Gatehouse Media Does For Pot Industry What MA Law Prohibits

Accuracy in reporting on marijuana - 5 waysThis Gatehouse Media link is full-on advertising and promoting Cannabis/THC as a health product.  Free advertising for an aggressive addiction-for-profit commercial sector.

The Mass Marijuana Law prohibits advertising where the audience cannot be proved to be less than 85% 21-years-of-age or older. Gatehouse contols the content of nearly every local and regional paper in Massachusetts and 37 other states. Their outlets are THE local news source for many Massachusetts communities and a primary source for youth sports team and cultural coverage and are broadly distributed in print and digitally. Their Twitter account boasts “10-million hyper-focused readers per week-online, in print, on mobile.”

For years we’ve appealed to the media to engage in credible journalism that seriously and properly investigates the population level public health impacts of commercialized cannabis.

Instead, this marijuana promotion comes with no warning labels.  No mention of cognitive damage, birth defects and developmental delays, psychosis and other mental health harms, contamination frequently carried in Cannabis/THC products.  Just pure product placement, promotion and drug use advocacy to drive up demand, in one column.

This tiresome canard is relentlessly echoed.  In the midst of this nation’s worst addiction epidemic.

Cannabis/THC is a foundational feature of substance use disorders, multiplying the damage already being done by alcohol, tobacco, opiates and more.

Snake oil salesmanship never dies.  It just gets reincarnated in new and ever more manipulative narratives to increase use of habituating chemicals which harm a significant percentage of their users.

Every word of the 2012 Massachusetts medical marijuana ballot question was repurposed for this latest addiction-for-profit manipulation–deliberately designed to trick unsuspecting consumers into using a dangerous drug under the notion of “caregiving” rather than drug dealing.

And now, as predicted and on schedule, their narrative shape shifts to habituating drug use in the “health and lifestyle” space, just in time for the commercial markets for which they were kicking the door open.

We need to take the narrative back in order to prevent more population level harm at the hands of pure greed and drug profiteering.