New Study Shows No Marijuana-Lung Cancer Link

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15 Responses

  1. Scott Moss says:

    I don’t know if you always were this cynical, Dan, but given what this administration has done with/to science (and, more generally, with “facts”), there’s certainly more of a basis for cynicism these days….

  2. Daniel Millstone says:

    On a somewhat related note, did any of you see the odd ad in the New York Times of May 18, 2006? Issued under the name of “Parents the Anti Drug,” it makes a host of claims about links between marijuana use in teens and adverse psycho-social outcomes. It was signed by a number of medical, pyschiatric and behavioral organizations. How did the phony war on drugs capture a completely legitmate organization like the National Medical Association (The organization of black physicians)?

  3. Nobody says:

    DF writes:

    But since the administration has repeatedly worked to suppress or undermine data that it dislikes, I feel a sense of dread about how it will handle this surprising outcome. Will the researchers lose their grants or get blacklisted? Will the DOJ seek to fund a study specifically designed to undermine this data (incorporating any necessary methodological flaws)? Will the FDA follow its prior form, and issue a press release denying the study ever happened? Or will this information simply be deleted from every federal publication that otherwise documents new health research?

    Likely any or all will happen.

    But I would pick one nit. The current administration, love ’em or hate ’em, is certainly not alone in undermining any research that does not support drug war zealotry. That behavior has been bipartisan since early last century.

    Mindless prohibitionism is no respector of political party.

  4. Roger says:

    Where does the administration say that smoking marijuana increases the risk of lung cancer?

  5. Tyler Simons says:

    The DEA website. First there’s the vague, suggestive cancer associations:

    There are also many long-term health consequences of marijuana use. According to the National Institutes of Health, studies show that someone who smokes five joints per week may be taking in as many cancer-causing chemicals as someone who smokes a full pack of cigarettes every day.

    Marijuana contains more than 400 chemicals, including most of the harmful substances found in tobacco smoke. Smoking one marijuana cigarette deposits about four times more tar into the lungs than a filtered tobacco cigarette.

    Then we get referred to a study (even though the text says “other studys”). According to the Bush administration’s drug prohibition agency,

    In other studies, smoked marijuana has been shown to cause a variety of health problems, including cancer, respiratory problems, increased heart rate, loss of motor skills, and increased heart rate. (My emphasis.)

    Not only is there an increased risk of cancer, according to the DEA, increased heart rates are possible side effect. Increased heart rates, too. Whoever wrote that paragraph must have been stoned.

  6. Interested reader says:

    I’m curious about this modifier:

    “There is little question that using marijuana, or other recreational drugs, is rarely a healthy life choice.”

    What is this supposed to mean? There is no evidence that smoking pot or taking acid will actually *enhance* your physical health. But there is no evidence that drinking a beer, or for that matter going on a road trip or having a picnic, will enhance your physical health either. I doubt you would say “there is little question that going on picnics is rarely a healthy life choice.”

    As well, I note that you conflate all recreational drug use here as “rarely being a healthy lifestyle choice.” Do you include caffeine and alcohol in this assessment?

    Like having picnics or drinking beer, smoking pot is fun. It feels good. Things get funnier, food tastes better. Then the next morning, you go to work and pay the bills like everyone else. It is neither a healthy lifestyle choice nor an unhealthy lifestyle choice. Like eating chocolate sundaes or going to the movies, smoking pot or using other benign recreational drugs is something people do to enhance their enjoyment of life.

    The reason marijuana is illegal is the knee-jerk reaction by even sophisticated libertarian academics like yourself to add caveats about how objectively, “there is little question” that drug use is rarely a healthy lifestyle choice. I believe it is irrational for marijuana to be illegal, but I don’t think it’ll be legalized until people normalize it in their minds as a benign and even enjoyable and life-enhancing activity.

  7. Simon says:

    As well, I note that you conflate all recreational drug use here as “rarely being a healthy lifestyle choice.” Do you include caffeine and alcohol in this assessment?

