Cannabis Misinformation Rears Its Ugly Head
There is Nothing Funny About Doobies Making Boobies...
“Doobies make boobies,” read the headline in a recent news article published by the Canadian news outlet Global, among others.
While the headline certainly caught my attention and made me chuckle, I would end up being more disturbed than entertained by what I would further read in the article.
For those who missed the story, the York Regional Police had to admit that they goofed when an officer, who was originally labelled as a “drug recognition officer,” claimed that “doobies makes boobies” in front of a class of senior high school students in Ontario. The comment, which was originally published in a community news publication, quickly went viral, prompting an epic tweet from York Regional Police.
Please Set Aside the Cannabis Jokes
Well, what certainly prompted a collective giggle from a class of high school students, brings attention to an even bigger problem facing the North American public; cannabis misinformation.
Reading the full transcript of what was said in that classroom revealed further, more troubling cannabis misinformation:
“Studies have shown half a joint is equivalent to seven alcoholic beverages,” said the officer in regard to a question about driving under the influence of cannabis.
“You will not be able to walk a straight line, you will not be able to touch your finger to your nose. It’s incredible how much marijuana, and all drugs, impact your ability to operate a motor vehicle.”
Nobody is laughing now.
While I would never encourage anyone to use cannabis while driving, the comment made by the officer is by all accounts incorrect. Alcohol and cannabis are different, and I’d even chalk up the “seven alcoholic beverages” quote to some deep-seeded reefer madness stereotype.
Educating Youth with Validated Voices
My standpoint remains that it in order to educate youth on cannabis, it will take a collective effort by parents, but also their school system. I’d argue that while educating students on the harms and cautionary tales of cannabis are great, it is now time to educate students on the health and healing benefits of cannabis. Or perhaps, inform students on the harms of cannabis that pertain to their age group, including studies that show that cannabis use for young people could trigger anxiety and schizophrenia-like symptoms.
Either way, the two narratives must co-exist with one another.
Today, we see an ever-growing medical world where patients medicate with cannabis, finding relief from things like chronic pain, seizures, and muscle spasticity. Cannabis is slowly but surely becoming legal in the field of medicine, and the education efforts in place by schools should reflect this.
I’d argue that it’s time for change when it comes to educating students across the globe. Those who are clinically trained are the ones who should be speaking about cannabis to students, both it’s positive and negative side effects.
I’m happy to be part of a team at Sail that is pushing to end stigmas associated with cannabis, advocating for the medical use of cannabis and its many benefits.
Here’s hoping that educational systems across North America can push for more education from validated voices, rather than off-the-cuff misinformation from those who are simply not prepared to educate youth on cannabis.
Mika Unterman – Community Manager @ sailcannabis.co
Mika Unterman is a cannabis educator, community manager, and tech evangelist. Before shifting her career into the cannabis sector, Mika worked in startups driving education and engagement for SaaS products. Now, she uses those skills to empower cannabis patients. She is passionate about using technology to help patients along their cannabis journey and helping them find the best products to help with their condition.