In an unprecedented turn of events, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, Scholastic, admits to glaring inaccuracies when it comes to their educational literature about cannabis.
By Sam Sabzehzar | August 15, 2011
After MedicalMarijuana411.com’s inquiry into the educational practices at Scholastic, Kyle Good, VP of Corporate Communications admits their ‘marijuana fact sheet’ in question is indeed outdated and insists the company’s primary objective is to “provide students with science-based factual information.”
Mr. Good was quick to admit Scholastic is responsible for any inaccuracies and takes full responsibility for the company’s misleading data, which he says he received from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and Partnership for a Drug-Free America.
The good news is that this is the first time inaccuracies and outdatedness of the reports by NIDA, and teaching tools used (in the grossest sense of the word) by Partnership for a Drug-Free America and Scholastic Inc, have been admitted. So far, Scholastic is the only company to concede their ‘facts’ are not accurate.
According to Good, NIDA will also be updating their ‘fact sheet’ on cannabis and Scholastic will use the updated information they will receive for the upcoming 2011-12 school year, which at that time should include the Endogenous Cannabinoid System.
This may be difficult for their audience to reconcile because out of the nearly twenty names they have for the plant, including negative connoted words like ‘gangster’ but do not include the botanical name, cannabis.
Anyone today trying to learn about cannabis cannot start anywhere but at the basis of their body’s own cannabinoid system and the importance of it. Without this foundational understanding, an uninformed decision is inevitable.
While Scholastic claims their efforts are to provide science-based information, Mr. Good also mentioned that Scholastic only discusses ‘smoked’ marijuana because “NIDA’s mission is to study the deleterious effects of drugs, and not their medicinal effects,” adding that “smoked marijuana is the most commonly abused method of delivery by young people.”
This answer clearly underscores the practices at Scholastic conflicting with their stated mission because science on cannabis is not the aim of an institute that is designed to come up with studies that prove cannabis is prone to abuse or dangerous for consumption, which they have been unable to ever prove through legitimate science.
Scholastic has no intention of discussing medical marijuana, a decision that is surely irresponsible as the ‘kids’ being taught to are also in states that have medical marijuana in the public rhetoric. To not speak to this very trendy topic is unwise and counterintuitive to the purpose of updating their data in the first place.
The updates should take place in the weeks ahead, but most schools are unlikely to receive updated printed materials and will continue to teach outdated information.
The growing numbers of people being lied to is counterintuitive to Scholastic and NIDA because America’s youth learns from their smart phones more about cannabis than through DARE, Scholastic, and NIDA combined.
Scholastic is a for-profit company but with close ties to NIDA, which should look bad if their mission is to truly provide science as the basis for their facts.
They will most likely end up conceded on many of their stated claims that are currently available but if they continue to repeat language of ‘smoked’ marijuana it will be because they have to further their point of the dangers of cannabis, which they cannot claim without mentioning that it was smoked, which is to say that a diabetic should not eat a cannabis brownie because it has cannabis, and not because it has lots of sugar and chocolate.
Any ‘educator’ that has to lie, and repeat the lie over and over again, in order to convince their audience about ‘facts’ in the first place will only alienate the uninterested while the curious will call them out on it, maybe even while they are capturing it in class on their phones and sharing it on Youtube and Facebook before school is even over for the day, let alone the 2011-12 school year.