNN, has apparently stepped up their anti-marijuana reporting with a gentle drumbeat of scary headlines on this 12 months of extra hashish legalization efforts in Congress.

A CNN Well being report in January cited a examine exhibiting smoking hashish could expose the buyer to the identical sort of poisonous chemical substances present in tobacco smoke.

A CNN Well being report in June mentioned that, in keeping with a examine by the American Medical Affiliation, hashish use could also be linked to a rise in suicide. 

However learn additional within the examine and there’s a kind of disclaimer: “Future research is needed to examine this increase in suicidality and to determine whether it is due to cannabis use or overlapping risk factors.”

Hashish could cause schizophrenia, one other CNN Well being headline on July 26 learn. Dig deeper into the examine and you can see this: “However, it is unclear whether cannabis disproportionately increases the risk of specific types of psychotic experiences and whether genetic predisposition influences the relationship between cannabis use and psychotic experiences.”

On September 8, CNN Well being cited a examine that discovered consuming hashish could cause a coronary heart assault. However past the headline, the examine truly reported that its impact on “other cardiovascular outcomes” stays incompletely characterised. “Although heavy cannabis use has been reported to trigger acute myocardial infarction, the current evidence is limited to case–control studies that are prone to bias and studies relying solely on administrative data.” Hmm.

Then there may be the CNN Well being report on September 17 about cannabis-induced vomiting occurring to 19 power hashish shoppers in Australia in 2004, with an analogous discovering documented in eight circumstances within the U.S. in 2010. 

However researchers in these circumstances usually are not positive what it’s about hashish that’s inflicting the vomiting, saying it could be associated to the THC stage (a giant anti-cannabis speaking level), or it could or might not be concerning the power hashish client. Or, nicely, who is aware of. “It’s not entirely clear who is predisposed to getting it,” mentioned Dr. Sam Wang within the CNN report, a pediatric emergency drugs specialist and toxicologist at Kids’s Hospital Colorado, who treats adolescents with the situation. “Is it a certain frequency or duration of use? Is it a specific potency? Or is it a specific type of product? We don’t have that data.”

Wang’s analysis additionally discovered that “the duration, frequency, route, or potency of cannabis products used that leads to greater risk for developing this illness has not been determined,” then added a contradictory assertion that there’s “substantial concern that the increase in long-term and frequent cannabis use, especially with products containing high amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), will lead to an increase in the prevalence of cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS).” Hmm once more.

On October 25, CNN reported that vaping marijuana by teenagers has doubled within the final seven years—linking marijuana to the evils of vaping, which is an actual well being disaster and one other speaking level of the anti-cannabis crowd. 

Why are these stories showing on such a worldwide media enterprise like CNN, that cherry-picks data from some science journals or lab researcher white papers with out giving the entire story? Might it’s timed to have an effect on public notion as legalization actions have picked up this 12 months? Let’s look. 

Congress Sees Flurry of Hashish Exercise in 2021

There’s been a flurry of labor this 12 months in Congress—particularly in September and October, when CNN anti-marijuana stories appeared to have ramped up—on legalizing or in any other case aiding the expansion of the authorized hashish trade.

On September 24, the Home of Representatives superior the Safe and Honest Enforcement Act (SAFE) of 2021, which permits state-licensed marijuana-related companies to interact freely in relationships with banks and different monetary establishments, marking the fifth time the Home has superior the laws lately. 

It was provided as an modification to the $740 billion Nationwide Protection Authorization Act for Fiscal Yr 2022, which handed the Home and was despatched to the Senate on October 18.

A invoice to legalize hashish that stalled final 12 months within the Home was mentioned and superior on September 30 within the Home Judiciary Committee, with a spirited dialogue of the professionals and cons that usually appeared to favor advancing the invoice. That far-ranging invoice, the Marijuana, Alternative, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act of 2021, made historical past when the very best rating senator, Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer, launched a “discussion draft” in July. 

The MORE Act repeals the long-standing federal prohibition of marijuana by eradicating it from the Managed Substances Act, ending the present state/federal battle in hashish insurance policies and offering state governments with higher authority to manage marijuana-related actions, together with retail gross sales. 

Of all of the cannabis-related payments in Congress, this invoice doubtless has anti-legalization proponents on excessive alert. “Never before has public support from every corner of the political spectrum been so aligned as to demand that Congress take action to end the shameful experiment with marijuana prohibition,” NORML Political Director Justin Strekal mentioned.

SAM’s President and CEO Kevin Sabet appeared on CNN with Erin Burnett the day that Schumer launched the MORE Act dialogue draft, shamelessly selling his anti-marijuana guide, and saying “there is a good reason why the scientific community is pretty united in opposing (the bill).”

On October 6, Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Corey Booker (D-NJ), two long-time proponents of marijuana legalization and sponsors or co-sponsors of a number of pro-cannabis payments, wrote a letter to new Legal professional Common Merrick Garland urging the Division of Justice to “initiate the process to decriminalize cannabis.”

Garland is seen as the ultimate gatekeeper in permitting legalization. He mentioned in testimony throughout his Senate affirmation listening to earlier than the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 22 that “it does not seem to me a useful use of limited resources that we have to be pursuing prosecutions in states that have legalized and are regulating the use of marijuana, either medically or otherwise,” when requested about marijuana legalization by Sen. Booker. “I don’t think it’s a good use of our resources where states have already authorized (marijuana), and it only confuses people, obviously, within the state.”

So what are trade watchers to make of the curiously coincidental massive media makes an attempt to squash the hashish trade because the momentum for legalization hurries up? Is it an indication that the trade has matured to the purpose the place tit-for-tat media hits will likely be an everyday factor now? Is it simply CNN and different media retailers seeing information deliveries just like the Pew survey after which deciding to roll out extra tales about marijuana as a result of extra persons are speaking about it? 

Or is the latest massive media unfavorable publicity marketing campaign a warning of extra back-and-forth, extra good-vs-evil discourse, extra delays in legalization to return?

Stand by. CNN has the entire world watching.

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