Article by Amanda Siebert, The Georgia Straight
An op-ed published by CBC today states that the legalization of cannabis is based on “highly dubious claims and grossly optimistic expectations”, and that the Liberal government should not proceed with the bill as planned.
In fact, the opinion piece in question has a series of its own issues, including a reference to a study that was debunked by a leading cannabis researcher in 2016.
The first indication that the piece should be taken with a grain (read: teaspoon) of salt is hidden in the author’s description near the bottom of the story.
David Krayden is the Ottawa bureau chief for Washington, D.C.-based conservative media outlet, The Daily Caller, which, historically, has not held cannabis in high regard, publishing stories with headlines like ‘Legal Marijuana Poses an Insidious Threat to Recovering Addicts’ (this is categorically untrue) and ‘Man Smokes Cannabis Joint, Cuts Off Penis, Stabs Mom Repeatedly’ (the substance in this story was not actually cannabis).
He begins by criticizing the process with which the House of Commons organized testimony from expert witnesses, and accuses the Canadian government of preventing certain witnesses from addressing the health committee.
Krayden writes that representatives from Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) were among the rejected witnesses, and that the group “worked practically alone in opposing the legislation”. He fails to mention that SAM eventually made their way into the Senate, with representatives addressing several committees and even inviting three Conservative Canadian senators to Washington for a meet-and-greet ahead of their visit.
Before you start to feel bad for the folks at SAM, know that numerous respected advocates, researchers, and scientists in the cannabis space consider the American lobby group nothing more than a propaganda machine for its tactic of disseminating flawed statistics and presenting them as hard evidence.