Last week, late-night television host and opinion influencer Stephen Colbert, a onetime purveyor of somewhat unreal news that was nonetheless more informative than “actual” news, declared our era of “fake news” dead.
If only that were so.
In the past year, “fake news” has appeared on Facebook in the form of outright false statements, created solely because they’d be shared like a bad stock tip.
Since taking office, Trump and his followers have deployed the term anytime a news story that’s the least bit critical appears. They cried “fake news” every time a story connecting the Trump organization to Russian influencers appeared — and since Russian agents absolutely contacted Donald Trump Jr. last year in order to tip the election in his father’s favor, “fake news” turned out to be real news.
Ergo, fake news is now dead, Colbert reasoned. Long live fake news.
Like everywhere else in this reality, the cannabis world is awash in fake news. A key issue in the marijuana legalization debate is what impact the end of prohibition has on the children. According to legalization’s foes, legal weed means more kids smoking pot than ever.
— Kevin Sabet (@KevinSabet) December 23, 2016
But, according to study after study after study, there’s no such link at all. Around the time when Donald Jr. was getting ready to self-publish emails proving “Trump Russia” was as real as a special investigator, another study showing no link between legalization and youth marijuana use was published.
As NORML reported, federal investigators compared marijuana use rates among teens in 2002 to those in 2014, after legalization in Colorado and Washington had been in place for more than a full year. Legalization did indeed have an effect — it dropped, significantly.
Across the board, cannabis use among teens dropped 17 percent, according to the study. And problematic cannabis use — that is, a marijuana habit that interfered with school, relationships, work, or other commitments — dropped by 25 percent.
This would seem to show that legalization advocate’s oft-repeated argument that legalization is good for keeping weed out of kids’ hands — because ”drug dealers don’t card” — could be taken one step further. If you want kids to smoke less weed, legalize it — the data shows they’ll smoke it less.
It’s past time to retire the canard that legalization leads more kids to smoke weed. It doesn’t. Anyone who says otherwise has a sense of the truth that’s Trump-worthy.
TELL US, do you think legal cannabis increases teen use?