NORML's Weekly News Bulletin - February 7, 2008

NORML's Weekly News Bulletin - February 7, 2008
Posted by CN Staff on February 07, 2008 at 14:05:30 PT
Weekly Press Release 
Source: NORML 
  NORML Responds To Latest Marijuana And Lung Cancer Fears -- Widely Reported New Zealand Study Bases Its Findings On Only 14 Cases   February 6, 2008 - Washington, DC, USAWashington, DC: The results of a recent study from New Zealand reporting a nearly six-fold increased risk of lung cancer for individuals who smoke cannabis are based on only 14 cases, and have never been replicated in large-scale population case-control studies, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said today.
The widely reported study, published Friday in the European Respiratory Journal, assessed the relative risk of lung cancer associated with marijuana smoking in 79 cases and 324 controls. Of the 79 cases in the study, 70 reported smoking tobacco and 21 smoked cannabis.Investigators reported that light-to-moderate lifetime cannabis use "was not associated with a significantly increased risk [of lung cancer]." By contrast, researchers reported that the 14 subjects in the study with the highest exposure to cannabis (more than one joint per day for 10 years) had a 5.7 times higher relative risk of lung cancer compared to controls. Overall, subjects who reported having ever smoked tobacco experienced a nearly seven-fold increase in lung cancer risk. By contrast, subjects who reported having ever used cannabis did not experience a statistically significant increased risk of lung cancer compared to non-using controls.Previous large-scale population case control studies have also failed to identify a significant cancer risk associated with cannabis consumption. Most recently, a UCLA study of more than 2,200 subjects (1,212 cases and 1,040 controls) reported that marijuana smoking was not positively associated with cancers of the lung or upper aerodigestive tract – even among individuals who reported smoking more than 22,000 joints during their lifetime. A prior Johns Hopkins University study of 164 oral cancer patients and 526 controls also concluded, "The balance of the evidence … does not favor the idea that marijuana as commonly used in the community is a causal factor for head, neck or lung cancer in adults [under age 55.]"Finally, A 1997 Kaiser Permanente retrospective cohort study examining the relationship of marijuana use and cancer incidence in 65,171 men and women in California found that cannabis use was not associated with increased risks of developing tobacco-use related cancers – including lung cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, or melanoma."The release of this study does little to contradict the large body of existing science indicating that the moderate use of cannabis presents little-to-no known cancer risk," NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said. "By contrast, a growing body of evidence indicates that compounds in marijuana may, in fact, be protective against certain types of cancer, including lung cancer."Moreover, cannabis consumers concerned about the potential health risks posed by smoking may engage in vaporization to significantly reduce their intake of respiratory irritants or gaseous combustion toxins. For select marijuana consumers, such as patients using medicinal cannabis to treat a chronic condition, this method of ingestion is both preferable and advisable."For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul Additional information on marijuana smoking and cancer risk is available in the online report, "Cannabis Smoke and Cancer: Assessing the Risk,’ at:  Cannabinoids Offer “Attractive Target” For Cancer Therapy, Study Says   February 8, 2008 - Stockholm, SwedenStockholm, Sweden: Cannabinoids selectively target cancer cells and inhibit tumor growth, according to a forthcoming review to be published in the journal Seminars in Cancer Biology.Investigators at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm reported, "[C]annabinoids may have … inhibitory effects on tumor growth, angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels), migration and metastasis (the transfer of malignant cells from one site to another). Remarkably, these effects may be selective for the cancer cells, while normal cells and tissues are spared." Authors concluded, "Such apparent tumor cell selectivity makes the endocannabinoid system an attractive potential target for cancer therapy."Last month, investigators at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health reported in the journal Cancer Research that the administration of cannabinoids halts the spread of a wide range of cancers, including brain cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, skin cancer, pancreatic cancer, and lymphoma. In November, researchers at the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute reported that the administration of the non-psychoactive cannabinoid cannabidiol limits the activity of the breast cancer metastasis gene Id-1, stating, "[Cannabidiol] offers hope of a non-toxic therapy that could [treat aggressive forms of cancer] without any of the painful side effects [of chemotherapy.]"For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul norml.orgFull text of the study, "The endocannabinoid system in cancer – potential therapeutic target?", will appear in Seminars in Cancer Biology. Additional information on the use of cannabinoids as potential anti-cancer agents is available in the online report "Cannabinoids as Cancer Hope" at:    Obama Campaign Retracts Statement Supporting Decriminalization February 8, 2008 - Washington, DC, USAWashington, DC: Senator Barack Obama’s campaign backed away from statements made last week affirming the Senator’s support for decriminalizing marijuana, after being confronted with inconsistencies in his past and present campaigns on the issue by the Washington Times. A spokesman for Obama’s campaign blamed confusion over the meaning of decriminalization for the inconsistencies, and said that while Obama does not support decriminalization, "we are sending far too many first-time, nonviolent drug users to prison for very long periods of time, and that we should rethink those laws."For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at: allen norml.orgFull text of the Washington Times article can be found at: NORML Foundation (DC)Published: February 7, 2008Copyright: 2008 NORML Contact: norml Website: NORML Archives 
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Comment #8 posted by Hope on February 08, 2008 at 06:01:11 PT
Max... Comment 3
That sounds bad, considering that going to Class B isn't a downgrade, but putting it back where it was, as a more serious crime. Sometimes, considering the laws on Cannabis that are so harsh, I wonder if Planet of the Apes isn't really happening and already in place, and has been for a while.
