Rush Limbaugh Got Dazed and Confused Trying to Explain 'Wake and Bake' to His Right-Wing Audience
The right's favorite radio shouter took on the topic of marijuana this week and really made a hash of it. Rush Limbaugh made it clear that he remains clueless about weed, though that didn't stop him from trying to take some pot-shots at medical marijuana. Fortunately, even his Dittohead listeners aren't as ill-informed as he is, and some of them were able to clue him in just a tiny bit.
Limbaugh waded into the fray Monday, leading off with a discussion of anti-legalization GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina's trip to Colorado, calling her "fearless" for taking that stance in a state that has already freed the weed. From there, he went on one of his obligatory rants about how that's going to hurt her with millennial voters because all they care about is whether a candidate is "nice" or "mean."
If his political analysis was lacking, his knowledge of marijuana was even more so. He claims never to have tried it, and according to the transcript of the show, he's evidently dazed and confused about what it means to "wake and bake."
"I don’t have any experience with this so I’m unable to render an opinion," Limbaugh said. "Maybe I should go smoke some and find out what this is all about and be able to render an ….oh, yeah, eat a brownie. That’s what 'wake and bake' means, right? Yeah, there’s an NFL player who had a Snapchat or Instagram post. He woke up and he’s all happy, and said, 'Time to wake and bake,' and somebody said, 'Wow, that guy does the weed.' So that’s what wake and bake means. Bake some cookies or brownies, I guess. Have you had them? What do they taste like? I do I wonder what they taste like."
Such evident cluelessness about the basics of weed put Limbaugh on the same level of hipness as Fox New's Steve Doocey, who famously worried about people getting "all potted up on weed" after Colorado voters legalized it in November 2012.
Okay, so Limbaugh is laughably and probably terminally square. We can all enjoy a good chuckle at his expense on that count. But then the conservative propagandist goes from dorky to dangerous as he attempts to mislead listeners about the contents of a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which found that medical marijuana provided measurable relief from pain for some, but not all, conditions for which it has been used.
Remember: This is the guy who a moment earlier said he's "unable to render an opinion" on medical marijuana because he doesn't have any experience with it.
"'Cause, folks, it’s politically incorrect to say that marijuana might have health risks, because right now the politically correct thing to say about marijuana is that it’s a great boon for people who are sick. Medical marijuana is absolutely wonderful even though there’s a recent study says makes no difference in anything. But they think it is. 'Marijuana is really cool, and it’s safer, and it’s not heroin or cocaine, and it’s a crop! It comes from the ground, and it’s cool, and some of our favorite musicians did their best work while under its influence.' So it’s cool stuff."
The guy "unable to render an opinion" just did, and he misrepresented the results of the study in doing so. The study, actually a meta-analysis of 79 trials involving more than 6,000 patients, found that medical marijuana indeed helped patients undergoing chemotherapy deal with severe pain, vomiting and nausea, and helped those suffering from multiple sclerosis deal with spasticity. For other conditions, the study didn't say medical marijuana did not help; it said the evidence was not yet there.
"Facts are facts," Limbaugh said. And distortions are distortions.
Even Dittohead Nation wasn't letting Limbaugh get away with it.
A listerner named Thomas from Danbury, Connecticut, called in to say he had a long history of spinal problems, has been taking opiates for 20 years, as well as the anti-seizure drug Lyrica—"which is devastating"—for the past dozen years.
"You can never think straight," Thomas said of Lyrica. "It’s impossible to wake up in the morning. I spoke with my pain physician, and we have medical marijuana here in Connecticut, and he suggested, he thought that was a good idea to give it a try. And what I’ve done is I’m taking almost no Oxycodone anymore and I slashed my Lyrica, and what I find is, I can think clearer, I can wake up in the morning, and the pain is dramatically reduced. Never gone, but it’s substantially reduced, even though I’m taking less of the other medication."
Limbaugh's first response was to scoff: "Now, don’t take this personally. Is that really true? Spine pain, look, I’ve had it. You say that marijuana did better than the narcotics they had you on? I’ve never heard anybody make that claim about pain relief from marijuana."
The conversation continued, with Thomas telling Limbaugh that medical marijuana has been "a godsend."
"Well, look, if it’s working that well for you, that’s great," the radio talker semi-backtracked. "I’m not questioning anything. I’m just marveling because I’ve never had anybody attest to the pain-relief power of marijuana like you have. But it’s great if that’s your experience."
The next caller tried to continue Limbaugh's education. Dennis, from Prairie Home, Missouri, told him about how medical marijuana was helping a colleague with Alzheimer's.
"Wait, this is Alzheimer’s?" Limbaugh asked. "And marijuana helps with this?"
This will be a continuing education process.