Tag Archives | NORML

NORML Calls Out ‘Marijuana Causes Brain Changes’ As Sensationalistic Scare Piece

PIC: Thanks for the cool picture, DEA! (PD)

PIC: Thanks for the cool picture, DEA! (PD)

Many of you who responded with skepticism to the “casual marijuana use causes brain changes” story that was in the news last week will probably enjoy NORML deputy director Paul Armentano’s take on the study:

Via Alternet:

The mainstream media launched into a reefer mad frenzy this week after researchers from Harvard University in Boston and Northwestern University in Chicago published the results of a neuroimaging study assessing the brains of a small cohort of regular marijuana smokers and non-users. The brain scans identified various differences between the two groups in three aspects of brain morphometry: gray matter density, volume, and shape. These differences triggered dozens of high-profile media outlets to lose their collective minds. Here’s just a sample of the screaming headlines:

CNN: Casual marijuana use maydamage your brain; Science Daily: More joints equal more damage; Financial Post: Study proves occasional marijuana use is mind altering; Time: Recreational pot use harmful to young people’s brains; Smoking cannabis will change you.

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4/20 Goes Mainstream In California’s Bay Area

California NORMLStoners everywhere recognize April 20th (4/20) as a day to celebrate their favorite herb, but perhaps nowhere has this “holiday” of sorts entered the mainstream to the extent it has in California’s Bay Area, where the local NBC station reports on celebrations:

The holiest of days in many a marijuana users’ calendar is upon us: The 20th day of April, the hallowed 4/20. There’s much on in the Bay Area today to mark “the stoners’ Christmas,” as the day has been dubbed.

But there’s also much more going on than the annual smoke-outs at 20 minutes past four in the afternoon at Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park, the University of California Santa Cruz campus, and essentially anywhere else marijuana users are known to congregate (read: anywhere). The time — 4:20 p.m. — is important. In the 1970s, a small group of hippie stoners at San Rafael High School would go out every day at that time to smot pot, and their “club” name just stuck.

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5 Things the Corporate Media Don’t Want You to Know About Cannabis

Paul Armentano is a contributor to the Disinformation book You Are Still Being Lied To and the deputy director of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. This is the beginning of a great article he wrote for Alternet:

Writing in the journal Science nearly four decades ago, New York State University sociologist Erich Goode documented the media’s complicity in maintaining cannabis prohibition.

He observed: “[T]ests and experiments purporting to demonstrate the ravages of marijuana consumption receive enormous attention from the media, and their findings become accepted as fact by the public. But when careful refutations of such research are published, or when later findings contradict the original pathological findings, they tend to be ignored or dismissed.”

A glimpse of today’s mainstream media landscape indicates that little has changed — with news outlets continuing to, at best, underreport the publication of scientific studies that undermine the federal government’s longstanding pot propaganda and, at worst, ignore them all together.

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