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Top 10 Reports the Government Wish It Hadn’t Funded

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Top 10 Reports the Government Wish It Hadn’t Funded


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10) MARIJUANA USE HAS NO EFFECT ON MORTALITY: A massive study of California HMO members funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) found marijuana use caused no significant increase in mortality. Tobacco use was associated with increased risk of death. (Sidney, S et al. Marijuana Use and Mortality. American Journal of Public Health. Vol. 87 No. 4, April 1997. p. 585-590. Sept. 2002.)

9) HEAVY MARIJUANA USE AS A YOUNG ADULT WONT RUIN YOUR LIFE: Veterans Affairs scientists looked at whether heavy marijuana use as a young adult caused long-term problems later, studying identical twins in which one twin had been a heavy marijuana user for a year or longer but had stopped at least one month before the study, while the second twin had used marijuana no more than five times ever. Marijuana use had no significant impact on physical or mental health care utilization, health-related quality of life, or current socio-demographic characteristics. (Eisen SE et al. Does Marijuana Use Have Residual Adverse Effects on Self-Reported Health Measures, Socio-Demographics or Quality of Life? A Monozygotic Co-Twin Control Study in Men. Addiction. Vol. 97 No. 9. p.1083-1086. Sept. 1997)

8) THE GATEWAY EFFECT MAY BE A MIRAGE: Marijuana is often called a gateway drug by supporters of prohibition, who point to statistical associations indicating that persons who use marijuana are more likely to eventually try hard drugs than those who never use marijuana, implying that marijuana use somehow causes hard drug use. But a model developed by RAND Corp. researcher Andrew Morral demonstrates that these associations can be explained without requiring a gateway effect. More likely, this federally funded study suggests, some people simply have an underlying propensity to try drugs, and start with what’s most readily available. (Morral AR, McCaffrey D and Paddock S. Reassessing the Marijuana Gateway Effect. Addiction. December 2002. p. 1493-1504.)

7) PROHIBITION DOESNT WORK (PART I): The White House had the National Research Council examine the data being gathered about drug use and the effects of U.S. drug policies. NRC concluded the nation possesses little information about the effectiveness of current drug policy, especially of drug law enforcement. And what data exist show little apparent relationship between severity of sanctions prescribed for drug use and prevalence or frequency of use. In other words, there is no proof that prohibition, the cornerstone of U.S. drug policy for a century, reduces drug use. (National Research Council. Informing Americas Policy on Illegal Drugs: What We Dont Know Keeps Hurting Us. National Academy Press, 2001. p. 193.)

6) PROHIBITION DOESNT WORK (PART II: DOES PROHIBITION CAUSE THE GATEWAY EFFECT?): U.S. and Dutch researchers, supported in part by NIDA, compared marijuana users in San Francisco, where non-medical use remains illegal, to Amsterdam, where adults may possess and purchase small amounts of marijuana from regulated businesses. Looking at such parameters as frequency and quantity of use and age at onset of use, they found no differences except one: Lifetime use of hard drugs was significantly lower in Amsterdam, with its tolerant marijuana policies. For example, lifetime crack cocaine use was 4.5 times higher in San Francisco than Amsterdam. (Reinarman, C, Cohen, PDA, and Kaal, HL. The Limited Relevance of Drug Policy: Cannabis in Amsterdam and San Francisco. American Journal of Public Health. Vol. 94, No. 5. May 2004. p. 836-842.)

5) OOPS, MARIJUANA MAY PREVENT CANCER (PART I): Federal researchers implanted several types of cancer, including leukemia and lung cancers, in mice, then treated them with cannabinoids (unique, active components found in marijuana). THC and other cannabinoids shrank tumors and increased the lifespans of the mice. (Munson, AE et al. Antineoplastic Activity of Cannabinoids. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Sept. 1975. p. 597-602.)

