Anti-cannabis propaganda continues: unsubstantiated claim of marijuana ‘syndrome’
Now that marijuana is legal in more than half of U.S. states and its medical value has been indisputably demonstrated, attitudes have begun to change. Most Americans now support full legalization and the country seems to be headed squarely in that direction. It’s hard to imagine anything that could stop that momentum now.
That being said, there are still War on Drugs-era diehards who cling to the notion that cannabis use should remain prohibited by law. These antiquated thinkers will seize on anything that casts marijuana in a negative light, and they can count on the mainstream media to sensationalize any hint that cannabis use might have deleterious effects on human health.
Hence the “fake news” media frenzy over a ridiculously flawed single study that allegedly found a link between marijuana legalization and an increase in incidences of a rare medical condition called cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, or CHS.
Major news outlets have picked up the story and given it sensational headlines, such as CBS’s “Mysterious illness tied to marijuana use on the rise in states with legal weed,” but is there really any substance to the claim?
First, let’s look at what the media is reporting. From CBS News:
“For more than two years, Lance Crowder was having severe abdominal pain and vomiting, and no local doctor could figure out why. Finally, an emergency room physician in Indianapolis had an idea. …
“The answer was cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, or CHS. It’s caused by heavy, long-term use of various forms of marijuana. For unclear reasons, the nausea and vomiting are relieved by hot showers or baths.”
Does CHS actually exist?
So, is CHS actually a thing? The answer, apparently, is yes.
In 2014, High Times published a piece on CHS saying that the condition does exist, but that it is extremely rare, and – as the CBS story itself noted – the symptoms can immediately be relieved by showers or baths, while cessation of marijuana use reverses the condition completely.
In other words, it’s an easily treatable and mild condition that very few people ever suffer from at all.
Fake news based on flawed research
So, even if the study was valid to begin with, the reaction of the press has been overblown.
But the study has major flaws, the most serious of which is the fact that the researchers ignored the distinction between two conditions: CHS and CVS (cyclic vomiting syndrome).
In fact, the data the study was based on came from patients diagnosed with CVS, not CHS.
“Additionally, the CBS piece wrongly equivocates the study’s actual focus – which is on cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS) – with its own story on CHS. Yet the two are not the same. …
“While the study did look at cannabis use among patients surveyed, the distinction between the two illnesses is crucial, something which the CBS piece did not expand on.”
The study also relied on surveys from only two hospitals, and showed what can only be considered a “minuscule increase” (from 0.036 percent to 0.07 percent of ER visits) in the number of CVS cases.
For CBS News to publish such a piece – one based on false correlations and a single, small, flawed study – is irresponsible journalism at best.
In truth, the CBS story falls into the category of “fake news” – a propaganda hit piece aimed at the legalization movement.
The big news that the big media outlets simply aren’t getting is that the populace is finally beginning to see them for what they are: paid shills who report whatever their corporate overlords tell them to.
Luckily, we now have alternative media outlets such as this one to counter the constant barrage of lies coming from establishment news sources.
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