Saturday, April 22, 2006

Protect kids from rigorous scientific scrutiny!

Even enlightened readers of the New York Times, reading coverage of the FDA's bunk and untimely report that marijuana has no medical benefits whatsoever, are subject to propaganda attempts. Reading online coverage from the two days following pot enthusiasts' holiday, I was bombarded by flashy pop-ups enticing me to pick the attractive teen who is most susceptible to drugs (who would have known? they are all "high-risk.") Right above the simple and clever editorial is a banner with bright green pot leaves claiming that if I click it I will get the "straight facts on marijuana." For my kids, that is, and from the Partnership for a Drug-Free America.

Attempts at manipulation of the real issue aside, the New York Times has run three pieces on the FDA report in the past two days. A spokeswoman for the FDA seems to mistake "legalization efforts" with "scientific research" when she says, "state initiatives that legalize marijuana use are inconsistent with efforts to ensure that medications undergo the rigorous scientific scrutiny of the F.D.A. approval process.' It sure takes some Ministry of Truth-sized balls to claim that the FDA values "rigorous scientific scrutiny."

Today's editoral is eloquntly and simply written:
Ordinarily, when the F.D.A. addresses a thorny issue, it convenes a panel of experts who wade through the latest evidence and then render an opinion as to whether a substance is safe and effective to use. This time the agency simply issued a skimpy one-page statement asserting that "no sound scientific studies" supported the medical use of marijuana.

That seems disingenuous. The government is actively discouraging relevant research, according to scientists quoted by Gardiner Harris in yesterday's Times. It's obviously easier and safer to issue a brief, dismissive statement than to back research that might undermine the administration's inflexible opposition to the medical use of marijuana.

...especially when you're still trying to convince parents that marijuana is the gravest danger to their child's development. The government may try to miseducate a malleable youth population, but when even articles in the New York Times have to be overshadowed by flashy propoganda, the "dumbing down" is more than a little insulting.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Are you a "pot enthusiast?"