4) OOPS, MARIJUANA MAY PREVENT CANCER, (PART II): In a 1994 study the government tried to suppress, federal researchers gave mice and rats massive doses of THC, looking for cancers or other signs of toxicity. The rodents given THC lived longer and had fewer cancers, in a dose-dependent manner (i.e. the more THC they got, the fewer tumors). (NTP Technical Report On The Toxicology And Carcinogenesis Studies Of 1-Trans- Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol, CAS No. 1972-08-3, In F344/N Rats And B6C3F Mice, Gavage Studies. See also, Medical Marijuana: Unpublished Federal Study Found THC-Treated Rats Lived Longer, Had Less Cancer, AIDS Treatment News no. 263, Jan. 17, 1997.)

3) OOPS, MARIJUANA MAY PREVENT CANCER (PART III): Researchers at the Kaiser-Permanente HMO, funded by NIDA, followed 65,000 patients for nearly a decade, comparing cancer rates among non-smokers, tobacco smokers, and marijuana smokers. Tobacco smokers had massively higher rates of lung cancer and other cancers. Marijuana smokers who didnt also use tobacco had no increase in risk of tobacco-related cancers or of cancer risk overall. In fact their rates of lung and most other cancers were slightly lower than non-smokers, though the difference did not reach statistical significance. (Sidney, S. et al. Marijuana Use and Cancer Incidence (California, United States). Cancer Causes and Control. Vol. 8. Sept. 1997, p. 722-728.)

2) OOPS, MARIJUANA MAY PREVENT CANCER (PART IV): Donald Tashkin, a UCLA researcher whose work is funded by NIDA, did a case-control study comparing 1,200 patients with lung, head and neck cancers to a matched group with no cancer. Even the heaviest marijuana smokers had no increased risk of cancer, and had somewhat lower cancer risk than non-smokers (tobacco smokers had a 20-fold increased lung cancer risk). (Tashkin D. Marijuana Use and Lung Cancer: Results of a Case-Control Study. American Thoracic Society International Conference. May 23, 2006.)

1) MARIJUANA DOES HAVE MEDICAL VALUE: In response to passage of Californias medical marijuana law, the White House had the Institute of Medicine (IOM) review the data on marijuanas medical benefits and risks. The IOM concluded that nausea, appetite loss, pain and anxiety are all afflictions of wasting, and all can be mitigated by marijuana. While noting potential risks of smoking, the report acknowledged there is no clear alternative for people suffering from chronic conditions that might be relieved by smoking marijuana, such as pain or AIDS wasting. The government’s refusal to acknowledge this finding caused co-author John A. Benson to tell the New York Times that “the government loves to ignore our report; they would rather it never happened”. (Joy, JE, Watson, SJ, and Benson, JA. Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base. National Academy Press. 1999. p. 159. See also, Harris, G. FDA Dismisses Medical Benefit From Marijuana. New York Times. Apr. 21, 2006)

They should've added these::

