Indiana law enforcers and local media have teamed up to make some patently absurd, alarmist claims in anti-marijuana propaganda aimed at causing fear and panic.
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — It’s a disturbing trend that has gained traction in recent years: instead of smoking pot, people are eating it. They are called “edibles” and contain THC, which is a key ingredient found in marijuana. What many don’t know is that it poses a far greater risk, because they contain a higher concentration of THC.
“They’re getting them through some sort of black market,” said Jerri Lerch of the Allen County Drug and Alcohol Consortium. “That could be online or on the web, or some sort of physical transaction of some kind.”
Marijuana dealers are targeting young people, and much of it is done online. Buyers order the candies online and use them to get high discreetly.
“They tweet targeted young people about the availability of attractive marijuana products,” said Lerch. “The sooner a young person begins using an addictive substance, the longer they will have lifelong product sales.”
Lerch said we could be seeing the effects of that in Noble County, Indiana. Several students at West Noble High School were caught trying to deal lollipops laced with THC. The small suckers could pack a big punch. Typically, edibles can contain anywhere between 70 and 100 percent of THC. Marijuana has just 17 to 30 percent.
“A really strong overdose of marijuana acts very much like a psychotic episode,” said Lerch. “People get agitated and do some crazy things.”
She said parents need to be vigilant.
“Whether a parent is going through a backpack looking for red suckers or looking through a phone for text conversations about the dealing, the biggest piece is parents need to be communicating,” said Lerch.
Not paying attention could come with some major consequences. Lerch said according to statistics children who use marijuana are three times less likely to graduate high school, two-and-a-half times less likely to go to college, and four times as likely to not finish college.
It’s not clear if the students at West Noble will be arrested and charged. Lerch said she hopes the students understand the severity of their actions.
“This is a serious illegal substance,” she said. “And the behaviors that they’re doing leads to no good results in the future.”
Let’s start by examining the following statements:
“They tweet targeted young people about the availability of attractive marijuana products.”
“The sooner a young person begins using an addictive substance, the longer they will have lifelong product sales.”
I am not even entirely sure what that first sentence means, and that is probably almost entirely because the person who said it has no idea what they are talking about. First of all, Twitter is not exactly where young people hangout online these days. Only about 19% of Twitter users are age 18-24, behind Instagram, Tumblr, Vine and Snapchat. Although there is no information on specifically high school age social media users, it can easily be inferred that Twitter is not exactly the place to go to target minors for drug sales.
What this says to me is that the person making the statement has no idea how social media works. This is bolstered by the fact that it is stated that Twitter has age targeting, which it does not. This is obviously little more than trying to embed fears in the context of socially relevant cultural mediums, while at the same time being about 5 years behind trends.
That second statement is ripped straight from the pages of the anti-tobacco playbook. But in marijuana, especially within black markets, there is no such thing as lifelong product sales.
In illegal states sporadic availability dictates black markets, which means that an individual probably has several sources to overcome the irregularities, and continues to make new contacts over time and lose old ones. In legal states, businesses provide limited strains, so marijuana users are encouraged to expand their purchases to several diverse businesses.
Nowhere in either of these markets are sellers building business models around brand loyalty, because it simply doesn’t make any sense. But since these narratives were so successful in altering legal tobacco business practices, the unimaginative rubes spreading this propaganda are hoping they can rely on historical momentum and buzzwords rather than anything within the boundaries of facts or reason.
The other problems in the article all stem from taking these patently absurd premises seriously. While the lunacy of this is born in the propaganda of the drug war terrorists in legislation and law enforcement, the real shame is that it gets reported with any credibility whatsoever. Which begs the question – Is mainstream media intentionally assisting the War On Drugs by reporting their propaganda, or has it just become so populated by individuals with low cognitive abilities that they do not even realize how ignorant their work is?
I am not sure which reasoning I would find most frightening.
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