Media Hysterics About Supposed Cancer Link Nothing New

It must have been a slow news day. According to Google News, more than 750 media outlets — that’s 7-5-0, folks — have now weighed in on this week’s pot scare story du jour: “Smoking marijuana causes testicular cancer.” So is there any truth behind the provocative headline? Some, but hardly enough to justify the media’s feeding frenzy.

Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research in Seattle matched 369 men with of testicular germ cell tumors (TGCTs) with 979 healthy controls. Here’s what they found.

Men who self-reported having “ever used” marijuana had no statistically significant risk of testicular cancer compared to healthy controls who never used pot.

Men who reported currently using marijuana at least once per week, and who had started smoking pot prior to age 18, had an elevated risk compared to controls of contracting a type of testicular cancer known as nonseminoma.

Sounds scary, huh? Well here’s the catch.

According to the federal government, millions of people smoke marijuana regularly. By contrast, diagnoses of nonseminoma, which typically affects males between the ages of 15 and 34, are extremely rare.

How rare?

Nonseminomas account for fewer than one half of one percent of all cancers among American men.

Further undermining the study’s hypothesis is this: Since the 1970s, the percentage of American males smoking pot has climbed dramatically. By contrast, incidences of nonseminoma have risen only nominally during this same time period.

Of course, this is hardly the first time the mainstream media has jumped ugly on cannabis. Around this same time last year, news outlets from Reuters to Fox News declared that marijuana posed a greater cancer risk than cigarettes. Only problem was that the study they were reporting on actually demonstrated the opposite.

So why does the mainstream media continue to get the story wrong when it comes to pot? Good question. You can read my abbreviated answer here. And while you’re on NORML’s site, get the skinny on what the scientific literature really has to say about any potential links between marijuana and cancer here, here, and here.

– Article from NORML on February 10th, 2009.



  1. weedhootingboogabean on

    smoke a bowl

  2. BongHitsforJesus on

    What would Jesus do?

  3. BongHitsforJesus on

    The media feels inclined to undermining marijuana because of its strong influence by the government. If the media told everyone to start smoking pot media coverage on government events and funding from advertisers and other sources (secret?)would drop dramatically. Remember media, as well as everything else in the United States, is all about the money. I bet all the old farts who still believe whatever the media tells them to believe would suffer massive strokes if marijuana was reported truthfully anyways. Look at the bright side, at least the topic of the marijuana controversy is getting any air time on nationwide news stations with all the coruption in washington. All the people need to do now is get the bias government brainwashers to shut up and start telling it like it is.

  4. Smokeytheprincessbear on

    “Hi my name is Ima Douche. I am a wanna-be-scientist that makes up unfounded theories then states them as facts. My job is to keep real medicine off the market so I can make a truck load of money at the cost of other peoples lives!I am a greedy bitch who loves to be sodomized by my long time fuck buddies Chimperor Bush and Dick the Homophobe. My hobbies include having unprotected sex with rich old white men, worshipping satan, kicking puppies, shaking babies, and shoving old ladies into the street. Please join me at our next brainwashing ceremony.”

  5. Intellectual Stoner on

    Welcome to the,”Reefer Madness ’09” campaign,gives ’em testicular cancer huh???F*ck this i’m not even gonna waste my time comenting on this sh!t!!!!

  6. CVD on

    Nothin new teela