Conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh (Julie Smith. AP)

Rush Limbaugh tries to understand the concept of ‘wake and bake,’ fails

The conservative commentator also cites a recent analysis on medical pot — and effectively admits he didn't read the study

Rush Limbaugh thinks he knows what it means to “wake and bake” — and in his mind it involves someone who “does the weed” waking up in the morning and baking marijuana-infused “cookies or brownies.”

Or something like that?

From his website’s transcript of his show on Monday, where he was talking about the anti-legalization but pro-states’ rights comments made by Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina while she was in Denver for the Western Conservative Summit:

I don’t have any experience with this so I’m unable to render an opinion. Maybe I should go smoke some and find out what this is all about and be able to render an … (interruption) 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? (interruption) What do they taste like? (interruption) I do I wonder what they taste like.

Of course Limbaugh’s a bit off in his “wake and bake” interpretation, but he’s really off in his complete dismissal of medical marijuana — which he misattributes to a recent analysis that saw a lot of press last week.

Let’s start with this: “I don’t have any experience with this so I’m unable to render an opinion,” Limbaugh said in the above quote — this being medical marijuana.

Right before he said that sentence, he rendered this opinion on medical pot:

‘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 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.

So he doesn’t have an opinion on medical weed, because he doesn’t have any experience with it — yet he does have an opinion on medical cannabis: that opinion being that it “makes no difference in anything,” something he attributes to a recent study.

The study, or analysis, he’s referring to is this one, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association last week.

The analysis, which looked at 79 existing trials involving nearly 6,500 participants, shows that medical pot has been proven to legitimately help patients with severe pain, nausea and vomiting related to chemotherapy and spasticity from multiple sclerosis. But when it comes to the numerous other qualifying conditions that make up most medical marijuana programs, which vary tremendously from state to state and often include PTSD, glaucoma, arthritis and Parkinson’s disease, the report says the evidence isn’t there.

So even though Limbaugh cites the analysis, he clearly didn’t read JAMA’s abstract or the many articles on its findings. That didn’t stop him from wagging his finger at those who disagree with his rhetoric: “Facts are facts.”

This came to a head later when caller Thomas from Danbury, Conn., called Limbaugh to tell him about his experience with medical marijuana. He has a long history of major spine problems. He’s been taking narcotics for 20 years, and Lyrica — “which is devastating” — for 12 years.

“You can never think straight,” Thomas said of Lyrica’s effects. “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 initial response: “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.”

So right after Limbaugh references an analysis that recognizes and legitimizes medical marijuana’s efficacy for pain reduction, he says, “I’ve never heard anybody make that claim about pain relief from marijuana.”

Directly from the Journal of the American Medical Association’s abstract, the same study Limbaugh was referencing:

“Compared with placebo, cannabinoids were associated with a greater average number of patients showing … reduction in pain (37% vs 31%; OR, 1.41 [95% CI, 0.99-2.00]; 8 trials), a greater average reduction in numerical rating scale pain assessment (on a 0-10-point scale; weighted mean difference [WMD], −0.46 [95% CI, −0.80 to −0.11]; 6 trials).”

After a lengthy back and forth, with Thomas telling the talk show host that “(Medical marijuana has) been a godsend,” Limbaugh relented — somewhat.

“Well, look, if it’s working that well for you, that’s great. 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.”

Limbaugh’s next caller, Dennis from Prairie Home, Mo., was also calling to talk pot — and to tell Limbaugh about how medical marijuana helped a colleague’s Alzheimer’s.

“Wait, this is Alzheimer’s?” Limbaugh asked. “And marijuana helps with this?”

Here’s the full transcript from Limbaugh’s site.