According to a story in today’s Washington Post, a new NIH-funded study has shown that smoking marijuana does not increase the risk of lung cancer – and may actually reduce it. Since this conflicts with the administration’s party line, I wonder whether we’ll see various divisions of the government working to supress or otherwise undermine these results. I’ve previously blogged about the way the FDA has deceptively reported marijuana research.
There is little question that using marijuana, or other recreational drugs, is rarely a healthy life choice. This new research would not change my own view that smoking anything is dangerous. 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?
And was I always this cynical?