The media loves to amplify these stories. Maybe that isn’t the worst thing
At this point, you have probably seen headlines about several Boston Public Schools students reportedly becoming sick after eating infused candy bars, with one even being sent to the hospital. I make that assumption because, like everytime this kind of unfortunate event happens, the news makes every outlet all the way up to major local radio and television stations that often feed national sites.
I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. While I could criticize the TV hairdos all day for rarely producing well-informed worthwhile stories about cannabis (or just about anything else for that matter), it’s nonetheless impossible to overstate the importance of not just keeping cannabis out of reach of young people, but also teaching kids to fear and stay away from it in the event that they do come face-to-face with an enticing chocolate bar that could cause them some harm.
With that said, I’m not here to pass judgment on the parents or students responsible in this or most similar matters. It’s a shame and I’m sure that there will be consequences, for better or worse, but you won’t find me throwing shit with commenters on social media. I’m sure that everyone will come out of it a bit smarter, and the school seems to be right on top of things. Their statement to media:
“We are deeply concerned about the recent reports of students ingesting edibles. We are encouraging parents, guardians, and caregivers to take an active role in helping us ensure our students are aware of the risks associated with consuming these products and that they understand the potential consequences, including the potential for serious health issues. We are grateful to our school staff and first responders for their quick work in getting our students seen by medical professionals as quickly as possible.”
And then, of course, there is the media itself. I don’t mean that in the same way that your conservative uncle laments people who cover the news, but rather as someone who has covered cannabis in New England for nearly two decades and in that time has seen some of the sleaziest prohibitionist trash imaginable pass as reporting. As reluctant as I am to hand out any compliments, gauging by their performance over the past 24 hours, they seem to have gotten … better?!?
NBC10 went with the simple “Boston Middle School Student Taken to Hospital After Taking Edible,” further explaining, “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that edibles, though legal in some states, can make children sick.” Boston.com just provided the basics, while WCVB avoided the opportunity to run a hyperbolic headline and instead gave just specifics: “5 students at Boston’s Tobin School ingest edibles, 1 taken to hospital.”
The Herald ran a rather ominous photo and referred to a police investigation into the matter, but even they didn’t ratchet it up very much for their readers.
I won’t lie; when I saw this story popping up everywhere today, I reached for the torch. If they’re able to handle this kind of sensational story in a somewhat responsible way, though, I suppose there’s no harm done. We can all use the constant reminder to keep young people safe around cannabis and anything else that can hurt them.