If Pot Prevented Cancer You Would Have Read About It, Right?

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director August 17, 2009

    Two influential websites — The Hill.com’s Congress blog and the Huffington Post — have provided me with a platform to report on the contrasting impact of alcohol and cannabis on cancer.

    If Pot Prevented Cancer You Would Have Read About It, Right?
    via TheHill.com

    Two just published studies assessing adults’ risk of cancer have reported wildly divergent, and fairly extraordinary, outcomes. One study you may have read about. The other has been ignored entirely by the mainstream media.

    … First, the study you may have heard of. Writing August 3 in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, investigators at McGill University in Montreal reported that moderate alcohol consumption–defined as six drinks or less per week–by adults is positively associated with an elevated risk of various cancers including stomach cancer, rectal cancer, and bladder cancer.

    And now for the study you haven’t heard of. Writing in the August issue of the journal Cancer Prevention Research, investigators from Rhode Island’s Brown University along with researchers at Boston University, Louisiana State University, and the University of Minnesota reported that that lifetime marijuana use is associated with a “significantly reduced risk” of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

    As I’ve written previously, both on this blog and elsewhere, for 35 years the federal government has been well aware –- yet publicly denied –- that cannabis possesses potent anti-cancer and anti-tumor properties. Even under the Obama administration, which promised to “base [their] public policies on the soundest of science,” the myth that pot promotes cancer persists. In fact, the White House’s website, whitehousedrugpolicy.gov, presently warns, “Marijuana has the potential to promote cancer of the lungs and other parts of the respiratory tract.”

    Of course, this myth persists in large part because the mainstream media rarely if ever pays attention to studies that could be seen as in any way undermining criminal prohibition. (In some cases, the MSM even goes so far as to erroneously report about those that do.) So it’s hardly surprising that in the three week span since the Brown University study was published, not one mainstream media outlet has reported its findings. (Full disclosure: over the past days I have personally communicated with several prominent newspapers’ writers about this study — in each case providing them with the full text of the investigators’ findings — but have yet to received any positive feedback beyond the obligatory “We’ll look into it.”)

    Will the promotion of these findings in prominent alt-media outlets like The Hill and Huff Po reverse the MSM’s complacency? Perhaps — and your feedback to both sites can only help. So chime in (**Note: comments on both sites are moderated), and tell the MSM that it’s time for us to stop having to do their job!

    65 responses to “If Pot Prevented Cancer You Would Have Read About It, Right?”

    1. R.O.E. says:

      Imagine that! thier study didnt show what they wanted!
      I left a post on the hill. I was polite,still dont think it will be posted due to the fact Im not a politicain.

      And in thelight of this truth,they(our leaders)will still deny its safer than alcxohol and cigs. I hope the people get so fed up with our leaders they vote them all out! Or at least ask them to leave office…nice to dream.

    2. nate says:

      why not start a petition to cc off to (user chosen) Mainstream Media outlets, such as a local news stations and favorite national news stations.

    3. nate says:

      … i just reread that. please excuse the obvious fail in grammer and spelling. 😛

    4. txpeloton says:

      “…lifetime marijuana use is associated with a ‘significantly reduced risk’ of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.”

      Say yes to democratized medicine with cannabis.

    5. dave says:

      Paul as im sure your a bright guy,the fact that the MSM wont touch this isnt really a surprise to many of us.The fact that this is HUGE news to many in the cannabis realm it just doesnt sell newspapers and it just doesnt present some gloom and doom scenario which is what the MSM seems only to print anymore.Im sure you noticed the headlines lately when that lady who was drunk killed nine people and how they constantly said she had cannabis in her system ,those are the only stories they are interested in talking about.Thank goodness for the internet and blogs like the HILL and huffpo where at least we can get some kind of truth out there about cannabis.

    6. 2slickgriff says:

      I’m definitely fed up with the MSM, I’m not sure if any of you have seen that new show “The Doctors”, its basically a panel of Dr.’s that provide health advice to an audience made up of basically the Oprah demographic.

      Well my mom was watching it this afternoon and they were attempting to explain why marijuana is so dangerous.

      They’re best argument was to cite a new scientific study claiming that maryjane promotes testicular cancer in males. And I loosely quote, “Not only does it promote cancer but the most deadly form of cancer for adult males…” Does anyone know which study they are referring to? Is this an accurate statement to make?

      And to save face they ended the segment by saying that it does have medicinal purposes for patients with AIDS and cancer, but recreationally it is “too dangerous”.

      All I could say to myself is I’ll never get my health information from a TV show. Its just sad because so many families will watch this show and take what these “Doctors” say as fact even though they are ignoring the hundreds of other scientific studies out there promoting the health benefits of marijuana.

      What a shame…

    7. Jed The head says:

      Not all mainstream media is ignoring the issue. I watched Bill Maher and Brad Pitt Talking about legalizing cannabis. He brings it up quite frequently. I’m not sure how many people watch his show but it must be a lot because HBO keeps him on.

    8. Chris Too says:

      How in the world they can get away with lieing every single breath about Cannabis just befuddles the shit out of me!!!!!

    9. Mike Stroup says:

      Prohibitionists would rather people die of cancer than get high from consuming cannabis. Prohibitionists are just funny like that.

    10. Nick says:

      Hey I was just wondering what your thoughts were on all this new talk about marijauna causing testicular cancer. It just bothers me so much how they single us out.