Thursday, September 16, 2010


I havent been updating this one as much, so my new primary blog will be what I will most likely do all my blogging on from here out. Please visit my page and follow me! Leave comments!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Three Things Marijuana DOESNT do!

THREE THINGS MARIJUANA DOESN'T DO from California NORML Reports, April 1992


   Two new scientific studies have failed to find evidence 
of brain damage in monkeys exposed to marijuana, undercutting 
claims that marijuana causes brain damage in humans.
    The studies were conducted by two independent 
research groups.  The first, conducted by Dr. William Slikker, 
Jr. and others at the National Center for Toxicological Research 
in Arkansas  examined some 64 rhesus monkeys, half of which 
were exposed to daily or weekly doses of marijuana smoke for 
a year.  The other, by Gordon T. Pryor and Charles Rebert at SRI 
International in Menlo Park, California,  which is still 
unpublished, looked at over 30 rhesus monkeys that had inhaled 
marijuana one to three times a day over periods of 6 to 12  
months.  Neither study found evidence of structural or 
neurochemical changes in the brains of the monkeys when 
examined a few months after cessation of smoking.
   The new results cast doubt on earlier studies 
purporting to show brain damage in animals.  The most famous 
of these was a study by Dr. Robert Heath, who claimed to find 
brain damage in three monkeys heavily exposed to  cannabis.  
Heath's results failed to win general acceptance in the 
scientific community  because of the small number of subjects, 
questionable controls, and heavy doses.  
   Subsequent rat experiments by Dr. Slikker and others 
reported persistent structural changes in the brain cells of 
rats chronically exposed to THC.  The studies did not show that  
pot kills brain cells, as alleged by some pot critics, but they 
did show degeneration of the nerve connections between brain 
cells in the hippocampus, where THC is known to be active.   
   Although scientists have regarded the animal evidence 
as inconclusive, some critics have cited it as proof that pot 
causes brain damage in humans.  Thus Andrew Mecca, the  
director of California Department of Alcohol and Drug Abuse, 
recently stated on the Ron Reagan, Jr. talk show (Sep. 2, 1991) 
that marijuana "leaves a black protein substance in the 
synaptic cleft" of brain cells, a claim apparently based on 
Heath's monkeys.  When asked by a NORML member for his 
evidence, Mecca sent a list of three references, none of which 
turned out to have anything to do with brain damage.
   Although the new monkey studies found no physical 
brain damage, they did observe behavioral changes from 
marijuana.  Slikker's group found that monkeys exposed once a 
day to the human equivalent of four or five joints showed 
persistent effects throughout the day.  Slikker says that the 
effects faded gradually after they were taken off marijuana, 
and were not detectable seven months later, when they were 
sacrificed.  Autopsies did reveal lingering chemical changes in 
the immune cells in the lungs of monkeys that had inhaled THC.   
However, Slikker's group concluded that experimental exposure 
to marijuana smoke "does not compromise the general health of 
the rhesus monkey."


William Slikker, Jr. et al, "Chronic Marijuana Smoke Exposure in the Rhesus
 Monkey," Fundamental and Applied Toxicology  17: 321-32 (1991)

Guy Cabral et al, "Chronic Marijuana Smoke Alters Alveolar Macrophage
 Morphology and Protein Expression, Pharmacology Biochemistry and
 Behavior 40: 643-9 (1991) 

Merle Paule et al., "Chronic Marijuana Smoke Exposure in the Rhesus Monkey
 II: Effects on Progressive Ratio and Conditioned Position
 Responding," Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
 260: 210-22 (1992) 


   A new study of children born to marijuana-smoking 
mothers found no link between marijuana exposure and the 
birth defects of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS).  The new study, 
by Dr. Susan J. Astley of the University of Washington, 
published in the January, 1992 issue of Pediatrics,  
contradicted a 1982 study by Dr. Ralph Hingson, in which 
prenatal exposure to marijuana was found to increase the risk 
of FAS. 
    Hingson's results, which have not been replicated, have 
been questioned on various methodological grounds, in 
particular the difficulty of controlling for combined drinking 
and pot use.   
   The new study looked for facial deformities 
symptomatic of FAS in 40 children whose mothers had smoked 
marijuana heavily during pregnancy and 40 controls, It found no 
association between marijuana and FAS, but deformities were 
observed in children of women who drank 2 ounces of alcohol 
per day or took cocaine.


