And now for some Buzzfeed Bullshit about Cannabis
A recent slew of “survey articles” about the public perception of cannabis were being smeared all over the Buzzfeed site. I personally don’t read anything from Buzzfeed, but since I have a few cannabis alerts set up, it made its way to my inbox.
The headline read, “Half of Americans Think The Smell of Weed in Public is a Real Problem”. The byline read, “Canadians hate it even more”.
This makes you wonder, is the smell of weed really a problem and do 50% of the public truly think it’s a problem?
I decided to dig deeper.
Buzzfeed doesn’t understand math
Firstly, before we jump into the numbers, let’s understand the term “Real Problem”. A Real problem would be considered something that requires immediate action. For instance, drunk driving is a real problem with real-world consequences.
For people to consider the smell of weed in public a real problem, we can assume that it affects their lives in one way or another. Maybe they have kids, maybe they have sensitive noses like that of the basset hound. Nonetheless, these are people that would like to take action. It’s a sensitive point that needs to be addressed.
Now, let’s take a look at their survey numbers.
According to the Buzzfeed survey:
People asked on sidewalks:
- 23% said it was a “major problem”
- 28% said it was a “minor problem”
- 28% said it was “not really a problem”
- 21% said it was “not a problem at all”
Under the pretext of “real problem”, only 23% of the people expressed that opinion. That means that the bulk sum of folks (77%) found it to be a minor problem to no problem at all.
That means that 3 in 4 people (asked) according to their survey, didn’t really see it as a problem. In other words, not 50% as claimed by the headline.
When they asked cannabis consumers, they claim that one-third of them claimed it to be a problem and 10% claiming it’s a real problem. However, as a cannabis consumer…it doesn’t make sense that 33% of cannabis consumers would have a problem with the smell of weed.
The small number of surveyed
In a country of a population of 330 million people, asking a few thousand people their opinion would hardly paint a broad picture. Data would change from neighborhood to neighborhood, from state to state. The vast contrast between “suburban living” and “city living” sways opinion based on their immediate interaction with the environment.
The total number of people surveyed come out to 1000 adults in the US and 607 in Canada. In other words, they asked the opinion of 0.0003% of the US Population and then made a claim that “half of Americans” think that the smell of weed in public is a ‘real problem’?
If that constitutes factual scientific claims…we are absolutely fucked as a species! Fortunately, it’s just Buzzfeed and nobody takes that seriously…or do they?
The Buzzfeed Dilemma
The problem with sites like Buzzfeed is that they have massive reach. The problem with many folks on social media these days is that they only read headlines and form opinions based on this information. People don’t fact-check their sources. They simply read “half of Americans” hate the smell of weed in public, and assume it to be true.
This, in turn then translates into the greater social narrative which creates more resistance to passing weed laws. They have an influence on people and are disseminating disinformation. Obviously, Buzzfeed tries to increase revenue and know that by publishing bullshit, they will get clicks. However, at what cost?
Disinformation is a real problem that shapes the way you see the world. This in turn impacts your behavior which then affects the environment. It was disinformation that help craft the draconian drug laws that incarcerated non-violent people for smoking and selling a plant. It is disinformation that continues to sustain a policy that should have never been created in the first place.
While these folks are merely writing for the sake of making money, they should be aware that their participation with the system that oppresses the masses, are real. They are compliant in the narrative that sustains prohibition.
So thanks for that Buzzfeed!
People don’t have a problem with the smell of weed
Once I was walking down Santa Monica Pier, it was a long day and I needed to unwind. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any weed on me (this was prior to full legalization). I was also visiting California and not a resident.
Fortunately, there was this gnarly smell in the air that guided me to a dude who was sitting on a bench smoking a bowl. I asked him if by any chance he would spare me a toke. We smoked for an hour and I made a new friend.
Thanks to the smell of weed in a public place.
Is this story subjective…of course! But at least I’m honest about it.