NORML's Weekly News Bulletin - December 20, 2007

NORML's Weekly News Bulletin - December 20, 2007
Posted by CN Staff on December 20, 2007 at 15:04:34 PT
Weekly Press Release
Source: NORML 
Latest Marijuana Smoke Warnings Could Be Mitigated By Vaporization December 20, 2007 - Washington, DC, USAWashington, DC: The results of a recent Canadian study identifying the presence of various respiratory pollutants in marijuana smoke should be seen as an opportunity to better educate cannabis consumers about ways to mitigate the health risks associated with smoking, NORML Senior Policy Analyst Paul Armentano said today.
The study, which will appear in the forthcoming issue of the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology, reports that greater concentrations of certain respiratory irritants such as ammonia, hydrogen cyanide (HCN), and various aromatic amines (nitrogen-related chemicals) are produced during the combustion of marijuana than during the smoking of tobacco. (Investigators speculated that the presence of each of these chemicals was likely due to Health Canada’s use of high-nitrate fertilizer when cultivating cannabis.) By contrast, investigators also reported that mainstream marijuana smoke contained lower levels of selected polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons compared to tobacco. Exposure to certain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons has been associated with increased cancer risk in animals and is suspected to play a in role in the proliferation of various human cancers, such as breast cancer and lung cancer.     Tobacco-specific nitrosamines, arsenic, and lead were not present in marijuana smoke, investigators noted.Armentano said that many of the unwanted chemicals contained in marijuana smoke, including HCN and many polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, may be reduced or eliminated by engaging in vaporization rather than smoking. “By heating marijuana to a temperature where active cannabis vapors form, but below the point of combustion, consumers significantly reduce their intake of gaseous combustion toxins, including carbon monoxide,” he said.     Most recently, investigators at San Francisco General Hospital reported in the journal Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics that the "vaporization of marijuana does not result in exposure to combustion gases, ... and is preferred by most subjects compared to marijuana cigarette." A previous clinical trial published in 2006 in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences reported that vaporization is "safe and effective" cannabinoid delivery system that "avoid[s] the respiratory disadvantages of smoking.”     Armentano also affirmed that cannabis smoking is not positively associated with cancers of the lung, mouth, or upper aerodigestive tract (e.g., pharynx, larynx, or esophagus). In 2006, the results of the largest case-controlled study ever to investigate the respiratory effects of marijuana smoking reported that pot use was not associated with cancer, even among subjects who reported smoking more than 22,000 joints over their lifetime.     "While smoking cannabis may pose some minor respiratory risks to the user, these health risks are far less than those posed by tobacco smoking and may be significantly mitigated by engaging in vaporization as an alternative to smoking," Armentano concluded. "Unfortunately, cannabis prohibition greatly limits consumers’ access to such devices and impedes technological advancements in this area – subjecting users to respiratory risks that they would otherwise avoid."     For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Senior Policy Analyst, at: paul Full text of the study, “A comparison of mainstream and sidestream marijuana and tobacco cigarette smoke produced under two machine smoking conditions,” appears online (ahead of print) at:  American Academy Of Pediatrics Reaffirms Stance Opposing Random Student Drug Testing  December 20, 2007 - Elk Grove, IL, USAElk Grove, IL: Pediatricians should oppose the establishment of student drug testing programs in public schools because they may decrease student involvement in extracurricular activities and undermine trust between pupils and educators, according to a policy statement published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Council on School Health in the current issue of the journal Pediatrics.The statement marks the second time this year the Academy has voiced opposition to the enactment of random student drug testing programs. In March, the AAP stated, “There is little evidence of the effectiveness of school-based drug testing,” and warned that students subjected to random testing programs may experience “an increase in known risk factors for drug use.”The Academy reaffirmed its opposition to the practice this month, concluding: “Physicians should not support drug testing in schools … [because] it has not yet been established that drug testing does not cause harm.” The association warns that students subjected to random testing are more likely to disengage in school activities, and argues that federal funding earmarked for the enactment of drug testing programs “may be more effectively spent on drug prevention programs or well-established counseling programs.”Last month, a two-year prospective trial published in the Journal of Adolescent Health concluded that random drug testing programs targeting high school athletes do not reduce self-reported drug use and may encourage behaviors associated with “future substance use.” A 2003 cross-sectional study of various student drug testing programs nationwide similarly reported, “Drug testing, as practiced in recent years in American secondary schools, does not prevent or inhibit student drug use.”Since 2005, the US Department of Education has appropriated over $10 million dollars to enact random student drug testing programs in public middle schools and high schools around the nation. The White House has repeatedly lauded the programs, claiming, “student drug testing has proven to be effective in schools that have tried it.”For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, or Paul Armentano, NORML Senior Policy Analyst, at: paul norml.orgFull text of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ policy statement appears online at: NORML Foundation (DC)Published: December 20, 2007Copyright: 2007 NORML Contact: norml Website: NORML Archives 
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Comment #12 posted by fight_4_freedom on December 21, 2007 at 14:06:40 PT:
My new discovery
I just found this website from the ASA boards. Someone mentioned on that board that since it's the holidays, maybe we should all take a little time to write to a medical marijuana prisoner to give them a little joy in this time of giving. I like that idea a lot. There's a section on this website with a list of prisoners and what they are in there for. Also allows you to send them a message. What an awesome feature for the website to offer. Merry Christmas Everyone!
