Date: March 4, 2007
I noticed that your website is publishing information on Marijuana use, declaring that it can "raise the risk of cancer." I'm presuming that these statistics are from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, where much of the approved-research is published. Much of the research from the NIDA website is misquoted, misreferenced, or taken out of context. For example, they make the statement, "In laboratory experiments that exposed animal and human cells to THC or other marijuana ingredients, the normal disease-preventing reactions of many of the key types of immune cells were inhibited." and their citation is Adams IB, Martin BR: Cannabis: pharmacology and toxicology in animals and humans. Addiction 91(11):1585–1614, 1996. However, when I backtracked the original journal publication, I found out it actually stated, "Cannabis also has great therapeutic potential and has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes." The results of this report are counter to the published opinion of NIDA. If you would like to see a full review of NIDA's Marijuana facts, please see the following link...
Naturally, no public health organization wants to publish misinformation about the health effects of drug abuse. If you doubt that NIDA's opinion on the health effects of Marijuana is founded on unsustainable footing, please see the above link. I appreciate it so much. Thank you, and I look forward to hearing a response.
Date: March 15, 2007
Two weeks ago, I sent an e-mail concerning the ACDE website. On the Marijuana page, the statement appears, "Persistent use will damage lungs and airways and raise the risk of cancer." I was hoping that the editor could please enlighten me as to the resource for this information. In May of 2006, the University of California Los Angeles conducted a study with 1,212 cancer patients and 1,040 control subjects, finding that there wasn't even a slight increased risk of lung cancer for the heaviest users. [CNN.com, " Study finds no marijuana-lung cancer link," Wednesday, May 24, 2006.] However, it was discovered that the risk of lung cancer was increased twentyfold with tobacco use. This is phenomenal information. The National Institutes of Health and the National Institute on Drug Abuse have supported this marijuana-lung cancer link for decades. Even after thoroughly analyzing their publications, the only increase of lung cancer that can occur from Marijuana is when the user is also smoking tobacco. This does not demonstrate that Marijuana has any cancer-causing potential. Additional smoking can only inflame lung tissue, allowing the carcinogens from tobacco a deeper penetration into the body. Findings of increased health problems when combining tobacco with something perfectly safe shouldn't be surprising. It is an intrinsically identical case with birth control. If you have a case study where Marijuana, on its own, is capable of inducing cancer, it would interest me very much.
In 2000 in Spain, scientists injected tumors with THC, discovering that it slowed tumor progression from two to threefold. This experiment was also done in the United States in 1974 with similar results. ["Pot Shrinks Tumors; Government Knew in '74," by Raymond Cushing, AlterNet. Posted May 31, 2000, http://www.alternet.org/story/9257/] In a study published in 1975, it was demonstrated that certain cannabinoids retarded the progress of Lewis Lung Adenocarcinoma cancer. ["Antineoplastic activity of cannabinoids," A.E. Munson, L.S. Harris, M.A. Friedman, W.L. Dewey, and R.A. Carchman, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 55, No. 3, September 1975.] In a 2006 study, Cannabinoids were capable of inducing apoptosis, or a triggered self-destruction, in tumor cells in the human pancreas. ["Cannabinoids Induce Apoptosis of Pancreatic Tumor Cells via Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress--Related Genes," Arkaitz Carracedo1, Meritxell Gironella2, Mar Lorente1, Stephane Garcia2, Manuel Guzmán1, Guillermo Velasco1 and Juan L. Iovanna2, Cancer Research 66, 6748-6755, July 1, 2006.] Also in 2006, a study demonstrated that, in in vivo and in vitro studies, when Cannabis extracts were applied to malignant, human, breast cancer, there was a reduction in tumor cell growth. ["Anti-tumor activity of plant cannabis with emphasis on the effect of cannabinol on human breast carcinoma," Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, May 25, 2006.]
In 2000, the Endocrine Society published a study showing that Endocannabinoids, the body's natural cannabinoids, are capable of inhibiting human breast and prostate cancer. ["Suppression of Nerve Growth Factor Trk Receptors and Prolactin Receptors by Endocannabinoids Leads to Inhibition of Human Breast and Prostate Cancer Cell Proliferation," Endocrinology Vol. 141, No. 1 118-126.] In one 2003 study, several mechanisms of cannabinoid receptor activation were demonstrated to depress skin tumor growth. ["Inhibition of skin tumor growth and angiogenesis in vivo by activation of cannabinoid receptors," J. Clin. Invest. 111:43-50 (2003).] In a study conducted on 2006, scientists found results supporting the use of the endocannabinoid system as a means to inhibiting cholangiocarcinoma growth. It was indicated by the researchers that drugs that act on the cannabinoid receptors might demonstrate a therapeutic use in treating this cancer. ["Opposing actions of endocannabinoids on cholangiocarcinoma growth: Recruitment of fas and fas ligand to lipid rafts," J Biol Chem. 2007 Feb 28.] In 2003, a study showed that activation of the cannabinoid receptors inhibited colorectal cancer growth. ["Possible endocannabinoid control of colorectal cancer growth," Gastroenterology, 2003 Sep;125(3):677-87.] Again and again, the research comes back with the same, confusing results. Each time, the researchers usually end on one somber note: further research is required! However, it has not once ever been demonstrated that Marijuana, on its own, is capable of producing cancer.
What are the implications here? The American Council for Drug Education is publishing the purported fact that Marijuana "increases the risk of cancer," when that has never been demonstrated. According to the World Health Organization, cancer is responsible for causing seven million deaths every year, nearly 12.5% of all deaths world wide. When the American government, and its public advocacy groups, rally behind the same contention that Marijuana causes cancer, this is a roadblock to social and medicinal progress. Every patient should have a right to the medicines they need, but instead, the people dying from cancer every year are forced to suffer, to writhe, to feel the unending torments of hell, only to collapse on the doorsteps of death. By propagating the theory that Marijuana induces cancer, it is only causing there to be greater resistance by society trying to accept this drug as a medicine. The ideas of the decision-makers are largely influenced by the anti-drug, public advocacy groups.
If you're going to publish the theory that Marijuana causes cancer, please, republish the scientific studies that indicate this. Otherwise, you're only posing a significant risk to the development of new therapeutic techniques for treating cancer. Thank you for listening...