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If a grow operation is a cannabis ‘factory' then my vegetable garden is a farm

The media in the UK is known to do a few unsavoury things: Hacking into the answerphone of a kidnapped teenage girl, outing people for their sexual orientation and outright lies about cannabis and its effects on the user and society. 

Recently, one of the worst trends among the UK media, both tabloids and broadsheets, is to call anyone growing cannabis in their home a ‘cannabis factory’. As if every single person who is growing cannabis is doing it a high level of investment and effort, and is doing it for profit. This is obviously not the case, many people are growing cannabis to ensure that they have a source of medicine to treat their illness for example.

Compared to other countries, the UK’s media is possibly the most vociferous when it comes to cannabis. The Daily Mail has regularly reported studies that find no connection of cannabis to mental health and then proudly reports the headlines as ‘cannabis makes people mad’. It’s unacceptable for the media to continue to produce lies about something in order to sell copies or get website page views. 

People inform themselves of their views through the media, so when even those outlets that have traditionally been pro cannabis such as the guardian, post fear mongering pieces like they did this week then it is no surprise that legalisation and pro cannabis sentiment is so far behind in the UK.

It is unrealistic to expect the media to change, they print articles that will make them money, so things that are outrageous and appeal to people who have already formed an idea is what they will print. There is no concrete way to change how people view cannabis in the media. There is no law to stop them lying and any dissent is usually quietened down. In the age of a dying print media, then headlines online will continue to become more like clickbait until people lose respect for their brands. That could take a very long time.

April 26, 2016 by Gareth Arnold

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