Ok, so here’s the article we’ll be diving into today, written by the most reputable paper in the UK, The Sun. (I hope you caught the sarcasm there) Here’s a link to the Full Article but we’ll dissect the ‘important’ bits here.
A little back story first, Ocean, the lady featured in the article has attributed her previous heroin addiction to the use of cannabis when she was 14.
‘Ocean became hooked on the killer drug at 18 and went from a respectable straight A student to a thieving college dropout who survived on six cans of Red Bull a day and scored hits from street dealers.
She says her downfall began when she started experimenting with cannabis, aged just 14.’
Now, lets have a look at the story in more depth before we start any true associations. Firstly, “She enjoyed a happy childhood but things took a bad turn when her estranged dad Ian passed away from lung cancer, aged 39, when Ocean was just 14.” The girl has not had an easy start with life, losing such an important person is going to be distressing and has the potential to influence future behaviour. As we progress we start to see the addition of a second potential cause for her spiral.
“My problems started with alcohol. I moved on to cannabis, then cocaine, and eventually heroin. It’s a typical progression for an addict.” Are we noticing anything here? Well, she’s lost her father and has started drinking alcohol. Perhaps a 14 year old having access to alcohol, one of the top killers in the UK was a problem that first should have been addressed. Another quick addition to promote the joys of alcohol, “I was drinking alcohol every day and smoking crack cocaine and heroin.” The Sun carelessly forgets to mention anything about alcohol being the first drug used, it also fails to make it clearly known that at this point her cannabis use had stopped and her alcohol problem remained. Time for a picture break and a handy reference guide on the differences between Alcohol and Cannabis.
Of course The Sun doesn’t like to mention any of alcohol’s wonderful attributes. People know and understand these facts regarding alcohol, but they remain uneducated in terms of the real facts and effects of cannabis.
Our famous friend, ‘The Gateway Theory’ makes an appearance in the article. Does weed really lead on to dangerous, harder drugs. Well one thing we know is, a legalised marijuana system in the UK would impose regulations and as there is with alcohol. This means that age restrictions, taxation and safety would all become key focus points. Whilst cannabis remains illegal, people looking to buy will always have to use black markets, the same markets where drug dealers readily supply harder drugs. Regulations would decrease the numbers of black market cannabis dealers dramatically and therefore remove links to dangerous drugs. Of course this is a paraphrased argument which we will explore further in the future.
As we read on, there is another point I have a problem with, “I smoked weed for days and was incapable of anything productive.” Perhaps if she continued to smoke weed she would not have been proactive enough to get up and start hunting for heroin. It must have been some heavy shit she was smoking, and as we know, different strains cause different effects, it is not a generalisation that can be made of cannabis.
The rest of the story continues with her story of rehabilitation. But we have read enough to come to compile a conclusion of sorts. The Sun has labelled cannabis the root cause of this problem, when actually there has been two significant events that occurred prior to her cannabis use. When the media continues in this manner it is impossible for people to disassociate from the current stereotyped philosophy of cannabis being ‘evil’. The Sun who wouldn’t want to criticise the one love of their wine sipping political chums are looking for a scapegoat, and what better than supporting their toff Tory friends who are currently batting away any thought of drug reform. Don’t just read the headlines people, question the content.
So, Alcohol vs Cannabis, leave your thoughts with a comment below.
WTT On Twitter too @WeedTheTruth