Seen on: http://www.thegryphon.co.uk/2015/03/drugs-live-cannabis-on-trial-was-boring-and-biased/
Channel 4’s Drug’s Live: Cannabis on Trial attempted to distinguish the difference in the feelings and effects induced by hashish and the reportedly “three times stronger” skunk, which has created much debate in recent years. Millions of people in the UK smoke cannabis every year and it’s an experience many students go through at some point during their time at university.
The show promised a great deal, with star academics such as Professor David Nutt, and charismatic presenters like Christian Jessen all taking part, but it lacked purpose. Its attempt in making a flashy and exciting introduction fell short, with a selection ofconfusing camera shots showing each presenter walking in different directions, followed by a comment from Richard Branson, a completely random choice of celebrity to include in the show. Even he seemed somewhat bemused when Jessen came over and put him in the spotlight. The lab coats and tacky studio layout didn’t help to make the show more interesting either, just undeniably cheesy.
As it continued, the show became increasingly similar to an awkward video a teacher would put on in a science class before half the students fall asleep. The only really enjoyable part of the show was the moment Jon Snow had his famous panic attack in the middle of an MRI scan after smoking skunk. However, presenting what was to happen at the beginning essentially ruined the surprise of it.
One flaw of the television experiment which was never addressed was the fact that being high and being forced to talk about feelings of anxiety would considerably increase these feelings than if, say, the participant was sat listening to music and eating a bag of Doritos. After all, anxiety feeds on loops of thought. This could have been a crucial reason as to why Jon Snow had such a bad reaction; never mind the fact that he took the strongest strain of the drug that there is.
When it came to interviewing ‘real life’ stoners and not fifty-year-old, middle class presenters, they couldn’t have picked a more stereotypical bunch if they tried. It basically consisted of a group of students saying how good cannabis made them feel and how great high sex is. They just seemed happy to have a few moments on television more than anything.
The deluded message that creativity correlates with cannabis use, even though it may have been unintentional, could be inferred incorrectly by some of the audience. Music sounds better to a high listener, that’s agreed. But there’s no proof it makes anyone more creative and this shouldn’t be implied on an ‘informative’ show.
The results provided little new revelations about cannabis. The dramatised promise for a massive discovery came to a flat finding that skunk is in fact worse than the better known, normal strain of cannabis and hash. This created a strong sense of purposelessness and inadequacy; Drugs Live: Cannabis on Trial was one hour of television seriously lacking.