Bad Science Is Everywhere Today

I’m all over Canwest media today with my scathing comment about Health Canada “science”.

Here’s the article – read my quotes at the end:

Smoking pot causes as much damage as tobacco: Study

Amy Minsky, Canwest News Service

Smoking pot can cause as much damage to cells and DNA as tobacco smoke, according to a group of Canadian researchers who are challenging the belief that marijuana is less harmful than cigarettes.

Rebecca Maertens, a researcher from Health Canada and co-author of the study, says many Canadians believe marijuana smoke is less toxic, and causes less damage than tobacco because pot is “natural.”

Despite several experiments that show marijuana use to have adverse health effects, the prevalence of marijuana use in Canada has increased over the past decade, while the incidence of tobacco use has decreased.

Nearly one quarter of Canadians between the ages of 15 and 24 reported using marijuana in the previous 12 months according to 2006 Statistics Canada report — over 14 per cent of those said they used the drug on a daily basis.

The team behind this new study suggested that a lack of understanding about the dangers of marijuana plays a part in why youth are so cavalier about smoking it.

Neither marijuana nor the main psychoactive component of the plant, THC, has been shown to cause cancer.

There are, however, substances in marijuana that can be very harmful to a person, according to previous studies on the drug.

Negative health effects induced by smoking marijuana, such as chronic bronchitis, have been well documented, as have other negative health effects.

A 2007 study from New Zealand, for example, examined the effects of cannabis on lung capacity. The results suggested that marijuana smoke compromised lung efficiency between 2.5 and five times more than tobacco smoke.

Despite some knowledge surrounding marijuana’s adverse effects on human lungs, researchers still have little knowledge about the plant’s potential to cause lung cancer, Maertens said.

This is due in part to the difficulty researchers have had in identifying and following subjects who have smoked only marijuana, she said.

In this study, scientists exposed animal cells and bacteria separately to smoke from marijuana and tobacco plants.

Although marijuana smoke caused significantly more damage to cells and DNA than tobacco, according to the researchers, only tobacco smoke caused chromosome damage.

But marijuana advocate Marc Emery dismissed the study when contacted Wednesday night.

“Where is the proof of this DNA damage to Canadians? Are there mutations in the 15 million Canadians who have smoked marijuana in the last 45 years?” said publisher of Cannabis Culture Magazine in an e-mail to Canwest News Service.

“Cannabis consumption completely prevents Alzheimer’s disease, cleans the lungs by shrinking tumours and breaks down necrotic cells and clears them out of the lungs. Millions of Canadians use cannabis for relief of symptoms of multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, chemotherapy, opiate medications, and numerous other ailments . . . This study is false and is in fact blatant lies once again from the least trustworthy source of health information in Canada — the lackeys at Health Canada.”

Emery is on a cross-Canada farewell tour before he surrenders to U.S. narcotics officials to face charges in that country.

Marc Emery
Marc Emery

Marc Emery is a Canadian cannabis activist, entrepreneur, and politician. Known to his fans as the Prince of Pot, Emery has been a notable advocate of international cannabis policy reform for decades. Marc is the founding publisher of Cannabis Culture and Pot TV.

Comments

7 Comments

  1. TomR on

    This site is so biased. Any anti-cannabis study is automatically decried as bad science. Jesus Christ get a life.

  2. Anonymous on

    If decades of daily cannabis use increases the chance of developing any type of cancer in humans…then why aren’t we seeing a higher percentage of cancer cases in places like the West Indies, India and California among elderly, life-long, daily ganja smokers?

  3. C.Bennett on

    Moderate Lifetime Marijuana Use Associated With Reduced Risk Of Head And Neck Cancer, Study Says
    http://www.enewspf.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9375:moderate-lifetime-marijuana-use-associated-with-reduced-risk-of-head-and-neck-cancer-study-says-&catid=88888904&Itemid=19
    Thursday, 06 August 2009 19:05 Press Release Health and Fitness 9375
    1 2 3 4 5 (2 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)
    Providence, RI–(ENEWSPF)–August 6, 2009. The moderate long-term use of marijuana is associated with a reduced risk of head and neck cancers, according to the results of a population-based case-control study published online by the journal Cancer Prevention Research.

    Investigators at Rhode Island’s Brown University, along with researchers at Boston University, Louisiana State University, and the University of Minnesota assessed the lifetime marijuana use habits of 434 cases (patients diagnosed with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma from nine medical facilities) compared to 547 matched controls.

    Authors reported, “After adjusting for potential confounders (including smoking and alcohol drinking), 10 to 20 years of marijuana use was associated with a significantly reduced risk of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma … [as was] moderate weekly use.”

    Subjects who smoked marijuana and consumed alcohol and tobacco (two known high risk factors for head and neck cancers) also experienced a reduced risk of cancer, the study found.

    “Our study suggests that moderate marijuana use is associated with reduced risk of HNSCC,” investigators concluded. “This association was consistent across different measures of marijuana use (marijuana use status, duration, and frequency of use). … Further, we observed that marijuana use modified the interaction between alcohol and cigarette smoking, resulting in a decreased HNSCC risk among moderate smokers and light drinkers, and attenuated risk among the heaviest smokers and drinkers. … Despite our results being consistent with the point estimates from other studies, there remains a need for this inverse association to be confirmed by further work, especially in studies with large sample sizes.”

    A separate 2006 population case-control study also reported that lifetime use of cannabis was not positively associated with cancers of the lung or aerodigestive tract, and noted that certain moderate users of the drug experienced a reduced cancer risk compared to non-using controls.

    By contrast, a study published earlier this week in the journal Cancer Epidemiology reports that even the moderate use of alcohol (six drinks or less per week) is associated with an elevated risk of various cancers – including stomach cancer, rectal cancer, and bladder cancer.

    For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: [email protected]. Full text of the study, “A population-based case control study of marijuana use and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma,” will appear in Cancer Prevention Research.

  4. Anonymous on

    While it is true that the smoke does contain acetaldehyde which supposedly damages DNA, acetaldehyde is also found in car exhaust, tobacco smoke, and is present when you break down alcohol. I’d wouldn’t be surprised if it were in camp fire smoke. What does this mean? Absolutely nothing since we have no idea if the cells they looked at were damaged as a result of the smoke or the “cell death” effects of Cannabis. Like Marc mentions, where are the effects of these mutations in the general population?

  5. Unclebob100 on

    The prohibitionists always say “medicine is not smoked” Even if cannabis smoke was toxic, they NEVER mention the fact that medical vaporizers such as Storz N Bickles famous Volcano model exist and have been around for at least a dozen years. Vaporizers heat herb(s) up to a temperature below the burning point and release the ingredients into a fine non-smoke mist, similar to an asthma nebulizer. I have chronic bronchitis and while smoking joints causes me to cough, my Volcano allows me to medicate comfortably with no adverse effect to my lungs.

  6. Unclebob100 on

    The prohibitionists always say “medicine is not smoked” Even if cannabis smoke was toxic, they NEVER mention the fact that medical vaporizers such as Storz N Bickles famous Volcano model exist and have been around for at least a dozen years. Vaporizers heat herb(s) up to a temperature below the burning point and release the ingredients into a fine non-smoke mist, similar to an asthma nebulizer. I have chronic bronchitis and while smoking joints causes me to cough, my Volcano allows me to medicate comfortably with no adverse effect to my lungs.