Pot's Safety Claims Go Up in Smoke

  Pot's Safety Claims Go Up in Smoke

Posted by CN Staff on September 08, 2002 at 08:17:14 PT
By Shane Holladay -- Staff Writer 
Source: Edmonton Sun  

Pot proponents say cannabis can still be therapeutic despite studies saying it's no safer to smoke than tobacco. "No one advocates smoking any kind of herb," said drug policy analyst Chris Donald, with the Media Awareness Project. Ideally, people intent on using pot for pain relief should have easy access to vaporizers, which are safer, he said. According to a paper by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse Policy, pot smoke can cause the same lung damage as does tobacco smoke. 
"Research has shown a link between chronic heavy marijuana use and damage to the respiratory system similar to that caused by tobacco," reads the centre's 1998 report, Cannabis Control in Canada: Options Regarding Possession. Donald said so far, evidence only shows pot smoking causes a mild form of emphysema. "If there were serious side-effects, there would be epidemic levels of bronchitis, for example," he said. A fair number of cannabis users simply prefer to smoke a joint, said Munir Ahmad, who runs the Edmonton Compassion Network, which helps provide medical exemptees with marijuana. "As far as I know, most pot smokers out there feel there's no proof that marijuana can cause cancer, and feel it's generally safe," he said. Concerned by the carcinogenic effects of thousands of chemicals created when marijuana is burned, University of Mississippi research professor Dr. Mahmoud ElSohly said genuine concerns exist when smoking anything. "I don't think that smoking any type of material is a viable route to deliver any kind of pharmaceutical," said ElSohly, who has spent decades studying cannabis and its effects. ElSohly is working to market a rectal suppository to deliver THC therapeutically to people suffering from chronic pain. Source: Edmonton Sun (CN AB) Author: Shane Holladay -- Staff WriterPublished: September 8, 2002Copyright: 2002 Canoe Limited PartnershipContact: letters Website: Articles & Web Site:Mapinc. Drug Takes You on a Bum Trip To Develop Marijuana Without High

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Comment #18 posted by dddd on September 09, 2002 at 23:19:19 PT
..It's good to see you!....I also missed you.....we kindof got in trouble for doing the after hours,, way off topic, ,chatroom style marathon exchanges....I'm gonna send you an email...JAH be With You...dddd
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Comment #17 posted by Industrial Strength on September 09, 2002 at 16:01:06 PT
I really don't mind
here is my email, in full view of the world. acapulco_gold_leaf Hope, glad to know your glad to hear from me. No, I'm not "home" (the keyboards here are different, the   and the " key are in different places and the dollar sign is nonexistent, I can't find the square bracket key either) yet, feb 03, 2003 is my scheduled return flight.Last night was when I caught up with the real news, so it was the first I had heard of the Canadian senate hearings. Wow. Good on ya'. In England, you have to be 16 to buy cigarettes but 18 to buy booze. I wonder if when I get back you will have to be 16 to buy marijuana? I doubt it.Anyway, hit me up B Green. 
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Comment #16 posted by Hope on September 09, 2002 at 11:24:28 PT
"sphinctal intrusions" 
These are some of the funniest posts I've ever seen...and I'm usually don't find anal humor funny. It's true that the very word, "suppository", strikes a certain fear into the hearts (or somewhere) of most Americans. IndustrialStrength! It's so good to hear from you. I've been wondering when we would hear from you again. "Crossing the channel", I guess, means you aren't home yet. How 'bout those Canadian Senators? Truth from politicians is a rare and amazing thing.
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Comment #15 posted by Unknown Pleasures on September 09, 2002 at 09:00:16 PT
Asses oh my!
The whole idea behind the supositories is to take out the pleasure of injesting the herb.
It's too much fun to smoke it or eat it for government types to approve. They're logic is as follows: If it's enjoyable, it can't be taken seriously as medicine. However, if you were to shove it up yer bum... well then, that's unpleasant aaaaaand a source of revenue for the pharm companies, it must be good medicine!
Remember, Pleasure and chronic illness don't mix. If some cancer patient is getting kicks from his 'medicine' and (gasp) feeling high, then he must be faking his illness. REAL terminally ill people don't have fun, especially not from home-grown medicine. They know it is better to vomit from pharmaceuticals, or at least shove something up their ass. It builds character and helps the economy. 
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Comment #14 posted by qqqq on September 08, 2002 at 23:14:57 PT
.......rectal administration of medication... far as I'm concerned,,asses are designed for OUTPUT,,not input!!... There may be some situations,where people would be limited to using their ass for medicinal purposes,,,but WHY anyone would need to put medicine into their butts,when there are other more conventional means of medicating oneself,is beyond me!... I guess there are those who may like putting items up their rumps.....butt I think most people find sphinctal intrusions of any sort,,to be somewhat uncomfortable,,and unpleasant.............Perhaps after these suppositories become legal,,then someone will figure out how to refine them into some kind of hash oil that can be smoked?(..and I dont mean smoking through your butt,,,as far as I know,,butts cannot 'inhale'..).....One wonders what would happen if a person decided to ingest one of these new thc suppositories?....they must be some weird, potent formulations to be effective from behind...
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Comment #13 posted by BGreen on September 08, 2002 at 21:19:51 PT
I did my part, FoM
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on September 08, 2002 at 21:13:23 PT
Sure I Will Do That BGreen
I understand not wanting to post your email and that way you can talk. If you send me the emails soon I'll get it done tonight and if not tomorrow.
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Comment #11 posted by BGreen on September 08, 2002 at 20:50:27 PT
FoM, would you mind passing my email address
to Industrial Strength if we both email you at submissions wouldn't normally ask this, but I don't want to post my email address.Indy, if you don't have an email address you can use, set one up at
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Comment #9 posted by Industrial Strength on September 08, 2002 at 16:21:45 PT

