Here Are The Most And Least Marijuana-Friendly Newspapers, According To Science

Here Are The Most And Least Marijuana-Friendly Newspapers, According To Science

Newspapers have generally treated marijuana with a neutral, unbiased attitude, according to new research. But the report, which examined how the press covers cannabis, also revealed which publications have been the most and least weed-friendly.

The study, published in the journal Preventative Medicine Reports, analyzed 640 marijuana-related articles across a variety of national and regional newspapers from 1995 to 2014. While the intent of the study was to demonstrate how media coverage of certain issues relates to public opinion, it also showed just how positively, neutrally or negatively mainstream papers have reported on marijuana.

Here’s the percentage of marijuana stories with “positive” tones in ten newspapers.

  • The Columbus Dispatch: 37.1%
  • The New York Times: 37%
  • The Seattle Times: 35.8%
  • The Washington Post: 32.4%
  • The San Francisco Chronicle: 31.9%
  • Tulsa World: 28.2%
  • The Tampa Tribune: 21.5%
  • The Dallas Morning News: 21.2%
  • The Wall Street Journal: 17.4%
  • The Denver Post: 13.8%

It might come as a surprise that a paper based in Colorado, one of the first states to legalize recreational marijuana, would have a lower percentage of positive cannabis stories than papers in Texas and Oklahoma—or that Ohio’s Columbus Dispatch would come out on top—but bear in mind that the study’s analysis cutoff was 2014. A lot has happened on the cannabis news front over the past four years, including the rollout and expansion of the legal industry and media coverage of the subject.

Still, the researchers made several other significant findings. Perhaps one of the more obvious is that liberal-leaning papers tended to approach marijuana stories with a more positive tone compared to conservative-leaning competitors.

But when it comes to how marijuana news stories have been framed over the years, things get more interesting.

“Media frames suggest how the public can interpret an issue or event, and framing involves selection and salience,” the researchers wrote. “Thus, news framing can influence the public’s perception about public health policy including marijuana legalization.”

The team categorized story framing according to six “organizing themes.” Those themes are: legislation, law enforcement, youth drug use, economy, patients and medical effects.

As a general rule, drug-related stories have typically been reported through a law enforcement perspective. Historically, marijuana has been no different. But starting shortly after President Barack Obama’s second term in office, cannabis stories dealing with legislation surpassed those framed around law enforcement.

The study also demonstrated that interest in cannabis stories centered around the economy started picking up dramatically beginning in President George W. Bush’s second term, outpacing those framed around “patients” or “medical effects.”

Why this study matters.

“Although researchers have paid little attention to systematically analyzing marijuana legalization stories, there are a growing number of studies that assess the various impacts on marijuana legalization that have been published in recent years,” the authors wrote. “This study can provide useful information for practical implications. Research on the framing of marijuana legalization is important, as the way in which this issue is framed can change or shape public opinion.”

Though research supports that idea that the way issues are framed in media reports can influence public opinion on those issues, it’s also true that the study found the number of stories with a positive tone toward marijuana has declined since Bush’s second term, while stories with a negative tone have increased.

Support for marijuana legalization, by contrast, has steadily increased. One recent survey from YouGov found that a record 68 percent of Americans favor full marijuana legalization.

Marijuana Use Is More Moral Than Porn, Death Penalty and Cloning, Americans Say

See the original article published on Marijuana Moment below:

Here Are The Most And Least Marijuana-Friendly Newspapers, According To Science

Nearly 90 Percent of Florida Voters Support MMJ Legalization

Nearly 90 Percent of Florida Voters Support MMJ Legalization

The most recent swing-state poll, conducted by Quinnipiac University from September 25 through October 8, revealed that a large majority of registered Florida voters are in favor of legalizing the use of medical cannabis in the Sunshine state.

This super majority approval in Florida, which is great news for residents who want to see a medical marijuana amendment on the 2016 ballot, is on track with the numbers released from polls in two more key swing states, Ohio and Pennsylvania, where 90 percent of voters reported being in favor of legalization.

Only 51 percent of voters polled in Florida responded in support of legalizing cannabis for recreational use. While 51 percent is not enough to pass an amendment in Florida, where 60 percent of the vote is required to pass a state constitutional amendment, it still seems as though cannabis policy reform is in the future for Floridians.

The Quinnipiac poll also revealed that the number of voters who report that they “definitely would not” use marijuana if it was legal has decreased since the April 2015 poll. Whereas in April 81 percent of participants said that they would not use marijuana if it was legal, only 65 percent still felt that way in October. Fewer than 10 percent of voters stated that they would definitely use cannabis if it was legal, and another 19 claimed they would “probably use.”

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