Crying Wolf

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In Salon, Maia Szalavitz reports that the U.S. drug czar’s office has cooked up a new scare campaign, telling everyone that pot causes schizophrenia. See ads like this one. Of course, despite the fact that marijuana use has increased at a fairly, um, healthy clip since the 1930s, the percentage of schizophrenics in the general population has stayed constant. So, you know, the link might not actually be that solid. Anyway, this would all be very humorous except that it has real effects on the credibility of serious health warnings. Methamphetamines, for instance, actually can cause psychosis—but, of course, no one is going to listen to a government that’s already making hysterical claims about pot and mental illness.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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