Media Bias: Marijuana Dasha edwards

Media bias is a bias or perceived bias of journalists and news producers within the mass media in the selection of events and stories that are reported and how they are covered. Media bias is not always negative nor is it always positive. There are various sources of media that have many distinct positions when it comes to marijuana use. When it comes to this bias a lot of it is age associated. The media has a significant effect on adolescents and their marijuana use, and their related outcomes. The media even touched on marijuana’s inconsistency with personal aspirations and autonomy. This makes people start to wonder just how much media bias matters.

Media bias on marijuana has been going on for years now, and it seems their focus is on adolescents and their marijuana use. Whether it’s to tell them to smoke more, less, or not at all. Though marijuana affects the old and the young the media will typically only tell you about the adolescent side of things. For example, the news covered a study over marijuana dependence. The study consisted of 1,866 adolescents and 762 adults. This study was based off seven standardized questions regarding marijuana’s clinical features, such as being able to cut back on usage. The studies findings suggest among the people whom had just began to use marijuana clinical marijuana dependence occurred twice as much among adolescents than adults. There was ample of other information regarding the study, but this media focused more on the adolescent specific section. It tied in perfectly with their “Against Marijuana” campaign.

Media bias has a major influence on adolescents’ marijuana use and their related outcomes. This study shows how aggregate levels of news coverage about marijuana, and how it has impacted adolescents general marijuana behavior. There are multiple variables that were involved in this study such as personal disapproval and harmfulness of marijuana. It was thought that before that if the media covered the reasons why people should not use marijuana it would just increase the aggregate use of marijuana. Whereas positive news coverage of marijuana would cause more adolescents to want to smoke. The media outlet then explained a profound portion of the variation of their personal disapproval of marijuana. Whether the media promotes or goes against marijuana people are still hearing about it and making decisions based on what they’ve heard from the media.

The media has even mentioned marijuana’s inconsistency with personal aspirations and autonomy. “Be Under Your Own Influence” was a community and school trial which mimicked a previous trial the “Above The Influence”. Results indicate that earlier effects of the “Be Under Your Own Influence” intervention replicated only in part and that the most possible explanation of the weaker effects is high exposure to the similar but more extensive ONDCP “Above the Influence” national campaign. Self-reported exposure to the ONDCP campaign predicted reduced marijuana use, and analyses partially support indirect effects of the two campaigns via aspirations and autonomy

Ultimately this leads to the question: Does media bias matter? The answer is yes. The media has a great influence in peoples everyday lives. Whether its to promote or stand against something. There are many different forms of media all with their own distinct positions on certain topics. Most bias will always be age restricted when talking about any form of drug not just marijuana. Though the media plays a key role in the decisions people make it will ultimately always be the peoples decision to choose what they would like to do.


Chen, Chuan‐Yu, and James C. Anthony. "Possible Age‐associated Bias in Reporting of Clinical Features of Drug Dependence: Epidemiological Evidence on Adolescent‐onset Marijuana Use." Addiction. Blackwell Science Ltd, 19 Dec. 2002. Web. 05 May 2017.

Journal of Health Communication. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 May 2017.

Slater, Michael D., Kathleen J. Kelly, Frank R. Lawrence, Linda R. Stanley, and Maria Leonora G. Comello. "Assessing Media Campaigns Linking Marijuana Non-Use with Autonomy and Aspirations:." SpringerLink. Springer US, 27 Jan. 2011. Web. 05 May 2017.


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