Canvassing for Opinion - aka "Blairs Brain on Cannabis"

IMHO prohibition sentiment requires inherent addiction to status quo, an incapacity to visualise beyond the here and now and a desperate desire to know others might feel the same... Reform is not revolutionary, rather it is evolutionary. Having survived banging your head against a brick wall the evolutionist relishes having stopped. / Blair

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Marijuana less cancerous than tobacco

United Press International - Health Business - Marijuana less cancerous than tobacco: "By STEVE MITCHELL
Senior Medical Correspondent

WASHINGTON, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Marijuana is less carcinogenic than tobacco smoke and may even have some anti-cancer properties, new research suggests.

Robert Melamede, chair of biology at the University of Colorado in Boulder, reviewed studies of the illicit drug and published his findings in the Oct. 17 issue of Harm Reduction Journal.

Melamede's conclusion is certain to factor in the medical-marijuana debate, because the cancer-causing potential of the drug is one of the reasons often cited by those who oppose legalizing it for medicinal uses. He said he was motivated to investigate the issue because the Drug Enforcement Administration has made the argument that marijuana has four times the amount of tar contained in tobacco smoke, so it is potentially carcinogenic.

'I said, 'Let's see what's true because the government doesn't have a very good record on telling the truth about cannabis,'' Melamede, who classifies himself as a medical-marijuana advocate, told United Press International.

He said the studies indicated although marijuana smoke does contain carcinogens, it does not appear to induce cancer because of its unique pharmacological properties. Lung cancer, for example, is caused by a combination of carcinogens in conjunction with nicotine found in tobacco smoke.

'It's the nicotine that's really the cancer-promoting agent,' he explained. 'That's absent in marijuana smoke so you don't have that enhancing factor.'

Studies to date have not linked marijuana smoking with the lung, colon, rectal and other cancers associated with tobacco smoking, Melamede said. In addition, other studies have indicated compounds found in cannabis might even kill certain cancers, including lung, breast, prostate and skin, as well as leukemia and lymphoma, and a type of brain cancer called glioma."
........snip.........
"The government has insisted there are no pros and there are only cons of marijuana, but this is totally lacking in science and totally lacking in any realistic credibility," Melamede said.
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