   A new study by Dr. Robert Block at the University of 
Iowa disputes the commonly held notion that marijuana alters 
the level of testosterone and other sex hormones.
   The study contradicted a widely publicized 1974 study 
by Dr. R.C. Kolodony, which reported decreased testosterone 
levels in men who smoked marijuana chronically.
   The U. of Iowa study found that chronic marijuana use 
had no effect on testosterone, luteinizing hormone, follicle 
stimulating hormone, prolactin and cortisol in men or women. 
   Noting that six other studies had failed to show 
lowered testosterone levels in men, Dr. Block concluded: "It 
appears that marijuana, even heavy use of the kind that's 
typical in the United States, doesn't alter testosterone levels."  
   However, he cautioned that heavy use might have other 
adverse  effects, including "possible effects on reproductive 
function and mild, selective cognitive impairments associated 
with heavy, chronic use."
   Block's study is published in Drug and Alcohol 
Dependence, Vol. 28: 121-8 (1991).

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cannabis Compound Slows Cancer Spread In Mice, Researchers Say

(WebMD)  Cannabis may be bad for the lungs, but the active ingredient in marijuana may help combat lung cancer, new research suggests.

In lab and mouse studies, the compound, known as THC, cut lung tumor growth in half and helped prevent the cancer from spreading, says Anju Preet, PhD, a Harvard University researcher in Boston who tested the chemical.

While a lot more work needs to be done, the results suggest THC has therapeutic potential, she tells WebMD.

Moreover, other early research suggests the cannabis compound could help fight brain, prostate, and skin cancers as well, Preet says.

The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.

The finding builds on the recent discovery of the body's own cannabinoid system, Preet says. Known as endocannabinoids, the natural cannabinoids stimulate appetite and control pain and inflammation.

THC seeks out, attaches to, and activates two specific endocannabinoids that are present in high amounts on lung cancer cells, Preet says. This revs up their natural anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation can promote the growth and spread of cancer.

In the new study, the researchers first demonstrated that THC inhibited the growth and spread of cells from two different lung cancer cell lines and from patient lung tumors. Then, they injected THC into mice that had been implanted with human lung cancer cells. After three weeks, tumors shrank by about 50 percent, compared with tumors in untreated mice.

Preet notes that animals injected with THC seem to get high, showing signs of clumsiness and getting the munchies. You would expect to see the same thing in humans, so if this work does pan out, getting the dose right is going to be all important, she says.

Paul B. Fisher, PhD, a professor of clinical pathology at Columbia University, says that though the work is interesting, it's still very early.

The issue with using a drug of this type becomes the window of
concentration that will be effective. Can you physiologically achieve what you want without causing unwanted effects, he tells WebMD.

By Charlene Laino
Reviewed by Louise Chang
©2007 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved.

WebMD -

The Top 10 Most Ridiculous Conspiracy Theories Against the Legalization of Marijuana

