Cathy Reisenwitz

Listen up, pot virgins. According to what I’ve read, sometimes when you get too high, you start to think you’re going to die. A combination of a racing heart and acute paranoia sets in and while you realize that no one has ever died from too much Mary Jane, you just might be the first. It’s a thing, so I hear. Which leads me to wonder whether the entire media landscape only writes about weed when they’re stoned out of their gourds, because it’s the only way to explain their incessant sensationalist fear-mongering.

Whether it’s pot overdoses or flawed studies reported incorrectly, reading the stories leads stoners to ask: what have these journos been smoking?

Devout Christian mother-of-three, 31, becomes first woman in Britain to DIE from cannabis poisoning after smoking a joint in bed to help her sleep,” reads the headline, all-caps in original, from British tabloid Daily Mail. While her doctor may have gone on record saying the cause of death was “cannabis toxicity,” in reality that’s not actually a thing. According to Dr. Yasmin Hurd, a professor of psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, claims that her death was the result of the half joint she smoked are “absurd.”

After Colorado legalized recreational marijuana use, the media began reporting a hoax story about overdoses killing 37 people the very day of the ruling as if it were true.

On the very, very long list of things that can give one a heart attack, I’ll bet stupid reporting ranks way above pot. Reporters, put down the bong and listen up. People die for absolutely no explainable reason. Some of them also smoke pot. These facts are scary, for sure. But no one needs you going around making people afraid of a plant which is known to reduce pain, anxiety, nausea, PTSD, and more, and might even fight cancer.

Cathy Reisenwitz

Cathy Reisenwitz is a Young Voices Associate and a D.C.-based writer and political commentator.