Here’s what Twitter Had To Say About That New Malcolm Gladwell Marijuana Piece

Malcolm Gladwell is one of the most visible non-fiction writers working today. He has written five books to considerable praise, all of which have sold into the millions. This success has not, however, come without a certain degree of criticism.

For years it's been argued that Gladwell deals primarily in pseudo-scientific ideas, oversimplifying his concepts by ignoring the facts that don't support them. 

None of this seems to have damaged his reputation, as he continues to be regularly booked for high-profile speaking engagements and publish with some the country's most prestigious periodicals. But now, it seems that broaching the subject of a possible link between cannabis and schizophrenia might just be the Tipping Point.

In a recent New Yorker piece profiling the work of New York Times journalist Alex Berenson, whose new book questions whether or not marijuana is as safe as people think, Gladwell suggests a causal link between marijuana and mental health and high crime rates.

Twitter, naturally, wasn't having it.

There are those who saw the piece as a part of a continuing trend of contrarianism and shoddy journalism on Gladwell’s part.

While others have chimed in with some, let’s say, less constructive criticism.

Others still have simply chosen to get their facts elsewhere.

A divided response is typical for any blockbuster piece from the writer. After all, he’s built his career on hot takes and contrarian viewpoints. Still, the rancor displayed these comments seems to have surprised even Gladwell himself, who tweeted about it on Monday.

Sure, one might dismiss his comparison between cannabis supporters and climate change deniers to be case of false equivalency. But remember, this is Malcolm Gladwell we’re talking about—the man turned false equivalency into a literary genre.


In the past few months, the stream of alarming news about the dangers of vaporizer cartridges has put some cannabis consumers on high alert. Since March, more than 2,000 people have gotten sick, and 40 people have died from illnesses related to vaping (VAPI, or vaping associated pulmonary injury). It is believed that the large majority of those who had become ill had used THC oil carts bought from illicit markets.

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