NOVA PBS The Cannabis Question Fraught with Conflict of Interests – Soros and Koch influences over program downplay the harms of cannabis.
MERRIFIELD, VIRGINIA, USA, October 14, 2021 — Parents Opposed to Pot (PopPot.org) calls out PBS’s science program NOVA, The Cannabis Question, for using Koch funding and Soros-funded sources when claiming to objectively explore cannabis science. NOVA’s documentary film aired on September 29, downplaying the major risks of marijuana, without mentioning the conflicts of interests of several featured “experts.”
This bias breaches the public trust in PBS and NOVA. “It is well established that marijuana can cause psychosis, ” explains Aubree Adams, Director of EveryBrainMatters.org, a project of PopPot.org.
There were no interviews with the doctors from the International Academy on the Science and Impact of Cannabis (IASIC). Instead, the television program gave prominence to Dr. Staci Gruber, part of The Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education, and Regulation, launched in 2021 “with the purpose of influencing policy and potentially shaping the first federal cannabis regulations.” Her coalition includes corporate interests such as alcohol and tobacco companies.
At the beginning Gruber stated that policy should be informed by data and science, an irony considering that the program failed to explore the conclusions of the 2017 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine on The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids.” The show doesn’t mention the comprehensive medical text published by Springer Press in 2020 on the topic Cannabis in Medicine: An Evidence-Based Approach.
One brief interview was with Dr. Nora Volkow, the director of National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Volkow said that many people end up with marijuana-induced psychosis. However, the filmmaker chose to skip over the very important science on psychosis and its irrefutable connection to cannabis. The film also neglected to cover EVALI (the vaping illnesses related to THC), Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome, the types of cancer associated with cannabis, and negative impacts on heart and lung functions.
While focusing on the story of a veteran with PTSD arrested for using marijuana, the program didn’t delve into research on marijuana for PTSD. A large, long-term study of American veterans by Wilkinson et al. found that “initiating marijuana use after treatment was associated with worse PTSD symptoms, more violent behavior, and alcohol use.”
The film featured Kassandra Frederique, Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance, funded by George Soros to promote the legalization of all drugs. Although David Koch Foundation for Science funds NOVA, the program veered away from science into criminal justice, claiming that arrests for marijuana are more harmful than adverse outcomes of cannabis use, an opinion with which we strongly disagree. A psychotic break from a marijuana-induced psychosis sometimes results in severe, lifelong mental illness or early death.
For the program to claim that not enough research has been done on THC and CBD is disproven by clinicaltrials.gov which publishes hundreds of studies funded by National Institute of Health (NIH) . This research is in addition to the multitude of research conducted overseas, in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere, particularly notable in terms of rigorous epidemiological investigations of harmful side effects of cannabis use.
NOVA PBS chose a biased moderator for a follow-up Internet Q & A on October 7. Our questions about the links between marijuana and psychotic disorders, violence and addiction to other drugs were ignored in favor of questions pushing an agenda. “Every day I speak to families whose children have been tragically harmed by cannabis,” says Aubree Adams. She continues, “NOVA’s The Cannabis Question needs to broadcast their voices.”
Parents Opposed to Pot, a 501c3 non-profit based in Merrifield, VA, “bursts the bubble of the marijuana hype” and represents families who have been harmed by the false notion that marijuana is safe. Visit the website, PopPot.org, email [email protected] or call 773-322-7523 for more information.