When someone is murdered, the murderer or murderers are solely to blame for what happened. That should be obvious, but sadly, it is not always the case. For some reason in cases that involve a victim that is a person of color and cannabis is present in their system or in their possession, mainstream media tries to shift the blame from the murderer(s) to the victim’s cannabis use. It has happened time and time again.
This mainstream media smear tactic is absolutely disgusting and anyone who thinks otherwise lacks morals in my opinion. The tactic preys on the stigma that still surrounds cannabis and those that use it. Mainstream media outlets presumably get clicks and increased ratings if/when they go low like this. Assassinating a murder victim’s character for the purpose of getting increased eyeballs to a story is something that media consumers should not tolerate.
The mainstream media character assassination tactic was on display this week with the coverage of the alleged murder of Botham Jean. I use the word ‘alleged’ only because people are innocent until proven guilty in this country, but I personally think that any reasonable person would look at the facts of the case and arrive at the conclusion that Botham Jean was murdered in cold blood.
Botham Jean was shot and killed in his own home by Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger. Amber Guyger’s story about what happened has changed as the investigation has gone on, with conflicting accounts being provided by her. My personal opinion is that she should be convicted of murder. I encourage Weed News readers to research the facts themselves and form their own opinion on the matter.
On the day of Botham Jean’s funeral, media coverage pivoted from describing the matter as a preventable tragedy to suggesting that cannabis may have somehow contributed to the victim’s death. I cannot imagine how that made the victim’s family feel. On a day that they were gathering to remember their loved family member that was killed in his own home while not bothering anyone else, they had to deal with the smearing of their family member’s name in virtually every mainstream media outlet.
“The release of a Dallas police affidavit into the public record regarding marijuana found in Botham Jean’s apartment is nothing more than an attempt by law enforcement to posthumously criminalize and cast aspersions on a man who by all accounts is guilty of nothing other than sitting quietly in his own home. Over half of all Americans have consumed marijuana at some point in their lives and to pretend in any way the possession of a plant that is objectively safer than alcohol or tobacco provides legitimacy to his extrajudicial execution is disgusting and egregious. Whether or not the victim possessed marijuana is irrelevant to the case and a sad attempt to slander an otherwise innocent person. Botham Jean and his family need and deserve justice, not a pathetic attempt at a smear campaign.” said NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri about the smear campaign.
My heart goes out to the family of Botham Jean. Thinking about what they have been through makes my soul hurt, and if you are a good person you obviously feel the same way. Botham Jean should be alive today and spending this Sunday with his friends and family. Instead, he is deceased and his name is being dragged through the mud for no reason other than mainstream media’s disgusting obsession with perpetuating the stigma that surrounds the cannabis plant and those that consume it. Shame on you mainstream media. Place the blame where it needs to be placed – on the murderer, and not on the murder victim’s cannabis use.