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DrugWarRant.com, the longest running single-issue blog devoted to drug policy, is published by the Prohibition Isn't Free Foundation
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July 2007
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More bad reporting

It really is pathetic the way the drug czar is forced to look for damaged goods in the press to get excited about in its “blog.”
The latest?

More reporting from the UK’s Independent newspaper on this serious issue: “A poll of more than 50 of the world’s leading authorities on drugs and mental health confirms that most believe cannabis, and particularly its stronger variant, skunk, pose significant health risks and increase users’ susceptibility to psychosis and schizophrenia.”

Although the ONDCP provides no link, they’re referring to this story by Jonathan Owen and Suzi Mesure. It’s full of all the unsupported reefer madness hysteria, for paragraph after paragraph, almost blatantly supporting the re-classification. Buried near the end, they do finally look at another perspective:

Professor Tim Kirkham, a psychologist at Liverpool University, argued: “Cannabis has been used safely for many thousands of years,” and says there have been “concerted efforts to demonise the drug’s use.” Dr Trevor Turner, former vice president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, says: “I don’t think it causes mental illness. I have never seen a case of so-called cannabis psychosis.”
Dame Ruth Runciman, the chair of UK Drug Policy Centre who set in motion the downgrading of cannabis, disputes that the drug of today is any different to the weed that Ms Smith would have toked back in early 1980s.
“How do you know it’s stronger?” she said, adding: “There is indubitably some skunk that is stronger about the place, but the evidence has been hugely exaggerated and does not support such an alarmist view… Cannabis as Class C is exactly where it should be.”

Of course, the drug czar isn’t interested in that part of the story. Nor are the reporters interested in any kind of factual balance. They’re looking for the reefer madness — it sells papers. So they lead with the bad reporting.
The real tipoff is in that opening paragraph:

A poll of more than 50 of the world’s leading authorities on drugs and mental health confirms that most believe cannabis, and particularly its stronger variant, skunk, pose significant health risks and increase users’ susceptibility to psychosis and schizophrenia.

Notice the omissions?
Who conducted the poll? Who was polled? Where is the poll data? What were the questions? What constitutes significant health risks? What constitutes “increase[d] users’ susceptibility”?
Did they make it all up? Who knows? Nobody else is reporting this “poll” that I can find.
But the drug czar likes it.

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