Being Right vs. Playing Loose with the Facts

The good think about being weed activists is that we are on the right side of history. Our battle is just and the cause is a great one. It makes it easier to get up every day to fight this war on freedom knowing that in my heart that I am right, and our opposition is absolutely wrong on this issue. It is comforting. I imagine it is a lot what a super hero feels like.

But there are also a lot of unknown variables that we sometimes put forth as facts, which can detract from our message. We must be very careful about making certain claims, whether it be about what cannabis can cure (remember we are not doctors) or what this politician did or did not say,  if we fail to present factual evidence we lose credibility in the community. It is a fine line.

I thought is was interesting this week on the 60 minutes special entitled Will Colorado’s green rush last? when the host had to point out that the medical claims being made by the woman were “anecdotal” and not backed up by any studies. When she says that this type of cannabis will give you “no physical lethargy” that claim is just not true. I know plenty of folks who are very lethargic after using sativas. But this industry plays loose with the facts a lot, and because there is little oversight, many have gotten away with it unchecked. But that does not make it right, and it can make it a little dangerous when a person takes the advice of this young woman and uses this sativa before work, and then is unable to function properly.

We are right on the issue of weed. We do not need to make things up, or present anecdotal evidence as hard facts. It is okay for us to say, “Some people have found…” or that “patients with this affliction have had positive results with this…” But too often I hear cannabis activists making more definitive statements than I am comfortable with in regards to the miracles of cannabis. We run a grave risk of being seen as hucksters and charlatans in this respect and I think we do ourselves a huge disservice in the process.

So be right, but do not claim to be all-knowing and understanding of the cannabis plant based on some regurgitated information that you read on a website. Let’s not get our cart way out in front of the horse. We have the truth on our side….we have no need for embellishment. Cannabis is safe, enjoyable, and helpful. The war on cannabis freedom is a failure. Locking people up for weed is immoral. We have so many real and meaningful legs to stand on that we do not have to make claims that are not necessarily supported by facts.

Some in our movement could use some media training before taking their show on the road. It does us no good to get national coverage and have the narrator of the piece have to say “what this woman said is not necessarily true…” That creates doubt. We have enough doubt working against us. We can win this argument without playing loose with the facts. We are right. They are wrong.