One of the major battlefronts in the war against marijuana has always been the culture war. TV, radio, movies and now the Internet have played a major part in the prohibition of cannabis and in the tearing down of that prohibition.
Earlier this month a major salvo was fired in that war from an unlikely source: Dr. Mehmet Oz. And it happened in unlikely place as well, on the Fox News morning show.
.@DrOz: "Medical Marijuana… it may be the exit drug to get us out of the narcotic epidemic." pic.twitter.com/VjlPgHybwk
— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 19, 2017
This may not seem like a big deal to some, but think of the people who were watching Fox News at the time. Your average Fox News viewer is not exactly a young, liberal hippie. They tend to be older, more conservative folks, the kind of folks who are the last demographic to support marijuana legalization, even if it is medical.
Obviously we can never know how many minds were changed by that brief clip, and we will never know how many people decided to look further into the matter because they trust Dr. Oz and think ‘well, if he says that, maybe I should do some research.’ But I don’t think it’s a stretch to believe that at least some people who oppose medical marijuana may get online and find out more for themselves. And in the end, since we have truth on our side, that’s all we ask.
Like many people in his profession, Dr. Oz’s views on cannabis seem to be evolving somewhat. This is no surprise considering the mountain of information the Internet and better laws has produced in the last decade or so. Add to this the fact that most medical schools still teach almost nothing about cannabis and you have a recipe for widespread ignorance. After all, even the smartest person can’t act on information they don’t have.
For example, in 2013, another doctor wrote about marijuana on Dr. Oz’s website. The article cited a since debunked study that claimed smoking marijuana lead to a drop in IQ. If you believe smoking marijuana lowers IQ – or causes cancer or kills brain cells, like we were told it did when we were kids – it stands to reason that you might be against it. But when you find out those things are not true, it causes you to change your way of thinking.
That is why getting those who oppose cannabis legalization to do more research is a critical step in changing their minds.
He did say that, but others have been saying that for years.