By The WebPreneur, Sarah Scrafford
Mary Jane, pot, cannabis, ganja—the substance has so many names. Those who spend a lot of time on the web are used to coming across opinions ranging from the insightful to the outright insane. But when it comes to theories against efforts to legalize pot in the US, some theories are really off the wall.
While there are advocacy groups on both sides of the issue, this isn’t intended as a serious policy article (so no hate mail please!). Rather, its intended to be a chance for everyone to take a step back and laugh at some of the truly nuttiest conspiracy theories put forth from both sides of the aisle. Here are the Top 10:
  1. The legalization of Mary Jane will turn America’s youth into useless consumer hippies: Like a scene straight out of Reefer Madness, parent groups are up in arms against their little darlings having easy access to cannabis. The drug causes a decrease in problem solving capability, decreased motor skills and muscle strength, and is officially said to make children slack off in school. Forget for a moment that the 2006 Monitoring the Future survey found that about two out of five seniors in high school have tried marijuana and still managed to get into Harvard and Rice. These suburbia dwellers want their three children protected from the other two.
  2. It is a calculated plot to corrode the morals of impressionable youth, making them susceptible to the devil, infomercials: Believers in this conspiracy theory believe that the drug abuser community at large has organized to brainwash minors into an unhealthy lifestyle. Indeed, studies show that America’s high schoolers are less likely to disapprove of marijuana use, which correlates to findings that regular church attendance is down in the same age group.
  3. Legalization is just another way to quail the masses: Like the LSD and AIDS conspiracies of yesteryear, card carrying members of this covert plot think that legalizing Mary Jane would solely benefit the government. With everyone listening to reggae, there would be no time to exercise the first amendment.
  4. Legalization will help the terrorists win: If cannabis were made legal, the terror alert in America would rise to code ‘impending doom green’ according to these theorists. Islamic extremists have been pushing Mary Jane on otherwise responsible citizens in an effort to fund terrorist plots to take over free society. Keep in mind that these extremists have a diverse portfolio, and are also using oil, the media, and Google to supplement their incomes.
  5. The legalization movement is an elaborate plot by pharmaceutical companies to get people addicted to drugs: One of the biggest pillars of the legalization platform has been that marijuana can be used for medicinal purposes by terminally ill patients and others suffering from pain. It is either given in the medically accepted form of marinol, or smoked. However, the overall substance is classified by the government as a gateway drug, and may encourage people to use drugs to cure what ails them. Big companies like Pfizer and Merck & Co could benefit greatly from a society trained to use drugs to feel better.
  6. Marijuana causes schizophrenia, and if legalized will render the masses mentally unstable.: Hefty pdf documents coming from researchers in England and Australia have initially found that there might be a slight correlation between the use of marijuana and hearing voices. Experts cite that childhood use can be traced to as much as 14 per cent of psychotic episodes later in life, and suggests the legalization of marijuana would severely affect the health of generations to come. In the same articles though, stress is equally seen as a cause of schizophrenia. Commentators have largely written off these findings as anything from shoddy research to funding holes for lobbyist organizations.
  7. The movement is just a way to employ former Woodstock attendees, and does not actually serve any legal point: It’s a sad fact: protesters and activists need something to get behind now that the civil rights movement has ebbed. Most of these flower children went on to do things like vote and get law degrees, and now they are around the world to get their recreational drugs out in the mainstream economy. After all, it’s just awkward to go through your babysitter for a dime bag when it could be readily available on your way home from work at the 7-11.
  8. Society as we know it will collapse, and anarchistic potheads will rule the world: The logic here is that once marijuana is legalized, it is only a matter of time before everything else becomes legal. Soon people will be knee deep in a plethora of mind-altering substances, and society will suffer. With everyone on an assumed perpetual high, things like traffic flow and social moirés will cease to have meaning. This classic slippery slope argument can be applied to anything, all with the eventual downfall of human society. Picture the ending scene from Planet of the Apes.
  9. Legalizing ganja in the form of hemp will mean the end of the honest American farmer: The facts say it all: one acre of hemp can produce the same amount of paper as 4.1 acres of trees; 80 percent of all textiles, fabrics, clothes and linens were made from hemp until the 1820s. With these figures back in place, hemp growers could easily undercut prices of raw materials to create a new market. Paper mills would go under unless they converted to hemp processing, crops like cotton would become obsolete and the way of life for the breadbasket of America would be threatened.
  10. Cannabis is the next nicotine:Like movies of old depicting pregnant women, operating doctors, scientists and teenagers smoking cigarettes, theorists predict that cannabis will be our children’s children’s reason to ask ‘what were my grandparents thinking?’ Although nicotine comes in a close fourth to addictive substances behind heroin, cocaine and alcohol, Cannabis is bested on that front by…caffeine. The University of California at San Francisco’s study of these six substances also found that intoxication levels in cannabis were higher than nicotine, the addiction potential and withdraw troubles were about two fold in nicotine.
In this long debate that continues to get minimal press coverage, it is useful on occasion to take a step back and recognize the ridiculousness of some ideas that are put forth. It is my hope that this regaining of perspective will allow people on both sides of the debate to recognize the extremes often taken and find a middle ground that in the end will serve all parties better.