    If he doesn’t, he should: they, too, have well-known health implications. I confess to being sceptical of this study; it seems to me that routinely inhaling any kind of smoke – be it tobacco, marijuana, or even tea, for that matter – is going to damage your lungs.

  8. Joy says:

    I know some activists that struggle for the right to make marijuana use legal for cancer patients. Though myself I don’t believe that it can help, probably only pain relief.

  9. doug says:

    Simon, it is not that smoke is healthy for the lungs but that the ingredient THC is. You see, THC kills aged and damaged cells, which in return prevents cancer from forming. Of course, THC has several other affects as well. They feel good too.

  10. Awesome Alex says:

    To Joy: Please tell me this – what proof do you have either way? Often times beliefs are of faith, and faith is blind. Although you “don’t believe that it can help,” I doubt you are very educated in the matter. In which case you should try to learn something of the subject before posting an uneducated opinion for all the world to see on this blog.

  11. david martsh says:

    the munchies are a well known factor of marijuana. this is very helpful for people with particular ailments, such as some cases of aids, in which hunger wanes. marijuana instills the feeling of hunger into patients, urging them to eating and becoming healthy. this is merely one of many ways marijuana can help and cant be disputed. sorry.

  12. Dr. Flowers says:


  13. Dr. Flowers says:

    Don’t believe the propaganda on marijuana.

    I will end all the debate for everyone.

    There is but only one source of medical information that doesn’t have any political motivations. The ONLY source is the PDR or Physician’s Desk Reference. This is the only source that physicians use. And if the political bull s#!t info that government organizations push to the public was in the PDR then alot of Doctors would be killing people. Soooo look up in the Herbal edition of the Physicians Desk Reference Cannabis Sativa. Hummm somehow all the terrible health risks that we where told in are D.A.R.E. jr high programs isn’t in the herbal PDR. PDR says marijuana helps with all terminal illness. Marijuana is shown to stop asthma attacks, blocks and neutralizes nerotoxins that damage brain tissue says the PDR. It’s one of only a handfull of herbs in the world with no toxic dose level. PDR also says marijuana has inhibiting effects on lung tumors. Hell if we go on what the PDR says about marijuana looks as if it’s the best habit a healthy person could have. Believe it people we have all been brainwashed on this subject. Remember you can’t argue with the PDR. It is the only true source of medical information. This is the undisputed truth!

  14. Jose Perez says:

    Lung Cancer scared the hell out of me that is why i do not smoke cigarettes anymore..`:

  15. evidencebasedplease says:

    Please note that self injurious behavior among autistic populations who are non verbal is rooted in multiple antecedents that fluctuate daily and are rooted in autistic disorder. Primarily the inability to communicate and cognitive impairments in autistic population. This is very complex. However, there are similarities among self injurious person in general. For instance, the frustration of being held captive to what is often a behavior that has evolved into a compuslive behavior. A behavior that is triggered by a plethora of antecedents, due to autistic person’s inability to respond to conventional methods used in non autistic populations to thwart or otherwise reduce the tendencies to self abuse. Marijuana advocates don’t seem to understand the complexities involved in dealing with autistic who present with chronic intraccable SIB. If they want to be taken seriously, they need to do their research. They need to explain WHY marijuana would HELP autistic who self abuse. What does marijuana DO to brain that would help? Does it elevate dopamine? Or other neurotransmitters that would reduce tendency to self abuse? What are adverse reactions? What about autistics with seizure issues? Or who have complex issues? You can’t just take one or two examples of people who CLAIM dope helped their autistic kid without examining WHY or HOW this worked?
    see kgaccount on you tube for better understanding of how complex treatment is with autistic population who self abuse. Hit and Run STORIES about how weed helped a self abusing autistic are not enought. If U all want to be taken seriously than SHOW us the EVIDENCE and science as to WHY this could stop self injurious behavior among autistics. These ISOLATED reports of POT helping autistic kids is highly suspect in abscene of EVIDENCE and research SHOWING us WHY it helps. DOesn’t marijuana carry adverse side effects? How would this affect the alreadly fragile minds of autistic who self abuse?