StarAdvertiser and Media Mislead (again) about Marijuana

U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard
Governor David Ige
State Senator Roz Baker (Maui)
Former State Senator and County Councilor Gary Hooser (Kaua’i)
Mayoral Candidate and former County Councilor Mel Rapozo (Kaua’i)
Civil Beat Writer Anita Hofschneider
Civil Beat Writer John Hill
Vice President / Editor Star Advertiser Frank Bridgewater
City Editor Star Advertiser David Butts

mel

Mahalo for the discussion and input. I truly appreciate all views in this issue, especially those based on factual information as you always provide. Thanks again. ~ Mel Rapozo

 

 

Representative Gabbard spoke this week at a forum in Las Vegan where she again called to end the federal prohibition on marijuana. I doubt our elected official uses cannabis. She likely is more concerned about racial and social injustice in the War on Drugs. Tulsi’s political career is also currently under attack, as described in a Medium article headlined — “Tulsi is a Rising Star Despite Lies From Biased Media.”

We all know how media works today. Agencies and organizations have agendas, like all of us. From all sides of the political spectrum, we hear cries of FAKE NEWS! FAKE NEWS! FAKE NEWS!

Each of us are biased due to our past experiences, upbringing, preferences and desires. There’s nothing evil about being biased. The crime occurs when we pretend we are not. As scientists, we announce our possible biases upfront and use care with our words to not falsely overstate research findings. Media representatives do not take such steps with their reporting.

STAR ADVERTISER

StarAdvertiser highlighted a BIASED story on marijuana today (3.21.19). Mainstream media loves to mislead on marijuana. The headline, “Smoking Strong Pot Daily Raises Psychosis Risk.” (screenshot below)

StarAd.jpg

LANCET

This summary statement is false. The research does not make this claim. The first line of the actual research summary notes, “Cannabis use is associated with increased risk of later psychotic disorder but whether it affects incidence of the disorder remains unclear.” (screenshot below; citation at bottom)

lancet

Ironically, the last line of the StarAd article stated the truth (expressed by researcher Suzanne Gage, University of Liverpool, who was not connected to the study). “If you use cannabis, it doesn’t mean you are definitely going to develop psychosis.” [citation bottom] Amazing this is the last line. This is called “burying the lead.”

Here’s what the study actually found: “After surveying the patients about their use of cannabis and other drugs, researchers found daily marijuana use was more common among patients with a first episode of psychosis compared with the healthy, control group.” MORE COMMON …

Additionally, scientists estimated people who smoked marijuana on a daily basis were three times more likely to be diagnosed with psychosis compared with people who never used the drug. Those who used high-potency marijuana daily were five times more likely to be diagnosed with psychosis.

CHICKEN OR THE EGG

For researchers, this is the challenge of what came first — chicken or the egg?

Let me give a quick example of reporting bias. Test group of 900 had self-reported a psychotic incident. Control group of 1200 had NO reported mental health issues. Compare this study to a NIH research project that found ADHD drugs can cause psychosis in our keiki. They examined over 220,000 subjects.

Researchers compared the two groups. Test group already had psychotic tendencies and reported greater use of THC and high THC cannabis. Researchers consider this an “association.” They are ethical — and point out this does not indicate causation.

For instance, all subjects in the 900-member test group suffered prior psychotic episodes, which could be caused by their genetic makeup or environmental factors. There is no evidence to suggest marijuana had anything to do with their initial mental state. It’s entirely possible individuals starting using THC or high THC cannabis to RELIEVE their symptoms or reduce future episodes. This behavior could be a form of self-medication.

And, in conclusion, it’s entirely possible people in the 900-member test group suffered FEWER psychotic episodes after using the THC or high THC pot. Pakalolo may not lead to psychosis; it possibly will not heal psychosis, but pakalolo might keep people from having additional and greater problems.

The study cannot and does not answer this. It simply finds the test group of 900-members who were predisposed to psychotic events initially was more likely than the control group to use THC or high THC cannabis. That’s all that can be gleemed from this research.

MEDIA distorted the findings … they misled. Maybe they are lying intentionally. Possibly they are simply lazy writers and journalists. Yet most people read only the headline, file the conclusion in their political toolboxes, and continue harming people who medicate or prefer to use cannabis recreationally. Media distortion goes on all the time!

How can our democratic form of government continue when citizens and leaders are misled about events and issues in their daily lives? Please leave your comments below and be sure to FOLLOW ClearHeath Life Strategies. We provide News of the News You Wish You Knew.

SOURCES
StarAdvertiser article: https://www.staradvertiser.com/2019/03/19/news/smoking-strong-pot-daily-raises-psychosis-risk-study-finds/
Lancet: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpsy/article/PIIS2215-0366(19)30048-3/fulltext

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