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Monday, March 30, 2015

A Few Thoughts... - by Drew Dorr

     I was thinking about something that I heard on the television when I was half-paying attention during the administration of my Iguana, Wolfgang’s, meal in the living room. I heard a reporter say that a member of a professional sports team was “under the influence of the performance-enhancing drug marijuana.”

I thought to myself:

“Did I really just hear him say performing enhancing drug and then the word marijuana?”

     I turned around and diverted my full attention to the television. At this point I was able to read the ticker-tape at the bottom of the screen. “Professional athlete uses performance-enhancing drug” read the top line, “marijuana banned from professional sports” read the bottom. Is this seriously on the television right now?! I thought. Are they seriously talking about this on the fucking news! There is no way in any way shape or form that marijuana could be a performance-enhancing drug! Save, I suppose, if you were discussing someone’s performance in a race to the bottom of a bag of cheetos. I had a feeling, however, that this particular journalist was not referring to the enhancement of an athlete’s performance in a food-consumption-race. This much was certain.

     They then went on to discuss how in the NFL, when a player is battered and bruised after a nice long tackle filled adrenaline rushing football game, that marijuana can help your body relax, which will, in turn, help your body to recover faster. I said, “okay this is plausible, but is it really newsworthy?” Not many people know this, but I actually enrolled in and successfully completed a broadcasting certification in Southfield Michigan at Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts.

     We studied news, radio, and television, and everything in between. We had classes where we picked out our own news broadcasts so we would find things that we thought were newsworthy and write news stories about them. Sometimes my stories were a little more comic based and less news-oriented, but they were still damned good stories! And so to me, this marijuana story just didn’t feel right.

     It seemed that the media was being just a tad biased and inflammatory in this particular case. It seemed as though the only objective of this story was to cast marijuana in a negative and less than factual light, rather than to deliver any credible or news-worthy information. We who are in the know are aware of and appreciative of the expansive documented proof of Cannabis’ medicinal benefits. This article, however, proceeded to go into detail about how certain players have come forward after their retirement, explaining how they felt that marijuana helped them recover faster, or talk about doctors that are from the NFL observing that certain players they’ve treated seemed to recover at a more rapid pace than those who didn’t smoke. I fail to see where this constitutes ‘enhancing’ any ‘performance’, nor does it imply that sentiment at all. Does Tylenol ‘enhance a player’s ‘performance’ because it allows them to recover more quickly from a headache than a player who doesn’t take Tylenol? Of course not! It’s utter bullshit, and devoid of even a single shred of journalistic integrity.

     I get emails from a vast array of people who occupy vastly different positions within life’s sphere here in Michigan who have read my articles and have further questions. Sometimes I get questions that are hard to answer, but most of the time I get questions that are quite simple and just based theoretically off of Siam’s or data that I have researched extensively. Often times I get people who ask me if I believe marijuana could help with this certain element or condition, or what strain I would recommend for a person suffering a given ailment, and so on.

     Relaxing, eating food, taking away pain, these are a few beneficial characteristics of marijuana health-wise. Perhaps something along those lines would constitute a credible story, and I can come up with a dozen or more references for studies that I have done, or studies that doctors or university’s behind them actually provide. Thirty minutes on Google and you can cross reference everything. But instead of spending 30 minutes on the Internet, or 30 minutes trying to call somebody, or even 30 minutes actually writing a 2 minute news-feature, all I saw the journalist I referenced earlier do was perpetuate negative stereotypes associated with marijuana, and discuss how, due to its prevailing illegality across our great nation, it should be avoided because of this untruth, or that untruth ... You catch my drift.

     If I could in three or four sentences validate a reason why this could be a proper news story, and in 30 minutes on Google get hard evidence and write a story that’s only two or three minutes worth of broadcast air time, why are they only talking about their opinion? This is not only what is wrong with the media and politics and our government, this is also something that is wrong with the willingly uninformed public at large. People think it’s okay to get drunk because alcohol is legal. How is that any better or worse then taking prescription pills because the doctor gave them to you? Is caffeine not just as addictive as nicotine and are those two substances not easily and readily available to the public? What ties these things all together is a concept which many fail to observe, and that is moderation. And it goes to say that if you have a moderate understanding of what is factual and true, then you may, in moderation, experience annoyance towards the fear-mongers who parade under the mask of journalism and attempt to misinform the public according to the controlling corporation’s majority shareholders’ respective agendas. However, this is an entirely different conversation altogether, and I have more emails to answer.

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