Stoners using Twitter to spread the good word of the ganja may be influencing the youth of America to get high on marijuana. At least this appears to be the consensus of a recent study from the Washington University School of Medicine, which finds that social media messages pertaining to marijuana are reaching hundreds of thousands children in the United States every day.
The study, which was published in the latest edition of the Journal of Medical Internet Research, has the conservative collars of anti-high society ready to form a vicious lynch mob to snuff out potheads all across the country. This desire to run the stoner class out on a rail is over concerns that weed feeds on popular social media sites are molesting the enthusiasm of our nation’s children and turning them into teenage wastoids.
However, before too many parents run out to the shed for a length of rope and a fiery torch to use to brutalize a yard full of hippies, it is important they understand that these findings are anecdotal at best and are not, in any way, an accurate portrayal of the influence social media has on a young people and their decision to smoke weed. Not only that, but this study was conducted under the biased leadership of Dr. Patricia Cavazos-Rehg, who is somewhat infamous for her jaded position against the use of recreational substances, including marijuana.
“As people are becoming more accepting of marijuana use and two states have legalized the drug for recreational use, it is important to remember that it remains a dangerous drug of abuse,” she said. “I’ve been studying what is influencing attitudes to change dramatically and where people may be getting messages about marijuana that are leading them to believe the drug is not hazardous.”
In an attempt to establish this newfound pot propaganda, Dr. Cavazos-Rehg and her union of laboratory cronies set out on an eight month long mission to investigate a Twitter account called “Weed Tweets,” in which they used their findings to draw conclusions for how its average of 11 posts per day may be influencing its more than 1 million followers.
However, while the study indicates that older teens between the ages of 17 and 19 are being shown a relatively high frequency of daily pro-marijuana content, what the study fails to take into consideration is that if these kids did not want to view subject matter pertaining to cannabis, they never would have hit the “follow” button in the first place. Yet, Dr. Cavazos-Rehg insists on presenting her research as some sort of elaborate introspective into how the media continues to infiltrate the minds of young children and turn them into godless fiends.
“Studies looking at media messages on traditional outlets like television, radio, billboards and magazines have shown that media messages can influence substance use and attitudes about substance use,” she said. “It’s likely a young person’s attitudes and behaviors may be influenced when he or she is receiving daily, ongoing messages of this sort.”
Dr. Cavazos-Rehg says she is shocked that marijuana has achieved rock star status and worries that this factor along with poor social media regulations will lead to an uprising of cannabis use in children.
“There are celebrities who tweet to hundreds of thousands of followers, and it turns out a Twitter handle that promotes substance use can be equally popular,” she said. “Because there’s not much regulation of social media platforms, that could lead to potentially harmful messages being distributed. Regulating this sort of thing is going to be challenging, but the more we can provide evidence that harmful messages are being received by vulnerable kids, the more likely it is we can have a discussion about the types of regulation that might be appropriate.”
Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in High Times, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.