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Comment #7 posted by Truth on February 08, 2008 at 03:19:52 PT:
there is one way...
There is one way we can fix our problem in a heartbeat.What is it?Please,register Republican and vote for Dr. Ron Paul!He IS our man!The cards are all in place.Watch what he has to say, the media has censored, and lied about him, and spread shit about him. Listen to Dr. Paul and see if what he is saying is how the media portrays him and then you can see how scared the bushiemofos are of him and why. He will bring us freedom. He will stop caging cannabis users. Isn't that what we are here for.Check out this site and learn more. It's a matter of survival. I cannot express how important this is...Please. I am literally begging Martha and all to please do this.Ron Paul will stop the war on Cannabis and he will let out all of the folks in prison and in jail that are caged over bogus laws. He is so dam smart it blows me away..........
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Comment #6 posted by potpal on February 07, 2008 at 23:48:27 PT
The BBC is a prohibitionist org. They routine published the worst propaganda they can dream up and post it prominently and leave it up on the website all week. Bet theres something there right now, they're due. I am trying to not frequent their site anymore...bad medicine.Now didn't Spain and Portugal decriminalize a while back?
I remember reading that at the world cup in Portugal they were encouraging fans to smoke herb rather than guzzle booze. Has their society crumbled or descended into decadence...(I loved Spain when I backpacked through as a yout)Prohibition is the crime.
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on February 07, 2008 at 18:51:56 PT
So they were booing someone who didn't want to move it back to Class B or did the booed guy want to keep it in Class C, where it is now?I'm so hoping they won't put it back to B, which has harsher penalties... but the prohibs have been busy flinging lies left and right to try and get it back in Class B.
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Comment #4 posted by Hope on February 07, 2008 at 18:48:36 PT
Class B in England is worse than Class C and has worse penalties. It was downgraded a year or so ago to Class C and now the prohibs want it back up in Class B.
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Comment #3 posted by Max Flowers on February 07, 2008 at 18:40:12 PT
Post #2 reminds me of this
Was watching a bit of the House Of Commons (UK government) proceedings last night and someone got up and asked the PM "What are you waiting for?" with regard to downgrading the category of cannabis to class B (similar to our desire in the US to recategorize to Schedule 2), and the PM blurted a pathetic "We're waiting for a commission report" and quickly sat down to loud jeers and moans in the house.
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Comment #2 posted by John Tyler on February 07, 2008 at 18:22:19 PT
Re Obama
OK. What is Obama real position on cannabis reform? He was on TV the other night going on and on about the need for change. I think this is a big issue that needs changing. Cannabis prohibition is antiquated repressive social legislation from the last century that is long overdue for a change. I will be really disappointed if he turns out to be just another politician that got bought off or sold out.  
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Comment #1 posted by ekim on February 07, 2008 at 14:48:33 PT
Dennis needs support
Hi there, 
We're holding a great fun raiser at the IX Center in Cleveland on Sunday February 17, with Sean Penn. I hope we will see you there and I would really appreciate it if you could forward this email to your lists, family and friends. 
Dennis has demonstrated courage and integrity, fearlessly standing for the people in challenging corporate interests. The latest FEC report shows Dennis being outspent by a margin of 5 to 1. The election is March 4th !  Please make a contribution now at or buy a ticket to our "WE LOVE DENNIS" Valentine's Fun Raiser .   
Thank you for your support,
Elizabeth K.
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