Retrospectacle: A Neuroscience Blog

Phenomenal timing, seeing as the FDA recently decreed that smoked marijuana held no medical benefits, and was hazardous. This is just one more neon sign making me wonder why cigarettes, proven to cause cancer, are legal while marijuana, which has no cancer link, is stubbornly prosecuted.

CNN reports on a study conducted by UCLA which examined the lifestyles of 611 Los Angeles lung cancer patients, 601 head and neck cancer patients, and 1040 people without cancer. They found no elevated risk of cancer, even in the heaviest of pot smokers. A 20-fold increase of lung cancer was found in people who smoked 2 or more packs of cigs a day. No one was as surprised as the lead investigators in the study. I did a PubMed search on Dr. Donald Tashkin(who headed the study) , and the majority of his publications documented the potential damage that marijuana smoke might have. I haven’t found the source article for and CNN news story, so its likely in press–I’ll be interested to read more on this.

I blogged about this subject before; here I go into why marijuana is unlikely to cause cancer, like cigarettes; and here I blogged on the effects of marijuana on memory.

Curious as to how addictive marijuana is compared to other “drugs”? Well, check this out.

Comments

  1. #1 daksya
    July 18, 2006

    I haven’t found the source article for and CNN news story, so its likely in press–I’ll be interested to read more on this.

    Say no more. I have recorded some links here.

    Curious as to how addictive marijuana is compared to other “drugs”?

    For an upper limit (IMHO), this estimate cited by the Institute of Medicine’s report on medical marijuana should do.

  2. #2 Jay
    July 18, 2006

    Love the article

    I’m Dutch by the way.
    The pros
    Marijuana shurely does have it’s merits,
    as a painkiller and general relief of
    stress & depression.

    The cons
    You can get addicted, but that probably happens only with
    people who are emotionally unstable and/or have other
    major personal problems who seek an escape
    (alcohol ring any bells here).
    To my knowledge, the procentage of Addicted users is tiny
    and depents on how a culture deals with the issue
    (check the link).
    And then offcourse there’s (like cigarettes)the
    ‘inhailing dirty air’ thing witch is obviously not very good.
    Last but not least is giving the brain chemicals that don’t belong there,
    possibly messing up your head
    (when used in great quatety’s).

    The ‘brain chemical’ issue I’m not shure of.
    It seems highly likely but have no idea whatsoever
    of what the risks witch this is.

    Most users I know use it just to relax,
    nothing more, nothing less.
    Me, I’m not a user, but smoked a few some years ago.

    This is probably the case:
    Just like alcohol you gotta know
    what the hell you’re doing.

    Dutch and drugs
    Especially the ‘part two’ colum:
    http://www.sptimes.com/News/webspecials/usvsthem/index.shtml

  3. #3 romunov
    July 23, 2006

    Let’s see people do two packs of pot a day, and get away with no cancer…

  4. #4 Redleg
    July 25, 2006

    I think isolating the effects on apoptosis is pretty convincing. Ray Kurzweil talks about cellular automation and cancer in “The Coming Singularity.”
    Politicization of regulatory agencies is known as “capture” in administrative law, and can sterilize an agency’s usefulness.
    I am pretty certain that J. Pinel states marijuana is not physically addictive, which would exclude those with behovioral problems becoming addicted.
    The medical treatment and pharmaceuticals field is going to continue to explode over the next 30 years, maybe longer. If Americans don’t care about putting an end to suffering (ie allowing research guided by medical ethics, not political “ethics”) then maybe we would care about falling behind economically. As soon as the large pharmaceutical companies realize they are losing money to countries like Japan or France their tune will change and so will our K-street generated medical research policies.

  5. #5 Shelley Batts
    July 25, 2006

    I agree completely Redleg, and what you stated also has great applicability to the whole stem cell issue being stalled by Bush…..

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