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Political Analyst – Derek Thomas
A recently published article on Today.com tells the heart-breaking story of a young man of only 22 found dead in his bedroom. Michael Ziobro was found by his mother unconscious on his bedroom floor, as she recalls “I went to say goodnight to him and I am the one who found him on the floor. I called 911. They came and tried to revive him. But he was gone.”
As a young man, I could never comprehend the grief and heart break that a mother must feel after losing a child. Often times it’s hard to have objective conversations in the face of such a loss, but we cannot shy away from objective conversation – other lives are at risk in this issue too and they deserve the same factual consideration.
A bag of medical grade marijuana was found in Michael’s bedroom, and the medical examiner did find evidence of marijuana in his blood. The medical examiner did also admit that he could not say for sure whether cannabis contributed to Michael’s death, noting the little evidence about what marijuana does (or doesn’t do) to the heart.
And those are the only facts we are given relating to Michael’s death in the article.
Enter broad generalizations and misrepresentations about marijuana and the community supporting it.
The author, Maggie Fox, continues with what is an excellent example of emotional appeal mixed with misrepresentations in an attempt to sway unsure readers opinions on marijuana.
She says “Advocates laud what they see as an excellent safety profile for marijuana, brushing aside medical research that indicates it does have its dangers, especially in adolescents and young adults. The Ziobros say their son Michael was among those hurt by a drug they thought was perfectly safe.”
Maggie: THIS IS INCREDIBLY IRRESPONSIBLE AND DISINGENUOS JOURNALISM.
Let’s break this down:
Do advocates laud what they see as an excellent safety profile for marijuana? Yes, absolutely. In comparison with every recreational or pharmaceutical drug known, it is the safest.
Do advocates brush aside medical research that indicates it does have its dangers especially in adolescents? NO. This is such a bold-faced lie it may count as slander against an entire group of people. While Maggie may be able to scrape some article from the gutter of the net proclaiming marijuana is safe for kids, claiming that the marijuana community presents this as a truth couldn’t be farther from the actual truth.
The author uses an evil tactic to will the reader to her false narrative. She creates an emotional appeal but presents false facts that the reader, if in an emotional state, may take in as true.
The next paragraph is equally as infuriating. Maggie continues by saying “There’s limited evidence on the benefits of marijuana” – citing this link as proof: http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/growing-hope-fight-medical-marijuana-epileptic-kids-n369796.
Maybe Maggie doesn’t believe her readers will take a moment to read it for themselves. Maybe she thinks she has blind followers will assume that article trashes the medical value of marijuana…BUT IT DOESN’T. The article goes on to give shining examples of children saved by CBD or THCa and ends by saying the only problem is really the federal status that presents challenges to additional research. Please take a moment to read that article. It’s shocking that an author would go to that level of blatant deceit.
Or is it?
Here are some examples of other articles authored by Maggie:
- “Smoking too much marijuana brings you down”
- “ER visits for kids rise significantly after pot legalized”
- “Hazy Heads: heavy teen pot use linked to weaker memories”
- “Marijuana users risk schizophrenia”
- “Marijuana use doubles in U.S. but so do problems”
I would happily call out any marijuana advocate that white-washes potential health effects of over-consumption. I’m also one of the many who would say that there may be some unknown adverse medical risks associated with occasional consumption, but that the known benefits greatly outweigh the risks – and with proper federal status we would have a much better understanding of what those risks are and how to mitigate them.
Overall, it is irresponsible journalism like this article that holds back marijuana by swaying people’s opinions against the potential benefits. Using emotional appeals mixed with misrepresentations to sway opinion is a crime to all of the veterans, children, chronic pain sufferers, and others that are helped immensely by cannabis. Shame, Maggie. Shame on you.