In an interview with the director of a Boston drug rehabilitation center on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer worried about the impact media coverage of legalized marijuana was having on America's youth: "You know, if you're a teenager, a young adult, and you're watching the news and you're hearing more and more stories about the legalization of marijuana...and now you're saying, 'Wait a minute, here.' Are we sending mixed messages on drugs to our kids?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
David Ray, co-founder of Number 16, replied: "We are. We are. We're sending mixed messages because what we're saying is, 'Well, this is okay, but this isn't.' And so, what's a kid to do?"
Reporting on the news Tuesday that recreational marijuana is now legal in Washington state, ABC news correspondent Neal Karlinsky filed a story to ABC’s Good Morning America that stands as the latest pro-marijuana story out of many over the last few months across the networks. Reporting from a pot shop in Seattle, he gushed that Tuesday was “bound to be an interesting day.”
Karlinsky provided no opposing viewpoint to sale of marijuana in The Evergreen State or the drug as a whole. Instead, he interviewed a grandmother who showed up at one pot shop a full 24 hours before it goes on sale and a man who came out of retirement to become a marijuana grower. [MP3 audio here; Video below]
On Monday, all three broadcast network morning news shows gave mention to the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in Washington state with sales set to begin on Tuesday. In particular, CBS This Morning and NBC’s Today devoted entire segments to the drug and not only were both stories positive, a statement from the former President of Drug Watch International on Today was the only sort of opposing viewpoint provided.
The four-minute-and-eight-second piece by CBS News correspondent Barry Petersen was the latest in what truly has been a network oscillating back and forth between criticalstories and puffpieces on pot. Without question, Monday’s report belonged in the latter. After mentioning that sales will begin Tuesday in Washington, Petersen went on to profile the writers of The Cannabis, a website run by The Denver Post that is “about all things pot.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
Dan Rather loves telling people about the time he tried heroin...for journalism. Now liberal New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote in a Tuesday column about traveling to Colorado to experience the progressive new world of legalized pot. Suffice it to say, her experience was, well, quite the adventure.
Dowd detailed how she inhaled a pot-filled candy bar, and the resulting psychological effects. Let’s just say her encounter with marijuana was something less than a stoner’s fantasy. She describes, that, after about an hour, she “felt a scary shudder go through my body and brain. I barely made it from the desk to the bed, where I curled up and lay in a hallucinatory state for the next eight hours.”
While NBC eagerly touted Colorado legalizing marijuana at the start of the year, even promoting one Denver store that hoped to become the "Costco of weed," on Monday's Today, correspondent Miguel Almaguer finally noticed a downside to legalized drug use: "More than half of Colorado's 61 arrests made in January for impaired driving involved someone who was high." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
NBC joins ABC and CBS in belatedly covering the negative consequences of legalizing pot after initially promoting the move. CBS This Morning hyped Colorado's "marijuana munchies" before discovering pot contaminated with mildew and e-coli. ABC's World News proclaimed an "historic" "pot revolution" in the state before reporting on the legal marijuana trade becoming a popular target for criminals.
Radio libtalker Bill Press did much yesterday to explain why he more than occasionally comes across as addled. Then again, it's probably only his politics responsible for conveying that impression.
In what is unlikely to come as a shock to his former boss, Press said there were "potheads" who worked in the state bureaucracy for California Gov. Jerry Brown, and that Press was one of them. Correction -- while working in the higher echelons of bureaucracy. (Audio after the jump)