Fox News

Wow, I’m surprised. Fox News has run an opinion piece by Tom Basile on marijuana legalization, in which he invents a typical Fox conspiracy theory that the Democrats are hypocrites for ignoring negative studies on the use of pot. Specifically, he claims the Dems are getting money from “Big Pot”, even though the science says it’s harmful.

First off, until this recent election cycle the Democrats (and Republicans) have been completely off the record regarding cannabis, which was sometimes frustrating. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA, but no more) was basically a hero for devoting years of effort to protect the medical marijuana industry from the DOJ. Roger Stone was the source of the money for legalization efforts across the country, and we assume that to the extent that Trump had a notion on the subject, it came from Stone.

The “big pot” argument is Kevin Sabet’s current effort to fight any and all pro-cannabis efforts. Usually described as “a person who has never held a real job”, Sabet has been the go-to guy for anti-cannabis efforts for years, but his arguments have repeatedly crumbled as they were analyzed. He’s been a great foil, though, when the media need a false-equivalency source to quote. His organization did (with substantial help from a big pharma business) manage to defeat the Arizona legalization initiative, but he has 42 losses to his credit.

Big pot doesn’t exist. In fact, every state has laws that strongly discourage large companies, and few companies are going to get very big as long as it’s illegal at the federal level and they can’t use banking services.

As far as ignoring studies, robust scientific studies can’t be done because they have to be done with federal money, which is illegal. There are many projects out there, but they are small and almost always quite flawed, no matter what they show. The claim that cannabis can cure cancer is just as ridiculous as the claim that it causes psychosis in teenagers. Or it causes low sperm count. These stories have been around since the 1960’s, and none have stood up to the scientific process because the analysis can’t be done.

If there is a conspiracy to ignore negative results, there is also one to ignore positive results because neither have the backing of good science. That’s why almost all states have on their books a plea for reliable research, and the debate in all states include frustration that information is missing. My approach is to discount all “studies”, no matter what they conclude.

An interesting thing happened in the last election, which might have prompted the Fox fiction writers to go to work. It was unorganized, but a surprising number of politicians who came out in favor of legalization got elected. And they were mainly Democrats. Previously, candidates who expressed support usually got beat because they were labeled “pot heads”. Even the pro-pot organizations are still figuring out how this happened.

Fox hasn’t been very interested in the topic until now, so be careful what you see from them on the cannabis topic.

1 comment to Fox News

  • Bobbie Chapman

    Good blog post with good information to consider. Glad you opened up the comment section so we can now respond.