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Comment #11 posted by Truth on December 21, 2007 at 12:11:54 PT
It's like this....
Tobacco kills,Pot heals!
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on December 21, 2007 at 12:06:26 PT
We saw A Christmas Carol with George C Scott the other night. I think of the lessons in this wonderful Christmas Classic and I hope all people can enjoy the Spirit of Christmas that is upon us. Ho! Ho! Ho!
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Comment #9 posted by dankhank on December 21, 2007 at 11:53:37 PT
this moment ...
powerful ... I sparked a chillum while listening ... took your request to heart ...I'm passing it on ...Thanks for sharing ...Peace to all this season, even to those who don't want it ...
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Comment #8 posted by museman on December 21, 2007 at 10:36:33 PT
smoke cannabis -3
The marlborough man, Gene Autrey, and even Captain Kangaroo, all my childhood role models smoked tobacco. There were commercials on TV until the late '60's, with a doctor recommending one brand over another. The USN finished what I started when I began rolling bugler cigarettes at the age of 17.I smoked for 33 years. For about 27 of those years I also smoked pot. After quitting tobacco for 6 months, my doctor expressed huge surprise at the condition of my lungs, said they were 'in the pink.'Tobacco free for 6 years. Alcohol; disinterested since my brain fully developed at the age of 25.That little cancer inhibitor that 'God' included in the benevolence of cannabis, is the answer to 'industrial disease.'My mother (in her 70's) used to say; "You can't convince me that pot is some kind of wonder drug." Now she says one thing; "Legalize it."Incidentally my mother is the one who taught me that you CAN "fight city hall.""So come on everybody. let's all get high,and leave our yesterdays in the by and by,'cause it all comes down to this moment." 
To This Moment
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on December 21, 2007 at 10:31:47 PT
The debates are over for the year now it's waiting for Iowa on January 3rd. I'm glad this is a holiday time so the news will die down and give us a break I hope. 
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Comment #6 posted by fight_4_freedom on December 21, 2007 at 10:19:32 PT:
What a kind gesture by Liz Kucinich
to go to meet with this hero for more than an hour. Why can't all these candidates be kind and compassionate like him?Question, are all the presidential debates over?
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on December 21, 2007 at 09:43:40 PT
News Article from The Huffington Post
NH: Liz Kucinich Talks Drug Reform With 22-Year-Old MD Patient December 21, 2007
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Comment #4 posted by The GCW on December 21, 2007 at 08:28:23 PT
goneposthole, according to cannabis prohibitionists, You should be dead and while Your not, You should be in a cage.Because they love You. 
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Comment #3 posted by Patrick on December 21, 2007 at 08:06:32 PT
smoke cannabis - 2
30 years of smoking cannabis and pretty darn healthy here.
But I had 17 years that I also smoked cigarettes and they nearly killed me as the addiction factor increased over time to the point where I was up to 3 packs a day. I believe I nearly died from carbon monoxide poisoning because I smoked so many of those little white coffin nails. All perfectly legal while the illegal herb cannabis actually aided in helping me to quit the tobacco leaf. Tobacco free now for 8 years. 
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Comment #2 posted by goneposthole on December 21, 2007 at 07:39:28 PT
smoke cannabis
After 37 years of smoking cannabis, I should be dead by now.Fertilizers are used to grow everything.Cumidin, a blood thinner, is diluted rat poison. The FDA approves its use. I'll take cannabis over Cumidin anyday.
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on December 20, 2007 at 20:53:42 PT
Too Bad US Gov't Made The Volcano Illegal ...
All herbs are created by God to help his creation. Marijuana is an herb that has never killed, period. Those that fight Marijuana are truly evil. (as in live spelled backwards, meaning the destruction of life) They say Marijuana smoke is bad but do not tell you that one drop of nicotine on one square inch of your skin will kill you! And no mention is made of the FACT that nicotine is more addictive than heroin! But the most dangerous FACT of cigarettes is that they are radioactive. Smoking cigarettes will leave radioactive deposites in your lungs that will cause more damage than many x-ray pictures per year. My father and 4 of his brothers (my uncles) died from smoking cigarettes!
On a mission from God!
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