Mainstream Media Looks At Marijuana Prohibition

As if this month was not busy enough with the arrival of Barack Obama to the White House and an ever-growing popular buzz about the need for cannabis law reform all over the media and internet, three major MSM outlets are scheduled to broadcast prime time specials examining aspects of cannabis prohibition.

On Friday, January 16, the venerable NBC news show Dateline has scheduled an hour-long profile of the tragic death of Florida college student Rachel Hoffman. Ms. Hoffman was arrested with cannabis and unfortunately trusted local police to become an undercover informant, which ultimately led to her murder. Her shocking death has forced Florida law enforcement to re-examine the use of confidential informants in drug cases and raised the question publicly about decriminalizing cannabis for adult use. (UPDATE: The Dateline NBC story about Rachel Hoffman will not be aired tonight as originally scheduled. The hour-long program is being preempted by coverage of yesterday’s airplane crash in New York City. Rachel’s story will be rescheduled, though the date is not yet known: )

ABC 20/20 correspondent John Stossel’s investigative unit is going to cast its usually critical eye at government overreach and wasteful spending, this time specifically towards the noted case of medical cannabis provider Charles Lynch. By all media accounts and advanced in his legal defense, Mr. Lynch was operating a ‘Main Street’ medical cannabis dispensary in Santa Barbara, California in compliance with local and state medical cannabis laws. However, the federal government continues to selectively arrest and prosecute medical cannabis providers under federal laws. Mr. Lynch’s appeal for a new trial has been rejected and he now potentially faces a mandatory five-year sentence at an upcoming sentencing hearing. Depending on the editing process, the story will likely broadcast either Friday the 9th or 16th @ 10PM (eastern).

Business network CNBC has produced an one-hour special called Marijuana, Inc. to premiere at 9 pm (eastern), January 22. Fascinated by the multi-billion untaxed, unregulated cannabis business in the United States, notably on the west coast, producers fanned out to interview cultivators, medical cannabis dispensary owners, middle-class cannabis consumers and of course law enforcement.

Lastly, NORML hears whispers of a major piece about cannabis prohibition being researched for publication at America’s largest Sunday newspaper circulation drop-in, Parade.

– Article from the NORML Blog on January 9, 2009.



  1. Anonymous on

    this is gonna be a head on a pike report. Look no further then the tone of the preview, it sounds like a political add. It is up to the masses to fight this war by direct, civil disobedience—grow and smoke everywhere. Remember that everyone gets high–cannabinoids are part of your brain and smoking herb just awakens what is already present.

  2. Anonymous on

    Ya… we’ll just have to see. I don’t have cable TV so I’ll probably have to wait for the youtube up or something.
    Hopefully they don’t continue to tarnish our beloved plant’s repuation for the masses.

  3. leperman on

    I got a bad feeling about the marijuana inc preview. Mostly because the promo didnt seam to have any pro pot ppl and focused on the gang realted aspect of it.Not failing to mention the guns and violence that they bring to the table. But who knows the rest of the program may be more balanced, but not likely as seeing how nbc are a bunch of wussys who would probably bend to advertiser pressure ie: the phaarmacutical industry.