delivery systems
Smoking it is alot more immediate. I doubt most chronic pain sufferers wish to wait the hour + that eating it takes. The effects are different as well.The minor toxicity of smoking (cannabis, that is) is a red herring anyway.B Green, if your out there, whats the deal (pardon the pun) with November? As it works out, thats a primo time for me to cross the channel...
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Comment #8 posted by Phasetheory on September 08, 2002 at 12:11:53 PT

Then don't smoke it!
Why do the prohibs always refer to smoking as the only why to consume marijuana. Thousands of people who use marijuana for medical purposes bake it into food. And guess what? You no longer get any harmful effects.The reason why people tend not to bake it into food is becuase it requires much more. And when the price of marijuana is worth it's weight in gold... people tend to use it conservatively. "Why must we be surrounded by frickin idiots!"

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Comment #7 posted by BGreen on September 08, 2002 at 11:18:12 PT

I've started shoving joints up my arse
I just have to remember not to light them first.On a serious note, in the year I worked in a pharmacy, out of 170 plus prescriptions we filled every day, I MAYBE filled one prescription for a rectal suppository per month.Americans don't like shoving stuff up their hineys.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on September 08, 2002 at 10:02:54 PT

JR Fixed!
All fixed now! Thanks for telling me.
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Comment #5 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on September 08, 2002 at 09:50:41 PT

The email LTE I sent above got bounced, so sun.letters isn't right. Their website has a "Letters to the Editor" link right on the front page which lists letters - let's try that one.
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Comment #4 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on September 08, 2002 at 09:47:52 PT

Prop203 - it's like an ARMY marchin' in back of me
Don't tell me, my brother - tell the editors of the Edmonton Sun!! And don't worry if you live outside their area of impact - when newspapers start seeing this as a global issue, it'll wake them up! I live in DEA-land, yet I'll write a LTE to Canada if they publish something which deserves it. They know where I live, I include contact info, so I'm not trying to pull the wool over their eyes...
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Comment #3 posted by Prop203 on September 08, 2002 at 09:43:00 PT

Thinking Alike
Dam BOB we thinking exactly alike!! I didnt even read ur post till after I posted mine..PeaceProp203
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Comment #2 posted by Prop203 on September 08, 2002 at 09:39:42 PT

Eat it
How toxic is it to eat? NILL!!!I think alot of people smoke becuase it cost so much and u can spread it out longer smoking it..Vote YES Prop 203 Arizona 2002
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Comment #1 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on September 08, 2002 at 09:37:44 PT

Sunday - a great day to write a few LTEs
I'm not even touching on the fact that they're quoting a 1998 study by the U of Miss (isn't that NIDA territory?) instead of a 2002 study by the Canadian Senate... I'll leave that to you. Write some LTEs today!-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-Sirs,  Shane Holladay's report on the dangers of smoking marijuana missed the big one. Smoking marijuana can land you in jail, stuck with a criminal record for the rest of your life. Tobacco could never claim this statistic, and even during alcohol prohibition, the drinkers themselves were left alone while enforcement went after manufacture and distribution.   If there is one thing we have learned from prohibition, it is that people will continue to do what they wish no matter what the laws are. Prohibition also exacerbates the ill effects from smoking marijuana. Because the price has been artificially enflated, people opt for the delivery method which uses the least amount, smoking it. If cannabis were not criminalized, it would be cheap enough for more people to cook with. And while you can buy vaporizers in a few stores across Canada, the fear of law-enforcement raids make them not easy to find. Vaporizers eliminate the ill effects of smoking, since the cannabis is only heated to the point where the THC turns to gas, leaving the plant matter unburnt.   And could Dr. Mahmoud ElSohly have any financial reasons for continuing the status quo? If cannabis becomes legally available - to eat, smoke, vaporize, grow, etc. - will there really be a market for a more expensive pharmaceutical version one has to ingest rectally?-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-Here's an interesting tidbit: Dr. ElSohly got a grant in 2001 from UMiss to the tune of $260,062 (hey, a palindrome!) for "Production, analysis, and distribution of cannabis and marijuana cigarettes". That MUST mean he's NIDA, since they wouldn't allow just ANYbody to produce and distribute cannabis... here's an interview with him about 1996 re: medical marijuana:
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