Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Media Watch roasts Herald's pot rot
I had been looking for the time and energy to roast the Sydney Morning Herald's so-called medical reporter Kate Benson for uncritically publishing nonsense about drugs, but Media Watch has done it for me.
Benson on June 17 wrote about Cannabis addiction, a problematic concept that at worst refers to psychological addiction rather than the far more severe physical addiction suffered by frequent cigarette smokers or heroin users. The two conditions bear little similarity so using the same word for them is misleading.
I have seen many regular pot smokers simply give it up, with no side effects.
But the fiction of 'cannabis addiction' has unfortunately taken hold of the AOD sector since prohibitionist governments started throwing money at cannabis addiction programs, providing many in the sector a whole new career path. These people are not going to question the concept as their careers depend on it. Jan Copeland and NCPIC are prime examples, although they have retreated from their early alarmist nonsense since professional communicator Paul Dillon joined them.
But back to Kate Benson, not only does she mindlessly propagate a misconception of cannabis addiction but she totally screws up the statistics, claiming that one in six Australians were addicted when the Household Survey she quoted actually says that one in thirty smoke it daily.
Cool, Kate. Several of the comments on the Media Watch site ask what Kate was smoking when she wrote the story?
Posted by The Editor at 4:24 pm