Media Marijuana Mania Part Duh

Media Marijuana Mania Part Duh
Posted by CN Staff on July 31, 2007 at 19:13:23 PT
By Maia Szalavitz
Source: Huffington Post 
USA -- Ok, this is getting really tiresome. Earlier this week, I debunked media coverage that claimed that marijuana increases risk of schizophrenia by 40% -- but none of the media bothered to mention that despite massive increases in marijuana use, schizophrenia rates have not increased.Comes now a new study claiming that one joint is as bad for your lungs as five cigarettes. Comes now another flood of "reporting " that fails, once again, to raise and answer the question readers are most likely to consider when they read the story.
Leave aside for a moment the fact that the vast majority of marijuana smokers don't even use one whole joint daily-- compared to an average 20-40 a day for cigarette smokers. Leave aside the fact that even most daily smokers of marijuana tend to do this for a few years-- not the 20-40 years seen with cigarette smokers.Could the reporters at least mention that research looking explicitly for a conclusive link between marijuana and lung cancer HAS REPEATEDLY FAILED TO FIND ONE??? And that studies looking for an impact on mortality related to marijuana use also do not find that? Every time researchers have done studies using various forms of methodology looking for connections between tobacco smoking and lung cancer and tobacco smoking and death, the link has been there and been strong. The studies on this question on marijuana-- when it is smoked without tobacco-- do not find a positive correlation. In fact, one found a slight negative one-- suggesting that marijuana users could actually be *less likely* than non-users to get lung cancer.Is it really too much to ask that reporters use PubMed-- or even Google, for goodness sake-- to look at the literature before they write their drug scare stories? Is it really too much to ask them to think-- hmm, what is this study reminding me of, but not mentioning that might be worth noting? Oh yeah, people think of "lung cancer" when they think of smoking-- wonder whether pot causes that. Might be a good idea to look it up. Nah, too busy. Let me read another press release from the government.And people wonder why there is so much mistrust of the media!!!!Source: Huffington Post (NY)Author: Maia Szalavitz Published: July 31, 2007 Copyright: 2007, LLC Contact: scoop huffingtonpost.comWebsite: Article:Reefer Inanity: Never Trust the Media on Pot -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #4 posted by Yanxor on August 03, 2007 at 00:21:36 PT
About that "less likely than non-users" thing
There were recent studies done in Italy and Harvard that show that cannabinoids in the ranges smoked by humans have anti-tumor properties. (abstract)
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Comment #3 posted by Storm Crow on August 01, 2007 at 09:50:16 PT
Just wanted to say...
Thank you for posting that, Rainbow!
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Comment #2 posted by Rainbow on August 01, 2007 at 07:19:52 PT
comment in CBS
The article ran in the CBSNEws webpage. One reviewer took them to task with actual quotes from teh scientific report. here they are.This story is just flat dishonest. Here are excerpts from the actual research:"Both cannabis and tobacco smoking were associated with a reduction in the FEV1/FVC ratio, but the effect of cannabis was only of 
marginal statistical significance."
(FEV1 being forced expiratory volume in 1 second, FVC being forced vital capacity)"Cannabis smoking had no effect on FEV1 but tobacco smoking reduced it.""Cannabis had no statistically significant effect on MMEF and tobacco smoking reduced it." (MMEF is maximum mid-expiratory flow)"Cannabis increased TLC with marginal statistical significance but tobacco had no effect on TLC." (TLC being total lung capacity)"For TLCO/VA (adjusted), cannabis had no effect while tobacco smoking reduced this measurement."
(TLCO/VA being carbon monoxide transfer factor)The only test in which cannabis caused worse results than tobacco was sGaw (specific airways conductance). "Cannabis and tobacco use reduced sGaw, although the effect was of marginal significance for tobacco."Also, the study said that cannabis smoking had a negative effect on these tests if the subject was also a tobacco smoker.A "novel finding" was that those who used cannabis regularly had an "increased percentage of low density lung tissue."So, Reuters says one joint is as bad as 5 cigarettes on your lungs, when really, in every test but one, tobacco had negative effects 
while cannabis effects were statistically insignificant. 
Posted by Wolfman973 at 09:13 AM : Aug 01, 2007
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Comment #1 posted by potpal on July 31, 2007 at 19:23:29 PT
Thank you, Maia
For pointing out the media's laziness and willness to tow the prohibitionist line. What a shock and disappointment to find the bloody piece of propaganda on Huffington Post also...! 
What up wit dat?
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