From the Rose Law Group Growlery
By Phil Riske | Senior Reporter/Writer
Dr. Ed Gogek, an addiction psychiatrist and author of Marijuana Debunked, has written an excellent column on the role marijuana possession has played in prison incarcerations and media reporting on it.
The self-proclaimed liberal, has spent 30 years treating addicts and alcoholics. He says a lot of people think prisons are filled with inmates whose only crime is drug use, especially marijuana use.
“It’s not true,” Gogek said. “Yes, 20 percent of U.S. prison inmates are incarcerated for drug crimes, but they were almost all selling drugs.” He says research shows half of one-tenth of 1 percent — about 400 inmates nationwide are in prison for marijuana possession.
“In other words, the odds of going to prison just for smoking weed or carrying coke is practically nil. But our major media outlets keep telling us otherwise.”
Here’s where the good doctor gets a little whacky. He asks why the news media as a matter of faith repeatedly blame drugs for mass incarceration.
“A bigger problem, however, is that journalists who use marijuana are allowed to write about it. This is a conflict of interest,” he asserts.
“It’s a recipe for biased journalism and a misinformed public . . . and it’s why my fellow liberals and I should criticize the bias in our own news media and not just Fox News.”
Do you think I shouldn’t write about medical and recreational marijuana in Arizona because as a young man I inhaled? Should reporters who have never smoked marijuana or done drugs be the ones to report on the effects of drug use?
Do journalists who have children have a conflict of interest reporting on child abuse, adoption and family law?
And should a reporter who spent some time in jail for trespassing be banned from the floor of the Arizona House of Representatives.
I acknowledge reporters have a conflict of interest simply by being alive, but let’s don’t get carried away.