THREE THINGS MARIJUANA DOESN'T DO from California NORML Reports, April 1992

(1) NO BRAIN DAMAGE SEEN IN MARIJUANA-EXPOSED MONKEYS

Two new scientific studies have failed to find evidence
of brain damage in monkeys exposed to marijuana, undercutting
claims that marijuana causes brain damage in humans.
The studies were conducted by two independent
research groups. The first, conducted by Dr. William Slikker,
Jr. and others at the National Center for Toxicological Research
in Arkansas examined some 64 rhesus monkeys, half of which
were exposed to daily or weekly doses of marijuana smoke for
a year. The other, by Gordon T. Pryor and Charles Rebert at SRI
International in Menlo Park, California, which is still
unpublished, looked at over 30 rhesus monkeys that had inhaled
marijuana one to three times a day over periods of 6 to 12
months. Neither study found evidence of structural or
neurochemical changes in the brains of the monkeys when
examined a few months after cessation of smoking.
The new results cast doubt on earlier studies
purporting to show brain damage in animals. The most famous
of these was a study by Dr. Robert Heath, who claimed to find
brain damage in three monkeys heavily exposed to cannabis.
Heath's results failed to win general acceptance in the
scientific community because of the small number of subjects,
questionable controls, and heavy doses.
Subsequent rat experiments by Dr. Slikker and others
reported persistent structural changes in the brain cells of
rats chronically exposed to THC. The studies did not show that
pot kills brain cells, as alleged by some pot critics, but they
did show degeneration of the nerve connections between brain
cells in the hippocampus, where THC is known to be active.
Although scientists have regarded the animal evidence
as inconclusive, some critics have cited it as proof that pot
causes brain damage in humans. Thus Andrew Mecca, the
director of California Department of Alcohol and Drug Abuse,
recently stated on the Ron Reagan, Jr. talk show (Sep. 2, 1991)
that marijuana "leaves a black protein substance in the
synaptic cleft" of brain cells, a claim apparently based on
Heath's monkeys. When asked by a NORML member for his
evidence, Mecca sent a list of three references, none of which
turned out to have anything to do with brain damage.
Although the new monkey studies found no physical
brain damage, they did observe behavioral changes from
marijuana. Slikker's group found that monkeys exposed once a
day to the human equivalent of four or five joints showed
persistent effects throughout the day. Slikker says that the
effects faded gradually after they were taken off marijuana,
and were not detectable seven months later, when they were
sacrificed. Autopsies did reveal lingering chemical changes in
the immune cells in the lungs of monkeys that had inhaled THC.
However, Slikker's group concluded that experimental exposure
to marijuana smoke "does not compromise the general health of
the rhesus monkey."

References:

William Slikker, Jr. et al, "Chronic Marijuana Smoke Exposure in the Rhesus
Monkey," Fundamental and Applied Toxicology 17: 321-32 (1991)

Guy Cabral et al, "Chronic Marijuana Smoke Alters Alveolar Macrophage
Morphology and Protein Expression, Pharmacology Biochemistry and
Behavior 40: 643-9 (1991)

Merle Paule et al., "Chronic Marijuana Smoke Exposure in the Rhesus Monkey
II: Effects on Progressive Ratio and Conditioned Position
Responding," Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
260: 210-22 (1992)

(2) POT FOUND NOT TO CAUSE FETAL ALCOHOL SYNDROME

A new study of children born to marijuana-smoking
mothers found no link between marijuana exposure and the
birth defects of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). The new study,
by Dr. Susan J. Astley of the University of Washington,
published in the January, 1992 issue of Pediatrics,
contradicted a 1982 study by Dr. Ralph Hingson, in which
prenatal exposure to marijuana was found to increase the risk
of FAS.
Hingson's results, which have not been replicated, have
been questioned on various methodological grounds, in
particular the difficulty of controlling for combined drinking
and pot use.
The new study looked for facial deformities
symptomatic of FAS in 40 children whose mothers had smoked
marijuana heavily during pregnancy and 40 controls, It found no
association between marijuana and FAS, but deformities were
observed in children of women who drank 2 ounces of alcohol
per day or took cocaine.

(3) NEW STUDY FINDS POT DOESN'T LOWER TESTOSTERONE

A new study by Dr. Robert Block at the University of
Iowa disputes the commonly held notion that marijuana alters
the level of testosterone and other sex hormones.
The study contradicted a widely publicized 1974 study
by Dr. R.C. Kolodony, which reported decreased testosterone
levels in men who smoked marijuana chronically.
The U. of Iowa study found that chronic marijuana use
had no effect on testosterone, luteinizing hormone, follicle
stimulating hormone, prolactin and cortisol in men or women.
Noting that six other studies had failed to show
lowered testosterone levels in men, Dr. Block concluded: "It
appears that marijuana, even heavy use of the kind that's
typical in the United States, doesn't alter testosterone levels."
However, he cautioned that heavy use might have other
adverse effects, including "possible effects on reproductive
function and mild, selective cognitive impairments associated
with heavy, chronic use."
Block's study is published in Drug and Alcohol
Dependence, Vol. 28: 121-8 (1991).